Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Episode 25 Conversations over Milk & Cookies - Jane Yates

Welcome to Episode 25 of Conversations over Milk & Cookies hosted by Kindle Ninja.

Hi, Kindle Ninja here, you know, the ninja who occasionally stalks indie authors and invites them to conversations over Milk & Cookies. 

What is this madness, you ask? It's my way of supporting indie authors. We interact with them everyday, directly through tweets, or indirectly through re-tweets, but we don't really know much about them. Their personalities really don't shine through in 140 characters. 

Of course, that changed considerably when the Milk & Cookies segment was born. Since its inception, we've seen the funny side, silly side, dark side, and all other sides that these wonderful authors don't let show. 

Today, I'm having a conversation with author Jane Yates

Jane, a dyslexic, mother, artist, and story teller. Lives in Oxford and works at the Pitt Rivers Museum, a museum of anthropology and world archaeology. Her Paradox Child series of YA books features the museum and its objects.

Let's get to know Jane in more than 140 characters, shall we?

KINDLE NINJA (KN):  Welcome to Conversations over Milk and Cookies. How do you like your cookies? Chewy? Crunchy? Crumbly? Something else?
I am very proud of my homemade peanut butter cookies. I swapped the recipe for a copy of my first book Paradox Child with a real American writer. The recipe uses a whole stick (block) of butter and a whole jar of peanut butter, plus soft brown sugar. They are soft and a bit sticky, and are best warm with cold milk. Yum :)
Give me the recipe and nobody gets hurt! I’d assume I’m the person you’d want to drink Milk with, but who’s the person you’d want to have tea with?
Yes, milk and cookies with you, of course, but if you were busy, I would quite like to take tea with the Queen and meet the corgis.

Tell me, have your dogs ever eaten your manuscript?
Har Har, I have two spaniels called Buster and Mandy, who both star in my first three books. They haven’t eaten my manuscript, but they have left paint paw prints over the Oxford BBC radio studio, when a plan to get them to paw print a book for the presenter, went terribly wrong.

Writers are very interesting (and sometimes quirky) people with strange rituals. What is your strange writing ritual?
I often write in the early hours of the morning, between 2.30 and 4. Then go back to sleep for an hour or so, walk the dogs, have a cup of tea, then go to work and try and look awake.

You're basically a zombie. So, what would you consider as your 15 mins of fame?
I was lucky enough to be invited to Uri Geller’s home once as my youngest and I painted him a painting and he invited us to give it to him. It was just about the time of the eclipse we had. He was a real gent, bent a spoon and gave me a drawing, which had Dog, God, in the middle of it.

How important is the choice of character names in your novel  (or any novel for that matter)
For Paradox Child series, all the females in the main family are named after flowers. Gardening and magic are very important to them. In my last book Garden, the main character, is called Aberdeen. My ancestors are from not far from Aberdeen.  I have never changed the name of a character yet.

If your novel “Paradox Child” would be made into a movie, who do you want to play the main character/s?
Oh I have already met one of the actors I would like to play Pitt Rivers, a Victorian gent and Museum owner. I went to sign books at steampunk Doncaster event  and on the stand next to me was Paul Redfern. Other than that, I don’t mind.
Click to read Kindle Ninja's review of Paradox Child

So, is there really a time machine hidden in Pitt Rivers Museum?
Someone from London came up to look for it after reading my book. There is a cupboard that I had not noticed was there for two years. Also there are hidden floors in other Oxford buildings. The Natural History Museum, Ashmolean, History of Science all have hidden floors. Also the Bodleian library has not only a secret floor but a tunnel that’s goes right under Broad Street.

Have cupboard, will travel.

If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why? Name one item you’d bring from the future.
Victorian period, just love that era.

Flying boots, they’re bound to have them.

How do you feel about doughnuts without holes?
They are the best type, as you can put ice cream on them.

What’s the book you wished you’d written?
The Hunger Games

What’s your favorite word?

Least favorite word.

What would you rather be doing now? (instead of answering these questions).  
Sitting in a Jacuzzi, I love them

What do you do to decompress?
Snore loudly 

What bizarre food have you eaten?

When I went abroad once in my student years, I could not work out what meat was in the stew, the waiter did not speak good English, and said it was ‘like meat’

Hah! Fear Factor! If book reviewing-ninja were to raid your fridge, what would he find in there?
Lots of jam I made :)

So, making jam is your jam! What’s in your purse right now?  

1.56  pence far too many loyalty cards and library card

Hah! Not even enough to buy your book! And I thought authors always carry wads of cash. (No?). On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you about life right now?
I would say I was a 6.24 but that on my scale of 1 to 6.24 :)
I've heard about that Yates scale...Nicholas Sparks or Dan Brown?

J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer?
They’re both good I can't choose

Ninjas or  Time Travellers?
Oh too hard!! I guess Ninjas who can time travel, oh I should so write that book :) The book I’m writing now is about pirates that time travel, just as deadly. 

I see what you did there. Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoyed the milk and cookies.
Thank you for the awesome questions, you’re the best Kindle Ninja!


  1. thank you Kindle ninja, cookie recipe about to be e mailed over :)

  2. Thanks Jane! Got the recipe haha!

    You're a hoot!

  3. just re reading your wonderful interview
    thanks again for all the support and book review
    jane x x