February 14, 2014

Guest Post: Jane Risdon

Filed under: The Writing Life — jenny @ 9:17 am

In A Word: Murder

There turns out to be a pairing of literary losses and angels here on the blog right now. Jane Risdon is both. She’s part of an anthology whose proceeds benefit a lost light from the crime writing world. But Jane has also suffered herself during her life, and if you read her blog (or her moment from last year) you’ll see that if you point to a world catastrophe, well, there’s a good chance Jane was nearby for it. And writing while she was at it. That’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, but only a bit, and in a way, it’s what’s going on on the blog right now, I think. A celebration of the writing spirit, of the sense that if you love and labor over words, that will help you survive a lot. For proof, just meet Jane.

Jane Risdon

In 2012 I was fortunate enough to meet (online) an inspirational and talented mystery author who is also a prolific blogger and a professor at a California university, who has shown a great interest in my work and is a wonderful source of support for me as a crime/mystery writer.

She has always read my stories and pieces of flash fiction and commented favourably upon them and so when she accepted two of my short stories for her anthology, In A Word: Murder, I was over the moon.

Margot Kinberg decided to put together an anthology in memory of her good friend and prolific blogger, crime writer, and editor, Maxine Clarke, who died last year.  The anthology is in aid of The Princess Alice Hospice where Maxine passed away and all funds raised go to them.

But in 2012, my own hard time hit. On Boxing Day, I fell down the stairs. I broke my shoulder and collar bone and so any movement using my left shoulder has been agony and typing was especially painful. But, I had those two pieces for the anthology to write, and was determined to get them completed so they could be included.

I was due to have an operation on my injuries in January 2014 but when I was actually about to have my anaesthetic, the surgeon decided my shoulder still needed time to stabilise – he described my injuries as being similar to those suffered by a twenty something biker coming off his machine at high speed, or the injuries he had encountered on soldiers returning from a war-zone.

This is not the first time I’ve encountered obstacles that almost prevented me from achieving my goals. I finished recording an album in 1992 in Los Angeles during the riots there and later in 1994 – again recording an album – was there during the Northridge Earthquake.

Most of my plans for 2013 and so far 2014 have been on hold or have been progressing very slowly due to my injuries.  It has been a very disappointing time for me but the one bright light in the whole year has been my contributions to this anthology.  It has kept me writing and determined to carry on whatever happens.

Jane Risdon is a writer of Fiction working on a Crime Novel called ‘Ms Birdsong Investigates’, about a 40 something ex MI5 agent who has retired (under a cloud) to a rural village where she hopes to lose herself and anyone who might be seeking her. She is thrilled to be contributing to an Anthology of Crime Stories set in the world of Publishing alongside award winning authors from all over the world.


  1. Oh, I can imagine the daily struggle. Good luck with all that. Just bought a copy. I hope the anthology raises lots of money for your good cause!

    Comment by Sandra Hutchison — February 14, 2014 @ 10:31 am

  2. Hang in there and good luck!

    Comment by Warren Bull — February 14, 2014 @ 10:37 am

  3. Jane,

    You are proof that true writers will write no matter what. I hope you mend soon.

    Comment by Jacqueline Seewald — February 14, 2014 @ 11:08 am

  4. Sandra Hutchinson, thanks so much for commenting and for purchasing In A Word: Murder – the Hospice will be so happy. I believe the book has gone into Paperback today as well. Do let me know what you think. I have two stories included: Hollywood Cover Up and Dreamer. :)

    Comment by Jane Risdon — February 14, 2014 @ 11:19 am

  5. Warren Bull, thanks so much for commenting and for reading this. Appreciated :)

    Comment by Jane Risdon — February 14, 2014 @ 11:21 am

  6. Jacqueline Seewald, thanks so much for reading this and commenting. I hope I mend soon too. Over a year of this is beginning to drive me nuts but I’ve managed to muddle through. The way I look at it is that there are many with a great deal more to cope with, and at least one day I might be mended. :)

    Comment by Jane Risdon — February 14, 2014 @ 11:24 am

  7. Jenny – Thank you for hosting Jane.

    Jane – Thank you so much for your kind words *blush.* It has been a pleasure and an honour to work with you on the anthology, and a pleasure to read your other fiction too. I hope this year is a better one for you health-wise, and I look forward to reading more of your excellent work!

    Comment by Margot Kinberg — February 14, 2014 @ 12:02 pm

  8. Margot, thanks so much for popping in and reading this and for your lovely comments. I meant every word I wrote. You have really made me stretch myself and your knowledge of Crime writing and writers is inspirational and fascinating to behold. I am aspiring to be better and better and perhaps one day I can match your Joel Williams – you never know! Jenny has been a star having me here twice. It is a year since she hosted me before and in that time she has released her debut novel which took her some years to get written and published. So I live in hope for Ms Birdsong Investigates. :) Cover of Snow is well worth a read too Margot.

    Comment by Jane Risdon — February 14, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

  9. Jenny, thanks so much for hosting me and for sharing my work with your followers and friends. It really means a lot to me and I am really appreciative. Thanks also to those who have been over to my blog and also purchased the book – the hospice will be thrilled. It came out in PAPERBACK this week and so that is really thrilling. Thanks everyone for your kind words and for reading my blurb. It means a lot. I do hope you will pop in and see me now and again and I am forever dropping in on Jenny and now I can drop in on all of you too. Connections – that is what it is all about. Have a brilliant year everyone – thanks again. Lots of success in all you do. Jane Risdon :)

    Comment by Jane Risdon — February 18, 2014 @ 7:17 am

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