Writer and Contributor to Unchained Anthology
Unchained is a contemporary and diverse collection of fiction and poetry by established writing group, Bristol Women Writers. The book was inspired by the 400th anniversary in 2013 of Bristol’s original ‘chained’ library. It contains fiction and poetry by 10 writers from Bristol Women Writers group and an introduction by short fiction author Tania Hershman.
Jean Burnett grew up in London and Hertfordshire and studied at Exeter University. Later she did a Master's degree at Cardiff, University of Wales. After she married she lived briefly in the USA, Canada and Mexico. She is now based in Bristol where she worked at the University for several years. She also worked as a freelance journalist and an advertising copywriter. She now writes full time as a historical novelist.
We caught up with Jean Burnett, one of the contributors to Unchained.
You’ve recently been published in Unchained: A collection of fiction and poetry by Bristol Woman Writers. Can you tell us a bit about being involved with this?
Bristol Women Writers decided to 'come out' as it were, after years of keeping a low profile! We have been in existence for over twenty years, but the anthology is our first venture into publishing as a group.
Do you find the community in Bristol to be encouraging of writers – are there any particular events/people you’d recommend to writers in the city?
The 400th anniversary of Bristol's Central Library seemed the ideal theme. The original library was chained - hence the Unchained title. It has been published by local publisher Tangent Books and is an all Bristol production.
Bristol is a great arts centre and there are many opportunities for writers to network. There are literature festivals, an ideas festival and several writers' groups.
You’ve been working on a book centred on the adventures of Lydia Bennett, the younger sister of Elizabeth Bennett in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. What made you want to write this book?
I decided that Lydia Bennet would be a good character to write about -plenty of scope for adventures there!
Can you tell us a bit about your writing routine?
I don't have a specific routine, I just try to write every day. I'm a slow writer but I have managed to speed up a bit.
What have you been reading lately?
I have just finished Bring up the Bodies and I am reading about the Court of Charles 1st in preparation for a new book. I also read a lot of crime novels. Ian Rankin and Kate Atkinson are favourites.
Do you have any advice for people who might wish to see their work published?
Don't give up. The members of our writing group have been trying to get published for a long time and we are now beginning to succeed.