JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Jayne-Marie Barker, author of “Distant Shadows”
(Austin & Macauley Publishers Ltd)
One shot in the dark and everything changes. When Richard Burkett shoots his victim in 1935, and gets away with it, he doesn’t expect to be caught over seventy years later. The death of one man can affect so many lives…
Zoe Peterson is shocked to find two police detectives – one being the captivating DC James Clark – interviewing her grandparents about an unsolved murder. Simultaneously Cathy and Stephen endure emotional turmoil in 1957. The revelation of her father’s identity frightens Cathy.
Zoe is concerned about her father’s health, and her ex won’t accept her ditching him – until James plants his size twelve’s firmly into her life. Will finding the dying gunman and earning her grandparents’ gratitude be enough for James to win Zoe’s heart?
In 1957 someone is stalking Cathy, the shadows following her, the darkness choking her, until breaking point finds her in Stephen’s arms and the awful secret is revealed. Wedded bliss could so easily be snatched away by terminal heartbreak.
A chance comment reminds James that the identity of the victim is more important than that of the murderer…
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write “Distant Shadows”?
Jayne-Marie Barker: Part of “Distant Shadows“ was an early version under another name. The thriller element has been added to heighten suspense and the modern day tale linked to the early day story by one unsolved murder. It is largely a new book with several new twists and surprises, but some of it dates back to my early writing days.
I have always wanted to write a story that involved stalking in some way and the opportunity was there with this novel.
JP: What sets Distant Shadows apart from other books in the same genre?
JMB: “Distant Shadows“ has the dual time line aspect that I personally like so much. The two time lines are linked by one unsolved crime, but the reader has to wait to until the very last page to discover how.
The link of the two tales is unique. I hope readers will enjoy this unusual linkage across the decades. The key investigation is a ‘cold case’ re-opened in the modern day with a real chance to finally wrap up the loose ends.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Distant Shadows getting out to the public?
JMB: That’s a tricky one – ok, let’s see… I think any author will tell you that luck plays a big part in your work being published at all, and a whole heap of hard work and determination thrown in along the way.
I’ve had a good feeling about this particuar book since day one of the first draft. “Distant Shadows“ features a strong storyline, a good cast of characters and plenty of sub-plots to keep the reader engaged.
The public may already have heard of me, this being the second novel to be published, so that will have helped too.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Distant Shadows?
JMB: I always adopt the same process, starting with the foundation work. For me the foundation work involved working out the plot-line, detailing the character profiles, getting know my characters and their back stories, setting the scene and “taking a walk around my fictional town”. I think about how the sub-plots will fit into the main storyline, and how the tension can be built at each point.
When I’m happy with the structure of the novel and the cast, I carry out any research that I need e.g. characters jobs; what is involved, training they would have needed to have completed and what they do at work. Then, and only then, I start to write.
The whole process takes up to a year, but I usually manage to complete it inside of ten months.
JP: What’s next for Jayne-Marie Barker?
JMB: My third book, “The Dancer’s Ghost” is due for release in 2013. In fact, as I answer your questions today, I am mid-way through checking the proof-readers comments for book no 3. Work is due to commence on book no 4 very soon.
Review quote for “Distant Shadows“:
“Betryal, murder and love under threat – Distant Shadows is a matinee movie in a book.” – Alison Bruce, Author
“Distant Shadows mixes romance with crime, stay warm and cosy with this book on a wet afternoon.” – Alison Bruce, Author
“Distant Shadows is a welcome addition to the crime scene. Past and present are skilfully interwoven and the reader is kept guessing until the very end. Well-paced and strong in characterisation, this is a satisfying and well crafted thriller.” – Elly Griffiths, Author