Ever since I read her first Love Inspired Historical novel, I've been waiting for the next one. Welcome, Janet. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
Inspirational historical romances are a perfect fit for me. I dislike movies and books that end badly or give the impression that life is meaningless. So naturally I’m drawn to romance novels and their happy endings. I’m fascinated with history and love to set my stories around a nugget from the past, while giving characters’ struggles that are relevant to today’s readers. But most importantly, I write inspirational historical romance because I love God and want my books to honor Him.
I agree with you there. I want every book to bring glory to Him. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The happiest day in my life occurred twice—the days I gave birth to our baby girls. Our daughters have blessed and enriched our lives in countless ways, given my husband and me our “sons” and grandchildren, increasing not only the size of our family, but multiplying our joy six fold.
I only had daughters, too. It's wonderful to get your sons as grandsons. How has being published changed your life?
Publication hasn’t changed my life all that much. I’m not suddenly rich or famous. LOL But after years of rejection that made me question my talent, I saw my first sale as validation that I had been called to write. It didn’t take long to learn that selling doesn’t preclude criticism, rejection and the inevitable ups and downs of this business. If anything, the stakes are higher. Publication adds time pressure and more items on my To Do list. But having my words in print has also given me the opportunity to impact readers, to entertain and to glorify God. What a blessing! Another blessing publication has given me—receiving lovely encouraging e-mails from readers.
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading a non-fiction book entitled Hearts West, True Stories of Mail-order Brides on the Frontier, by Chris Enss. I always have a novel going. Right now I’m reading Lyn Cote’s Her Captain’s Heart, Love Inspired Historical.
I recently bought Hearts West. It's a gold mine of information for a writer of historicals. What is your current work in progress?
I’m working on my third Love Inspired Historical to release in early 2010. It’s a mail-order bride story set in Iowa with the working title One Wife: Sealed and Delivered. I’m having a lot of fun writing this story.
I'm also writing a mail-order bride novel that releases in 2010. I really want to feature yours on my blog. What would be your dream vacation?
A couple years ago, we took a two-week trip to Italy, truly a dream vacation. My husband and I love to travel and we’ve been blessed to see much of this great country, but there are still many places we want to visit. But I also enjoy staying put somewhere, kicking back and catching up on my reading. For me, every vacation is a dream vacation. :-)
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I feel a pull to small town and rural America. The Midwest is what I know. I chose the charming town of Noblesville, IN, as the setting for Courting Miss Adelaide and Courting the Doctor’s Daughter. I admire Noblesville’s magnificent courthouse and the stores on the square built during my story’s timeframe. The third book is set in the fictitious town of New Harmony, Iowa. Creating towns and the people who populate them—it doesn’t get much better than that. :-)
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
What a fascinating question. I thought of spiritual and political leaders, entrepreneurs, but in the end, I chose Dolly Parton. Not that she’s someone I idolize—far from it—but she’s a survivor, a strong woman I’ve always found interesting. I enjoy her music, her zest for life, her candor. An evening with Dolly would be delightful!
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I stamp greeting cards and attempt to golf once a week in a nine-hole league. Upon occasion I’ll knit a scarf. Before publication, I drew with colored pencils and painted gourds, but I no longer have the time. My art teacher father painted. My mother made beautiful quilts. I suspect my urge to create is genetic.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Having strong book-length conflict is a struggle for me. I find it easy to write internal conflict based on my characters’ back story, but having something tangible that puts a wedge between the hero and heroine is harder for me. I overcome it by being aware that this is a weak spot, reminding myself to search for concrete ways to put the hero and heroine in conflict, and sighing with relief when I please my editor.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Be teachable. Enter contests. Get a critique partner. Read How To books. Take online classes. Then practice what you learn. Only when we writers are open to criticism can we grow our talent. Being teachable is great preparation for being published since editors ask for revisions and reject proposals from their published authors.
Very valid points. Now, Janet, tell us about the featured book.
Like my debut novel, Courting Miss Adelaide, my May release Courting the Doctor’s Daughter centers around a child from the orphan train. To briefly explain the orphan train phenomena—approximately 250,000 children, mostly immigrants, were sent by train during a 70 year period to new homes in the Midwest and beyond. Some lived good lives, others weren’t so fortunate.
Courting the Doctor’s Daughter
A widow with three boys to rear, Mary Graves has no time for peddlers of phony medicine. She’s a dedicated healer working alongside her doctor father. When a handsome stranger blows into town with his “elixir of health” and asks questions about her newly adopted son, Mary’s determined to uncover the truth behind all his claims.
Once the reckless heir to a Boston fortune, Dr. Luke Jacobs travels the country with his herbal medicine while searching for his long-lost son. After meeting the feisty doctor’s daughter and her youngest boy, Luke has found what he’s been looking for at last. But can he convince her to let him into her home, her family—and her heart?
I can hardly wait to read it. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Web site: http://www.janetdean.net/
Group Blog: http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/
Thanks for having me on your blog, Lena. I had a great time!
And thank you for being here. You must come again with your mail order bride story. As you can see from Hearts West, there were numerous reasons for a mail order bride.
Readers, if you can't wait to get your hands on Courting the Doctor's Daughter, here's a link where you can order it:
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