Finders, Keepers. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, click on the story title then come back here to ‘meet’ Jayne. Trust me, she has some wonderful insight for you.
Jayne Martin is a TV-movie writer whose credits include “Big Spender” for Animal Planet and “A Child Too Many,” “Cradle of Conspiracy” and “Deceived By Trust” for Lifetime. She lives in Santa Ynez, California, where she rides horses, consumes copious amounts of great local wines and shares her view of the world on her blog, “injaynesworld – where nothing is sacred.” Her book of humor essays, “Suitable for Giving: A Collection of Wit with A Side of Wry,” is available in paperback and digital formats through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.
WOW: Welcome to The Muffin, Jayne. Congratulations on placing in our 2013 Spring Flash Fiction contest. Let’s begin by having you share a little about yourself with WOW readers.
JAYNE: My mother was not big on setting rules and I was not big on adhering to those she did set. Consequently, I never learned to take “no” for an answer. Much like the proverbial bull in a china shop (and, coincidentally, born under that sign) when I want something I rarely let anything get in my way. As it turns out, this trait served me well in life, especially in my professional life as a screenwriter. It took a good decade to reach a point where I could support myself writing movies for television and I credit tenacity even more than talent for my success.
My two greatest passions are writing and horses and when I’m not at my laptop you’ll likely find me astride the current love of my life, a large black Thoroughbred named Levi. I live in a rural valley just north of Santa Barbara, California. My tiny cottage sits high on a hilltop in the airspace of eagles where I’m frequently visited by deer, coyotes, neighboring cows and horses, the occasional tarantula, and best of all, hummingbirds, which symbolize creative energy to me. I even have a tattoo of a hummingbird on my right shoulder. The valley is also one of the best wine-producing areas in the world, giving way to my motto: “It’s always cocktail hour somewhere.”
WOW: It sounds absolutely beautiful where you live, even with the tarantulas. You have quite an eclectic writing background covering everything from short story writing to screenplays. Please share your writing background with us. Do you have a favorite area you enjoy most?
JAYNE: I started writing for television in 1977. My breakthrough script was “A Child Too Many,” a TV-movie for NBC about a surrogate birth arrangement gone awry, and so began a 25-year career writing movies-for-television. “Big Spender,” the true story of a horse rescue program at a prison in upstate New York, written for Animal Planet, can still be rented on Netflix or purchased on Amazon.
In 2009, I founded my blog “injaynesworld-where nothing is sacred” and that gave me the freedom to explore other aspects of writing: humor, creative non-fiction and, most recently, the world of flash fiction. My collection of humor essays, “Suitable for Giving; A Collection of Wit with a Side of Wry,” is available in paperback and digital formats, and I was excited to receive a personal note from the iconic movie star, Kirk Douglas, telling me that he found a laugh on every page. Please buy it. I have a cat, a dog, and a horse to feed.
Currently, I’m putting together a collection of micro-fiction for those with the attention span of a gnat.
WOW: Holy cow! What a thrill that must have been to receive kudos for your work from Kirk Douglas! Good for you. Now, as I mentioned earlier, your heart-tugging story, Finders, Keepers, placed in our spring Flash Fiction contest. I actually needed Kleenex after reading it the first time. LOL! Please share with us the inspiration for this beautiful story and how it came to be.
JAYNE: I was intrigued by the concept of someone who finds something belonging to another and has no intention of giving it back, and began to play with motivations for such behavior. In the case of my character, Charlene, she felt that the love of her life, Richard, had been stolen from her and thus justified in taking back that small part of him – the locket he’d given to Lauren. The theme of unrequited love, while timeworn, will always be topical. I don’t know of anyone who can’t relate to it. In this story, it enabled readers to empathize with Charlene, even though she did something so unkind.
WOW: Exactly. It was very well written. We’d be very interested in hearing how you get down to writing. Do you have a set routine, or do you just write when an idea hits you?
JAYNE: I saw a cartoon once of a writer sitting at his computer and a “muse” standing behind him with a gun in her hand pointed at his back. I can relate to that guy. I prefer writing first thing in the morning and when I’m into a project that works great. However, on the many, many days when an idea is ‘not hitting me,’ I sit and agonize. I’m very big on writing from prompts, which seem to always ignite something – not always something great, but something. The truth is 99% of writing is just showing up.
WOW: You and I write from the same place. Much of my own work stems from a picture or experience. Thank you for sharing that. Do you have any pearls of wisdom for our contest hopefuls out there?
JAYNE: Those who succeed in life aren’t necessarily the best or the brightest. They’re the ones who never gave up.
WOW: Wonderful pearls, Jayne, thank you. Good luck with your future works and, hopefully, we’ll read you again soon.