June 2010


Jane Green – one of chick lit’s founding authors with books such as Jemima J, Mr Maybe and The Other Woman – is releasing her 12th novel, Promises to Keep (aka The Love Verb), this month. She is English but moved to the United States almost 10 years ago – she lives in Connecticut with her husband and their blended family of six children. (Interview by Angela Smith)

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Picture credit: Tracy Ketcher

  1. 1. Tell us about your new novel Promises to Keep?

    It's the story of two sisters, one of whom appears to have everything: a perfect husband, two gorgeous kids, and her irresponsible younger sister. When one of them gets sick, it forces their entire family, parents, and friends to re-evaluate their life. Despite the theme, it is a book that is filled with optimism and warmth, a book about friendship, and the true meaning of love.

  2. 2. What was the inspiration for the novel?

    A close friend was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer last year. The experience of going through the illness with her was life-changing, and I had to capture some of the ways I felt I had fundamentally changed. As a result, I am doing a series of fundraisers for breast cancer, and am donating a percentage of the royalties to City of Hope to help fund breast cancer research.

  3. 3. Why did you decide to shoot a television commercial to help promote the UK version of the book, The Love Verb?

    Because I was asked! I loved the glamor of it, although still find it hard to watch myself on television.

  4. 4. How have your books changed as you've gotten older?

    My books have unquestionably charted the course of my life, and have grown up enormously since I first started. As a single girl looking for Mr Right, I started my career writing about women going through some of the same challenges, and now, as a married, divorced, re-married mother of many, I am writing for women at a different stage of their lives.

  5. 5. Why do you think so many readers identified with Jemima J?

    I have spent my life struggling with food and issues with eating, as have so many women. The whole concept of eating everything in the pantry so you can start your diet afresh tomorrow is one I suspect most of us are familiar with. And of course there is the whole Cinderella aspect to the story, which is timeless.

  6. 6. What do you find the most challenging about writing?

    Making time to do it.

  7. 7. Did you always know you'd be a writer?

    I always thought I'd be an artist but ever since childhood have been happiest buried in a book, and I think my imagination was always somewhat overactive...

  8. 8. Besides being an author, what other careers have you undertaken or considered?

    I was a journalist in my 20s, and worked in PR. I studied fine art, and would probably quite like to do interior design.

  9. 9. What is your greatest strength as a writer?

    Discipline, and the ability to stay very focused for short periods of time when absolutely necessary. And, too, a passion for people - I am fascinated by people and their stories.

  10. 10. Do you have to travel much because of your books?

    I travel all over the States, and to London on a fairly regular basis. I fell slightly in love with Sonoma (California) when I was there a few years ago.

  11. 11. Have you ever had writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?

    I have writers' block on a regular basis, and have found the only way to beat it is to write through it. It usually starts off feeling as if you are squeezing blood from a stone, but as you continue forcing the words out through your fingers, at some point along the way your creativity starts to flow.

  12. 12. Are you reading any interesting books at the moment?

    I have a stack by my bedside that I am slowly working my way through including the new Stieg Larsson, One Day by David Nicholls, and Sex and Stravinsky by Barbara Trapido

  13. 13.What is your favourite or least favourite quality about yourself?

    I think I am a kind person, which is a good thing, but I have, as my husband says, the patience of a fruit fly, which is awful.

  14. 14. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have three material things, what you take with you?

    A razor because my legs would not be a pretty sight after about five minutes, a down comforter because I am always cold, and a skillet because you never know...

  15. 15. Is there a specific message you want readers to take away after reading Promises To Keep?

    Make sure you make time for the people in your life, and show them you love them. Anyone can say the words but true friendship, true love, requires Acts of Love. Love is, indeed, a verb, and the truth is in the action.

  16. 16. Where do you see yourself in five and 10 years time?

    Happier and more contented. I think of myself rather like a fine wine, I, and my life, get better with age.

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