Jane Carter lives on a sheep farm in a small town in New South Wales, she has spent decades falling in love with rural Australia and now that her children are grown and have left home she has started writing. I have just read her latest release, A Dream of Something More, and we were able to find out a little more about Jane in this interview.
Hi Jane, welcome to Beauty and Lace and thanks for talking to us.
Thank you Michelle, I am delighted to be here.
What made you want to be a writer?
I didn’t want to be a writer. I write. Somehow, it bypasses the control function that I usually have firmly in place and pours out my fingers. Then I look at what is written down there and go Oh my God! Seriously.
Your latest release is A Dream of Something More, can you tell us a little about it?
‘A Dream of Something More’ was my first book. Robbie was a strong willed character. She takes the chance to live the dream she once had. Yes it was a trade-off, Allie had to stay behind but Robbie needed to become independent, financially and emotionally. Just three years. She could do it. She has it all planned out. So it’s about growing up, living in a country town and the restrictions placed on you, because you are loved and needed by everyone. Being brave enough to go and get what you want, against popular opinion. Brian, her ex-husband has become firmly entrenched in the small country town and she doesn’t want him shamed. That wouldn’t do Allie any good. Protecting Allie is her first priority.
So Robbie goes to Sydney and in her last year at uni Nick comes to rent the flat upstairs. He is unbelievably good looking, and far too young. They embark on an affair. For one year only.
Where did you get the inspiration for the book? And where does your inspiration come from in general?
Do you know what it’s like when you have everything planned and out of the blue something happens to change everything? And then having to cope with the fallout?
I married a farmer who loved driving trucks. I came to the country and fell in love with it all -the people, our sheep. Walking down the street and knowing every second person and how many kids they have. This world I live in is my inspiration.
Robbie leaves her small hometown to study, leaving behind a 9 year old (I believe) daughter. Do you think that’s something you could do?
I didn’t have to. Until you have to make that call you don’t know what decision you’ll make. Robbie reasoned that University holidays were quite generous. Allie was beginning to come down on the bus, for weekends. While she was living with her father, Elaine, Robbie’s mother, was around the corner and she was at school where Jen was the headmistress. There was safety leaving her in the community where Robbie had grown up – safety that wouldn’t be there in Sydney. It was a very hard decision. What alternative did she have?
Have you got a favourite place or time to write?
Whenever I can. The best time is when Ric walks out the door. And wherever the computer is.
Can you tell us a little about your process? Do you plot or let the characters drive the direction of the story?
I am a pantser. I write by the ‘seat of my pants’ So characters drive my story definitely and as I get to know them better so the story takes off.
What are you reading at the moment?
Delicious by Ruth Reikl. I love it. I had no idea how words could evoke one’s taste buds.
Do you have a favourite genre or author to read?
I can read almost anything. I found another book by Iris Johansen the other day and they never fail to disappoint me. Catherine Coulter, Cathryn Hein. I found the last of Georgette Heyer’s (that I hadn’t read) one day, not long ago, in a laundromat at a marina at Airlie Beach. You know, in with the pile of magazines, I’m afraid to say I stole it.
Are you working on something new you can tell us about?
Marley goes to Kazakhstan to work in a feedlot and discovers her new boss is a man she used to know. Actually, she used to be in love with him. Did he know she was coming? He had to. So, why was she there? I am in the process of finding out.
And finally, what does being a woman mean to you?
Oh boy. What a question. You haven’t got enough space. We are lambing at the moment. The ewes find a spot to lamb, usually quite away from the mob. Their waters break there so they know the spot by its smell. They push out the lamb and immediately lick it all over, cleaning the birth fluid off, starting the circulation going and incidentally putting their smell over the lamb. And that smell stays there for weeks. So they know exactly who their lamb is and who isn’t. They push away lambs that are not theirs. They are so clever. I rest my case.
Thanks for your time Jane.