Win a FREE signed copy of The Main Man by Jaen Hardy

In this week Thursday Throng interview I’m pleased to welcome author Jaen Hardy, who is also giving away a free signed copy of her young adult novel, The Main Man, to one lucky commenter. To be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is leave a comment for Jaen at the end of this interview.

The Review

I’m pretty certain that what makes a novel a good read is the right combination of characterisation, description and plot. Each of these three elements needs to be balanced and believable for the reader and if they aren’t we quickly become disillusioned and will put the book down. The Main Man is a really good example of a YA novel that meets this criteria. It has characters that feel genuine to an adult reader (whether that’s the case for the age group it’s aimed at is another question and one I can’t answer). Jaen uses description, of location and situation, to create both subtle and overt flow through the novel, catching the attention and holding it there. There are many twists and turns that are shocking and surprising. The conclusion when it comes though is satisfying.

The Jaen Hardy Interview

jaen hardyWhat is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?

I started training part time as an actress while I was working as an architectural assistant with a firm designing the Birmingham NEC. Although I never finished the course, I think the improvisation classes subsequently helped with the writing, particularly with dialogue and character building.

Are the names of your characters important to you?

Definitely. When my main characters for The Main Man first introduced themselves to me, they already had names. I tried to change Joel’s name to Jack several times, but somehow couldn’t bring myself to do it. It wasn’t until I was writing the final chapter and Joel checks out the meaning of his and Darren’s names on the internet, that I realised why I it had to be Joel!

How did you choose the title for your book? 

The title for The Main Man didn’t come until after I’d finished it. Originally it was to be called River of Reflections, as the river running through the town is a major player in the plot. There is also a ‘Narcissus’ theme, hence the reference to reflections. However, it just didn’t sound punchy enough, so I went back and tried to look at the novel from a broader perspective, ignoring my original preconceptions, and ‘hey presto’.

Have you ever written naked?

Never completely naked, although I do the bulk of my writing in my nightie or pyjamas. Inspiration usually strikes in the early morning when I’m lying in bed, and I have to get up to write it all down quickly before I forget the gist. I often stay in a state of undress until lunchtime.

How do you remain sane while working?

I’m not sure that I do. When I was writing Darren’s passages in the first person it definitely changed my personality for a while. My deeply buried narcissism surfaced and improved my skills on the tennis court (or so I thought at the time).

Where do you find your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from odd words or phrases or from things I’ve seen on the news. The Main Man developed from two short stories written for a writing group that I belong to. The prompt for the first one was ‘Escape’ which gave me the idea of someone feeling the need to escape into his subconscious to avoid his family circumstances. The character of Joel emerged from this one. The next month’s prompt was ‘Nature’, which brought the phrase ‘nature or nurture’ to mind. This drew me to writing about Darren, who, like Joel, is very much a product of his genes and upbringing. And I was writing the second story just after the terrible storms of 2011, when the Severn and Avon burst their banks at Tewkesbury, which inspired the river theme.

If you could commit the perfect murder where would you hide the body?

In the river of course, just like Darren did.


How to win a copy of The Main Man by Jaen Hardy

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning this fab YA novel is to leave a comment at the end of this interview for Jaen or myself (Linda). That’s it – the winner will be notified in a couple of months time when a copy will wing its way in the post towards them.


Where can you get your own copy of The Main Man?

The Main Man is available in Kindle and Paperback formats from and


Why ‘The Thursday Throng’?

These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.

If you would like to see all the Authors who have been featured on The Thursday Throng you can click here:

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  1. There is a very useful workshop to help writers decide on a suitable title for their novel. The link is:
    There are exercises to follow, but the nub of it is that writers are bad at choosing titles because they know too much about the content of their book. They get bogged down by the theme and subplots and end up with something too abstract, grandiose and obscure, instead of giving an immediate impression of genre and content. Also, simple concrete words are more powerful than abstract ones as they encourage the reader to form an image.
    A tip from me is to check on Amazon to make sure that there is nothing too similar out there. If you are searching for The Main Man on Amazon, it comes up after the first two words!

  2. I’m glad I have sparked your interest.
    I am now curious as to what happens to my characters next, and have started thinking of a few ideas for a sequel. I’m interested in discovering more about some of the more minor characters.

  3. Jaen gives me hope for the title of my novel. I have changed it several times. Like Lesley mentions Jaen has given her characters life in the way she talks about them in the interview. Please skip over me for the free copy. I use my kindle not only for the convience but my roommate godsend crazy when I accumulate things. Saddly books are not a exception.

    Also congratulation to Jaen and I wish you much success.

  4. Thanks for your kind words, Linda. It’s much appreciated. Although the book has been categorized as young adult, I think that the majority of the people that have read it so far have been a lot older! If anybody would like any more information about the book, please feel free to contact me.