It's hard to believe that we are one week into the month already. Wow! Where has the time gone?
Today on our author spotlight, Janet K. Brown is joining us. Thanks for taking time to stop by, Janet.
Thank you, Jodie for allowing me to be a guest on your blog. I’m eager to answer your questions and meet some of your viewers.
It's great to have you here. How did you develop a 'love of story'?
I don’t know if I developed it, or “love of story” developed me. Once, I have an idea, the story runs through my head like a parallel universe. There’s nothing I like better than to face a blank page and weave a tale. I dream of it at night and love the excitement of putting it down in black and white.
Chuckle. I can relate. What is your 'how I got published' story?
For six years, every time I finished a novel, I would submit it somewhere. Next would come a rejection. Instead of rewriting the story, I would start another one. By 2011, I had finished ten complete novels. All were for adults except I wrote one young adult. I pitched it in 2011 at the Oklahoma Writers Federated Intl. conference to 4RV Publishing. Was I ever excited when I received a call and an e-mailed contract. The next contract came for my only non-fiction. It wasn’t until three years later that I finally received a contract for my first adult fiction.
So good things come from those who wait. Seriously though, I know writing and editing is a lot of hard work. When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
A junior high school teacher graded me harder than anyone in class. She was more critical of anything I wrote or said. At the end of the year, I asked her why she disliked me, and she said, “I don’t dislike you. I see promise in your writing, so I’m trying to push you to improve.” That was the catalyst. I wrote for the rest of my life. When my children were young, I sold some short stories, but it was when I retired that I finally began studying, submitting, writing, and learning to be the writer God wanted me to be.
It's never too late to step out into what God wants you to be. What do you want readers to come away with after reading your books?
I “write with God’s hope.” That’s the name of my blog and the focus of my words. Each of my main characters face impossible situations, ones out of their control. The Wharton Rock series focuses on addictions. My young adult stories deal with compulsions and mindsets that need healing. I want readers to come away with the idea that, whatever their struggles, with God, there is hope.
That's a common theme in my books too. How does faith play a part in your writing?
In my stories, faith leads to healing and life changes.
Great themes, Janet. Do you listen to music or snack while writing?
Never any music. I prefer silence when I write. Occasionally, I will snack, but not often. I normally don’t eat between meals.
Sounds like you have great self control. Who are your favorite authors?
Blanche Day Manos, Deborah Raney, DiAnn Mills, Angela Hunt, Linda Goodnight, Victoria Holt. Oh, forget it, there’s too many to list. I love to read. LOL!
Chuckle. The mark of a writer is also an avid reader. :) Tell us about your new book.
Worth Forgiving is Book II in the Wharton Rock Series
Prejudice and mistrust hinders an ex-con, drug addict’s new beginning.
The state of Texas releases from prison Katie Smith. Full of optimism, she sets out to get a job, rent her own place, and make a home for her eight-year-old daughter, but Katie gave away her daughter three years ago. She could use a friend, but her past choices threaten to doom her to continued failure.
Larry Pullman graduated from seminary with high marks, but the fact that he has no wife makes finding a preaching job almost impossible. It doesn’t help that running from God as a teenager gave him a past that he can’t undo. All he needs is an ex-con, drug addict messing up his life, but then why did God lead him to her? Or did He?
Isn’t it enough that Lacey Chandler gave her sister’s daughter a home? Does that mean she has to clean up Katie’s messes forever?
Could it be that Katie is not Worth Forgiving?
Interesting. What are you working on now?
I’m working on book III of the Wharton Rock series. It will deal with pornography. I just finished a third round of edits on the sequel to my young adult ghost story. Then I have a contract on a workbook that will compliment my devotion book for overeaters. It is due out in December.
You are one busy woman. :) What is your passion as a writer?
Since I took a course from DiAnn Mills on “Writing as Ministry,” my passion has been to touch lives for Christ, to reach out to some who don’t go to church, and reinforce faith in those who do. I also have a strong desire to improve my writing with each book.
That's wonderful, Janet. What is your most difficult writing challenge?
My husband is semi-retired. I’m retired from my first career. I’m not willing to give up much time away from traveling with my husband and spending time with family. My biggest challenge is my age and balancing what I’m willing to do for writing and making sure it’s what God would have me do. I pray daily for this wisdom. Other than that, I struggle with getting enough description to put the reader into the character’s world. I also push to show on the page the emotion I feel.
It's been such a pleasure getting to know you, Janet. Thank you for taking time to tell us about your writing world.