Jane Peyton’s Literary Journey 

From Fact to Fabulous Fiction


PHOTO: Author Jane Peyton: Brewing Stories and Crafting Adventures

Jane Peyton is an alcoholic drinks expert, writer, and entrepreneur. She is the founder of the School of Booze consultancy. Jane was the UK’s first accredited cider sommelier, Britain’s first Beer Sommelier of the Year, and is a former Drinks Educator of the Year. She is the author of several non-fiction books and writes fiction under the pen name B.A. Summer.  

What’s The Last Great Book You Read?

‘Darling’ by India Knight, an authorised update of Nancy Mitford’s ‘The Pursuit of Love’. So witty, and clever. I borrowed it from the library but adored it so much I bought a copy from my local bookshop to have forever.

Who Is Your Favorite Fictional Hero Or Heroine?

Emmeline Lucas in the Mapp & Lucia series.  It is a testament to the brilliance of the author, E.F. Benson, that readers enjoy his infuriating, pretentious, and imperious central character.  Am I allowed to mention one of my own characters?  Cordelia Tanner, the protagonist in my novel ‘Sole Brethren’ is my adorable, amusing fictitious friend.

What Kind Of Reader Were You As A Child?

Voracious. If anyone needed to find me they just had to look behind the sofa, or up a tree in the garden and I would be there devouring a novel.

If You Could Meet Any Writer, Dead Or Alive, Who Would It Be? And What Would You Want To Know?

Jane Austen to know whether her personality matched the witty writer that is evident in her prose. I would want to know how she managed to finish such lengthy handwritten manuscripts without the aid of ‘Find’ on a computer programme to check if she had repeated anything.

What Books Do You Find Yourself Returning To Again And Again?

Two series of books about friendship – Armistead Maupin’s Tales of The City books, and E.F. Benson’s Mapp & Lucia novels.

Describe Your Writing Style

Conversational, positive, upbeat, witty, imparting knowledge in an uncomplicated manner.

You Write Fiction And Non-Fiction – How Does The Writing Process Differ?

I describe both writing formats in musical terms.  Non-fiction is staccato because of the constant need to stop and check facts.  Fiction is legato because the words are smoothly joined together and the prose flows.  With non-fiction I am never surprised with what I write because I need to stick to the treatment approved by the publisher, with fiction I am often surprised because the characters take over and unplanned plot lines develop.

With non-fiction the publisher usually stipulates a word-count.  I also write journalistically and need to write to a word count. Consequently I write concisely and do not waste any words.   With fiction I had to train myself not to be sparing but it is still my default position.  I find writing fiction so liberating because I am not dictated to by facts as I am with non-fiction.

When Do Your Ideas Come To You?

All the time, and I always have a pen & note paper to hand.  Walking is the best because the repetitive motion puts me into a meditation and the ideas just flow.  Sometimes I wake in the night and realise I have been conceiving sentences in my sleep.

Your Fictitious Character Cordelia Tanner Has An Unusual Psychic Ability – Does It Exist Or Did You Invent It?

Cordelia has a skill that I call Psychomatricks and because of it she has some incredible adventures.  Psychomatricks is a composite of several real psychic gifts including remote viewing.  I used to be a TV producer and once interviewed the director of Operation Stargate, a project run by America’s CIA when they used remote viewing as a procedure to spy on the Soviet Union during the Cold War.   They had mind blowing successes. I also know someone who has the power of psychometry. There is every chance some people in the world have Cordelia’s psychomatricks ability.

How Did You Go From Writing About Alcohol To Inventing Wearable Holographic Shoes?

You could say I went from booze to shoes!  My non-fiction publisher commissions me to write books about alcoholic drinks because I am an accredited beer & cider sommelier, and accredited through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.  I am also founder of the School of Booze so I know about a range of alcoholic drinks.  For years I had been formulating the plot for a novel about Cordelia Tanner who invents a wearable holographic footwear technology that makes it look as though people are wearing improbable, extraordinary footwear.  Cordelia is also the world’s leading designer of luxury shoes.  As a student I worked in a luxury shoe boutique, and my first job after graduation was in a fashion PR agency with high-end shoe clients. I have always been enamoured of shoes, not just to look at and wear, but also their history and symbolism.

I never had time to write Sole Brethren until the pandemic lockdowns. Then I was able to concentrate on writing the story. It contains lots of fascinating information about shoe history, and the role of shoes in society.    I love my fictitious characters and want to spend time with them. They are such good company!

Testimonials

“If Lewis Carroll, Tom Robbins, and Nancy Mitford got together and had a raucous party fuelled by Champagne Bonheur, this is the book they would write together at 3 in the morning giggling in a secret room.”

-Sole Brethren reader review

Jane’s tone of voice is full of energy, enthusiasm and the passion to spread knowledge in a witty and engaging way – her writing is a delight.

-The Philosophy of Gin reader review)

Follow the Author

  • Web https://elfadoisland.com
  • Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/stores/author/B00C3NQPOC?ingress=0&visitId=6f6039df-f417-462e-8550-f7ba0e0cf516&store_ref=ap_rdr&ref_=ap_rdr
  • Goodreads Author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/24987412.B_A_Summer?ref=nav_profile_l
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BASummerWriter
  • X: https://twitter.com/BASummerWriter
  • Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/basummerwriter/
  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janepeyton/

This “Editor’s Choice, Award of Excellence”
is presented to Jane Peyton
and a select group of exceptional authors
by Reader’s House magazine.

This interview is showcased on the magazine’s 41. issue.

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