Brand New Interview With Author And Journalist Jane Thynne
By James W, Thursday 23rd October 2014

Jane Thynne is one of the UK’s most celebrated and respected journalists who has worked for the Sunday Times, the Independent and the BBC. She’s also an incredibly talented author and her latest title, The Winter Garden is so good we’ve made it the CBS Drama Book of the Month so we decided to chat to this talented writer about this and her career as a journalist. To try and win a signed copy of The Winter Garden click here.

CBSD: You already have a career in journalism, what made you turn your hand to writing fiction?

JT: I’ve been writing fiction since I was at school, but it takes time before you find a form and a voice that suits your story-telling. Journalism is such a great training for novel-writing because in newspapers you need to grip the reader from the start, find the colour in a story and most importantly write to deadline.

CBSD: Where does your personal passion for historical fiction come from?

JT: Don’t all of us wonder what it was like to live at great moments in history? Walking through Berlin and Munich to research the Clara Vine series, I could feel the history beneath my feet. When I first saw the Berlin Bride School, featured in The Winter Garden, the past rose up in front of me and I knew at once it had to be the setting for something dark.

CBSD: Where did the character Clara Vine come from and is she based on anyone?

JT: There are numerous real historical characters in the Clara Vine series, but Clara herself is fictional. I wanted her to be an actress, because actresses, like spies, are trained to play a role. When Clara becomes a spy, she is playing the part of her life.

CBSD: How do you write? Do you have a set time or just when the mood takes you?

JT: I stick to a regular routine (that journalistic discipline). I’m at my desk at eight and finally start writing about nine. If I waited for the mood to take me, I’d still be waiting!

CBSD: Did the plot for The Winter Garden change as you were writing it?

JT: I write thrillers, so every plot strand needs to fit together like a Swiss watch. Therefore it’s vital to plot the novel out before writing it, but novels are organic and ideas always arrive and characters grow even as you’re writing.

CBSD: If it were to be made into a film who would be your dream casting for Clara Vine?

JT: Emma Watson for Clara and the young Edward Norton for Leo Quinn.

CBSD: In five words how would you describe The Winter Garden?

JT: Romantic thriller in 1930s Berlin.

CBSD: Do you read to relax and if so which authors do you like?

JT: I love thrillers – I’m about to start the new Susan Hill - but the most relaxing read I’ve had recently was George Eliot’s Middlemarch. It utterly transports you to another time and it’s also very funny.

CBSD: Which do you prefer, writing fiction or journalism?

JT: How can you even ask! There’s no more pleasurable occupation in life than writing novels.

CBSD: So, what projects are you working on at the moment?
JT: I’m finishing the fourth in the Clara Vine series, set in 1939. The story spans Berlin, Paris and London and Clara’s mission is the most deadly she has ever undertaken.

CBSD: Jane Thynne, thank you very much.

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