Today I'm interviewing Janet Lane Walters. Janet calls herself an eclectic writer, and she's certainly that. She writes in a number of genres including contemporary romance, mystery, fantasy and alternative worlds. Meet eclectic writer Janet Lane Walters!
Where did you get the idea for your new novel?
Since the Virgo Pisces Connection is the last of a six book series about six friends and the man opposite their Sun sign, the idea was built in. The heroine Megan has been in all the other books as a minor character and I wanted to give her a real problem and for her to find the man of her dreams. Since the story is a little bit about Valentine’s Day and she has no valentine, I wanted to set up the meet in a unique way. The story also deals with death and a nurse’s breakdown. The opening scene is based on an incident occurring when I was a nineteen year old student nurse. There are changes but the impact is something I’ve carried all my life.
Sounds intriguing, Janet. What was the most difficult thing about writing this book?
Making all the parts work. I was seven chapters into the rough draft when I realized one of the sub-plots wouldn’t work. I was unable to suspend disbelief. So I regrouped and found a way to bring the orphaned children into the hero’s life and responsibility.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not sure what you mean by unusual but I do write all my manuscripts by hand with a pen and lined tablet. I also write better and faster when seated in my recliner. I’m a draft writer so there are at least six drafts. After the rough draft, there is one for plot, setting, characters, language and revision. I’ve been writing this way for 50 years since I was first published in 1968.
When were you first published and how did that happen? Was it a long or short journey?
I’ve had a long and interesting career with many ups and down. 50 years ago, I sold my first short story and followed that up with many more. The market dried up and though a had a few poems published I knew that wasn’t my real forte. An editor sent a rejection saying this sounded like the synopsis for a novel and I set out to master that genre. With the help of many editors and many revisions, I sold that first book in 1972. There was a break in my writing when I returned to work as a nurse to help fund children’s college educations. Though I didn’t write, I gathered much experience in people’s emotions and ideas for stories. In 1994, I had a novel published again and then found electronic publishing. In 1997 my first ebook was published and I was off and running.
How did you get started writing romance?
One winter, I had pneumonia and ended up at home in bed. My sister-in-law sent me a shopping bag full of nurse romances. Being bored and being a dedicated reader, I set out to read those books. Though well written, most of them had no idea about medicine or nurses. I ended up wanting to tear them up but I persisted. Twenty reads later, I decided I could write a nurse romance book. My tastes vary in reading and also in writing. Most of my stories have some bits of romance in them and some are strictly romance. They vary from contemporary to paranormal and fantasy. Even my mysteries have a romance that develops over the six books in the series.
What comes first for you – plot or character? And why?
Interesting question. It’s usually the plot but the characters figure in. I think my reason for working this way is because of my experience as a nurse and needing to know what was happening to my patients and why before I focused on their reaction to their illness. At night when going to sleep, I tell myself a story. There is a he and she but what they’re facing and what might happen next is more important that who they are. When I write this down the next day, the characters slowly begin to form and since I use Astrology to cast the characters, I start researching for traits, weaknesses and strengths. The characters take shape and the fun begins.
Do you write in the same place every day or do you like to change it up?
I’m a creature of habit. I have a wonderful study, a large room with computer desk. The ledge above is covered by dragons for inspiration. I have a recliner and lots of windows. In the winter, I can see the Hudson River. Not at other seasons since there are many trees in the way. I write part of a scene, then type scenes from yesterday and write again. Between trips to help my invalid husband, I probably put six hours a day with my pen, paper and computer. The days vary since over the weekend, I do my blog posts for the entire week. I have something on my blog every day. This is Saturday with some bits and pieces of writing in between. On Sunday, I try to write short, short reviews for books I’ve read and do any catching up needed. I rather fragment my time and seldom write in longer than 30 minute spurts.
Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?
Since I answered part of this before, I’ll just say a bit. Writing for most of my life sometimes more off than on but published for 50 years. I live in a village on the banks of the Hudson River in New York on the west bank. The village is great and has one of the largest Halloween parades in the country. I’ve been married for almost 60 years to the same man, a psychiatrist who has refused to cure my obsession with writing. My four children are scattered from New York to Florida.
|Janet Lane Walters|
My children and grand children actually sometimes edge out my writing. They are now growing older. Actually my black grandchildren are in their twenties. Adopting their mother was a good thing. My Chinese grandchildren are just nearing their teens. So yes, this passion is tied with the one for writing.
Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it? Does it help you with your writing?
I was a nurse and am retired. My time taking care of patients in various situations has helped me as a writer, Besides giving me ideas and also experiencing emotions, I learned to fragment myself. I also was as Astrologer. Just a fun time when a friend and I joined forces and earned enough money to travel to Ireland. She did the math. I did the interpretations. This is a help with my writing since I cast my characters using Sun sigh, Rising sigh and Moon to find their traits.
Do you have any pets? Are you cat person or a dog person? Or are you into totally different pets, like goldfish? What do you like best about your pet?
At this moment I am pet-free, but I am a cat person. My familiar Robespierre, a Maine Coon cat, died and I haven’t replaced him. He is featured in my mystery series starring Katherine Miller starting with Murder and Mint Tea.
What are two (or more) of your all-time favorite books in any genre?
I am an eclectic reader just as I am an eclectic writer. There are too many authors and too many genres to even think about. There are over a thousand books on my Kindle and I’m always buying more.
What do you like best about your hero The Virgo Pisces Connection?
What I like best about Dave is his ability to change. He has been a traveling doctor since he finished his residency and seldom stays in one place for more than three months. The arrival of his orphaned niece and nephews and his involvement with Megan, the heroine, let him think about settling down. He is also short in stature but strong in many ways. One of his faults is giving into his feelings and he also learns to do this throughout the book. His steadiness is one of his best assets. The book is The Virgo Pisces Connection and has just been released.
What do you like best about your heroine?
Megan in The Virgo Pisces Connection has burned out. She works on Oncology and her third death in a week has sent her fleeing. She feels she is a failure and she wants to quit but is persuaded to take time off. Her meeting with Dave turns her to think about life and what she wants to do. I really like her empathy and her love for the children who Dave brings into her life. She is also the one of six friends who is into Astrology and has helped set up her friends.
How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters? Do you base them on real people?
My characters are seldom based on real people. Sometimes perhaps I take a trait from one of my friends but not really. Since I use Astrology much is written in the stars. I once wrote a book where I used friends’ names but not anything more about them. This book is a humorous story and is a nurse/doctor romance.
How can readers reach you or find you online?
BUY MARK for all my books
Tell us a little about your current work in progress.
I am currently working on a fantasy romance The Children of Fyre. There are dragons and magic fyrestones and evil wizards. There are two heroes and two heroines who will become dragon riders and fyrestone wielders.
What’s your tagline? Why did you choose it?
I bill myself as eclecticwriter since that’s the way I write. Contemporary romance, mysteries, a bit of suspense, historical, alternate worlds, non-fiction and paranormal stories.
If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
Much would depend on your preference. If mystery is your thing, Murder and Mint Tea. If it's contemporary romance The Aries Libra Connection. If fantasy The Temple of Fyre. If Alternate worlds – Bast’s Warrior. There are a lot of my books out there. I think around 50 or more.
Tell us about your current release.
The Virgo Pisces Connection
Pisces Megan experiences burnout. Her third witnessed death on the Oncology Unit in a week is too much for her to handle. Going to her apartment and being alone isn't to her taste. Of all the Grantley Gang, she is the only one not married. She tries to resign from the hospital and is persuaded to take a month of her accumulated vacation time first. Avoiding her five friends, Megan rushes from town, not knowing or caring where she is going. Escaping the ghosts of the dead is her primary goal. During a blinding snowstorm, she crashes into the life of Dave Malloy MD.
Dave is a Virgo a traveling doctor going from assignment to assignment over the country. He's decided two things. One is to settle and gather moss. The other is to find his sister lost years ago when they were sent to two different foster homes. He has found her and vows to rescue her from an abusive situation. When Megan lands against a tree at the house where he is staying, he finds her very attractive. But can he act on this attraction when he must care for her after the accident and his decision she is a patient?
Together, they must find his sister and hope they aren't too late.