Sorry I'm a day late again - I will get better and things settle at home.
I want to welcome Janet Lane Walters.
I’ve been writing for 46 years though some of those years were taken mainly by returning as a nurse to help finance children through college. Also to find my way to two degrees. A BA in English and a BS in Nursing. The number of my children are four and they’ve given me seven grandchildren. My youngest daughter is biracial and adopted. Four of the grandchildren are her children. The other three grandchildren are adopted and are Chinese. So I’ve a rather eclectic family. I currently live in the scenic Hudson Valley, not far from some interesting and historical places. I write romance, fantasy, mysteries and occasionally suspense. I’ve had short stories published and also a handful of poems.
Tell us about your latest release.
My latest release is called Divided Dreams. It’s about a doctor who has given up medicine to write, his dream since he was a teen. The heroine is returning to town after swearing never to return to where the hero hurt her. The arrival of their niece, her brother and his sister, complicate their lives. So does the return of her brother. Can they renew their love and make a home for the little girl?
Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.
1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?
My favorite villain is from one of my own books “Code Blue.” He doesn’t have a name until the end. Actually though he’s twisted he is also a nice person and his motive for the multitude of killings is one he considers a justified.
2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?
What a difficult question. I’m rather fickle. The character or characters I love the best from one of my books is usually a character in my current WIP. Right now it’s Lorana who can hear and speak to dragons and until she decided to escape from slavery in the citadel of the wizards of Fyre heard no dragons. She has courage and determination and wants revenge but she must learn that revenge isn’t the tasty dish she imagined.
3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?
Another interesting question. I write romance contemporary, paranormal, fantasy and historical. I also write mystery and occasionally suspense. I’ve written short stories and poems. A bit of YA fantasy and also several non-fiction books. Why did I choose them – probably because I like to read them. At a conference I heard a writer mention that writing what you like to read is a good idea. I’m just an eclectic writer.
4.) What are you working on now?
I am working on The Wizards of Fyre, the third in a four book series. This is a fantasy romance with two villains who must be defeated. The hero is a wizard but not of the line of wizards. He is adopted and has been pushed aside after his mentor dies. I talked about the heroine above. There is also a Dragon who is so old he can’t remember his name. He plays a major role in the story.
5.) What got you to start writing?
I always write from the time I could hold a pencil, but I decided to become published much later in life. I had a bad case of pneumonia and my sister-in-law sent me a bag of nurse romances. Among them were some of the worst books I’ve ever read. Many of the writers had no idea about medicine, hospitals and nurses and doctors. So I decided to learn how to write a novel and the game was on.
6.) Where do you get your ideas from?
I have no real idea where my ideas arise. I’ve blamed it on a twisted mind since creativity is akin to madness. A book by Rollo May by this title led me to this conclusion. The ideas appear to hover in the air and them I pluck then. The stories don’t always follow the original idea but take off from there.
7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?
I will try to think of something. If not I’ll make it up. I am a writer. Perhaps the fact that I’ve been married to the same man for fifty-six years. It’s called endurance or the survival of the fittest.
8.) Do you have any special talents?
Not sure what special talents are but on occasion I’ve had bits of ESP show up in my life. Perhaps in dreams or even in sending thoughts. Another may be that for years I composed music and never learned how to play an instrument.
9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?
Finish the book. When I heard this at a conference back when my career began, I decided that was great advice. I became a draft writer because of this advice. I always finish a rough draft of my books before I go back and make them right.
10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?
I can think of a few but probably Jane Austin. We would talk about how one brings ordinary life of the times into a book. I would also like to talk to Tolstoy about why he allowed Anna Karenina to commit suicide. That has bothered me since I read the book for a book report in third grade and nearly was expelled. Not for reading the book but for suggesting all the other things she could have done and the real reasons she had to live.
11.) What song would you say describes your life?
Not much into songs with words but I’d say the 1812 Overture is how I often feel and is a piece I have a dozen versions of and have been known to play them back to back.
12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?
Some kind of big cat. Not a lion. They’re kind of scruffy. A tiger or a puma or a jaguar. I love the look of them and often watch National Geographic channel when they’re on.
Melodic Dreams (Moon Child)
To the sounds of her nephew banging notes on a xylophone, Maria emptied the last box of kitchenware she’d found at the thrift shop less than a block from the apartment complex. She paused and laughed. She knew that song, the theme from Jeopardy, her mother’s favorite program.
She drew a deep breath. So much to do to make this one bedroom apartment into a home for her four year old nephew. Beds to make, clothes to unpack. She needed to buy curtains to cover the blinds and add color to the ecru walls. She’d been fortunate. The woman from the Human Resources Department at Fern Lake General had found this place.
Last night, she and Jamie had slept on the green carpet in the living room pretending to be camping. This morning the furniture and other purchases from the thrift shop had been delivered.
Jamie finished his rendition with a sweep of the hammer over the keys. She leaned against the counter and loaded their bowls from lunch into the dishwasher.
Maria drew a deep breath. Inside, she quivered with tension she refused to allow to show. She must succeed.
Enough dawdling. There was a man she needed to see. Her gut clenched.
“Jamie, put your toys away. We’re going to see your father.” And pray the man agrees to pay for Jamie’s pre-school while she worked. Two weeks from today, she started at the local hospital as an occupational therapist.
“Will he like me?” Jamie asked.
She hated the worry in the boy’s voice and in his brilliant green eyes. She ruffled his dark curls. “What’s not to like?”
“He never came to see me.”
Maria sucked in a breath. She could have tried to locate the man years ago, but her mother had been adamantly opposed. “He didn’t know about you. Nana didn’t know his last name.” Maria brushed hair from her face. They could have learned. She couldn’t tell Jamie about his grandmother’s anger. Guilt curled in her thoughts.
Jamie looked up. “How did you know?”
“When we were packing to sell Nana’s house, I found some papers in a suitcase your mama left. I saw his name and looked for him.”
Jamie nodded. “Uncle Carlo said my mama runned away ‘cause my dad was mean.” His eyes widened.
She put her fingers on his lips. “What does Uncle Carlo know?”
“Just TV and beer.”
Maria popped toys in her huge bag and walked to the door. They rode the elevator to the semi-enclosed parking area and her battered ten year old blue sedan. She fastened Jamie into his booster seat.
Twenty minutes later with only one wrong turn, she pulled into the U-shaped driveway leading to a huge house at the top of the rise. She rehearsed what she planned to say when she saw Jamie’s father. She swallowed against a lump in her throat. How would he react when she handed him the folder with her reasons for being in Fern Lake?
“Is that the house?” Jamie pointed up the hill. “Looks like a castle.”