As the pre-Christmas activities begin, we welcome Jean Fullerton to tell us about her settings, characters and her writing day
Hello Jean, and welcome back to Write Minds. First of all, can you give us an insight into your main character in A Ration Book Christmas Kiss?
My main character is Michael Brogan who we first met in a Ration Book Childhood. He’s 12-years-old and we meet him a few weeks before Christmas at school. The local girls’ school has been bombed and they come to join Michael and his classmates for the last few weeks of term.
Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
I am the heroine in all of my books even though they are in their twenties and I’m considerably older. However, I do have to confess, although I have all my own teeth the character nearest to me in age at least if not, straight talking is the matriarch of the Brogan family, Queenie.
Tell us about your setting and why you chose it?
It’s not so much that I choose the setting for my books as the setting chooses me. I come from East London originally and all my family’s history is in those overcrowded streets of Stepney, Shadwell and Wapping so it seems natural as the area is in my blood to set all my books, be they Victorian or 20th century fiction in East London
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a secret East London writing project at the moment, but I’ll be starting the last of my Ration Book Series, A Ration Book Victory in January 2021.
Your secret project sounds intriguing, Jean! Tell us about your writing day.
I’m not an early riser so after a couple of cups of tea, breakfast and a read of the paper I usually get to my desk about 9.30. Unless I’m dashing towards a deadline, I spend the first half of the morning doing admin and posting on social media. I kick off the day’s writing about 11ish for a couple of hours until lunch then I’m back at my desk again for a solid four hours in the afternoon.
I take a break to have dinner then toddle up again for an hour at about seven after which I spend the rest of the evening with my feet up in front of the TV with the Hero@Home. I average about 1500-2000 words a day, sometimes more but I’m a steady writer rather than a fast one as I need thinking time as well.
Of course, that’s not every day as I do have days out with family and friends as well as meeting my agent and editors and writerly events. However, I always take my laptop when I’m traveling and as 120k words won’t write themselves, I often do a few hundred words on the train up and back from London. I have to keep an eye on my diary as I do try to have at least 4 or 5 working days each week. As I say. 120k words won’t write themselves.
Do you have a favourite writing place?
My office upstairs in the Rectory as it’s my own space with all my research books at hand.
Where do your ideas come from?
Who knows? But thank goodness they do. Truthfully, it can be a picture or an image. However, as I’m writing to a contract rather than as the fancy takes me, I focus on the period or event to trigger my imagination.
What does success look like to you?
Well the money’s nice but success to me is an inbox with lots of lovely letters from readers who love my books.
Describe your perfect day.
See my writing day above
If you could tell your younger self anything what would it be?
Don’t worry about the dyslexia and get writing now!
Good advice, Jean! Other than writing what else do you love to do?
I know it’s a cliché but next to my writing I love being with my husband, three daughters and eight grandchildren.
Thanks for coming to talk to us, Jean, and the very best of luck with the book.
A Ration Book Christmas Kiss
When the local girls’ school gets bombed out in December of 1942, Michael Brogan and his friends are forced to share classes with the young ladies of Stepney Green. And when Michael meets Jane in one of those lessons, he knows it’s the best thing that has ever happened to him. He may only be 12, but he’ll love Jane forever.
Unsure of Jane’s feelings, Michael decides to ask her to his church Christmas dance. But Jane’s father has other ideas, and so does the Luftwaffe. As the bombs rain down on London’s East End, Michael starts to wonder if he will ever get the chance to prove his love. Will this be the year he gets a Christmas kiss?
Available on Amazon
About Jean Fullerton
Jean Fullerton is the author of sixteen novels all set in East London where she was born. She worked as a district nurse in East London for over twenty-five years and is now a full-time author.
She is a qualified District and Queen’s nurse who has spent most of her working life in the East End of London, first as a Sister in charge of a team, and then as a District Nurse tutor.
She has won multiple awards and all her books are set in her native East London. Her latest novella, A RATION BOOK CHRISTMAS KISS, is the fifth in her East London WW2 Ration Book series featuring the lively Brogan family.
Follow Jean on: