|An interview with...
Gothic Goddess Jane Goldman is a flame-haired beauty with many strings to her proverbial bow. The writer of The X-Files: Book of The Unexplained 1 & 2, along with many other titles, she is also a TV producer and presenter of the supernatural smash hits series – Jane Goldman Investigates. Jane took time out of her busy schedule to talk to Bite me about ghosts, vampires, voodoo ceremonies, being gothic and exotic pets.
Who is the real Jane Goldman?
Well, I am 34. I was born in north London and I haven’t moved very far. I have always lived around the same few streets. I had a fairly ordinary upbringing. I am an only child and I got on really well with my parents. It was never a kind of ‘me against them’ situation. In fact there are no really deep dark secrets in my background.
You are a writer, a presenter, a producer, a mum, a wife and a pet owner, how do you manage to balance everything?
Well, I tend to not do too many things at a time because then something inevitably would suffer. Obviously my role as a mother is very, very important and means that I would never take on a huge amount of work that took me away from that. I did think very carefully before I took on Jane Goldman Investigates because I knew that would involve some travel, but the production company made sure they scheduled a bit of filming, then some research and editing, so that I was never away from home for more than a couple of nights at a time. But basically I just do one thing at a time. I don’t think anyone can be superwoman and I don’t think it is possible for anyone to do a million things at a time.
A lot of people don’t seem to associate the Jane Goldman of the books to the TV series, do you find that true?
Yeah definitely. It is really interesting how often I will get people coming up to me and for a specific thing that I have done. For example, I was picking my son up and this guy came up to me and I thought it must be someone I know and can’t remember who it is. It turned out he recognised me from a column I used to do for Total Guitar! But I really like that sort of thing actually. I would much rather people have enjoyed stuff I have done than knowing me because of seeing me endlessly in Heat or some other magazine. That kind of fame seems to be a very strange and shallow way to be known.
A lot of people came to know you through the Jane Goldman Investigates series, what sort of feedback did you get from the series?
What I was really pleased about was that people would frequently come up and say which episode they really liked, and that the program seemed to appeal to a wide range of people. There were people who were strong believers who enjoyed it, but equally people who were sceptical enjoyed it as well, and I was glad that people didn’t feel that we had faked anything or that we had been unbalanced covering a subject.
Where there any moments during the making of the series when you thought… mmm this is getting a bit freaky?
We went to this voodoo ceremony in New Jersey. We went down this busy high street opposite a Dunkin Donuts, and went through this back room and suddenly, we were in Live and Let Die! But once it started it was really powerful and really affecting. At the end of the ceremony, the god which had taken over the priest’s body had to say goodbye to everyone individually. As he was coming round to me my adrenaline shot up and there was a really odd atmosphere. He’d been such a regular guy when we’d been chatting before the ceremony and now he certainly it didn’t seem like him (the priest), which is not to say that I would say put my hand on my heart and say I think it was one of the voodoo gods, but just to see him that altered. I did actually feel quite reverential, and also quite scared, as he came up. Mind you, that could have had something to do with the fact that he had chicken blood dripping out of his mouth at the time.