In the past few months, biology resources technician Jane Lovering has asked staff at Lady Lumley’s School in Pickering about string theory, the combustibility of oxy-acetylene, and likely names for a romantic hero. CAPTION: Science technician Jane Lovering (left) pictured with the awards presenter novelist and Sky News anchor Kay Burley
The reason is that as well as working in the biology lab at Lady Lumley’s, Ms Lovering is a successful novelist – and her questions relate to the books she is writing.
She’s written a string of romantic comedies and last month won the prestigious Romantic Novel of the Year award for her latest book.
Please Don’t Stop the Music is the story of a struggling jeweller and an enigmatic rock guitarist, who both have traumatic secrets to hide.
The judges of the award described it as “a romance with dark undertones and good humour that engaged with issues a lot of people recognise”. They added: “Jane’s voice was fresh and new with an unexpected hero.”
Ms Lovering told SecEd: “Everyone at school was delighted when I won the award. “It’s brilliant to combine my job as a school science technician with writing. Working alongside other people is really good for writing convincing dialogue and I bounce ideas off my colleagues too.
“They’re all quite used to me coming in and saying ‘I need a name for a dog’ or asking ‘how explosive is oxy-acetylene?’”
Ms Lovering has worked as a creative writing tutor in the past and from September will be running enrichment sessions on writing for 6th-formers at Lady Lumley’s. “I hope that my experience will encourage them to write,” she added. “It took me 25 years to get published and as I said at the awards, if I can do it, anybody can.”
Anne Ashurst, chair of the Romantic Novelist Association, said: “Warmest congratulations to Jane and my personal thanks for making me hoot with laughter.”
Please Don’t Stop the Music by Jane Lovering is published by Choc Lit and costs £7.99. For more on the Romantic Novel of the Year awards, visitwww.romanticnovelistsassociation.org.