Although I love blogging about books, there are times when it can be so very frustrating. There are sometimes difficult decisions to make, those books I just can’t manage to fit into my reading diary – and that’s particularly painful when it means leaving out an author who’s given me such a lot of personal support, as Jane Risdon has. If you’re a fan of well-written romance, and like the sound of some sixties nostalgia, I’m sure you’ll already have spotted Only One Woman – written by Jane with Christina Jones, published by Accent Press – and maybe saw my earlier feature back in November. And on 24th May, Accent Press will be publishing in paperback and audio. Doesn’t this look just lovely?
Two women, one love story.
June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.
December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.
As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?
I’m really delighted today to welcome Jane Risdon as my guest on Being Anne – to tell us more about Only One Woman, emotional connections and an icon of rock…
Those who know me have probably been surprised to discover I’ve gone over to the lighter side. They’ll be used to reading my many crime/thriller short stories in anthologies and online publications – from the dark side – because it is widely known that I’m writing a series of novels about a former MI5 Officer, Ms Birdsong Investigates. The first book is still with my publisher. Fingers crossed. However, no-one is as surprised as me – I never imagined I’d write a romance. When Only One Woman started out I had ideas of writing about a band on the road in the late 1960s and there’d be a murder. But I never got that far. As soon as I began writing about Renza and Scott I suddenly realised I was writing a romance, which was a shock.
Christina Jones (my co-author) and I have always wanted to write together and when I saw where OOW was headed it was natural to remind her that this was the opportunity we’d both been waiting for. She agreed and created the character of Stella. And here we are. Only One Woman was published in e-book and paperback in November 2017. It’s been favourably received by reviewers and readers – all have been enthusiastic supporters. Thank you.
Accent Press is publishing Only One Woman in paperback and audio on 24th May 2018 which is exciting for me especially. It’s my first full novel to be published for stores and libraries worldwide. Christina is used to having novels published as a successful author in her own right.
My involvement in the music business is well known and it’s probably no surprise Only One Woman is steeped in music. Christina was a pop/rock journalist and also fan-club secretary to my husband’s band in the 1960s, which is how we met. Music links us.
The title is taken from The Marbles (Graham Bonnet/Trevor Gordon) hit single, Only One Woman (1968), written by the Bee Gees especially for them.
Graham Bonnet went on to front superstar groups such as Rainbow, Alcatraz, Michael Schenker, Ritchie Blackmore, and others. Today he fronts his own band, The Graham Bonnet Band which is about to tour UK/Europe in August, with their latest record.
I thought it would be fun to get Graham to write the foreword to Only One Woman (paperback) and he kindly agreed – he’s read and loves our book. Graham’s foreword tells about his late cousin Trevor’s time in Australia when he performed with the Bee Gees, and how he introduced Graham to them (in England) and Only One Woman came to be written for The Marbles. We’re both thrilled he’s done this for us and is allowing us to link his promotion to ours. I can’t wait to hold the paperback with his foreword; he’s an iconic rock singer and I’ve been a fan since the 1960s.
He was excited to be asked and told me the whole vibe of the book is true to the 1960s music scene and it reminded him fondly of those days. He’s been instrumental in enabling his manager’s supply of various promotional materials to use with Only One Woman. Thanks Graham and Giles.
I’ve worked with many song-writers and performers, and as I wrote my parts for Only One Woman I was conscious of the similarities with song-writing and performing. In a song there’s a story to be told; the words are crucial to getting this across and, to hit a nerve with the listener the singer has to use vocal devices to draw them in, to make an emotional connection. To make the song matter. That is why there are hooks and choruses in songs. Something which sticks in the memory of the listener, which is repeated – sometimes subtly – triggering a response, so deep, that years later the song can move that person to tears. The song creates a memory of a time, a place, a situation, an emotion. It might even become ‘our song,’ for some, as with Renza and Scott’s song. Just as an author has to.
And that’s what Christina and I have tried to achieve with our story. We wanted to draw our readers in, make them care about our characters and their lives, and to make an emotional connection which keeps them turning pages and left wanting more at the end. Our readers tell us that they’ve been transported back to a time when life was happy and anything was possible. The world was changing – we hoped for the better – and the future was exciting and new. The music, the fashions mentioned, even the food eaten, the alcoholic drinks, and perfumes we wrote about triggered an emotional response, a particular memory for our readers so they tell us. For those not around back then, they tell us the novel has explained so much they didn’t understand about the nostalgia and affection the Swinging Sixties evoke. We hope you’ll discover this when you read Only One Woman, the paperback, or listen to the audio book. Enjoy.
Thank you Jane! If you’re a fan of the sixties music, I can highly recommend the playlists that accompany the book – just click on the pictures below to be taken to YouTube…
About the authors
Christina Jones, the only child of a schoolteacher and a circus clown, has been writing all her life. As well as writing romantic comedy novels, she also contributes short stories and articles to many national magazines and newspapers.
She has won several awards for her writing: Going the Distance was a WH Smith Fresh Talent Winner; Nothing to Lose was shortlisted and runner-up for the Thumping Good Read Award with film and television rights sold; Heaven Sent was shortlisted in The Melissa Nathan Comedy Romance Awards and won a Category Award; Love Potions won the Pure Passion Award; The Way to a Woman’s Heart was short-listed for the Rom-Com of the Year; and An Enormously English Monsoon Wedding won The Reviewer’s Choice Award.
Christina has written an astonishing 21 romantic comedy novels and has also written and/or contributed to 11 e-book-only novellas/short stories/compilations. Her next novel – Marigold’s Magical Mystery Tour – will be published in September 2018.
All Christina Jones’ novels are currently available, either in paperback or e-book format, and after years of travelling, she now lives in rural Oxfordshire with her husband and several rescued cats.
Jane Risdon has spent most of her life in the international music business. Married to a musician she has experienced the business first hand, not only as the girlfriend and wife of a musician, but later with her husband as a manager of recording artists, songwriters and record producers, as well as placing songs on TV/Movie soundtracks for some of the most popular series and movies shown around the world.
Writing is something she has always wanted to do but a hectic life on the road and recording with artists kept those ambitions at bay. Now she is writing mostly crime and thrillers, but recently she’s collaborated with award-winning author Christina Jones, on Only One Woman. A story they’ve wanted to write together, ever since they became friends when Christina became fan-club secretary for Jane’s husband’s band.