Why do you write the kind of books you do?
As a Christian writer, I want to provide a good wholesome read that my readers can enjoy and trust. To me this is the most important aspect of my writing. My readers won’t have to sift through gratuitous sex, cursing, and over-the-top violence. In my books, someone usually dies, but I don’t go into gruesome detail. But I do love to shock with the unsuspected. To surprise the reader and send them down dead ends where the antagonist is concerned is great fun. And if I can keep the reader from knowing who is the killer until the very end … all the better.
Also, I have always loved suspense. I grew up with Alfred Hitchcock movies and would sometimes shiver and shake at the images he produced, and go to bed with his nightmares. ;-) When I started writing, my mind naturally gravitated to a suspenseful story. I love for good to triumph over evil, which in my books is always the case.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The day that I said I do to my handsome knight. He rode into my life one day on his trusty white steed (a 1961 white British Ford) and swept me off my feet. And I have never regretted saying yes.
How has being published changed your life?
I believe being published has made my life more hectic with its ups and downs. I love the ride of being a published author but there is always another deadline to meet, another edit to do, another push for marketing—the list goes on and on. And working a fulltime job doesn’t leave me with much time. So I would say, if all I had to do was to write the book and someone else did all the other routine business side of publication, I’d be in heaven.
What are you reading right now?
I’m between books right now with my deadline looming, but if I get a moment during Christmas holiday to read, I’ve downloaded A Biltmore Christmas – four short stories which should be a fun, fast read.
I loved that book. What is your current work in progress?
I am presently working on The Chameleon, my next book in the “Texas Sorority Sisters” stand-alone series. This book is Veronica (Roni) Reeves’ story and will take the reader from
Dallas to .
The Chameleon has unrequited love,
two murders, and a half brother that no one knew existed, and will be released
in spring 2012. Athens, Texas
What would be your dream vacation?
I was a little girl, again watching movies like South Pacific and other grand movies depicted on a deserted
island—natives only of course, and having read Hawaii I have always wanted to visit those islands. However, I
believe I will be sorely disappointed, as I was when we visited Hawaii, because I know the
islands will be commercialized and not the uncomplicated lifestyle portrayed in
the movies of bygone years—such is life. :-0
How do you choose your settings for each book?
As for my Texas Sorority Sisters series,
Texas is my inspiration. I love the feel and
appeal of small Texas
towns and their charm, the countryside brimming with life, the beauty, and the wide
open spaces. And we have so many varied towns to pick from which makes it easy
to visualize and incorporate into my stories.
With my first book, however, Serenity’s Deception, I chose a fictitious town that just popped into my mind. It just felt right to plant the story in the Texas Hill Country down around Austin and Brenham (the Blue Bell Ice Cream fame). I apparently did such a good job with the town that one man asked my husband where in
Texas was Serenity? He said
he would like to visit Serenity and see where the story took place. My husband
had a good laugh and said, it’s in
Lethal Intent takes place in real cities—Austin and Dallas, which having lived in Dallas since I arrived in Texas, too long ago to remember, the story just seemed right and natural for me.
The Chameleon takes place in a lovely small Texas town—Athens, Texas—about seventy miles east of Dallas, surrounded by ranch land, small lakes, and rolling hills and, go figure—New York Texas (what an oxymoron) Cheesecake factory, boasted as one of the best in Texas. When I tried to come up with a town, east
was where I had in mind, but for the longest couldn’t settle on a town until I
thought of Athens,
and it fit.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Laura Bush. In my opinion, she is a class act. She’s the epitome of graciousness and of how a real lady should act under fire. I’d love to pick her brain on her many transitions in life and if she were to do it over again—would she?
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
When I have the time, I love to paint—oil, acrylic, or water, it doesn’t matter. As with my writing, I can be lost for hours creating beautiful sunsets, flowers, and other things. I also love to do all kinds of crafty ideas. I made all the flower arrangements for Christmas as I do for other occasions and as gifts for friends.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
My most difficult writing obstacle is finding the time to write. Working fulltime doesn’t afford me the opportunity to write for long hours which I wish possible. But I’m thankful for the time and how God blesses me to jump right back into my story, utilizing the small increments of time available to me to accomplish a lot.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Attending writing clinics, workshops, and conferences are very important for success as a writer. And don’t stop there. Join a writer’s group. I am president of DFW Ready Writers (DFW WR), a chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. Each month, DFW RW offers a speaker or workshop that helps hone the writers’ craft. Another must is to find a writing partner or writers’ critique group who, in love, will be brutally honest when something doesn’t work in your story or help you correct what you’re doing wrong so you may grow. As one of my writer friends often says and I repeat here, I’d rather have my feelings hurt by my writer friends than to be exposed as a terrible writer by the world.
Tell us about the featured book.
Lethal Intent is about Madison Fletcher who has lost her husband and unborn child to a madman’s bullets. When the suspect is set free,
Madison decides to flee Austin
to Dallas to a
father she has never met and has learned to hate for his neglect.
When she finds a love interest, she fights the attraction out of fear. After attaining a modicum of security in
Madison learns the
killer has found her and still wants her dead.
fight to stay alive, she has to work through the issues of hatred, abandonment,
and retribution for wrongs done.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Gasps were heard around the courtroom. Judge Colby’s hard scowl and banging gavel brought an unsettling hush among the spectators.
Numb, horrified, the words thundered inside Madison Fletcher’s head as the ceiling fans clacked and whined, mocking her. She wanted to scream bitterly at the injustice of the verdict. Instead, she held her breath.
Judge Colby repeated the litany of words, rendering another not guilty. He called for the third and final verdict. The foreperson took a deep breath, uttered a repetitive not guilty, then sat down as though a weight had been lifted from her shoulders.
The courtroom erupted as a death knell pealed over in
The judge banged his gavel loud and insistent causing a semblance of order.
She gulped air into her starved lungs, as her friend, Kelly Vandergriff, patted her arm.
Madison clung to Kelly’s
hand as if it were a rope, a lifeline pulling her up from an abyss that
threatened to swallow her whole.
This isn’t justice. Her head angled downward. Her heart plummeted in utter defeat as her life seemed to shatter into a million pieces. How could this happen?
Quite a hook there, Janice. How can readers find you on the Internet?
They can go to my Website: www.JaniceOlson.com, or email me: Janice@JaniceOlson.com. Also they can find my books, Serenity’s Deception and the new release Lethal Intent at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com for the Nook and Kindle. The trade paperback will be available on the 10th. Also, for registering at my site, their name will be entered into a drawing that one person will be selected to receive one lovely wooden jewelry box.
Thank you,Dare to believe in the impossible.
Lena. Once again
it has been a pleasure doing this interview for you and your readers.
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