Today I am delighted to welcome Jane Isaac to my blog 🙂

Jane is a lovely lady. We do chat on Twitter sometimes. Her latest book, Beneath The Ashes (Crime Thriller with DI Will Jackman #2), was published by Legend Press on 1st November 2016.


For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?

Hi Kerry, Thanks so much for inviting me to your lovely blog. My name is Jane Isaac and I write the DCI Helen Lavery and the DI Will Jackman series. My books have been described as detective fiction with a psychological edge and my latest novel, Beneath the Ashes, was released on 1st November 2016.

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

My fascination lies with people and how they react when you take them out of the realms of normality, so I usually start with my characters. My books are psychological crime thrillers/police procedural crossovers. When I start a new project I usually consider the opening – putting somebody normal, somebody like you or I, in an extraordinary situation. As the mystery unravels and we begin the police chase to solve case and track down the killer, we also explore the perspective from the victim’s point of view.

I guess it derives from a great sense of nosiness. When I was growing up, my mother was always telling me to, “Stop staring!” Even now, I love to sit in cafes, stand in the supermarket queue and wander around the stores watching how people react in different situations. It’s that all important ‘what if’ scenario that captivates me. Most of us tend to live in a little bubble of habits that are tried and tested, that we take for granted. We drift through our days and don’t give them a second thought. But it’s when things go wrong, run differently, that fascinates me. How do we react to the extraordinary?

Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?

Not really. For DI Will Jackman, the lead in my current series, I pulled on my favourite male fictional characters and analysed their behaviour; writing down the elements I liked and that fitted with what I was trying to achieve, disregarding the ones that didn’t. I also considered the male influences in my own life: my father, my brother, my husband, my friends, and spoke to a lot of serving police officers and detectives to see what their working/home life was like. So, I guess he is made up of elements of lots of different people.

How do you pick your characters names?

Oh, that’s a tricky one. Names are important – they define the character in our mind and form the basis of the many layers it takes to build them, making them feel real. The name has to fit with the story, and the era.

When writing my first novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, I opted for a combination of traditional and conventional for my lead, Detective Chief Inspector Helen Lavery. This mix defines Helen: a strong, independent woman with a passion that pushes her to go that extra mile, occasionally adopting unorthodox methods to make a difference, to keep us safe. Yet, she is also a mother, juggling the challenge of single parenting teenage sons with managing one of the most responsible and demanding jobs in the police force.

Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?

When I started out I didn’t plan anything and wrote chapter by chapter, researching along the way. My first book, An Unfamiliar Murder, took almost eighteen months to complete.

Beneath the Ashes was my fourth book and written to a deadline, so I needed to be more organised with my writing time. I wrote a four/five page outline in advance to give me a sense of direction, although inevitably some things did change along the way, and the book took a little under a year to complete.

Do you have a favourite author?

Ten years ago I would have answered this question with established favourites like Val McDermid or Peter James. However being a part of the publishing world has exposed me to so many new talents and I tend to read a lot of different authors these days.

I’ve just read a debut called Rubicon by Ian Patrick which is out for submission now, hoping to be signed. It was excellent and really deserves to be published!

If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Arthur Conan Doyle – Why did you kill off Sherlock?

Were you a big reader as a child?

I was one of those children who could be found with a torch under the duvet, reading Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven, desperately trying to get to the end of the book before I was caught!

When did you start to write?

Sixteen years ago my husband and I took a year out to travel the world and a friend gave us a diary to keep. I didn’t think we’d keep it up, but we both wrote in it every day and returned home at the end of the trip with a collection of diaries. Years later, the photos brought back memories, but it was the diary that recreated the true sense of the places we visited. That’s when my love affair with writing began.

If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?

The Sister by Rosamund Lupton. I loved the book, it’s so beautifully written, but the ending is left hanging and I always wondered what happened.

What are you working on right now?

I’m currently working on the edits for The Lies Within, the third novel in the DI Will Jackman series.

Do you have a new release due?

Yes. The Lies Within is due to be released by Legend Press on 2nd May 2017.

How can readers keep in touch with you?

I love to hear from readers and writers and can be contacted via Jane Isaac Author on Facebook, @JaneIsaacAuthor on Twitter, or emailed through the contact page on my website at

Thanks so much to Jane for joining me on my blog today and to Lucy, at Legend Press, for arranging the interview. It has been a pleasure 🙂


Publisher: Legend Press (1st November 2016)

Buy your copy HERE


The floor felt hard beneath her face. Nancy opened her eyes. Blinked several times. A pain seared through her head. She could feel fluid. No. She was lying in fluid.

When a body is discovered in a burnt-out barn in the Warwickshire countryside, DI Will Jackman is called to investigate.

Nancy Faraday wakes up on the kitchen floor. The house has been broken into and her boyfriend is missing. As the case unravels, DI Jackman realises that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has a secret.

Can he discover the truth behind the body in the fire, and track down the killer before Nancy becomes the next victim?

A gripping thriller perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, S.J. Watson, B A Paris and Sophie Hannah

DI Will Jackman Series – Amazon Top 5 Bestseller

‘Carefully executed police procedural, that hits all the targets.’ –Angela Clarke, author of Follow Me

‘I thought I d never read a book that came close to the realities of crime and policing. Then I read this.’ –Ian Patrick Writer and former DS with the Metropolitan Police

‘A smart, intelligent and tightly woven police procedural with real depth of human emotion at its heart.’ –Rebecca Bradley, author of Shallow Waters

You will find all of Jane’s books on her AmazonUK author page


2 thoughts on “Q&A with author, Jane Isaac @JaneIsaacAuthor @Legend_Press

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