Friday, October 25, 2013

10 Questions with Novelist Jane Chipperfield (@Jane_Chip)

This Author Spotlight


Jane Chipperfield

Author of

Milo's Scale

This week we are chatting with debut novelist Jane Chipperfield.

Jane read Classical Civilisation at Warwick University, going on to enjoy a twenty-year career as a Primary School teacher.  She left teaching to explore other opportunities, initially studying at Sotheby’s Institute in London.

After her time at Sotheby’s, Jane devised, wrote and presented a series of short programmes for schools.  Designed to interest young children in the art that is accessible in Britain, the films give insight by telling background stories relating to pieces featured in U.K. collections.

The last few years have been taken up with writing, initially compiling and editing weekly news pages for websites as well as copywriting.

Her novel, Milo’s Scale, is the first in a trilogy of thrillers featuring Rick Devan and Sophia.

1.How did you get into writing and why do you write?

I was a full-time teacher for twenty years and wanted to explore other opportunities. I’d had an idea for a long time of replicating one of my frequently employed lessons as a cross-curricular TV programme. The theme is to take a work of art and derive several lessons from it in different subjects. There are many easily accessible collections around Britain and the aim is to encourage children to visit the works featured. To increase my background knowledge, I took a three-month ‘Styles in Art’ course at Sotheby’s Institute in London. It was a fantastic experience to be in the class not taking it – to be taught not teaching. The assignments were challenging and occasionally involved presenting research to classmates in such locations as the British Museum. It gave me the confidence needed to write and present the ‘Stories in Art’ films which were taken up by over two thousand schools in the U.K. They are on YouTube at Artstory28.

My agent at the time was keen for me to write books for children but I was reluctant. I felt it was a specialist area covered well by some great writers. Unless I was going to bring something unique to the genre, there would be little point. I knew that contemporary fiction was the way for me.

2.What do you like best (or least) about writing?

Getting to the end of a writing session having reached the goal I’d set myself.

What I like least is at the beginning of the session and the mental assembly of events which lead me there!

3.What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?

I plan but not everything is there. I know the beginning. I know the mid-point and I know the end. There are lay-points in between. How I connect these dots comes in the writing of it. I try to write something every day but not to a strict routine; it suits me that way. I’m generally happy if there are close to one thousand words on the page at the end of a session.

4.Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”

There are so many authors I admire but here are a few.

Ayn Rand
Stephen King
Orhan Pamuk
Robert Ludlum
John Grisham
Robert Harris

5.Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?


6.What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?

I’ve never become involved in the debate regarding the Oxford Comma. However, having been brought up in England, my writing generally follows the convention of non-use.

7. What is your book Milo’s Scale about and how did it come to fruition?

The germ of the idea came from a discussion with my husband, who was complaining about the deliberate confusion sewn by big business and finance houses. Corporations make it impossible to compare prices. You need to be a mathematician to work out the actual value of a mortgage or a mobile phone contract. He felt there should be an easy way to compare any offer, be it from phone operators with complicated deals, mortgage lenders with hidden terms or any retail offer that can’t be compared on a like-for-like basis. Milo’s Scale was born.

8.What’s your current writing project?

Book 2 in the trilogy

9.What book(s) are you currently reading?

An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

10.Who or what inspires your writing?

The marvels, the incompetencies and incredulities of the modern world are my inspiration.

Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.

My website is and I have tried to reflect some of the book’s issues in a humorous way in the blogs.

Milo’s Scale is available as an eBook from Amazon UK and

The paperback is available from Amazon UK or by email to

I have an ‘Author’s’ Facebook page at:-

And Twitter @jane_chip

Thank you so much, Ryan, for this opportunity to get my work out there.

You're quite welcome, Jane. I loved the concept for your novel. Necessity is the mother of invention. Let us know when the second installment is available!

Be sure to visit Jane's website, follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and of course grab a copy of Milo's Scale right now!

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