Janet will tell us about her writing.
Genre? “I write across genres. I have 5 romantic suspense novels in publication, and one adult fantasy, whose sequel has just gone to proof.”
Like many of her characters, Janet is a history buff and loves anything of historical significance from old cars to old cemeteries. Get to know Janet and you’ll see why she’s been critically acclaimed at the Faulkner Wisdom Competition and why her writing continues to receive 4 and 5-star reviews—It could be that readers see so much of her in her characters: mother, educator, author, editor, entrepreneur; she is a person who has overcome great obstacles and still holds on to her faith.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve written most of my life and received numerous honors during high school and college. But I got married and real life took over. After 20 years of marriage, I got the, “I don’t love you,” routine, and that is when I wrote my first novel, the adult fantasy that has been published, King Satin’s Realm. I was able to deal with my emotional turmoil by working out problems through characters. It was very cathartic.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I first thought of myself as a legitimate author when my eldest son read King Satin’s Realm and said, “Momma, this is better than Harry Potter. Something happens in every chapter.”
What inspired you to write your first book?
For most of us there comes at least one pet into our lives that we love with our whole hearts, a pet that becomes like another human to us. Such a pet was Satin.
Satin was fifteen pounds of satiny, glossy black cat. For years my children and I joked and even role-played that Satin was not a cat, but a panther. Further still, we often pretended that he was actually a human that some witch had transformed into a panther, who became king of not only the panthers, but his entire realm.
Of course, if Satin was human, then all our other pets had to be human, too. Thus, were born many of the characters in this book.
Do you have a specific writing style?
No. I just let the story tell itself. Well, actually, I always write 3rd person, past tense, omniscient.
Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
Though I don’t write “Christian” literature, there are always the underlying themes of redemption and forgiveness woven within my stories.
Are your writings based on someone you know or events in your own life?
All writers write what they know. I usually take a very small piece of truth and then let my imagination go wild. For example, Lucky Thirteen took shape when, as a teacher, I had books thrown at me at one school, and at the first school where I taught I had a student say, “You a scrawny little white woman come in here tryin’ to change something you don’t know nothin’ about.” Thus, my heroine is catapulted into a fight for her life when she’s hit by a book thrown by a student who utters those words to her..
What books or type of books have most influenced your life as a writer?
I have a varied repertoire. I read many different kinds of literature. I will say that both well-written and poorly written books have influenced me. I particularly like late 19th century and early 20th century literature.
Do you have a mentor or writing group? How does that impact your work?
Lottie Brent Boggan and the Red Dog Writers have been of the utmost encouragement, as well as my online writing family, thenextbigwriter.com. Without these folks, I might have given up.
What book or are you reading now?
LOL! I have just begun my own publishing company, so time to read for fun has become limited. I have two novels, very different, that I am reading and editing right now–Mortal Foe by Marty Roppelt, and Rise of a Rock Star, the first in The Rock Star Records, by Barbara Best.
How do you help new writers?
I encourage them to let others read their material, join a critique group, and I offer my editorial services (for a fee).
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Published or unpublished? The two I mentioned above, oh, and Dot Day!!!!! 😎 Beyond that, John L. DeBoer, Joss Landry, Lottie Brent Boggan, Carlene Singleton, T Cat Taylor, Mark Cole, Ann Everett, and Charles Brass–All very different kinds of writers.
What are your current projects?
I just sent the sequel to King Satin’s Realm to proof. It’s entitled Spirits’ Desire. And I’ve launched my own publishing company.
Other than family members, who has supported you most and how?
The Red Dog Writers. My critique group is awesome, and some of my online friends have been more supportive than people I’ve know all my life.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. It’s my passion.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not in my latest. Maybe a few tweaks in some of the first.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Dialect. Writing dialect is a dying art, and I hope to keep it alive.
Who are some of your favorite authors? What really strikes you about their work?
Currently, Charlaine Harris. I just love her characters. Other than that, Edgar Allan Poe because he is the original master of the macabre, John Steinbeck because he has a way of capturing reality, Charles Dickens because he was considered a commoner and really impacted the world of literature, J.R.R. Tolkien because I can get lost in Middle Earth.
Who designed your covers?
Christopher Jurod Chambers, a former student that I taught at Velma Jackson High School.
What was the hardest part of writing your latest book?
The latest challenge is two stories in one. Spiritis’ Desire takes place in two different centuries, so making sure neither overshadowed the other was hard. Plus it’s filed with dialect.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t give up. And if you’re an indie author:
1) Join a critique group before you ever try to put out a book; 2) Get an editor; 3) Use social media and get yourself a platform; 4) Have an eye-catching cover; 5) Make sure the teaser on the back of the book draws attention; and 6) Have an interesting bio and pic. Last, SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER!!!
And if you want to look into a small publisher who will work with you closely, dragonbreathpress. Contact me.
Do you have anything specific you would like to say to your readers?
Leave me reviews on Amazon and tell your friends. I have at least 5 more series in the works. You’re stuck with me for a long time.
What are your hobbies?
Does a writer have time for hobbies? I do step back and watch a few TV programs and go to some movies where I MUST have buttered popcorn. I love to cook, but I hate to clean up afterwards.
What TV shows/ films do you enjoy watching?
Jeopardy, Game of Thrones, Criminal Minds, NCIS, MacGuyver, Dancing with the Stars, The Voice, America’s Got Talent, The Walking Dead, and I’m binge watching Downton Abbey.
Films are harder to name, but Star Trek, Star Wars, James Bond, anything that really triggers the imagination.
.Favorite foods/colors/places to travel.
I love Mexican, seafood, margaritas. My favorite color is red. But I haven’t done much traveling yet.
If you were not a writer, what else would you like to do?
I’ve seriously considered either getting a law degree and becoming a juvenile advocate because kids have no rights in the courtroom. I also like the idea of getting a Ph.D in comparative literature. I know what my dissertation would be on: The Necessity of Teaching History and Literature Simultaneously.
Janet Taylor-Perry, B.S., M.A.T.
Your luck is what you make it. Your life is what you make it. So, go out and make it count.–Larkin Sloan from Lucky Thirteen.