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The Coffee Pot Book Club Presents "MISSING, Past and Present" by Diana Jackson

Please make welcome the lovely Diana Jackson to the Tavern! We're celebrating her new release, MISSING, Past and Present. I'm intrigued with her latest story, so let's read a bit more...


Following the mysterious disappearance of her husband, Dorothy Gibbons, affectionately known as Lady Pink Hat, trudged the lanes around Drumford, homeless and directionless. Alone, she rolled a dice, reflecting on her life, times both painful and pleasant. She stumbled upon The Grange, which changed the course of her life. In her isolation and surrounded by old books Dorothy began to write ...

An 18th Century aspirant nun, Millie, ran away from The Grange ...

Jamal Hussain, a Syrian refugee and asylum seeker, was fostered under the careful wing of Dorothy until leaving school and finding work. He and his brother settled in a nearby flat until the misguided Ahmed Hussain also disappeared.

With three missing people, who will discover the truth? Is it Millie who is still haunting The Grange until her story is told?

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My Chat with Diana Jackson

Welcome, Diana! With all my interviews, I like to begin with this question: Describe a typical writing day. Are you a morning, afternoon, or night-owl writer?

I’m definitely a morning person for writing and I like peace and quiet with no interruptions; sometimes difficult now that my husband is retired. All the other work ~ social media, amending edits and emails I can slip into any convenient moment during the day.

Sounds wonderful. I can relate to a husband who is also retired. He's been known to interrupt me during a critical writing scene. Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?

I’m a bit of an ideas hopper. I’m researching for the third book in this ‘Mystery Inspired by History’ series. I’ve decided (I think) to write it from the point of view of another interesting character in MISSING, Past and Present, but that might change. I’m also completing a book of encouragement for late teens who do not know what to do with their lives. Then there’s a project on the go of formatting a book of memories for the lovely folk at the Kinghorn Lunch club. I would also dearly love to return to my Riduna series, but that involves at least one trip to Alderney and Southampton and a great deal of research, difficult from here in Fife. One day!

You are a very busy lady! What inspired you to write this book/series?

Every book seems to begin with a glimmer of a thought. I was researching for Ancasta, Guide me Swiftly Home and was in touch with The Channel Island Great War Study Group when I had an email. The lady wrote, ‘did you know, Diana, that a young Jersey lass was murdered near to where you live in Bedfordshire. The murderer was never caught.’ At the first possible opportunity I cycled the three miles to Haynes churchyard and found Nelly Rault’s grave and I was hooked. The story linked my love of the Channel Islands with where I lived at the time, in Bedfordshire, and MURDER, Now and Then was born, or at least conceived!

How fascinating! What’s your favorite item on your writing desk?

An Ormer shell, with its mother of pearl lining, sits on one corner of my desk and my RHS welly pen container sits at the other. I love both because they make me smile.

Beautiful! Thank you so much for providing a picture, Diana. You’ve been given a golden ticket to time travel into the past. Whom would you meet and why?

That’s a perfect question for me. You see I ‘met’ many folk on my walk along the Fife Coastal Path in The Healing Paths of Fife, who taught me something about life and myself. I think I’d like to meet author Nigel Tranter again and ask him where he carried out all of his research for his Scottish historical fiction and how he chose his subjects. I love his books. When I ‘met’ him before I have to admit that we only talked about me, which was a huge missed opportunity.

Thank you, Diana! Wishing you all the best with MISSING, Past and Present!


Meet the Author

After six years in the wilderness, (wandering the Fife Coastal Path and finding her way back to writing, to be precise!) author Diana Jackson is about to launch the second novel in her Mystery Inspired by History series. A retired teacher of sixty one years, Diana Jackson has published five works since 2009. Her first, historical romantic fiction, Riduna, set in the Victorian era, was published by Pegasus Elliot Mc Kenzie in 2009 but was re-launched by Eventispress in 2012 - a writer’s indie collaborative publisher, through which all her other works have been published:

2012 Ancasta, Guide me Swiftly Home ~ Riduna’s sequel

2013 The Life and Demise of Norman Campbell ~ a memoir

2014 Murder Now and Then ~ a mystery set in two time zones, 1919 and 2019

2017 The Healing Paths of Fife ~ a personal fantasy memoir

After moving to Fife from Bedfordshire in 2014 Diana has had a break from her life as an author to settle into her new life within the Kinghorn Community. The Healing Paths of Fife tells of that journey. Rejuvenated, she finally turned to finishing MISSING, Past and Present.

Diana writes, ‘This novel is special to me because it is influenced, in part, by my experience volunteering in a soup kitchen in Bedfordshire and also at a local food-bank here in Fife. My experience as a course team leader and personal tutor at a College of Further Education in the heart of Luton and a teacher of English as a Second Language is also reflected, where I gained valuable insights into social issues and difficulties some young people of today face.

Connect with Diana here:


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