Today on Meet the Author we’re talking to the lovely Janet Ralley about her most recent book, ghosts and making Christmas crackers!
J M Ralley
and suspense but breaking into fantasy/paranormal.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I work as a full-time veterinary nurse and writing fits around the day job. When I’m not doing either, I’m playing with my pet rabbits, reading or crafting. I handmake sewed goods and decorations. I also do photography and enjoy a long walk in the countryside to wildlife watch.
What inspired you to start writing?
I never wanted to write. In fact, I hated it at school. However, several years ago a story whipped into my mind. I spent plenty of time thinking about the scenes and playing them out in my mind. One day, back in 2017, I decided to write the plot down and things escalated from there. Soon I had two books with their first drafts finished and a whole heap of other ideas.
How many books have you written and published?
I have four completed novels so far. But after making the decision to remove the second Persecuting book down from publishing, only three are published at the moment. I was never quite happy with Persecuting Adam and will be re-vamping and hopefully have it back out next year.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why? (If relevant)
I love all my stories. However, Cinderella is my favourite story and I love Scotland and try to visit yearly. Therefore, I combined the two and the Romancing in Scotland series was born. My tale is set in modern-day Scotland around Gretna Green, Inverness and the made-up place of Strathberg. The story revolves around a mistreated Bella, the daughter of the wicked mother, and the Duke of Starthberg, Ramsey. There are masked balls, Siberian huskies and…. Well, you’ll just have to read it.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
Most of my character names simply pop into my head once I’ve got the plot down. Most of them waving madly at me. Sometimes they might change slightly as the story develops. For example, in Falling for a Duke, I began with Annabella, but changed her name to the Gaelic version of Arabella, which suited the story much better.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
That’s a hard one. I think for the males I’d pick Adam and Ramsey. Ramsey because… well he’s a Duke, what more can I say? Adam, (Persecuting series), because he’s caring and loyal and fights for what he wants.
For the females – Bella and Katie, (Romancing in Scotland series). The two of them together would be a barrel of laughs.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
Another hard one. First must be Nora Roberts. She’s the one who got me into the adult romance books with her Mills and Boon range. Sue-Ellen Welfonder because she writes such fantastic Scottish romances. And Jasmine Walt for her Paranormal series.
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
I had to write a children’s book for my English exams. Did I mention I hated writing? I wrote a story about a rabbit learning the time by going to school. On each page the rabbit moved. Not the easiest thing to design. However, I got top marks and was chosen to go to the local nursey to read the book there. Did I also mention I don’t exactly do the whole children thing? But I got a glowing report.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
My first job was making Christmas Crackers during my last summer holiday from school, which I enjoyed. My other job as been a veterinary nurse which I enjoy to bits. My best job ever was working as a wildlife nurse and getting to treat and see all types of British Wildlife up close. To see them go for release made the long hours and demanding work worthwhile.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
This must be to historical Scotland. If nothing else, it would help with a series I am planning. I love Scotland and to be able to travel back in time to when there were real Scottish people to met and talk too, would be a wonderful thing to do. Just think of the questions I could ask. And the dresses the women wore. Although, I’m not sure about the corsets. (And I’m not even mentioning the men in kilts. Getting hot at the thought).
What are your favourite things to do?
I love reading to relax and before I started writing would get through several books a month. Thank goodness for kindles, because now I don’t have to take ten books in my suitcase when I’m going on holiday. I used to take more books then clothes.
Otherwise, I enjoy long walks in the middle of nowhere. Nothing like the sounds of the countryside to clear the head. Luckily, I live by a couple of nature reserves, so I can get out quite often.
My favourite type of holidays are the wildlife watching ones. I’ve spent several hours discovering all sorts of animals in their natural environment.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
I saw a ghost. Yes, you read that right. A real ghost.
I worked at a place where a woman had died. I’d been warned the flat I lived in was the haunted one. Took no notice. Well, one night I work up and for some reason decided to look out the window. The light was off and as I stood my reflection stared back at me. Suddenly, there she was. A woman standing next to my reflection. When I looked round no one was there, and she’d gone when I turned back to the window.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Begin writing sooner. The concerns that my story won’t be liked isn’t something to worry about.
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
Apart from mine? Lols.
For other authors it must be the Emotion thesaurus. It’s a brilliant book for getting those details right and the whole series of books have really helped to improve my writing.
For readers I would suggest those who like romance and suspense A S Mcgowen’s Centaur Agency. This is one of the best series of books, I’ve read in a long time.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
My most recent book is the second in the Romancing in Scotland series. They are standalone books.
I’ll admit that I think this is my best work, so far. The plot centres around Katie, who we first met in Falling for a Duke and I bring out her cheeky side even more. Unfortunately, I then pick on her, rather a lot. Even worse I gave her amnesia and stuck her in a house with a man who tells her they are married. The amnesia causes nothing but trouble and she’s snowed in and unable to escape. Add in some emotional abuse and poor Katie’s confused.
However, I do send her some help in the way of a private investigator. Finley becomes enchanted with Katie the moment he looks at her picture. The problem he has to get over, is the fact she lives in Gretna Green. A place he never wants to see again.
Can he face his own fears and return to save the lass? Can Katie be saved before her captive has enough of her? And can Katie learn to trust another man?
I am also on Goodreads and bookburb – just search J M Ralley
Thanks so much Janet for taking part :). What a great interview!
Any questions/comments for Janet then give us a shout below.
Thanks for reading