Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Landlord of Hummingbird House by Jane Harvey - Book Tour

The Landlord of Hummingbird House

When April moves into Hummingbird House, she is intrigued by her mysterious landlord, Dai.

With a bruised heart and a distinct lack of furniture, she spends the summer getting to know the other occupants. As she smartens up her home and makes peace with her recent past, she befriends Paul, a solitary ex-chef, and Betty, an elderly lady who lives in the basement flat.

But Hummingbird House holds many secrets, and the relationships of the tenants are not as straightforward as they seem. April learns some shocking truths one eventful night, and realises that victims and villains can look the same.

The Landlord of Hummingbird House is a contemporary novel exploring unlikely friendships, unexpected love interests, and family relationships. Here, everyone is in need of a second chance - and appearances can be deceptive.

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Author Interview
1. Favorite childhood memory involving books?
I remember when I first discovered novels, probably around age nine, and how amazed I was to have a book with multiple chapters that could last night after night. I read The Secret Garden, Ballet Shoes, and then The Hobbit (somewhat eclectic, I know). Some nights my mum would read a chapter to me, and some I would read on my own.

I remember very hot summer nights when it was barely dark, reading away while sleeping under nothing but a sheet. The joy of reading a novel was that I could fully inhabit the world. I started writing incredibly long – rambling – stories any chance I could around that time.

2. If you could dine with any literary character, who would it be and why?
                                   Mr Greedy, as we have a shared love of carbs.                               

3. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Tenacious; creative; well-intentioned.

4. What is your most unusual writing quirk?
This would probably get me slaughtered in most writing groups, but I edit as I go.

Most writers expect their first draft to be extremely rough. There is a quote attributed to Terry Pratchett that says: “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story’ – and there’s a slightly ruder, straight to the point quote often said to be from Hemmingway, with a similar sentiment... But I have never been able to write like that. I can’t let things go. I am a fast worker, but also a perfectionist. The idea of leaving something that I know can be improved is horrifying to me.

I don’t start writing a piece until I have mulled it over a lot, and I like to craft as I go. Of course, occasionally I struggle to find a word or phrase and have to come back to it, and I do review and edit afterwards, but much of the work goes into version one. Sorry, Terry.

5.    How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
I am prone to workaholism so if I am not consumed with my day job, I am writing every minute that I can. I also think about my writing all the time, so by the time I sit down to type I often have whole scenes plotted in detail in my head. And I am impatient, and passionate about writing.

All of this is a meandering way of answering ‘not very long’.

I wrote two novels in just under a year recently (one under another name). But that’s not to say I am slapdash or don’t put the time in. I do spend many hours, but they are compressed and intense. Unfortunately, as all writers know, the process after writing the book can take as long as the drafting does – proof reading, formatting, marketing, uploading, launching etc, usually take months.

6.    How do you select the names of your characters?
I try to avoid the names of people I know… generally, I base them on the age of the character and then look up the top ten names for their gender in the year of their birth! I go for whichever on the list appeals and seems to ‘fit’ the character.

My writing is contemporary, so perhaps I don’t have the challenges that some writers have. I think I would get stuck if I was looking for fantasy or paranormal names, as my imagination would run wild, and I would become indecisive!

7.    What are your top 5 favorite movies?

Some Like It Hot (comfort film)

Shaun of the Dead (go to silly comedy)

Up (such a beautiful film!)

Miracle on 34th Street (original version – we watched annually when I was a child)

Legally Blonde (Guilty Pleasure!)

 8.    Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

My advice is not to wait. There is no perfect time, so do is now. Don’t doubt yourself, and don’t mess around. Get on with it. You won’t regret it.

9. Tell us 10 fun facts about yourself!

  i.          I am very hypermobile.

              ii.          I hate wearing shoes (and I haven’t worn high heels for about twenty years).

           iii.          I have qualifications in British Sign Language.

            iv.          My name was invented by my parents.

              v.          I have auditory-tactile synesthesia (I sometimes feel sounds on my skin!)

            vi.          I haven’t eaten meat for 33 years.

          vii.          I can’t roll my ‘r’s.

        viii.          I have a dog named Sherman who looks like an angel…

            ix.          I am addicted to hard, waxed, black liquorice.

              x.          I got married this year (after ten years together 😊).

10. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

To unwind, I like to spend time with my teenage son, and my husband. We always watch comedy box sets together as a family, one or two episodes a night, and on a Friday evening we eat indulgently and watch all the comedy panel shoes they have on British TV (usually about the week’s news). In the week, we always eat at the table together, but on a Friday it’s something easy like jacket potatoes or a take-away, and we eat on trays in our PJs. It’s the highlight of the week for me.

11. If you had to pick a celebrity to cast for your main character, who would it be?

It’s a classic daydream for authors to consider who would play their characters in a dramatization. I would love to have Louise Brealey to play her – she played Molly (the pathologist) in the BBC version of Sherlock, amongst other things. She’s very versatile as an actress, and I admire her as a person – and I think she would be able to tackle the kind of bull-in-a-China-shop aspects of April, as well as her sensitive side.

I wouldn’t want her rough edges to be smoothed over; I deliberately tried to write an imperfect, real, relatable female lead.


Author Bio –

Jane Harvey is a pen name (shhh). She crafts fun fiction for the thinking woman, where she enjoys exploring unexpected friendships and writing happy endings. This is lucky, because in real life her (prize-winning) fiction is a little bleaker. She was born and raised on the island of Jersey, and lives with two males and a dog. She owns an admirable collection of animal vases and unusual lighting.


Social Media Links –

Twitter: @dreenac


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