How would you describe your novel, Perfect North?
Perfect North is a compelling tale of adventure, romance, deception and mystery drawn from the true story of a Swedish balloon expedition to the North Pole in the late 1800s.
What was your inspiration for Perfect North?
Initially the writing of a book was provoked by a friendly challenge laid down by my journalist husband who was fed up with me nagging him to write a book. Around the same time I came across the fascinating and tragic story of a Swedish balloon expedition to the North Pole in the late 1800s. I thought it would be a great starting point for a novel.
When do you write? Is it possible to create a work/life balance with a young family?
I have two young sons so my routine has to fit around theirs. My eldest is at school and my youngest is in child care three days a week. On those three days, during school hours, I work with a single-minded intensity of purpose. I’m disappointed when I have to stop to eat. During the rest of the week I attempt to write when it’s possible. For instance, when my thirteen-month-old is asleep or my husband is giving the boys a bath. They are only brief moments of time that I am able to snatch but because I’m thinking of the story constantly, when I sit down at the computer I find the words flow very freely.
What was it like to receive your first publishing contract?
It was absolutely thrilling. I genuinely thought the manuscript of Perfect North would never see the light of day but to have three publishers enthusiastic about my story … I was absolutely floored.
What are your greatest literary influences?
My favourite author is Jane Austen. Her novels never fail to captivate and surprise me. I also have a passion for John Irving, A.S. Byatt and Hilary Mantel. Mantel’s historical fiction has had a major impact on the way I think about writing and the structure and boundaries of fiction. My husband, Chris has also influenced my work. As a journalist, he has taught me the power of brevity in writing.
What is next for you?
I want to keep writing! I recently submitted my second novel for publication – The President’s Lunch – which will be released in October 2014. I have also just begun researching and writing my third novel. It is set in the early 1700s – the golden age of piracy.
Perfect North by Jenny Bond has just been released, published by Hachette.
By Sophia WhitfieldOn February 19, 2013
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