I “met” Janet Walters on line, both at the EPIC Authors social group (Electronically Published Internet Connection) and at a CoffeeTime Romance Monthly Book Club forum event. Known as Dame Amber in Jewels of the Quill, Janet Lane Walters is an award winning author of over two dozen books. Her genres include mystery, suspense, romance, sweet to spicy, fantasy from young adult to mature, and non-fiction. As she puts it, she feels free to write what she likes to write! Perhaps that’s why her blogspot is titled The Eclectic Writer!
I caught up with her earlier this month for an interview:
Adriana: With so many genres and a spate of award winning novels, which is your favorite to write, and why?
Janet: Strange as it may seem, the genre I’m working on is my favorite at the time, though I tend to be working on more than one at once. At present I’m working on a fairy tale sort of story, The Amber Tower where a prince like Repunzel is a prisoner in a tower. Then there’s the alternate world, a sort of fantasy but not Called In Other Worlds — Egypt at present where a heroine from this world is transported to an ancient Egypt, one with camels.
Adriana: And now I’m curious – What is your favorite genre to read and why, and could you share a couple fave authors and titles?
Janet: No one favorite genre. I’m eclectic in my reading material. Dick Francis and Marilyn Meredith for mysteries. For fantasy a slew including Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackey, Margaret L. Carter and Jane Toombs. In romance I generally stick to Regencies but do read some contemporaries. Allie Boniface and Kathryn Attalla are among those I enjoy. Then there’s action adventure. I’m a mega James Rollins fan and have just about all of his. I read a lot both print and on my ereader.
Adriana: Mmm, I’m a Dick Francis fan, too! Can you tell us something about your current W.I.P.?
Janet: I’ve spoken about two I’m finishing up and I’ve begun working on the fourth book in The Henge Betrayed series. This is fantasy and suitable for YA and adults. This book will finish what started out as a single book using my grandchildren and a friend’s child as models for the characters. When the outline grew to about 70 pages I knew I had to do more than one book. In this story the five are not sixteen, though not all have a viewpoint and they are finally heading into a confrontation with the evil men. These young people have affinities for the elements, Air, Water, Fire and Earth. Right now they are leaving the refuge where they have spent several years honing their affinities. They are out to cleanse the land and finally face Dom Senet and He Who Walks With Evil. I’ll also begin reconfiguring a spicy romance.
Adriana: I like the sound of that – the ancient understanding of the four basic elements. I’ve noticed you offer a lot of writing tips on your blog (and I highly recommend your blog to our readers!!). What are some things you wish someone had told you when you first started writing fiction?
Janet: I began writing in 1968 and the greatest piece of advice I ever received was to finish the book and then revise. I wish someone had told me that revision is fun and that a rough draft must usually be torn apart. When I began writing I knew no other authors and so I felt as though I worked in a vacuum. I wish someone had told me there were groups of writers you could meet face to face. Back then there was no internet which now gives a writer a large support group.
Adriana: In the same vein, what is the most important advice you would give a new writer starting out now?
Janet: Write what you enjoy reading and no matter what when you start a piece be it short of long, finish it. You may toss the work out but while writing you will be honing your craft.
Adriana: Tell us about your association with Jewels of the Quill, which is celebrating its seventh anniversary this year. How did you become involved with this group? Do you recommend other authors form similar groups?
Janet: My friend and co-writer Jane Toombs was a Jewel and she recommended me as a member when one of the group left. I’ve been happy to be a member and we are supportive of each other. We also have the anthologies that give us more exposure to readers. A group like this would be wonderful and some of them may work well. Karen Wiesner who heads the group is amazing and it takes someone like this to make the group work.
Adriana: Of course it wouldn’t be an interview without a pitch for your most recent release – Title, blurb, what you love about it, and could you favor us with a brief excerpt or a link to an excerpt?
Janet: I’m not sure what my latest release is and it could be one of three, though two came out back to back. Murder and Mint Tea and Requiem Murder are cozy mysteries featuring Katherine Miller, retired church organist and retired nurse who lives in a Hudson River village. In Murder and Mint Tea, she must discover who killed her tenant, a rather nasty woman, before one of her family or friends is accused of the murder. This is sort of a who will kill her kind of story. In Requiem Murder there are two people who deserve death, one the charismatic choir director and the other a member of the choir. One thing I’m really proud of is that the covers were done by my son-in-law. These books are rereleased of earlier books with revisions to bring them up to modern things like cell phones. The other is Dragons of Fyre a sensual fantasy honoring the multitude of dragons on the shelf above my computer.
Adriana: Lastly, where can readers find you on the web – blog, twitter, MySpace, Facebook, etc.
AdrianaThanks so much for stopping by today!