Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I don't consciously model characters after myself, but there's probably a bit of me in most of the main ones. I've picked up a great resource, Character Creation for the Plot-First Novelist by Jeff Gerke, and it's helping me be more intentional in diversifying my characters.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
My family would laugh and ask "just one?" Maybe it's my sheep photos. I have a stuffed sheep about the size of an overstuffed bed pillow, and I've photographed him with John Deere tractors, a giant blueberry statue, and a Warhammer Space Marine. The sheep's name is
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I always made up stories, and even wrote some down as a child. As an adult it took a long time to call myself a writer, even once I joined a writing group. After I started attending writers' conferences, I discovered that a writer is one who writes – whether published or not.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
It's a pretty eclectic mix. I like adventure, suspense, science fiction, fantasy, mystery... Christian or "clean" mainstream novels. I also appreciate Christian living books, and usually have one of those on the go for bedtime reading.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Again, my family would laugh! The most important thing for me is to start each day with a quiet time with God. I can still get pretty frazzled, but it's much worse on the days I don't take this time.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Some of them come with names, but I also keep a list of names that interest me, for future use. One thing I do is keep a list of the ones that I'm using, to avoid anything too similar or too many with the same initial letter. Sometimes I'll look up lists of popular baby names for the year of the character's birth.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
What matters most to me are my relationships with my family and with God, but that's not something I've "done" per se. So let me sound boastful and say I'm most proud of having a novel published. It's a long-standing dream, after all.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
An eagle. I've always wished I could fly. Imagine what the world would look like if we could soar over it.
What is your favorite food?
I love food – this is a hard question! Scallops, I think. Preferably in a white wine sauce.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I'm still struggling with the whole "showing vs. telling" thing. I prefer a more distant voice, and my publisher rightly encourages me to draw readers right into the story. The overcoming is through Choose NOW's excellent editorial team who keep challenging me. What I've learned in editing this novel will make the next one stronger too.
It took me quite a while to learn that, too. But our books are so much better when we finally do. Tell us about the featured book.
A grieving woman is abducted by a serial killer—and it may be the answer to her prayers.
Despite her husband’s objections, 40-something Ruth Warner finds healing through prayer for Harry Silver, the serial killer who brutally raped and murdered her niece. When a kidnapping-gone-wrong pegs her as his next victim, Harry claims that by destroying the one person who’d pray for him, he proves God can’t—or won’t—look after His own. Can Ruth’s faith sustain her to the end—whatever the cost?
Wow! Sounds powerful. Please give us the first page of the book.
Another gust of wind pelted rain against the kitchen window. Ruth Warner sopped up the last of her homemade chili with a thick slice of sourdough bread. Too bad she didn’t have time for a little more.
The kitchen lights flickered, and her husband Tony groaned. “I hope the power holds. There’s a ball game on later.” He carried their cutlery and bowls to the sink and rinsed them more carefully than Ruth would have done. She’d wiped hers clean enough with the bread. It could have gone straight into the dishwasher.
Tony turned from the sink, bowl in hand. “Why don’t you stay home tonight? It’s nasty out there.”
Tony walked away from the sink, dripping water on the floor from the bowl he’d been rinsing. He blocked Ruth’s way out of the kitchen, feet wide, other hand planted on his hip. His stare pushed her back a step. “This is about Silver’s escape. Isn’t it?”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I most like to connect with readers at my website: janetsketchley.ca. It's kind of like having them come to visit. Wish I could find a way to offer them tea and cookies! The Heaven's Prey book page has a link to read chapter 1 for free, and I'll be adding more tidbits as time goes by. My blog, Tenacity, is part of the site, and I post weekly reviews, devotionals and features. I also have a Facebook author page and I spend a bit of time on Twitter.
It's a real pleasure, Janet, to introduce your debut novel to my readers.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Heaven's Prey (Redemption's Edge) - paperback
Heaven's Prey (Redemption's Edge) - Kindle
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