FEATURED AUTHOR: JANE MCCULLOCH
ABOUT THE BOOK
This is a true story of how one boy fought to save his friend from the electric chair.
Set in Massachusetts, it deals with events leading up to the trial in 1920 of two Italian immigrants accused of a hold-up and murder. By a quirk of fate the 13-year-old Trando Brini was with one of the accused - Bart Vanzetti - at the time of the crime. This starts a seven year struggle for him to prove Vanzetti’s innocence during which time Trando grows from a boy to being an exceptional young man. It is an inspiring story of courage and bravery where Trando takes on the American Justice System and the Bostonian Establishment in a fight which he never gives up, in spite of putting his music career in jeopardy and losing the girl he loves.
INTERVIEW WITH JANE MCCULLOCH
Jane, what’s the story behind the title of your book?
It is a true story based on the Sacco and Vanzetti trials which took place in Massachusetts USA in 1920 – 1927. I chose one particular aspect of the story in which a 13-year-old boy became involved in the original trial .
Where’s home for you?
I live in Putney, South London - but, until recently I always had a house in Cornwall as well, as a bolt-hole. Then I had a houseboat on the River Thames. Alas, I am no longer able to run two places, but am very happy with Putney!
What’s your favorite memory?
When I was six years old, my mother took me to see The King and I at Drury Lane Theatre London, and afterwards I was taken backstage. It was an experience that inspired in me a love of theatre - and resulted in being my career for most of my life.
Who would you pick to write your biography?
A man who is both witty and erudite and we seem to be on the same wave-length – Gyles Brandreth.
What do you love about where you live?
It is very peaceful, in spite of being only 20 minutes away from the centre of London – and it has windows opening out onto a beautiful garden.
Have you been in any natural disasters?
Yes – when I worked in Bermuda I was caught up in a hurricane – scary but no real damage done.
What’s one thing that you wish you knew as a teenager that you know now?
That things like failing an exam which seemed a disaster then, really don’t matter in the great scheme of things.
What makes you bored?
Chatter about complete trivia – washing machines and technology etc.
What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
Probably relationships – but looking back with hindsight, the advantages probably outweigh the disadvantages!
What makes you nervous?
What makes you happy?
Family and friend reunions. I have 4 children and 10 grandchildren.
Do you have another job outside of writing?
Who are you?
I am a 76-year-old English woman, living on my own now – but with many happy memories and living a good life. I hope for a few years yet.
What brings you sheer delight?
An evening of laughter and sparkling conversation.
Would you rather be a lonely genius, or a sociable idiot?
Definitely a lonely genius. I like my own company – but genius is a very over-used word!
What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“The wounded deer leaps highest.” (Chinese Proverb)
What would you like people to say about you after you die?
She was never boring.
How did you create the plot for this book?
I became interested in the true story of Sacco and Vanzetti and started to research it.
Who are your favorite authors?
Anthony Powell, Margaret Atwood, Nancy Mitford, Evelyn Waugh, Jane Austen.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
They couldn’t put the book down.
Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?
Boston City Library, Massachusetts. It has a wonderful archive section, and they are so helpful.
Why did you decide to self-publish?
I am 76, and I only started writing fiction 4 years ago, and thought I was too old to be searching for publishers and agents.
Are you happy with your decision to self-publish ?
Yes I am, the process was quick and smooth – but I have found the marketing very difficult!
What steps to publication did you personally do, and what did you hire someone to do? Is there anyone you’d recommend for a particular service?
I employed a great professional editor, Dr. Stephen Carver who I cannot recommend highly enough. I also took great care with the look of the book and for the cover design used the brilliant Green Door company.
What are you working on now?
I am working on a book about a foreign correspondent who returns home after a long time in the war zones – and the affect this has had on him.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Most of Jane's working life has been spent working in theatre and opera for which she wrote plays and librettos and was also a director of both. This work took her all over the world, and she worked with many famous people including Dame Judi Dench, Sir Derek Jacobi, Jessye Norman, and Sir Thomas Allen. Over a period of 40 years she ran two companies, The English Chamber Theatre and Opera UK.
Four years ago Jane retired from both and began writing fiction. She has published a trilogy of novels which were a family saga – and this year published The Brini Boy, based on a true story. She's also published two slim anthologies of verses.
Connect with Jane:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Buy the book:
Amazon | Amazon UK