New book from West Stoke author

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West Stoke author Jane Cable leaves the self-publishing route behind for her first traditionally-published novel.

Initially Another You is appearing as an e-book, but a physical version is in prospect. Set in Studland Bay in Dorset, it tells of how chance encounters around the 60th anniversary of D-Day help 40-something Marie regain her shattered confidence and find new love.

Jane, a member of the Chichester independent authors group Chindi, brought out her first two books herself, one of which won writing charity Words for the Wounded’s Independent Novelist of the Year award in 2015, after which Jane was signed by a literary agent. The result is Another You which was acquired by Endeavour Press.

“I had an idea for a book, and I worked with the agent to refine the plot to make it something saleable and publishable. I went away and worked on it. I was thinking that I had to produce something that she was able to sell. She was my sales arm. If I was producing something that she could not sell, then I was wasting both of our time. The commercial imperative was there. With an independent book, it is your baby and you are on your own, with no one else there as part of the creative process. This was different.”

As for the plot: “The first inspiration was a ghost story I read about Studland. I love ghost stories, and my husband bought me a book of ghost stories from around the British Isles, and one was from Studland. That’s when I first thought of it, and when I started researching Studland, what was interesting was that it was somewhere they used for rehearsals for D-Day. They had weeks and weeks from April until about two weeks before they put the men in the camps ready for the day. Tragically in one of the rehearsals six men were killed. The book starts on the 60th anniversary of D-Day when a memorial was put in Studland for the men that died. The book is set in the present day. I am more comfortable with people from the past coming to us rather than people in the present going back to them!

“The starting point is a lady called Marie who is in her 40s and runs a pub. Her husband is siphoning off the money and having affairs. Her self-confidence has gone. But she has got a lovely son who is 21 and has just graduated and is the apple of her eye.”

Amid the wreckage of her marriage Marie is trying to work out how to get her life together. Not easy amid all the complications and when your only son feels unable to abandon you and go off to see the world. Wracked with parental guilt and suffering punishing migraines, Marie tries to escape into the characters of her favourite Thomas Hardy books but soon begins to suspect her mind is playing tricks. Following a D-Day re-enactment which seems all too real, she meets an American soldier while walking the cliffs and in her loneliness reaches out to him. Trying to discover the identity of the soldier, she begins to wonder if he exists at all and to complicate matters, embarks on a passionate affair with a younger GI who is hiding a dark secret.

“As the past begins to intrude on the present, Marie is in for a few shocks before she can piece together the connection between the two men and the significance of a lost silver seahorse keepsake. The book is very much a summer read. It was originally called The Seahorse Summer, but they wanted to change the name, partly because they are bringing it out now. It is a romance, with a hint of mystery.”

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