I met Janet Brown years ago at a local RWA group meeting. Over time I watched as she grew in her writing. When Janet got the call for her novel Victoria and the Ghost, I wasn’t surprised. Join me in welcoming her here today.
Writing – in junior high school
Studied with a writing teacher in 1980s.
Work and life got in the way, so, then
Studying the craft and submitting my work – 2005
2. What is your writing ritual?
I write nearly every day, except Sunday, I keep BICHOK (bottom in chair, hands on keyboard) nine to twelve in the morning. I also attempt to get back to writing before dinner most days. I stop by 7:30 pm. That’s hubby time.
3. Toughest part of writing?
Balancing my time is problematic, but on the writing itself, I hate editing.
4. Best part of writing?
I love facing a blank page with ideas popping in my mind.
5. Best writing advice?
Write every day to keep your head in the story.
Also, when you get a rejection letter, have one day of a pity party, if you must, but then send it off again and send something else besides that.
6. Where do you get your ideas?
Life. The people I meet. Things my family, friends, or I face. With a twist, of course.
7. How do you handle self-doubt?
First, I write straight through without turning on the self-editor.
When I must edit, I quote my favorite saying, “If God leads me to it, He’ll get me through it.”
8. If you could go back and tell your beginning writer self something, what would it be?
9. Can you tell me about your writing journey so far?
I’ve written all my life. Shortly after moving to Wichita Falls, I studied under a wonderful writing teacher, Connie Stockard, but then, for years, my demanding job and active family stopped all writing except journaling.
When I retired in 2005, I took writing courses and joined groups to learn more. I wrote, submitted, and faced rejection. I attended several conferences.
I first sold short stories and articles, some without pay and some with good pay, while I pursued my desire to publish a novel. I completed seven Christian novels, and nearly finished one non-fiction book before I published. In July, 2011, I received a contract for my YA. This year, that book has become a reality.
10. Tell me about your new book.
The title is Victoria and the Ghost.
At fifteen, Victoria, a city girl, loses her mother’s love and copes with country isolation, no friends and no one who cares, until she meets a ghost.
When her mother leaves the family to become a Dallas trophy wife, Victoria’s dad moves her and her sister to a North Texas farm to herd cattle and raise chickens. Refusing to believe this is more than a temporary set-back, Victoria tries to make new friends which isn’t an easy task. The first one stabs her in the back with gossip and a sharp tongue. Meanwhile, her new stepsister takes Victoria’s place in her mother’s heart. Rejection and anger stalk Victoria like a rattlesnake in the cemetery. Good thing she makes friends with a ghost and through him, a good-looking teenaged cowboy
11. Why do you write inspirational fiction?
When I first joined Romance Writers of America, an inspirational romance writer, Margaret Daley, taught our local chapter. I’ll never forget the title of her talk. “Falling in love, without falling in bed.” She inspired me to write what I know and what I like to read. I turned toward Christian fiction, and never looked back to anything else.
12. What other writing do you do?
Christian romance, women’s fiction, YA, short stories, and most recently a book of devotions.
13. What’s next?
I jump all over the board. In May, I proposed a 365 daily devotion book for compulsive overeaters. I recently received a request for that full manuscript, so I’m hurrying to complete it within a month. Otherwise, my work-in-progress is a romance. I plan to attend American Christian Fiction Writers conference in September and pitch it. Next will be another teenage ghost tale. I find I love them.
14. What writing organizations do you belong to?
RWA, and the inspirational RWA group, Faith, Hope and Love, ACFW, Oklahoma Writers Federation Inc., Christian Writers Fellowship International, DiAnn Mill’s fiction mentoring group, Rippers.
15. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
God allowed me to do what I love to do. I feel blessed. Also, He provided me with kind friends to help along the way. Elizabeth Lee taught me Twitter, and helps on linking social media. I’m blown away by ones like her willing to give their time and expertise to assist others.
I also want to thank 4RV Publishing for taking a chance on a new author. They don’t publish exclusively Christian, but all genres are consistent with Christian values. A few years ago, Vivian Zabel used her years of experience in writing and publishing to begin her own company. Her authors have brought her recognition and awards as a publisher. I’m honored to be their newest challenge. Thanks to Harry, KC, and Robyn for all the help with editing, and a big vote of gratitude to Aidana WillowRaven who designed the beautiful cover for Victoria and the Ghost.
Thank you, Mary Beth, for allowing me to visit your blog.
Thank you, Janet, for sharing your journey with us!