Jane Cuff is the author of W.S: From 'rear-ender' to 'slender' Brenda
and It's For Your Own Good
. She kindly agreed to answer a few of my questions...
You have written 2 novels - W.S: From 'rear-ender' to 'slender' Brenda and It's For Your Own Good. Can you tell us a bit about them?
is a fictional comedy where the bully becomes the bullied. It's aimed at 9yrs plus, but has a growing teenage and adult following.
Katie is slim, attractive and popular, whilst Brenda the new fat girl is anything but. Brenda instantly becomes the target of Katie's vicious bullying.
Early on in the book, the tables get turned with Katie gaining weight and losing friends, whilst Brenda loses weight and suddenly becomes popular and liked!
In the book I'm able to be ruthlessly funny against the new fat, unpopular Katie as the reader often feels that she's just getting what she dished out, what she deserves!
W.S takes the reader on a journey of laughter and self examination. As we all know deep down, something is only funny when you're not on the receiving end of it.
During the book you meet Katie's mum and dad, which gives you an insight into why she may have behaved the way she did... before the change.
From the feedback I've received so far, it appears that W.S has managed to strike the balance of being a pacey and humorous easy read, that also subtly challenges the reader to think before they speak/act.
It's For Your Own Good
(IFYOG) is a comedy thriller exploiting the power and control Health & Safety now seems to have in our every day lives.
It seems now-a-days that most things are being banned due to Health & Safety; for whatever reason.
When I wrote IFYOG I wanted readers, both young and old, to have a good laugh at the everyday effect that Health & Safety can have in our lives, whilst also questioning; 'How far is this all going to go?'
I don't know about you, but I often catch myself thinking through every possible scenario or consequence before I partake in what used to be regarded as everyday risks!
Again, the feedback I've received so far has been better than I could ever have hoped for with children, teachers and parents welcoming a book that is totally different and topically funny.
How did you come up with the ideas for your books?
came about when one of our son's was bullied. It was a very hard time for all of us. One day when leaving one of the many meetings we had with the head teacher, I turned to my husband and said, "Do you think the bully would do it, if he knew how it felt?" From that one question came the concept for W.S. I've used humour to deliver a very hard hitting message, as I believe laughter can more often than not, help people to swallow the truth.
was inspired by the increasing 'Big brother' atmosphere that seems to be enveloping our country. I believe we are becoming a nation of frightened and controlled people who are too afraid to... even discouraged to take risks and make informed choices. I wanted to write an action packed book that children would enjoy, but might also say; 'do I want to inherit this way of living.'
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Is writing a full-time job?
I am married to Nathan, who is a constant source of encouragement and inspiration to me and I'm also the proud mother of two fun filled, lovely boys.
I wish writing was a full time job!! I work two days a week for an aromatherapy firm, whilst the other days I juggle home life and writing.
Did you always want to be a writer?
I've always had a vivid imagination and loved telling stories. I started writing a book years ago, but never finished it! Three years ago I listened to a lady called Liz Jackson, who runs her own, very successful business. Liz is blind and won't let anyone tell her what she can or can't achieve. During her speech she asked if anyone of us knew any 'Nearly people'. She said, they go on and on about what they've nearly done!! I sat there and thought, I don't just know nearly people, I am one.' That night I went home and started my first novel, Bloodmix.
What's your favourite aspect of being an author?
Being able to transfer what's going on in my head onto paper, for others to read.
And the most challenging?
Finding the time - balancing everything.
What's a typical writing day like for you? Are they any 'must-haves' before you can sit down to write?
I can easily do a 6hr writing day when the children are at school. I close my front curtains so no one can look through the window and disturb me. I only answer the phone to family (thank goodness for caller I.D).
I must have: A time line of events, notes, my laptop and copious amounts of mint tea!
Which author's did you read during your childhood? Any books that are still a favourite now?
I have always and will always love Charlotte's Webb.
What's next for you? Are you working on something at the moment?
Yes, I'm in the middle of my next book which at the moment is going to be called, 'I know how you feel.' However I'm always open to the title changing as the book develops.
You can purchase Jane's books through Waterstone's
You can find Jane on her Blog
, on Twitter
and on Facebook