Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Chat with Jane Beckenham

I asked Jane to give me a little background on herself as well as tell us a little bit about Desperately Seeking Santa. She lives in NZ so I asked to know a little bit about that too. :)

Author Jane Beckenham found literature at a young age. In books she discovered dreams and hope, stories that inspired in her a love of romance, and travel. Years later, after a blind date, Jane found her own true love and married him eleven months later. Life has been a series of ‘dreams’ for Jane. Dreaming of learning to walk again after spending years in hospital. Dreaming of raising a family and subsequently flying to Russia to bring home her two adopted daughters. And of course, dreaming of writing.

In 2007 Jane celebrates the release of her fourth book. HIRING CUPID, a fun and sexy read that will leave you searching for your very own Cupid.
With her family growing up, life is a round of playing mum's taxi service, all the while wondering what her hero and heroine are up to behind her back! Writing is Jane’s addiction - and it sure beats housework.

Christmas is coming and my new release DESPERATELY SEEKING SANTA really sets the mood with a snowstorm preventing my characters from leaving a department store. Trouble is they’re the only two in there and heat and lust and all those things that keep you warm get in the way.

Well… that would only work if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, and I don’t. I’m down in New Zealand where Christmas means it’s summer and the beach and the aroma of the barbecue wafts across the back lawns of the neighborhood.
So how do I write about snowstorms an winter Christmas? Good friends whose brains I can pick and a lot of traveling in my misspent youth always seems to come up trumps for.

DESPERATELY SEEKING SANTA (puffing out chest here!!! Is ALREADY #5 in Red Rose Publishing top ten list), started out as a competition entry. The theme was to be a reunion. I have always loved Christmas stories, the sense of hope they can bring. So once I had chosen my ‘theme’ of Christmas, I had to decided how to reunite my hero and heroine and how could I hurt them? I mean how could a reunion be good if the hero was dumped by the heroine five years ago on Christmas day, and to make it worse, it had been their wedding day?

So once I found out their back ground, dug deep as to what their angst and pasts were, loading a guilt and a lust and memories that had never gone away, well, we were on the road to desperation.

So there I was writing up a storm. Outside it was sweltering about 85degF and little ‘ol me at my computer, dreaming up snowstorms and the slush. Probably quite apt, actually when you think about it, sitting in 100% humidity.

But writing is wonderful fantasy and it doesn’t matter where you live, what age you are or your experiences, fantasy and dreams and a very active imagination are wonderful things to a writer.

This Christmas, my whanau (family) and I will be spending it with my cousins, so that just as when we were children, our children can experience the wonderful fun filled Christmas day experience that has become our cherished memories.
Dreams are made of those days. The tree surrounded with gifts, the turkey and ham ready to eat, lots of salads and best of all our family two favorites. Kumara Pie and Pavlova.

Here’s the recipe for Pavlova, a meringue exterior, marshmallow like inside desert that is from heaven!

4 egg whites 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
¼ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vinegar
1 cup castor sugar 2 teaspoons cornflour/cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 150°C(Gas Mark 2). Beat egg whites and salt in a bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add the castor sugar while beating. Continue until stiff peaks form. Beat in the remaining ingredients, vanilla essence, vinegar and cornflour. Turn mixture out onto a baking paper covered tray. Shape into a circle approximately 23 cm (9 in) in diameter.

Reduce oven temperature to 140°C. Bake for 15 minutes, then further reduce the oven temperature to 120°C and bake for 1 ¼ hours. Cool completely in the oven. Top with whipped cream.

Topping ideas:
Sliced kiwifruit, peaches, strawberries
Grated chocolate

I have had Pavlova and this stuff is out of this world! Good stuff! :)

Up next some excerpts from her story!

1 comment:

Eliza Knight said...

Great interview and the excerpts were wonderful!