My Books!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hello! Did you remember to stop by my party yesterday? I'm celebrating the release of A New Dream, and I'm offering some nice prizes. If you missed it yesterday, you can still participate. Go back to yesterday's posts and leave a comment for a chance to win. Winners will be announced on Friday morning.

I have a wonderful guest this morning. Her name is Janet Lane Walters, and she writes for Vanilla Heart press. Janet, thank you so much for coming by. I know authors get tired of answering this question, but unless you’re Danielle Steele or someone like her, some people don’t know you. So, could you tell us a little bit about you and your work?

As I tell people I’ve been published since the dark ages. Actually my first short story arrived in print in 1968. I went on to write a dozen short stories for adults and for children. When one of my short stories came back with this editorial comment, “This sounds like the plot for a book,” I decided to learn how to write longer pieces. Those were the days when editors often sent critiques. Since I’d read the comment “Write what you know,” my first efforts were sweet nurse romances. The first one was published in 1972 and the great thing is that it was accepted by the first editor to turn it down but with comments. The book was rejected 17 times and revised that way. What I received courtesy of some wonderful editors was a course in writing. I kind of branched out from medical romances and now I consider myself an eclectic writer. I write mysteries, fantasy for YA and adults, romance, suspense and occasionally venture into non-fiction. I’ve kind of lost track of how many pieces of writing I have available but I think there are around 39 novels, 4 or 5 non-fiction books, a half dozen novellas and 4 or five short stories. I know there are people who are fanatical about keeping score but for me, I just keep writing.

That's a great story! I wish I had started earlier myself. Congrats on all of your work. What’s the hardest part of writing for you? The easiest?

I find the rough draft to be the hardest and that’s because in my head I have the story but often putting it into the right words is difficult. Another hard thing is setting. One of the first critiques I received from an editor was “Why are your characters existing in a vacuum?” When writing short stories, setting is done in a word or two so this had become a habit. I still have to tell myself “Setting. Setting.” The easiest part of writing for me is the characters and their dialogue. Since these people live in my head I know them. A reader once remarked that Pacing was my forte, but since I really don’t know exactly how I pace my stories perhaps this could be the easiest since it’s totally an unconscious action on my part.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on the fourth and final book of a YA fantasy series – The Henge Betrayed. Though listed as young adult I’ve had some feedback from adults who enjoy the book. This one is called Confrontations and will see evil defeated and good prevail.

Sounds good to me! Could you share your “call story” with us? I’m not sure I know what a “call story” is. I just write what comes into my head.

Just to make it interesting, please share three things with us that nobody else knows about you.

With the many years I’ve lived and the number of people who have brushed and entered my life I’m not sure there is anything someone doesn’t know.

I'm pretty much an open book myself. We’d love to read an excerpt. Don’t forget to include a buy link.

Janet Lane Walters
Vanilla Heart Press

Part One
1 The Hodara of Healing in Bethsada

Mabe sat on one of the stone benches in the Grotto. The Eldest had called her here and she didn’t know why. She didn’t think she had done anything to deserve a judging, but why else would the god and goddess want her presence? Soon, the moon would rise and she would dip her hands in the chill waters of the crater lake. Midra and Midran would speak. The only time she had heard their voices had been the night she’d finished her training and had been accepted as a Healwoman. She rubbed her hands along her arms.

The Eldest touched her shoulder. “The time is near. There are things I must tell you.”

“Are you sure ’tis me they want?”

“You are part of their plans for the future.” The old woman smiled. “In the days of yore, the Three of Midra--Seer, Warrior, Healer--united with their mates. Together they defeated those who embraced the dark faces of Midra and Midran. For a time, the priestesses and priests who served the god and goddess walked in the light and brought miracles to the land. But as time rolled on its circular path, what was once came again. The dark face of Midra enthralled the priestesses. They turned from the light. Then the power of the goddess faltered. Midran drew his priests into the shadows. Still, what was will come again.”

Mabe nodded. She’d read the old tales kept in the archives. She had found them fascinating, but were they true? They told of the days when the face of the goddess had darkened. ’Twas then the Healwomen had walked away from the temples to found their own place. In the years that followed, the temples had ruled and men had little power in ruling any of the four divisions of the land now known as nomes. Gradually, the priests of Midran had gained strength, first in the light. Then they had embraced the dark face of the god.

She glanced at the dome over the cavern. Rays of moonlight shone through the four crescent shaped holes, one for each nome. Keltoi, Sippal, Nilos and Incal. Bands of color--red, yellow, blue and white--spread across the water. The arrival of the colors never failed to startle and amaze Mabe. What caused them to appear? She turned to the Eldest. “What do the legends have to do with me?”

“One will come from Keltoi. She is a daughter of this nome. Her lineage rises from the Seer, the Warrior, the Healer and their spouses. She will have four talents and will be the gleaner who finds the Four and Four. One pair for each nome. They will bring light from darkness. You will seek and find her. Bring her to Bethsada so she can enter the hodara and learn.”

Mabe nodded and accepted the task. She felt both humbled and excited to be chosen. “When do I leave?”

The Eldest rose. “The god and goddess will tell you when.” She placed her hands on Mabe’s head. “Seek their blessing. Their commands are for you alone.”

Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Home Page Vanilla Heart Publishing

Janet, your excerpt sounds great. I'm sure the book will be a great success. Come back and visit me soon.

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