It’s time to introduce you all to the lovely Jane Risdon. One of our Anthology regulars. Jane wrote Alexa which is a chilling tale. You can find this wonderful story in “Love from the Other Side”
Introduce Yourself and where you’re from.
My name is Jane Risdon. I am English and have lived all over the world at various times…I am a nomad.
Tell us about your writing journey?
I began writing almost a decade ago having wanted to do it full-time ever since I can remember. I’ve always written for myself.
A full time career in the international music business prevented this until I took a step back from it and decided to stop dreaming and get a grip. I am now a full time author with a novel published, four others in various stages of completion and a crime novel in with my publisher. I’ve had stories in 13 anthologies and stories and articles in various online magazines and newsletters.
What is your story about?
ALEXA is about a man widowed suddenly and grieving for his wife. His world has closed in on him and he tries various on-line dating sites to try and fill the void she has left, but gives up without meeting anyone. His love for his dead wife is still too strong.
His life changes when he buys something on-line which keeps him company – a human voice who answers him and he thinks is almost human at times. His need for his wife and his longing for her strikes a chord with his on-line purchase. This ‘humanoid’ voice becomes important to him and he sometimes forgets she isn’t a real person.
Why did you choose this topic/genre?
Before Christmas 2017 we – the rock god and I – spent a week with an old school friend of mine, and her partner, in Cornwall. It was too wet and cold to go out much and we sat in her massive kitchen, whilst the men played their guitars in the sitting-room, chatting and drinking tea and coffee and generally putting the world rights.
I nearly jumped out of my skin when I asked her something – forget what now – and a voice from the counter behind me, answered. My friend roared with laughter and began chatting to this tower with a purple light surrounding the top, which actually answered her.
My friend thought it was hilarious that I’d no idea about her little box and its tricks. I ran into the sitting-room and dragged my puzzled other half into the kitchen where I asked the little box to name his hit singles. He nearly fell off his perch when she did.
We spent a lot of time – how sad we have become in our latter years – asking this ‘humanoid voice’ lots of daft and complex questions. Talk about having fun. We love it when she couldn’t answer a question, and she said, ’hmmm, I don’t think I know that one.’ Sending us into peels of laughter.
We all agreed that for someone who might be lonely, never or seldom hearing a human voice, ALEXA might well be great company. She was certainly highly entertaining in a wet and cold Cornwall.
The idea for my story was conceived in that kitchen.
Why publish in the Ghostly Writes Anthologies?
I had never read let alone written, a ghost story – crime is my thing – until I saw Claire’s request for submissions and wondered if I might be up to it or not; only one way to find out. I wrote a story which Claire accepted for the anthology much to my shock and delight.
It is ‘The Beneficiaries of Secret Cottage,’ in Ghostly Writes Anthology 2016. Since then I have had stories in three other GW anthologies.
It is great fun and very testing for me as a writer to write outside my comfort zone. It is also a great way for new readers to discover my work, and the work of so many other authors who are possibly writing outside their normal genre too. I love it.
Share your experiences of helping each other in the Ghostly Writes Group.
I love the group and the fact that everyone tries – if at all possible – to do their bit to help each other and to share the anthologies and spread the word. It is a lovely little family. Claire is fabulous, very efficient and professional. Her books look great and have the best covers. Proving that everyone who has a skill and lends it to the betterment of us all, works well.
So far the anthologies I have contributed towards have all been in the Best Sellers listing on Amazon and have been well received. What’s not to like and enjoy!
Thank you for participating.
Thanks for inviting me to chat about my experiences with Ghostly Writes and to share my thoughts about the group. I appreciate being a member and for being included in so many wonderful anthologies. Long may we all prosper in this group.