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Live webchat with best selling author Jane Green - Mon 2 July 1.30-2.30pm

(88 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 26-Jun-12 14:23:13

With sales of over 10 million books under her belt, Jane's career has gone from strength to strength since her first novel "Straight Talking: in 1996. Every book since has gone straight into the bestseller lists - and along with Helen Fielding she has been credited with founding the genre of 'chick lit'.

Jane's new book The Patchwork Marriage is out this week and explores modern family life, questioning whether love and devotion really are enough to create a happy family. Now in her 40s Jane, originally from the UK, lives in America - but is coming in to GNHQ to answer your questions. She will also be picking her favourite from the thread and the winner will get a signed copy of her book.

JaneGreen Mon 02-Jul-12 13:30:08


In one of your books - The Beach House I think but I may be wrong - there was a three generation family and the grandmother came across rather negatively. Is that based on any personal experience? What was (is?) your relationship with your grandparents like?

I actually think you might be wrong. I've never written a three-generation book, and would never write about a grandmother negatively. My Grandma just turned 102. We share the same birthday and I adore her.

distaffgran Mon 02-Jul-12 13:30:34

How have you found having children has combined with being a writer? Has the pram in the hall been a problem? - or were you always well off enough to have help?

swizzle Mon 02-Jul-12 13:31:37

Which of your novels do you like the best? Do you have a favourite?

JaneGreen Mon 02-Jul-12 13:31:52


Is your life as a writer very different in America from how it was in England? I imagine it to be more glamorous and filled with celebrities

I can't is rather glamorous. Not always - most of the time it's deeply humdrum, just being a mum and running around frazzled, but when you do rub shoulders with celebrities, they're of a better quality!! Rather odd, and wonderful to find yourself at a party with Richard Gere!

JaneGreen Mon 02-Jul-12 13:33:17


Yes nanamarion - me too! Especially if you have sold 10 million copies!!

Actually I wasn't going to ask a question but I will if that's ok? What do you think is the secret of your success?

After years of doing events and meeting readers, I think there is something in the way I write that touches my readers deeply. It's not unusual for my events to turn into Oprah-like episodes - lots of tears and hugging!

topcat Mon 02-Jul-12 13:33:17

Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey and do you think 'mommy porn' is going to be a whole new genre or will it flare and fade away?

JaneGreen Mon 02-Jul-12 13:35:03


Hello Jane - I have seen from the blurb in your books that you have a 'blended' family and would love to know more about it - and also any advice you can offer to others who may find themselves in this position. My DD is about to set up home with her new partner and the children from both marriages and it would be lovely to have some positive and constructive advice I could offer

My best advice would be to read a book called Stepcoupling - it helped us enormously. The most important advice - and one that's often hard for fathers - is that the two of you have to be a united team. You have to set the rules, and stick to them. And new stepmothers shouldn't try to make stepchildren love them. Stepchildren can sniff out falseness from a mile away. Recognise that love develops over time, you cannot make it happen... Wishing everyone best of luck!

flopsybunny Mon 02-Jul-12 13:35:15

Do you still need to do book tours? Most authors claim to hate them. I'd have thought your books were guaranteed to be successful without having to do them any more.

JaneGreen Mon 02-Jul-12 13:36:34


Hello Jane! My Q is: Do you ever get writers block? And what do you do to try and combat it?

The only thing to do is to write through it. If you waited for inspiration to strike you'd never get anything done! It happens many, many times, and I have found the only way to unlock the creativity is to force myself to sit at the desk and keep writing, even when I don't know what to say. After a while, it gets easier, then easier still, and all of a sudden, it's back.

scribblegranny Mon 02-Jul-12 13:37:04

Have you got any advice for novice writers?

JaneGreen Mon 02-Jul-12 13:38:14


Hi there Jane,

Great to be able to 'chat' with you like this!
Can I ask what your top three priorities are in life?



phishphood Mon 02-Jul-12 13:38:40

I think you manage to produce about a book a year. Is that difficult? How many hours a day do you write for? Does it all come out right first time or is there a lot of rewriting involved?

JaneGreen Mon 02-Jul-12 13:40:40


I read somewhere that you do a lot for charity. Which ones do you support - and what made you feel it is important to put something back? Just downloaded your new book on my kindle for my holiday and looking forward to tucking in

It's very hard to choose, because there are so many deserving and wonderful causes. My foremost charity is a camp set up by Paul Newman called the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, for children with terminal diseases. I support a variety of breast cancer charities after losing one of my best friends, and a medical center in Pasadena called City of Hope which is developing groundbreaking medical treatment for cancer and diabetes amongst other things.

I think it's vital to give back. I hope to be in a position to give far more than I already do. I am enormously blessed to have what I have, but it means nothing if it's not shared.

wastrel Mon 02-Jul-12 13:41:25

You have written about friendship - do you find time to have friends? Someone once said (I think!) that you can have three out of: work, relationship, children and friends - but not all four of them. Have you managed to prove this wrong?

JaneGreen Mon 02-Jul-12 13:42:27


Have any films been made of your books?

grrrr. Sadly not. I think The Beach House would be lovely, and I still can't believe Jemima Jones has never been made. I don't quite understand it, but clearly it's just not my time. I thought Nancy Meyers - Something's Gotta Give; It's Complicated - would do a gorgeous job with The Beach House and Nantucket. We sent it to her but she's busy filming. I am sure as soon as she finishes she'll get to it and phone me saying yes! I love this! This, Jane, is my new blockbuster!

zither Mon 02-Jul-12 13:43:31

Do you welcome the chicklit label or do you think it misses something about your books

(not a leading question or anything...)

JaneGreen Mon 02-Jul-12 13:43:43


sorry - can I also ask what books you like reading?

I read everything, from commercial fiction like mine, to thrillers, to literary fiction. I am lucky enough to have got my hands on the new Marion Keyes which isn't out for a few months - The Mystery of Mercy Close - and it's FANTASTIC!

JaneGreen Mon 02-Jul-12 13:45:47


Hi Jane!
Where do you get your inspiration for stories? Do you draw from real life experience or simply from your imagination? You're one of the rare authors who can bring me into the story in no matter the plot/characters. From Mr. Maybe to the Beach House I love that I feel I can connect and relate to the story despite not having much in common in my real life.
Thanks for helping me escape into the wonderful world of your characters!

Katie - thank you!! Inspiration often comes from my life, whether it's something that's happened to me, the life of a friend, a theme I have noticed, or even a person I have passed and found compelling. Nan in the Beach House came about after I moved into a tiny beach cottage after my former marriage ended, and found myself falling in love with my landlord. We'd go for late night walks on the beach, and every night a woman would pass us on a bicycle, smoking, with red lipstick, and I was fascinated by her and knew I had to use her in a book, hence Nan.

sneetch Mon 02-Jul-12 13:46:43

What's your attitude to new media? I read somewhere that you blog every day, though I find this hard to believe, given how often you produce a novel!!
Do you tweet and post regularly on facebook? And do you think it's necessary for a writer these days to be on social media?

JaneGreen Mon 02-Jul-12 13:48:50


Do you welcome the chicklit label or do you think it misses something about your books

(not a leading question or anything...)

At 44 I defy anyone to call me a chick... It was a great label in 1996 when it was created, but it truly doesn't fit what I write anymore. However people may try to defend or expand the label, the vast majority of people, when asked to define it, would say it is the fluffy twenty-something single girl looking for romance.

I'm writing for women of every age, and particularly now my age and older. I have had a huge problem letting those women know I'm writing for them because of the 'chick lit' label, so whilst I did not mind in the least when I was writing younger books, it doesn't apply now.

getmehrt Mon 02-Jul-12 13:49:13

Did you set out to make money from your books? Did you always know this would happen? And has being successful made a big difference to you?

JaneGreen Mon 02-Jul-12 13:49:38


Do you have a favourite Author if so whom?

Not one, but a few. Jonathon Tropper; Armistead Maupin; Patrick Gale; Dani Shapiro

tidalwave Mon 02-Jul-12 13:51:08

Do you write with a particular person in mind? And do you always have the same first reader?

twinsmum100 Mon 02-Jul-12 13:52:36

I love your books! Jemima J is just my favourite character, so excited you have a new book coming out.

How would you define your style? Do you sit and write in Pj's and no make up, or are you glamtastic? grin

broiler Mon 02-Jul-12 13:53:06

Do you start with characters, plots or themes?