I have the very great pleasure to welcome Mary Jayne Baker to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals. Author of romantic comedies ‘The Runaway Bride’ and ‘The Perfect Fit’ and one of the authors on the edge who wrote the wonderful Miss Moonshines Moonshines Emporium of Happy Endings.
About Mary Jayne Baker
Mary Jayne Baker is a romance author from Yorkshire, UK. She is represented by Laura Longrigg at MBA Literary Agents.
Mary Jayne Baker grew up in rural West Yorkshire, right in the heart of Brontë country… and she’s still there. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in English Literature, she dallied with living in cities including London, Nottingham and Cambridge, but eventually came back with her own romantic hero in tow to her beloved Dales, where she first started telling stories about heroines with flaws and the men who love them.
Frankie Hi Mary Jayne, Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today.
Firstly what five word’s would you use to describe yourself?
Mary Jayne Um… awkward, distracted, quite often asleep. Will that do?
Frankie Absolutely, If you could take a holiday in any era and place, When and where would it be? And Why?
Mary Jayne I’d love to visit England during the 1940s. I love the films and music produced during that period, and I’d be fascinated to see how people dealt with the terrifying reality of the Second World War in their day-to-day lives
Frankie Can you tell us a little about latest release? This can be your most recent or up-and coming release.
Mary Jayne The Perfect Fit returns to Egglethwaite, the setting for A Bicycle Made for Two, four years later. We meet Becky Finn, a Yorkshire lass who has returned to her home village after years living in London with reluctant fiancé Cole in tow. When Becky finds out the village hall is struggling to stay open, she rallies the villagers to revive the annual Christmas pantomime. But as Becky deals with bad actors, randy cast members, pompous T-Rexes and more innuendo than you can shake a stick at – not to mention a highly inconvenient and definitely unrequited attraction to handsome co-star Marcus – she starts to worry her embattled Cinderella might never make it to the stage
Although this is the second book in the Love in the Dales series, it’s not a direct sequel and can be read as a standalone.
Frankie Who was your childhood hero?
Mary Jayne I always had a soft spot for tomboys in classic literature, and the way they refused to accept the limitations of being a girl (although I probably wouldn’t have phrased it quite as fluently as that back then!). Jo March in Little Women was a favourite, and George in the Famous Five books.
Frankie If you could have one of your books made into a film, which book would it be and who would play your lead character’s?
Mary Jayne I’d love to see any of my books made into a film! The Perfect Fit would be a brilliant Christmas romcom, lots of pantomime fun and farce with a healthy side order of romance. I can definitely see Jodie Whittaker as heroine Becky, and I’d love Mark Addy and Sean Bean to play “Ugly Sisters” Gerry and Danny. Eddie Redmayne could be good as Becky’s fiancé Cole, whereas hero Marcus was named for a real actor I decided he looked like, Marcus Griffiths. I’m not sure what the real Marcus’s Yorkshire accent is like though, as he’s a Londoner!
Frankie LOL!! That would be absolutely brilliant. Out of all your work, who is your favourite character and why?
Mary Jayne Of my published books, definitely Deano Teasdale in the Love in the Dales series. He’s the eccentric chef in the village’s medieval-themed restaurant, with habits that include naming his favourite pans, flirting with the chair of the WI and going commando. It’s normal for romance writers to fall for their heroes, but I’ve got a bad habit of falling for the comic relief! I loved Deano in A Bicycle Made for Two, and it was a treat revisit him in The Perfect Fit.
Frankie Where doe’s your inspiration for your books come from?
Mary Jayne All over the place really – things that have happened to me, anecdotes people tell me, stories in newspapers and magazines, overheard conversations… I tend to think in terms of scenes and characters, so when I hear something that makes me laugh or feel sad, I’ll often wonder if I could work it up into a scene. Authors are terrible people to befriend as you never know what they might be making a mental note of to use later!
One example is a scene in The Perfect Fit where Becky is stood up in a Wetherspoon’s pub on her anniversary and gets chatted up by a group of men who feel sorry for her. Something very similar actually happened to me (only it was worse because it was Valentine’s Day!) and I squirreled it away for later.
Frankie What three tip’s would you pass on to an aspiring author?
Mary Jayne …..
- Don’t worry about quality, just write. If you stop to worry you’re not good enough, you’ll never finish. Trust me, we all produce dreadful first drafts – but a dreadful first draft is better than nothing at all. It gives you something to work with.
- Set yourself a daily word count. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2000 words or 200, as long as you’re getting those words down every day and working towards that magic “The End”.
- Read Self-editing for Fiction Writers. Of all the books on writing I’ve read, that’s the one I found the most helpful when I was starting (and I still reread periodically).
Frankie If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite? (They can be real/fictional, from any era)
Mary Jayne Tough one! I think I’d invite Terry Pratchett, Groucho Marx and Emily Brontë. That should be interesting.
Frankie Thank you, Mary Jayne for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun . . . What is your all-time favourite naughty but nice food?
Mary Jayne As a Yorkshirewoman, it has to be fish and chips! I treat myself to them whenever it’s pub day for a new book.
I completely agree with you on that one, thank you Mary Jayne.
About the Book
The Perfect Fit
‘A wonderful book with a great story and a sparky, unusual voice. I loved it!’ KATIE FFORDE
After years living in London, costume shop owner Becky Finn is trying to build a new life for herself and fiancé Cole in her old home of Egglethwaite, a sleepy village in the Yorkshire Dales.
Keen to raise funds for the struggling village hall she loved as a child, Becky soon finds herself at the head of a colourful group intent on resurrecting Egglethwaite s Christmas pantomime. But, as she quickly discovers, there s more to panto than innuendo and slapped thighs.
As opening night grows closer, Becky starts to wonder if her embattled panto will ever make it to the stage and, with handsome co-star Marcus on the scene, if she s picked the right man for her after all.