Hillary Manton Lodge’s debut novel, Plain Jayne, is a keeper and that’s coming from someone who often gives her Amish books to her friend to read and review! You will see my review soon at TitleTrakk.com but in the meantime enjoy this look at journalist Jayne Tate!
Over to you, Hillary:~
Jayne’s about 5’7”, fair skinned, with dark brown, no-nonsense hair. She’s pretty in a sharp-edged way.
Photo: James Devaney ~ Wire Image
Daniel Day-Lewis for Levi Burkholder
Strengths and weaknesses
Jayne’s one of the most talented reporters at the paper and knows it. She’s bright and clever, but has allowed bitterness about her past to color her present.
Quirk (if any)
While staying with the Amish, Jayne develops a liking for cutting quilt squares. She doesn’t know how to quilt, but enjoys making the squares.
Your inspiration for the character
I thought of the newspaper track journalists I knew in college as I wrote. I wanted her to be the kind of person who would learn a lot from being with the Amish, but also be able to think critically about the lifestyle.
Background to the story
One of my editors and I kind of developed the concept for Plain Jayne together. I gave her one pitch; it didn’t go over as well as I wanted it to. I sat on it for a bit, then wrote another pitch with the same characters but different traits and stronger motivations. I like stories where a character is on one path, but finds the strength to make a lifestyle change; that’s exactly what Jayne does.
The story also takes place at a time when the newspaper itself is a changing – some would say dying – form of media. I enjoyed weaving some of that shift into the plot. It’s not a large part, but it does factor into some of the decisions.
On Monday, I will be spotlighting MaryLu Tyndall’s Grace Westcott & Rafe Dubois from her latest tale on the High Seas, The Raven Saint.
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