Guest post from author Nancy Jardine

Today fellow Crooked Cat author Nancy Jardine is taking over my blog for a guest post:

How comfy is your genre butt-cushion?

Some authors find themselves a neat little genre niche, they pop into it and continue to write there, happy as a burrowing bunny. Other authors don’t settle into place so easily. If they’re like me, they’re trying out caves, tents and corners of old houses seeking the perfect place to spend the next writing phase as they produce work in different writing styles and across sub-genres. This isn’t necessarily due to a scattershot mind- it’s more of finding butt-comfort in many different locations and writing as the heart dictates.

Does the idea of different butt-cushions appeal to you?new crannog pic

What’s absolutely spectacular about butt-comfort writing is finding a publisher – like Crooked Cat Publishing – who accepts those different writing styles because they choose to publish quality work across diverse genres. The Crooked Cat Publishing cradle of authors has produced an amazing variety of work in a very short time. I’m delighted to be one of them, and reading a newly published Crooked Cat novel is a treat I look forward to when I can snatch some precious reading time.

However, appreciating the variety that’s produced by Crooked Cat doesn’t mean I want to try to write in every one of those diverse writing styles. I don’t see myself as forming a dystopian cushion dent, a political thriller one, or a pure fantasy one just yet – though who knows?

How many genre styles would you be prepared to write in?

To date, my personal butt-dents are in squashy moss-filled cushions in Celtic roundhouses, Ancient Roman tents and Roman Fortresses- in my Celtic Fervour Series of Historical Romantic Adventures (Crooked Cat). For Topaz Eyes – a mystery thriller (Crooked Cat), I needed to sit on a deep-filled cushion. The hidden jewellery cache contained in it prodded and poked me very regularly till I got the details of the complex family tree structure, and the murderous and grasping family members, smoothly into place.

Two of my contemporary novels are in between first and second publishers just now. One is a contemporary mystery set in an old Yorkshire manor house: an antique tapestry cushion was perfect for this ancestral based mystery. The second is a contemporary mystery thriller with humorous romantic elements. This needed a large and squashy cushion with a humorous ‘highland-hero image’ adorning it- this writing being a real mix of romantic sub-genres.

Where’s my current comfort to be found?

A cushion I’ve completely butt-flattened recently has been filled with a curious mixture of bracken and polystyrene chips. This time-travel for early teens zips from present day back to third century AD Scotland. Picking out the jagged bits of bracken from my butt is almost complete, though it has been a painfully slow process.

I’ve a new filling for Book Four of my Celtic Fervour Series of historical romantic adventures (Crooked Cat Publishing) – my current WIP. It’s now got heathers as well as mosses and brackens since my Garrigill warriors are heading even further north in my far northern Britannia of AD 84. I might have to top it up a few times as I conduct more research, to ensure I give my readers an authentic backdrop. I want them to be able to really live the lives of my characters during this ancient era. I don’t fancy adding any stones to the filling but the ancient brochs of northern Scotland are very interesting structures and are begging to be included!

In the corner of my writing area, there’s a trio of tartan covered cushions dating from 1850. A complex family tree adorns them: the ancestral details of my family saga. This tree is easier to read than the one in Topaz Eyes (Crooked Cat) since the names are mostly Scottish and not German and Dutch, but the structure of the plot is also a complex challenge. The first cushion for book 1 isn’t dusty at all because as soon as I sit on it and ponder, my resident 24/7 grandchildren find me another occupation. It’s a nice springy cushion, though, and accommodates me every now and then.

What about you? Got a nice place to sit?

12Feb2014Find Nancy Jardine at:




Twitter: @nansjar

Also found as Nancy Jardine on Pinterest, Goodreads, Google+, LinkedIn …and many more places.


Nancy’s Crooked Cat Bookstore Page:


Amazon US author page

Amazon UK author page

*Celtic Fervour Series – 3 full length reads for less than £5 from Amazon UK.*


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