A Day in the Life... with Jane Casey
Renowned crime writer Jane Casey isn’t one to rest on her laurels. The Dubliner released her first novel The Missing back in 2010 and, as she says herself, “has been chasing a deadline ever since!” Now based in London, Jane is currently working on the tenth Maeve Kerrigan book. This gripping series follows DS Kerrigan and partner DI Josh Derwent as they investigate all manner of mysterious crimes.
Juggling writing, parenthood – and now Covid – is certainly a challenge. But multi-tasking is something Jane’s well used to. “I had the worst timing”, she laughs. “I was offered my book deal the week I found out I was pregnant with my first child!” In those early days, she’d schedule her work around her young children. “When they were little, I’d work between 11pm and 2am, and I don’t really know how I did it. You have books to write and stuff to do, and you just find the time.”
These days, life is somewhat less hectic. How does Jane approach her work? “I’m not the most organised writer”, she says. “I know some people are very rigorous, and have blocks of time where they‘re not on the internet and don’t answer their phone. I do some work during the day when my children are at school, but I do more in the evenings. Nobody tries to get hold of you – you’re uninterrupted and can concentrate.”
Many of us now working from home due to Covid have found it tough to establish boundaries between work and family time. Jane’s been in a similar boat; her book The Cutting Place came out in April 2020, just a week after schools closed in the UK. “I had to do all the promotional stuff on Zoom, which I’d never used before. My kids were brilliant about staying quiet, but it was very odd, doing these events online and not having an audience. There’s a lovely chemistry when you talk about a book with readers. I miss it.”
In terms of the book she’s working on now, has the pandemic impacted Jane’s writing at all? “It’s definitely made an impression”, she says. “I don’t want to write a Covid book, even though I’m sure there’ll be brilliant work written about it. That said, the new book takes the characters out of their usual context, so it’s my ‘nod’ to lockdown. I’m intrigued to see how people react to it.”
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