Jane Green is prolific. She is contractually obligated to turn out two books a year, but her work--thank goodness--does not seem to suffer from the pressure. Family Pictures is a thoughtful portrayal of two families dealing with the wreckage caused by the same man.
Green is fascinated by character and the strength of her stories speak to her skill. I was able to hear Green speak about her process at a pop-up book club last week. The gathering was the inaugural session for BooktheWriter, a new service that pairs authors with book clubs.
The experience of sitting in a living room with an admired author was a bit intimidating at first. However, ultimately it's far more rewarding than a packed reading at a bookstore. In this case, Green and the host were friends, so the discussion started on an intimate foot. As the discussion rolled on, it became clear that a couple of folks in the audience were writers as well. On the walk home suddenly a proliferation of questions came to mind--next time!
Green's idea for Family Pictures has its roots in a neighborhood story about a marriage's demise in her hometown of Westport, CT. English by birth, Green has gradually moved her stories locale and flavor to the Northeast. While she does pick up ideas wherever she can, Green was very complimentary of her editor. They had just met that morning to brainstorm ideas. Green had also turned in her next manuscript, which will likely be published by year's end.
Jane Green is a former journalist for the Daily Express in the UK. Her first novel Straight Talking became an immediate best seller in 1996. Since then she has published numerous novels based on women's lives.