Bio: Janet Sketchley is the author of Heaven's Prey and Secrets and Lies, two novels of suspense and redemption. She also blogs about faith and books. Janet loves adventure stories, worship music, tea, and Formula 1 racing. Like Carol in Secrets and Lies, she loves music and tea. Unlike Carol, Janet isn't related to a dangerous offender, has a happy home life, and has never been threatened by a drug lord. May those tidbits continue to hold true! You can find Janet online at janetsketchley.ca. Fans of Christian suspense are invited to join Janet's writing journey through her monthly newsletter: bit.ly/JanetSketchleyNews.
Welcome back, Janet. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I like to explore how Christians face their problems, or how a non-believer might discover the difference Christ makes. And suspense or adventure just makes the story more fun for me.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The day I married my high school sweetheart J Our sons' births and holding my first novel were pretty special too!
How has being published changed your life?
Being signed by a traditional publisher gave me a sense of validation as an author, and reader response has strengthened that. I'm more confident in that role now, which is good because promotion is a new part of my life. Striking out on my own as an independent (self-published) author has taught me many new things about the process and increased my confidence as I hold the finished product in my hands.
What are you reading right now?
I'm reading a non-fiction book, Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking, by Susan Cain. And I'm about to dive into Davis Bunn's new suspense novel, The
What is your current work in progress?
I'm working on book 3 of the Redemption's Edge series,
Place. Right now I'm in that exciting
What would be your dream vacation?
Viking Cruises just announced a new ocean cruise, Into the Midnight Sun, that explores the Norwegian fjords and follows the Viking routes to
My husband and I have been dreaming about this one. Not sure if I'd like the
bigger ocean vessels, but we loved our European river cruise this year!
That sounds like fun, since my father’s family are descendants of the Vikings. How do you choose your settings for each book?
Significant parts of my first novel, and most of the one I'm working on now, are set in
Nova Scotia, Canada. This is
my home turf, and it feels easier to write about it. Other settings are chosen
by the plot. For example, Secrets and Lies is set in ,
because that's where the heroine, Carol, and her brother grew up. They grew up
there because in Heaven's Prey I
wanted a large Canadian city with reasonable road access to the eastern US. Toronto, Canada
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
My favourite living author is Timothy Zahn, science fiction writer and master of the twist ending. I'm sure he could teach me a few things to improve my storycraft.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I enjoy knitting and cross-stitch, a fine cup of tea, and worship music.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Right now it's making time to actually write, instead of networking, marketing, and all the other things that go with being an author. My strategy is to write first, after a brief check of email, and to tackle the other things later in the day. I've set Monday evenings aside for writing weekly blog posts, so the short-term deadlines don't crowd out the long-term novel progress.
Sounds like a good plan to me. What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Keep writing, connect with other writers, and keep learning. Consciously enjoy the process, instead of investing all your hope in publication. Also, it's an advantage to have two or even more manuscripts ready to go when your first one is accepted, because you'll have a lot less time to write once the edits and the promotion begin. The editing process is your friend, because fresh eyes will see many things yours have missed.
Tell us about the featured book.
A single mother must protect her teenage son—from organized crime and from himself.
Carol Daniels thinks she out-ran her enemies, until a detective arrives at her door with a warning from her convict brother. Minor incidents take on a sinister meaning. An anonymous phone call warns her not to hide again.
Now she must cooperate with a drug lord while the police work to trap him. Carol has always handled crisis alone, but this one might break her. Late-night deejay Joey Hill offers friendship and moral support. Can she trust him? One thing's certain. She can't risk prayer.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Carol jolted upright, eyes wide in the dark. She searched for familiar touchstones to pull her back to reality. The faint light outlining her bedroom curtains. The red digits on her clock radio, mocking her with the hours left until dawn. The two dark rectangles on her bureau — Paul's and Keith's school photos.
Her hands ached. It took a conscious act of will to release her two-fisted grip on the sheets.
The afterimages of Carol's dream burned in her imagination. Her sixteen-year-old son, larger than life on a brightly-lit stage, arms raised to embrace the crowd's cheers, electric guitar draped low across his hips. An oversized brown leather jacket hung open over his faded T-shirt and jeans.
Carol knew that jacket. Butter-soft Italian calfskin, steeped in beer and Old Spice, nicked and scraped here and there and with a cigarette burn inside the left cuff.
Skip's jacket. Paul's father's.
In her dream she'd stood beside her son, but Paul only had eyes for his fans. An almost palpable energy radiated from his body — the same power trip that took Skip whenever he performed. With the same cost to those who loved him.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
The best place to find me is my website: http://janetsketchley.ca/, and readers interested in suspense can sign up for my monthly newsletter at http://bit.ly/JanetSketchleyNews.
Other relevant links:
Secrets and Lies page: http://janetsketchley.ca/books/secrets-and-lies/
Amazon Author Central: www.amazon.com/author/janetsketchley
Thank you, Janet, for sharing this new book with us.
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