Mastodon The Writing Desk: Special Guest Interview witth Nancy Jardine, Author of Novice Threads: An emotional Coming of Age Scottish Saga (Silver Sampler Series)

12 June 2024

Special Guest Interview witth Nancy Jardine, Author of Novice Threads: An emotional Coming of Age Scottish Saga (Silver Sampler Series)

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

1840s Scotland: Being sent to school is the most exhilarating thing that’s ever happened to young Margaret Law. She sharpens her newly-acquired education on her best friend, Jessie Morison, till Jessie is spirited away to become a scullery maid. But how can Margaret fulfil her visions of becoming a schoolteacher when her parents’ tailoring and drapery business suddenly collapses and she must find a job?

I'm pleased to welcome author Nancy Jardine to The Writing Desk:

What is your preferred writing routine?

I like to get any promotions for social media posts done soon after I’m at my desk in the morning, after I glance at the email pile that never seems to lessen. If domestic or writing related emails need to be tackled first, then that’s what I do. Then, depending on what is arranged for the day, I get on with some writing. I’m a great procrastinator, though, as I have a large garden that demands a lot of my regular attention.

I sometimes opt in to what is termed a ‘Writing Day’ by my Romantic Novelist Association fellow authors in the Scotland-based group. We begin a writing day with a quick hello via Zoom. We each give an indication of what we want to achieve by around lunchtime, and then at 5 pm we update on our day’s progress. The tasks we set ourselves can vary from adding a particular number of words or chapters; creating promotional materials; pre-Beta read self-editing; formatting or final edits. The fun is that we encourage each other to get on and write!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Stick at it and take progress as it comes. Too much angst over success does nobody any favours., as far as I’m concerned.

What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books?

That’s such a great question, and if I had the answers I’d be over the moon. I’ve tried many different promotional strategies over the last decade using various Social Media outlets. Few have had a lasting impact but some give a temporary boost to sales. If I were younger I might be more aggressive about marketing, but I’m currently just glad when I hear that someone has loved my characters and my settings!

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research.

I’ve used different sources for research – books; maps; official documentation (e.g. birth/death certificates); but some provincial newspapers have actually been incredibly amusing regarding certain historical events. I’ve chuckled my way through many articles, not quite knowing if the newspaper reporter of the 1860s has really intended to be so witty.

What was the hardest scene you remember writing?

I’ll try to do this with a ‘No Spoiler Alert’.

There is a point towards the end of Novice Threads where the death of a young person becomes inevitable. The child has been in decline for many months, and nothing can be done to save her. The family household circumstances are also very fragile so that compounds the miserable, and potentially volatile, situation between the house owners and the domestic staff, my main character being one of the latter. I find that rereading that particular segment makes me cry all over again.

What are you planning to write next?

I’m working on Book 2 of the series which takes my main character, Margaret Law, from the age of 16 to about 30. Over the course of the three books of The Silver Sampler Series, my plan is to cover Margaret’s whole life to a ripe old age well into her mid-eighties. So I can probably say that all of my writing energy will be devoted to those books in the coming months, though hopefully the writing of the rest of the series won’t take as long as Book 1, which has taken a good while.

However, if I need a break from the Victorian era, I’ll indulge myself and write some more short stories about the adventures of minor characters in my Roman Scotland Celtic Fervour Series set in late 1st century AD/CE. They’ll either be compiled as one book of short stories, or published as tiny novellas.

Nancy Jardine

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About the Author

Nancy Jardine writes historical and contemporary fiction. 1st Century Roman Britain is the setting of her Celtic Fervour Series. Victorian and Edwardian history has sneaked into two of her ancestry-based contemporary mysteries, and her current Silver Sampler Series is set in Victorian Scotland. Her novels have achieved Finalist status in UK book competitions (People's Book Prize; Scottish Association of Writers) and have received prestigious Online Book Awards. Published with Ocelot Press, writing memberships include – Historical Novel Society; Romantic Novelists Association; Scottish Association of Writers; Federation of Writers Scotland; Alliance of Independent Authors. Find out more at nancy's website: and find her on Facebook and Twitter @nansjar

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