Janet K. Brown lives in Wichita Falls, Texas with her husband, Charles. She began writing while her three daughters were kids but did not study the craft or submit her work until she retired in October,2005. Writing became a second career.
4RV Publishing released Janet’s debut novel, an inspirational young adult, Victoria and the Ghost, July 25, 2012.
She studies her three grandchildren for help with teen expressions and actions.
Pen-L Publishing released Janet’s non-fiction book, Divine Dining Dec. 6, 2012. It’s a 365 devotion book to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness.
Janet belongs to such writing groups as ACFW, OWFI, CWFI, and RWA and continues to write short stories for teens and adults.
She and her husband love to travel with their RV, visit with family, and work in their church.
Contact Janet at:
Or E-mail: Janet.firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for joining us today, Janet. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
Through the years of rearing my three daughters and supporting my husband’s success, I wrote as therapy for depression despite my busy hours. I loved my life, but because of my own choice, as with most mothers, I hid my desires and reveled in those of my family. In 2005, I realized time was passing for me to enjoy my oldest granddaughter, so I retired from my job as medical coder and bookkeeper for a pulmonary doctor and set out to enjoy grandkids and write.
I joined a local RWA chapter, studied everything they threw at me, wrote, and submitted to one publisher after another. Thank God, I improved over those first efforts, and thanks also, for Vivian Zabel and 4RV Publishing for offering me my first contract, only 6 years after I started, a proverbial short time in trying to sell your first book. God does give us the desires of our heart.
When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
I love to write. My first story came in junior high. My English teacher that year dished out more aggravation to me than to any of my fellow students. At the end of the year, she told me she did that because she saw promise in my writing. Imagine that, a little Texas girl who was so shy she trembled at walking into class every day.
Why did you decide to write stories for the YA market?
Years ago, I wrote a coming-of-age novel about a college girl. It was my princess falls for a criminal and saves him from himself piece. Victoria and the Ghost was my first teen story. I’ve always loved writing for teenagers. I think I never quite grew up. I’ve written teen short stories for several years. I discovered Clara Cemetery, the real place for part of my setting for Victoria and the Ghost about the time my granddaughter was going through her rebellious teens. The two things just clicked in my feeble brain.
What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?
Favorite part – It’s just plain fun. You have the freedom to say things an adult wouldn’t say for fear they’d offend someone. Giggle.
Greatest challenge – Hands down, it’s keeping up with the latest technology that’s commonplace with teens. Also keeping abreast of the “in” sayings. Thank God for my grandkids’ help and kids in my church. They never realize how much I study them.
Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?
At fifteen, Victoria, a city girl, loses her mother’s love and copes with country isolation, no friends, and no one who cares, until she meets a ghost.
When her mother leaves the family to become a Dallas trophy wife, Victoria’s dad moves her and her sister to a North Texas farm to herd cattle and raise chickens. Refusing to believe this is more than a temporary set-back, Victoria tries to make new friends which isn’t an easy task. The first one stabs her in the back with gossip and a sharp tongue. Meanwhile, her new stepsister takes Victoria’s place in her mother’s heart. Rejection and anger stalk Victoria like a rattlesnake in the cemetery. Good thing she makes friends with a ghost and through him, a good-looking teenaged cowboy.
What inspired you to write it?
As I said, the real Clara Cemetery caught my attention, a well-maintained area on the lonely plains, like a Garden of Eden in the midst of desert. Another thing, that brought that inspiration was my granddaughter left a huge high school to go to graduate from a much smaller one with only 100 in her graduating class. She called it “that hick school.” Funny, but that made me think how traumatic something like that is to a teen.
Where can readers purchase a copy?
You can purchase it from my publisher at:
It can also be found on Amazon. The link is:
What is up next for you?
I’m 2/3 through with a sequel to Victoria and the Ghost. For those who read that one, they will remember Victoria’s irritating friend/enemy, red-headed Shelley. This will be her story of a country girl who must move to the city without friends or horses.
Her father gets a job as a janitor at the old Collin County Courthouse. When he fights alcoholism, Shelley covers his job for him. I explore the ghost legend at the old courthouse at McKinney, Texas. My working title for the manuscript is A Ghost for Shelley.
I plan on once again pitching it to Vivian Zabel at 4RV Publishing. I can only keep my fingers crossed.
Thank you for spending time with us today, Janet. We wish you much success.
Thank you so much, Cheryl, for allowing me to tell you and your readers about my story.