It was with a sense of excitement, tinged with sadness that, a couple of months ago, I celebrated the launch of Another Glass of Champagne. Obviously I was excited because the publication of any novel is a very special moment. To see the words you’ve woven together, that you’ve sweated over, sworn at, caressed, and loved, take their final form is a thrill that never fades. In a world where it is increasingly difficult to find a publisher that will risk its expenditure on printing your book, rather than leaving it as eBook only, the sense of joy is even greater.
And the touch of sadness? Well, that is because Another Glass of Champagne is the final instalment in the Pickwicks Coffee House adventures, and I’m going to miss Amy, Kit, Jack, Megan, Peggy and the crew. They have lived with me, in my head for five years now, and – at the risk of sounding a little unhinged- they have become my friends. (Obviously I don’t actually talk to them- really…OK, I do, but only a little bit.)
Another Glass of Champagne follows on from my (bestselling!), novel, Another Cup of Coffee, and the seasonal Christmas novella’s Another Cup of Christmas, Christmas in the Cotswolds, and Christmas at the Castle. (You don’t need to have any of these earlier tales to enjoy Another Glass of Champagne)
A warm-hearted, contemporary tale about a group of friends living in a small corner of busy London, by bestselling author Jenny Kane.
Fortysomething Amy is shocked and delighted to discover she s expecting a baby not to mention terrified! Amy wants best friend Jack to be godfather, but he hasn’t been heard from in months. When Jack finally reappears, he s full of good intentions but his new business plan could spell disaster for the beloved Pickwicks Coffee Shop, and ruin a number of old friendships…
Meanwhile his love life is as complicated as ever and yet when he swears off men for good, Jack meets someone who makes him rethink his priorities…but is it too late for a fresh start?
Author Kit has problems of her own: just when her career has started to take off, she finds herself unable to write and there is a deadline looming, plus two headstrong kids to see through their difficult teenage years…will she be able to cope?
A follow-up to the runaway success Another Cup of Coffee.
My affection for Amy, Kit and Jack comes, not just from the fact I have lived with their unique voices in my head for so long, but because each of them is based on a real person. When I wrote Another Cup of Coffee, it was with a sense of trepidation. If those whose essence I’d used to create the three lead characters in the book hadn’t liked the story, I would never have sent it to a publisher to be considered for publication in the first place.
Luckily for me, they were- and still are- incredibly supportive of me and my words. I am blessed to have friends who are willing to have their lives expanded into fiction on the page. In fact, it has been immense fun chatting with the ‘real’ Jack and seeing which direction he’d like his ‘on page’ persona to travel.
Ever since Another Glass of Champagne came out I’ve been privileged to be the recipient of many requests for more future episodes in the coffee shop saga.
Just one more story to see what happens next…. I can’t tell you how flattering that is- and I’m touched and very grateful that my readers care enough to want to know what happens after Another Glass of Champagne ended.
I can’t pretend I haven’t thought about it. It would be so easy to write another Pickwicks tale about the characters I love. To take Jack, Amy and Kit on “just one more” turn around the coffee shop block. It would also however, be the height of laziness on my part- and very probably a mistake.
We’ve all watched television shows that have done one series too many, and read book series that should never have tried to squeeze out one more novel. I don’t want that to happen to my Another Cup of…series.
I’d hate to hear anyone say, ‘those first Jenny Kane coffee shop books were good- but that last one wasn’t up to it really was it…’– I’d be mortified!
The little voice at the back of my head told me to call it quits after Champagne, and so I’ve done just that.
Will I live to regret the decision? Possibly. I’ve loved writing these books very much indeed.
Would I change my mind if a nice film or television producer came along with some screen ideas? Of course I would! Sometimes it’s fine to be a hypocrite!!
In the meantime, I shall continue to enjoy sharing the story of Amy, Kit and Jack’s interconnecting lives with you for as long as you’ll put up with me doing so- while also getting down to writing something new.
Sticking her head out of the bedroom window, Amy took a huge lungful of fresh air. Even though her morning sickness had passed with merciful speed, the aroma of the paint she and Paul were decorating their spare room with was making her decidedly queasy.
‘I thought this was supposed to be odourless paint?’
‘It is.’ Paul smiled at his wife as he put down the yellow paint-covered roller. ‘Why don’t you take a break? There’s not much left to do now.’
Amy leaned against the windowsill. ‘I’m fine – and anyway, it’s my own fault. I should never have got on my hands and knees to paint the skirting board. Thank you for not saying “I told you so,” by the way.’
Sinking onto the chair Paul had placed in the middle of the decorating chaos, Amy rubbed a palm over her bump in wonder. It seemed to be getting bigger by the hour, never mind by the day.
‘Have Phil and Rob managed to make any contact with Jack yet?’
‘Not a word.’ Paul scraped the remains of the paint from the roller tray onto his brush and dabbed at a patchy place on the wall. ‘Rob hasn’t had any replies to his texts and emails. He reckons Jack is probably somewhere really remote with no Wi-Fi.’
‘Hmmm. Well, I hope he resurfaces soon, or I’ll have had this baby before he even knows I’m expecting one.’
Paul stretched his arms above his head to loosen the muscles cramped from painting. ‘He’ll turn up sooner or later. Jack always does…’
If you’d like to discover how what Jack is up to, then you can find Another Glass of Champagne in all good bookshops and via online retailers (in paperback and e-format).
PS – You can pre-order the Jenny Kane Christmas Collection – which contains 3 seasonal Pickwick’s stories!