Dear Readers, I’ve known Janetta a long time. She hosted me in her home when I was a speaker at a writers’ conference in
She’s a lovely hostess. I’m so thrilled with her about her debut novel. Houston
Welcome, Janetta. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Helped my hubby (who was a mechanic at the time) change out an engine in a car we’d purchased. It was early in our marriage and it reminded me of times I spent with my dad when he was tinkering in the garage.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I started writing in my diary in 5th grade, but in 6th grade some of my girlfriends and I wrote short stories about boys we thought were cute. Our teacher got a hold of them and told our parents. I was hooked on writing from then on. I loved writing poems also and still enjoy doing them on occasion.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Pretty much anything. Years ago I belonged to a book club and would receive the Book of the Month (since I never sent the postcard back). Some I would never have considered reading, but when I did I enjoyed most of them. To name a few: Suspense, comedy, an historical romance. Well rounded.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
That’s a good one because my husband always tells me I get lost playing games on my phone. I guess that is my escape after a hectic time.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
From some people I know, but mostly the name comes to me and it seems to fit them.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Being married almost 35 years to Ray and reaching Competent Communicator in Toastmasters. As Ray said on the day I gave my tenth speech, “She could always talk. Now she can speak.”
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A horse. They’re graceful and I tend toward clumsiness.
What is your favorite food?
Pizza…no, it’s actually anything Italian.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Sitting down and actually getting started. I always have something else to do. How I overcome it: The best way for me to ensure I spend time most every day is to schedule writing on my “To Do List.” That seems to keep me grounded because I like to follow lists. It makes me feel like I have accomplished something when I can cross it off the list.
Tell us about the featured book.
I like to say our dog inspired the story. Ray and I joked that after we rescued Maggie, she was telling us to quit our jobs, sell everything, buy an RV, and hit the road. She wanted to spend more time with us. That’s exactly what we did. When I thought about what we’d done, I decided it was a great book idea and I went to work on it. I, of course, fictionalized the story, added another couple and their maniac dog to the mix and Early Birds was born.
Please give us the first page of the book.
“You want to do what in an RV?” Betsy couldn’t believe her husband’s pronouncement. And out of the blue, no less.
“I want to retire and travel around in an RV,” Ben put down the morning paper as he repeated the bombshell. Then smiled when he reached down and picked up their 13-pound pooch. “Matilda, tell your mama you want to see the
in a Chevrolet…or maybe a Ford dually, pulling a 5er.”
“Lord, is this really You? An RV, of all things.”
Betsy could only stare at Ben after his out-of-character comment. Then she countered with, “But honey, you can’t quit your job. You’re only 59 years old.”
“Matilda and I have been talkin—”
“Okay, Benjamin Stevenson, I’ve heard it all now. You’re telling me that you and our dog have been discussing our long-range plans.” Betsy shook her head, hoping this would wake her up from the bizarre dream unfolding in front of her.
Ben placed his two hands on Matilda’s black and white head and turned her to face Betsy. “Mom, you and Dad should quit your jobs and spend more time with me.”
Betsy couldn’t help but laugh at Ben when he pretended to talk through their newly-acquired Boston terrier mix.
“Matilda told me she wants us to retire, sell our house, and buy an RV.”
“And I’m going to take you to the doctor this afternoon.” Betsy dried her hands on the yellow towel, hanging on the oven. “Because you’ve been working way too hard.”
“That’s exactly right and why I should quit my job so I can spend more time with my girls. Think about it. Now we can travel around in an RV with Rose and Larry.”
Half of Betsy’s insides shouted, “He’s gone off the deep end.” The other half screamed, “Hallelujah. My prayers have been answered. He’s finally come to his senses and wants to quit his job.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Link to book: https://goo.gl/qCkT45
Facebook: Janetta Fudge-Messmer
Twitter: Janetta Messmer@nettiefudge
Thank you, Janetta, for sharing this book with us. I'm sure my readers are eager to read it.
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