Bold Strokes Books author Jenny Frame is here to chat about life, writing, her latest novel, weddings, and Barney, her spoiled pup.
She’s giving away one copy of Charming the Vicar to one lucky winner.
Please welcome Jenny Frame.
Before we begin, thanks so much for stopping by today for a chat.
I’m delighted to be here. Thank you for asking me.
You’re from a small town in Scotland. How small is small and what’s it like to live there?
Motherwell is around thirty minutes from the big city of Glasgow in Scotland, and the population is just over 32,000. Although we are a small town, we have a lot of history. The main Roman road in central Scotland, ran through the town, and so we have some lovely Roman ruins in the local park. The main attraction being a Roman bathhouse, which as a history enthusiast, I find really cool.
In the late 19th century Motherwell opened huge steel works, and became known as ‘steelopolis’ in the UK. Steel and industrial manufacturing are ingrained on the town. Our local football team are known as the steelmen.
When the industry declined over time, and shut down in the 1980’s, it left a big scar on the town, but we have slowly recovered over the years.
Although Motherwell is a slightly jaded industrial town, we are surrounded by nature and green spaces. Dalziel estate, where the local lord of the manor lived at one time, is a mecca for dog walkers, bird watchers, and our dog Barney’s favorite place in the world.
Your bio mentions you have a “very spoiled dog.” Give it to us straight. What’s the most ridiculous thing you do for your dog? (I’m not judging. I have a spoiled cat.)
Do you want a list? Lol.
Barney is a very spoiled standard poodle. The problem is that he was a rescue dog who we adopted at five months old. Poodles are clever and tend to be a bit neurotic, but Barney was abandoned, and has a lot of issues. To be honest we have spoiled him to make up for that, which is probably not the right thing but we just want to make his life happy and safe now.
If I was to choose two things we do to spoil him every day, it would probably be giving him fresh meat each day, and never leaving him alone. He has separation anxiety, and so comes everywhere with us, or babysat by my dad, who takes him for his daily walks at the forest in the pictures above.
Luckily for Barney I work at home, and he keeps me company while I write all day.
Barney in his Christmas costume
You have a BA in public management and a diploma in acting and performance. How did you end up with such a diverse background?
It’s partly to do with the fact that I have a wide range of interests. I always wanted to do something artistic and was drawn to comedy writing, acting and stand up acts like the late great Victoria Wood, and Julie Walters, so comedy roles were the kind of thing I gravitated towards at acting college. The one problem I had was that I am an extreme extrovert. I was comfortable when playing someone else’s character, but ask me to be myself and I struggle, and after college I struggled with the whole audition, and getting involved with theatre groups thing.
I wouldn’t change my time at acting college for the world. I made some great friends, had some amazing experiences, and found out who I was. The more cosmopolitan nature of Glasgow, where my college was, opened my eyes to a world of gay pub and clubs, something I had never come across in my little town. Who knew!
So I decided to go back to University and study public management, which focused on politics and local government. From a young age I had been heavily Interested in politics. My Dad was a local government correspondent for a national newspaper for over thirty years, so I was kind if brought up in that atmosphere.
After university I began to work as a civil servant, but then had to medically retire because of severe back problems. While I was at home every day, I was trying to find a way to occupy my time and my brain, and I came across some fanfiction websites. After reading everything I could for a while, I took the chance to write my first story. As I was writing I realized this was the artistic pursuit I’d always been looking for. I got great feedback from readers, and fell in love with romance writing. I can’t imagine not doing it now. I wish I had started when I was younger.
Tell us about your new release?
Charming The Vicar is the second in my Axedale series of Books. The first book, Courting The Countess, focused on Lady Harry Knight, Countess of Axedale, and her housekeeper Annie Brannigan.
This second book tells the story of the Reverend Bridget Claremont, and her difficult road to her happy ever after.
What was the inspiration for Charming the Vicar?
When I was writing the Courting The Countess, a supporting cast of characters from Axedale village emerged, and the most prominent of those was Bridget Claremont, eccentric village vicar.
What I tried to do with Bridget was to have a woman of God who was the opposite to what you would think a vicar to be. She comes from the same social class as the Countess, and has a very colorful backstory. I didn’t have to do much character work on Bridget, she just leapt into my mind in 3D and full color, with her leather biker jacket, her designer mini skirt and heels.
I knew during the first book that I had to tell the vicar’s story. You can read an excerpt here…
As a fan of the novel Royal Rebel, a little bird told me another book in the series is in the works. Tell us more and if you feel like sharing a plot secret, I won’t stop you…
Yes, the third book in the series is called Royal Court, and follows George, Bea, and baby…(you’ll need to wait to find out if they have a prince or princess) on a royal trip to the United States. It’s the baby’s first overseas trip, and the full royal court goes along with them. Lali and Cammy, and royal dresser Holly Weaver, whose story this book tells. If you’ve read Royal Rebel you will see clues to this story there.
Here is the blurb…
Captain Quincy, a steady, reliable, and unshowy, Royal Marines officer, is decorated for gallantry after a mission that nearly killed both her and the men under her command. She is at a cross roads in her career. While on extended leave, after a disciplinary incident within her unit, her old comrade, Queen Georgina, asks her to join the Royal Protection command as Beatrice’s new Protection officer.
Holly Weaver, Royal Dresser and self-confessed man eater, starts to question her sexuality when she has a girl crush on famous actor, Story St John, and then a polo player, and friend of George’s, Captain Quincy.
When Quincy comes to work for Beatrice, Holly realises that she shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, as the good-looking Captain’s boring, ordered, emotionless personality, clashes with her own exuberant lust for life. While a threat to Queen Beatrice emerges, the two clash as Holly tries to keep Bea’s life as normal as possible, while Quincy puts her stringent security above all else. Holly’s fiery, passionate personality, and the appearance of a rival, Story St John, begins to melt the Captain’s icy walls of protection, but will Holly really want to expose what lies beneath?
Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created?
That’s a difficult question. All the characters are special to me because little parts of them represent different parts of myself, my loved ones and all the people I have known. If I was forced to pick one out then I’d have to say Dale from Unexpected. She gave me a chance to write a Scottish character from my neck of the woods, and use the language I hear every day. Although I had to tone it down a little or the readers would be lost with some of the words. Also Dale makes my heart literally sigh. She is the most wonderful, sweet, kind, and thoughtful character, and makes it her mission to melt Rebecca’s Harper’s icy heart, with bad jokes and showing her such tender care. Dale has all the elements of the perfect butch.
I hear you like to cook. If you were going to make a special meal for your partner, what would it be?
Well we are very different, and here lies my daily problem. Making two different meals at dinnertime. I’m a plant based vegan, and Lou is a meat eater who hates vegetables, and thinks onions are evil. My plates are full of beautiful, colourful vegetables, and Lou’s—not so much. So if I were to cook her favorite it would probably be either spaghetti bolognaise or chili.
And speaking of Lou, you two are about to tie the knot. Congrats! Considering you write about royalty, vampires, wolf gang packs, and vicars, it’s hard to imagine how your writing has inspired aspects of your wedding. Can you tell us about the upcoming wedding and will any of your stories seep into the magical day?
Compared to my characters, I’m an extreme introvert, so it’s small, simple wedding. There are a lot of weddings in my books, because I think that’s the natural ending of the fairytale, but also in some ways the beginning of a lifetime of your fairytale. The quote you can find on my website is—
“Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale.”
And that’s what I feel I’ve been living. I don’t know what I did right to have my darling Lou drop into my world, but I’m thankful every day, and can’t believe how lucky I am. I’m a hopeless romantic, but I don’t think I would have been able to write romance fiction if I hadn’t had my very own fairytale.
Thanks so much for chatting today.
You’re quite welcome. Thank you for having me.
CHARMING THE VICAR
Finnian Kane, famous master of illusion, mentalist, and renowned atheist, has a crisis of faith after her sister’s death. She rents a cottage in the village of Axedale in Kent, desperately trying to find a safe haven from the intrusive media to grieve and work out how to move on.
The Reverend Bridget Claremont makes it her mission to help the enigmatic Finnian find her faith in life again. Bridge has long yearned for a life partner, and her best friend’s wedding has intensified that desire. But when you’re a lesbian vicar in a small English village, it’s not easy to find your perfect match.
Their chemistry is clear from the start, despite their different beliefs and Bridge insisting Finn isn’t her type. But will the mentalist find the magic that can charm the vicar?
MEET THE AUTHOR
Jenny Frame is from the small town of Motherwell in Scotland, where she lives with her partner, Lou, and their well loved and very spoiled dog. She has a diverse range of qualifications, including a BA in public management and a diploma in acting and performance. Nowadays, she likes to put her creative energies into writing rather than treading the boards. When not writing or reading, Jenny loves cheering on her local football team.
CONNECT WITH JENNY FRAME
Enter here for a chance to win a copy of
CHARMING THE VICAR
All you need to do is fill in your email, check the box confirming you aren’t a robot, and hit enter.
Thanks so much Jenny for stopping by today. Wishing you and Lou many happy days together.
Best of luck to everyone who enters the giveaway.