Thursday, May 31, 2007

Five minutes with Jane Beckenham

"Hiring Cupid" by Jane Beckenham has just hit the stores, a fabulous new release with Linden Bay Romance. The premise itself is enough to set your whole body to "tingle" mode: you're rich and beautiful, and you find yourself hiring a gigolo...

Tell us a all about, Jane.
Hiring Cupid - I mean who would do this? Me? Nope, no way! But imagine you’ve bragged about some lover who doesn’t exist and to save face you hire a man. Of course no ordinary man. He’s absolutely got to be yummy. And of course Marco Valente is totally delicious. Hiring Cupid is set here in New Zealand, but the theme of the book, truth, honor, trusting your own heart, are universal for both men and women.

Well, if the gigolo were as yummy as the model on the cover of "Hiring Cupid", I would be tempted to hire him myself! Where can we get hold of a copy... of the book, not of the gigolo, that is?
Readers can check out the excerpt at or order it at

Jane, tell us a bit about your path to writing.
I get a bit embarrassed when people ask this, because most writers say, oh, they’ve always wanted to write, they were born to write etc, but I sort of fell into it. I read a lot as a teen particularly, as I spent many years in and out of hospital and became a voracious reader to pass the long hours. About 10 years ago, we got our first home PC and I love decorating, so was on one of those chat rooms, talking colors so on, and a lady I met (Terre Sexton of Sth Carolina) mentioned she was writing, and I got all enthusiastic and said I’d like to try that – why not she says – so what do I do, I write 30 pages that day and email it to her. She loved it! I was gobsmacked, but encouraged and that was the start of it all.

Going back in history now, so to speak, your books Woman of Valor, Leap of Faith and Be My Valentine are time travels- why time travel?
Well, TT is another world. Imagine going back in time, seeing history unfold. How exciting would that be? Okay, so they didn’t have modern plumbing, but a gal can side-step that for a few pages at least. Then again, what about some dashing highlander coming forward, seeing electric light, and imagine hot water on tap LOL! There is so much you can do with TT, also I loved history at school, and TT is one way of combining contemporary and history and of course romance.

So how do you choose an idea for a TT?
With Valor, it is co-written with Ellen Ben Sefer. Ellen and I met online – she’s an American transplanted to Australia, and I’m in NZ. We often said wouldn’t it be good to do a TT in Israel. Think of all the wonderful history there. Both of us had lived in Israel, and then one day chapter one arrived in my in box – and five weeks later, Woman of Valor was finished. We co-wrote Valor without having ever met, and in fact, Leap of Faith was the same, written before we’d ever met.

How does one co-write a book with someone they don’t really know?
There is a lot of trust there, faith in the other person. What we discovered along the way was that we each, at that time, had different strengths. Ellen was great with the intricacies of the history of Israel and ancient Judea, and I loved writing the setting and particularly the hero’s POV. It all fell into place. We would discuss each day how we wanted the story to go, then each would say what bit they wanted to write, and away we’d go. I would keep it all together and combine it into the master document. Writing with a co-partner is a great experience and one I can certainly recommend.

Be My Valentine was next, is that right?
Yes, I’d done 2 books with Ellen, but wanted to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. That I could actually do it on my OWN. Valentine was an exciting write, it fell into place so easily, and I could see the story as if it was a video in my head. I could see the slave auction, see the trek inland, hear and smell the Port Royal, where Valentine is set. At the end of it, I sighed with relief. I wasn’t going to be a one hit wonder.

What does the future hold, Jane?
I’ve got another two contemporaries with Linden Bay under consideration at the moment and I've just had one of them accepted. It's called "He’s The One". Imagine being a wedding planner and a virgin to boot. Imagine having your clients ask you questions about sex and you haven’t a clue how to answer. What is a girl to do? Easy really. She’s finds a hunk to teach her all there is to know about sex, of course!

Indeed. All in the name of research and better business service, of course, LOL. Jane, where can people get hold of you if they'd like to ask more questions?
I’d love to hear from readers, they can email me on, and check out my website at, or see my books at or

Well, I know I have one more question: "Who is that gorgeous guy on the cover and can I have his phone number?" :-)

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