Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Day in the Life of... Jenny Haddon!!

Welcome to Stitch Read Cook's weekly feature!!

A Day in the Life of..

This is where us bloggers & fans get a glimpse inside the days of our favorite authors!

This week we have the wonderful Jenny Haddon!

Jenny Haddon has been writing since she was four.  She finally stopped monkeying about and got paid for it when an agent steered her to Harlequin Mills and Boon.  For them she wrote 43 category romances as Sophie Weston, published in 26 languages at the last count and over 100 international outlets. She has written lots of other things too, and even published some of them: short stories, some of which you can find on her website, a book on Punctuation for the Petrified as Jenny Haddon, and, this year, a single title To Marry a Prince as Sophie Page.  

She lives in the middle of London, in the same street as le Carre’s George Smiley. And no, it isn’t anything like as grand as Gary Oldman’s house in the movie.

A Day in the Life of Author Jenny Haddon

I wake early, as soon as it’s light, or even before. In the former day job I often left for the airport in the dark and I like pre-dawn— that near-silence even in a city; that sense of being alert when everyone else is asleep.  It makes me feel that I have the wind in my sails.

And I do, I do.  I’m at that magic stage in the book when the only thing I’m hungry for is to get back to the characters I left last night. Well, OK, experience has taught me that it’s prudent to feed the cat.  But they have me in a death grip. I get up. I write.

Eventually pause for serious stretching and a cup of tea. Say hello to Twitter.

Write until the characters let me go.  Make notes about where the book has to go next but don’t let myself run on till Empty. It’s hell revving up again, once you do that.

Turn to the To Do List.  AAARGH.    

Author Jenny has to reply to mail from readers, blog, edit another ms, reply to author seeking advice, pick up phone messages, organise Regency Readers’ Day.  

Housekeeper Jenny puts washing on, feeds cat—hang on did I do that?  No, he’s looking really thin and mournful—takes in handsome bouquet for neighbour, puts note through her door, pays bills (always do that as soon as they arrive, in case they get buried under composting notes and drafts), quick food shop as have guests tonight—which reminds me: must move broken chair from danger zone in sitting room in case someone sits on it by mistake.

Finish housekeeping and sit for a while in the late summer sun, basking. Interrupted by those damn characters.  No, I’m NOT GOING TO write about you any more today.  Well, a few notes, maybe.

But there’s that Regency Day stuff to do, too.  The Romantic Novelists’ Association is running a Regency Day for Readers and Authors on 8th October in London, so I need to talk to the venue, take bits out of Regency diaries for a presentation on the News Arriving from Waterloo and post some posters. It will be like having a day out in 1815 and we need to let people know it’s happening.

Hop between Regency and Those Damn Characters.

Doorbell rings.  Rush downstairs to answer. Neighbour to collect flowers. Offer her coffee, relieved when she says no. Those Damn Characters!

Late – what’s the time? Um—too late.  I have to cook, set the table, change, feed the cat (did I feed him this morning?), don’t forget move that broken chair…. And get that Regency poster in the mail.  Cutting it fine, now.

Shoot out to post, put roast in oven, prepare crumble (messy anyway but messier because I’m all fingers and thumbs) , it will cook while we’re eating, showerchangedohair, shoot downstairs carrying my party shoes. Did I mention that my house, like Smiley’s, is tall and thin with four floors? Doing anything means galloping up or down lots of stairs.

Set table. Have idea about my villain, make note on the back of the crumble recipe, doorbell rings, could be an early guest, so put shoes on before thundering upstairs to answer.  No it’s another neighbour with question I can answer, thank God.  Oh, damn, that broken chair.  Carry it downstairs (in four inch heels, this is ludicrous), throw in broom cupboard, slam door and hope it stays shut.

Doorbell rings. Guests.

I love guests.  They kick Those Damn Characters into the back room for a bit.

Have sane and friendly meal. Guests leave.

Clear table.  Load dishwasher. Ho up to bed … and yes, I get sidetracked into the study, go back to the desk and … well, you can guess.     


  1. I can see you, Jenny. And the cat. Hope the Regency Day goes well.


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