Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Writers' Wednesday: An Interview with Janet Lane Walters

Welcome to another Writers' Wednesday! Today I have the great pleasure of featuring prolific romance author (she's published books in just about every sub-genre!) Janet Lane Walters. I'm a little partial because, well, Janet is also in my critique group, so I'm one lucky author to be able to benefit from her experiences in the business!

Hi, Janet, and welcome to my online home! Can you tell readers a little about your background?

I have a BA in English and a BS in Nursing. Married for a long time to a psychiatrist who refuses to treat my obsession for writing. I have four children, the youngest is a biracial adopted daughter. I have five grandchildren, four black and one Chinese. We're awaiting the second Chinese granddaughter. I have been around for a very long time.

When did you first begin writing? Was there an event or moment in your life that triggered your desire to write?

I've always tried to write, but it wasn't until we lived in a small Oklahoma town with a small limited library. After reading three volumes of the encyclopedia, I decided to write and so I did.

Three volumes - wow! So tell us about your latest writing project or published title.

My latest published is a YA to adult fantasy, The Henge Betrayed -- Flight. This is a story about two sets of male/female twins who must leave home and their parents to seek teachers. On the way, they meet up with the son of the prince who is partly responsible for their tragedy. They also encounter an evil dom who wishes to use them. The story tells of their learning to use their affinities for Water, Earth, Air and Fire. I have two books coming soon, as well. One is a spicy romance -- A Silken Seduction and the other is a third of a fantasy trilogy -- The Secret of the Jewels.

How do you go about developing your characters?

I often use Astrology to develop my characters. Using the Sun, Moon, and Rising Sign to give them their motivations, actions and reactions to various situations. Then I flavor them with bits and pieces of myself and those people I know.

What advice would you give to new writers just starting out?

The advice that was given to me. Finish the book and then revise.

Good one, absolutely! OK, what kinds of books do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?

I'm an eclectic reader just as I am a writer. I don't like horror and the artsy kind of book are the only ones I don't read. Favorite authors are too many to be counted since I read a book about every two days.

Every 2 days?! I'm impressed. Now, what do you find most difficult about writing? What do you find most exciting or rewarding?

Writing the rough draft is the hardest for me. I love rewriting and revision though sometimes I have trouble letting a story go.

How do you balance writing with the rest of your life?

At this point in my life, there's little to get in the way of writing. Years ago when I had children living at home, finding writing time was harder. I also worked part-time as a nurse and for a few years full-time. I didn't write much during those years.

Do you ever suffer from writer's block?

I don't think I suffer from writer's block but from writer's procrastination. That means diddling around and finding other things to do instead of write.

Describe your writing space for us...

I have a study off the living room of the house that was once a sun porch. There are shelves on one wall for my reference books and another bookshelf. A recliner, and two tables for works in progress as well as the computer desk. On a shelf above my computer is my dragon collection. At this count 16.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

My first choice is visiting in person or on the phone with my grandchildren. Then comes reading. Cooking is third. Cleaning the house is my hobby, the thing I do when I have nothing else to do.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book(s)?

I'm a planner, so little surprises me while I'm writing. Perhaps making the characters come alive sometimes surprises me. They can be so stubborn at times.

When you write, do you use the computer or compose by hand, oral dictation, or some other method?

I handwrite everything and them type into the computer, making notes and revisions as I type. I then write the next draft by hand. Around the third or fourth draft, I make notes and corrections on the printed pages and only re-write segments.

What is your favorite movie? Did it inspire your writing in any way?

Now here's a funny thing. I seldom go to movies. Even when I write, I don't see pictures, I see words on the printed page.

Janet, thanks so much for being here today! Readers, take a peek at Janet's blog if you want to know the latest!


Eileen said...

Great conversation! I could hear both your voices there on the, screen. Thank you!

windycindy said...

How fun this interview was! Lots of grandchildren. That is wonderful! If I were a writer, I think I would long hand write first, also! Her genres really vary. How great to be able to vary the story line and characters like that. Thanks, Cindi

Devon Gray said...

What a great interview. I always find it interesting to hear how other authors "get the job done", and I love hearing about what their offices look like.

Amy said...

What a wonderful interview! Thanks Janet for stopping by, and thanks Allie for hosting her!

Writing the rough draft is the hardest for me. I love rewriting and revision though sometimes I have trouble letting a story go.

I am not alone. Oh, it is sooo good to hear this.