Saturday, September 14, 2013

Introducing Nancy Jardine, from Scotland

I'd like to introduce Nancy Jardine, a writer from Scotland, to tell us about her writing experiences. Welcome, Nancy, I'm happy to have you as my guest and I find your publishing career interesting from the point of view of a writer from another country.and being Scotish myself, even more so.
Dipping in a toe and using what I know….
It’s fantastic to be hopping across the cyber Atlantic, from Scotland, to visit with you today, Micki! I’d love to tell you a little about my writing though I don’t fit into the category of one particular sub- genre since I’ve written non-fiction and fiction. I relish the challenge of trying something different.
To date my published career is a mishmash. In 1999, I produced a pack of historically based non-fiction teaching materials for my teacher colleagues in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, volunteering my time and effort to that non- profit making venture.
A walk of a few hundred yards from my house in the village of Kintore, Aberdeenshire, will take me to something that’s been there for a very long time. It may be the nearby ruins of Hallforest Castle, built in 1296, a square keep which had six floors and is now the most fantastic crumbling shape. Alternatively, it could be one of the Bronze Age standing stone circles that can also be found just up the hill from my home… or the remains of Ancient Roman marching camps - though admittedly they are underground!
In 2002, my village school was housed in a Victorian-built granite building which was deemed no longer suitable for the purpose. A brand new school building was to be erected directly behind the Victorian school, on what had been a sports field. From Victorian times, it was known that there had been a Roman Marching camp (possibly Agricolan and dated around AD 84) on that site. Thorough archaeological digs were undertaken, over the years 2002-2004, and the findings were astounding!
Instead of the possible 4,000 soldiers being camped 200 steps from my front door, the conclusions were that there may have been as many as 10,000 Romans encamped there, during three possible uses of the site. I was SMITTEN. I’ve always loved history; it was my favourite teaching subject; and I was inspired.
The kids in my 2004 class, (Did I say I also taught at the school across the road?) wrote fantastic stories about Roman soldiers invading Kintore - the local Celtic tribe battling against the Roman Empire. Not to be outdone by kids, my 2004 summer vacation was spent writing my time-travel novel for 10 -14 year olds, in which 3 kids time travel back to Roman Kintore. (That novel, after revamps and rejection slips, is currently with an Edinburgh publisher)
My 2005 summer vacation was spent writing a non-fiction history book of Kintore School since no-one had ever created one. Not from Aberdeenshire, I had to learn a lot in a short time. An OPEN day in Sept 2005, while we still inhabited the old school building I researched, was planned. I wrote furiously that summer and produced ‘a skweel at Kintore fir monie a year’: the first recorded school dominie of Kintore teaching a class in 1574! My colour plated book (old photos and illustrations) was professionally published. Around 400 copies were sold; all profits going into school coffers since I had volunteered.
My 2007 summer vacation (YES- I was a vacation writer) was spent writing a historical romantic adventure, set in Celtic/Roman times. That story became my published novel, The Beltane Choice (Crooked Cat Publishing) which has gained mostly 5 * reviews- though it was not published till August 2012.
In 2008, I cut back from full-time class teaching and began write more fiction. I decided to try contemporary romance. The Wild Rose Press gave me contracts for my contemporary novels: Monogamy Twist (published Aug 2011) and Take Me Now (published Aug 2012). Monogamy Twist is a sensual ancestry based mystery and Take Me Now is a corporate sabotage mystery. The former has an updated Dickensian style weird bequest of a dilapidated English manor house. The latter is set on an island castle off the west coast of Scotland, the main characters zipping around the world in floatplane, jet and catamaran. Take Me Now is also sensual, like Monogamy Twist, but is my first attempt at marrying an element of suspense with humour.
Topaz Eyes (Crooked Cat Publishing Dec 2012), my second ancestral mystery, has a complicated ancestry based plot. Third cousins who have never met before are brought together in Heidelberg, Germany, to solve a family mystery. Their quest to find a set of long lost Mughal jewels takes the main characters to Vienna, Amsterdam, Duluth and Rochester (Minnesota) and New York. Not all is rosy in the family, though. The sub-genre of Topaz Eyes overlaps mystery, suspense, intrigue, and a little romance – death, danger and mistrust abounding.
During 2013, I’ve completed two follow on novels to my Celtic Britain novel, The Beltane Choice. They’ve now been submitted to Crooked Cat Publishing. It’s a nail biting time waiting for a decision on them! I’ve started a three book family saga set in Scotland which starts in the Victorian era. Yet a different sort of writing and time frame.
Thank you so much for inviting me to enthuse about my writing career, Micki. Any questions from you or your readers I’ll be delighted to answer.
Nancy Jardine lives in the fantastic ‘castle country’ of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, with her husband of many years. She spends her week making creative excuses for her neglected large garden; doesn’t manage as much writing as she always plans to do since she’s on Facebook too often, but she has a thoroughly great time playing with her toddler granddaughter when she’s supposed to be ‘just’ childminding twice a week. Her writing is peppered with history whenever possible, and those lovely locations she’s visited around the world- too good not share. Blogging takes up a good slot of her writing time, covering this and that topics!
Find Nancy’s writing at her author page;

Thanks, Micki


  1. Micki,

    Thanks for having author Jardine as I was able to visit a place in my mind that I've never traveled to. Hopefully one day I'll get to visit Scotland.

    It is so interesting to me to learn about the various places people live and travel.

    Her books sound so interesting, too.

  2. Thanks, Cherreye,
    I'm so annoyed since she had lovely pictures to go with this and they wouldn't copy from her word doc but did from a blank e-mail--looked great and poof now they're gone. I did pics for Clayton from his pictures but I can't figure out how to import them from a word doc with them already there. sigh--meant to be a PC dummy.

  3. Hi Cherreye,
    It's lovely that you've made such nice comments. Thank you.
    Don't worry about the pics disappearing. I can't get pics directly onto blogger via a word doc either. I import them from my computer(where they've been saved as .jpg files)onto my blog post via the 'Add media' button and that works for me.

  4. This is a great post. Thank you so much for sharing it, Micki!

    1. Hello, Raani. Thank you for stopping by.

  5. Micki, thank you for making us acquainted with Nancy Jardine.
    Nancy, you're someone I'd love to meet. The diversity of your activity is enviable, not to speak of the wonderful place you live in!

    1. Thank you, Marta. I do live in a beautiful place and I really appreciate it (except for the inevitable cold and rain) but I've visited many places, and have found lots to admire about them, too.

  6. I loved meet Nancy Jardine. This post makes me want to head over to Scotland and explore some of those castles.

    1. Thank you, Peggy. I find castles fascinating, too, but I always find something to love about all the places I visit.

  7. Thanks, Nancy is a great person. I'll be a guest on her site Oct 3rd where she interviews my character and I chose Noelle. Itshoud be interesting.

    1. Looking forward to that, Micki. Wishing you and your friends a happy time this week.

  8. Fascinating post, I really enjoyed learning about Scotland. I hope that the Victorian series is published - sounds just my 'thing'.