Thursday, March 26, 2009

Jacqueline Winspear, Part Deux

RHYS: Back again with Jackie to continue our interview. So, with our second cuppa tea, let's go on...

To what do you attribute the enormous success of a series that is neither sensational or violent, but just tells a good, well-written story?

Jackie: I think that the broad readership is so often underestimated - there is an assumption that every page must have some blood-thumping event to maintain interest.

That simply is not true - a story well-told does not mean you have to have blood, guts and sex on every page. Thus far the storyline in each of my books has been rooted in the Great War - in telling a story about the characters' feelings, their memories, their fears and the decisions they make based upon their experiences, can tell as much about a violent time asgraphic scenes of violence, and often with more impact.

Sensationalism plays into the belief that we are a society addicted to instant gratification - and there is a truth in that - but at the same time, we cannot tar all readers with the same brush. There will always be a place for the good, well-written story.

RHYS: Are you planning to continue with Maisie and do you have plans for any other books outside the series?

JACKIE: I am planning to continue the series, and I do have plans for books outside the series - it's just having the time to get to it all that hampers me!

RHYS: Okay, tell us about your horses, including your new baby who likes to be hugged. Since they are such a big part of your life, why no horsy books yet?

JACKIE: Oliver ("Ollie"), my Friesian, (in yesterday's photo) is now four and a half and is nicknamed "the baby Friesian" by everyone at the ranch where he lives. He is just the mostwonderful boy, and he so loves people. He is also extremely affectionate.

Ollie was imported to the USA about 18 months ago, and was born and raised on a farm in Germany, where he became a favorite of the breeder's 12-year-old daughter - she was his first rider, and you know what girls can be like with horses they love! He must have been showered with affection and cuddles, because this horse can really get into a hug - he sort of wraps his head around you as you put his arms around his neck (and you should see him with the farrier - the poor guy will be leaning over trimming Ollie's feet while Ollie is licking his collar and neck, or trying to pull a handkerchief out of his pocket!).

Today's picture shows Serendipity ("Sara"), my Dutch Warmblood/Thoroughbred mare turned 15 last week - and she is a very different horse. She is a diva through and through, has a very fine sense of herself. Sara loves to work, and wants nothing more than to just get the tack on and get out into the arena for a training session.

She is lovely to ride, but such a perfectionist - she'lllet me know if she thinks I could be doing better, or if I am in even slightly off in my position for a certain move. So different from Ollie,who is still honing his sense of direction!

And you will see a horse or two in my next series - but we're a couple of years away yet ....

RHYS: Okay, some of the famous Jungle Red questions:

Pizza or chocolate?
I'm now allergic to both chocolate and pizza crust, so I would probably sell
my soul for a mouthful of either! I love Green and Black dark chocolate -
so very crisp and bitterly scrumptious.

Daniel Craig or Pierce Brosnan?
Pierce Brosnan - he has a great sense of humor and a very down-to-earth
quality about him. Of course, he's easy on the eyes too!

Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot
I think I prefer Hercule, but to tell you the truth, I have never cared for
either of them - though on TV I really liked Joan Hickson as Miss Marple,
she brought a real sharpness and depth to the character.

Making dinner or making reservations?
I'm just coming to the end of a long book tour, so making dinner in my own kitchen is just fine with me.

RHYS: Jackie, thank you for visiting us at Jungle Red. I should add that Jackie's new book is in a store near you and that she blogs regularly at>

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