Interview with romance author Janet Walters

janetlanewaltersJANET WALTERS: I’ve been writing as I often say since the “Dark ages”, the time of typewriters and carbon paper. I’ve been published since 1968, though I took a few years off to return to nursing to usher four children through college. They are well launched and I have seven grandchildren, 4 biracial and 3 Chinese. The family is also eclectic as you can see. Besides being a nurse I’ve also worked as an Astrologer, casting charts for people and composed several pieces that were used during church services. Astrology and music are really in the past. Writing takes all my time these days. I’m married to a retired psychiatrist who refuses to cure my obsession with the printed world.

Walters-GeminiSagittariusTHE GEMINI-SAGITTARIUS CONNECTION is the latest in your long published career and is Book 3 in the Opposites in Love series. Tell us about it.

This is a nurse/doctor story. How to begin to tell you how this series began. Once I did horoscopes with a friend. We actually earned enough to take a trip to Ireland. So when I began writing again, there was a break in my long career when I returned to work as a nurse to help with children’s college expenses. One day it came to me that Astrology was a good way to develop characters and I began using this develop my character’s traits. I decided working with Astrological opposites would be an interesting idea, so I began. Gemini and Sagittarius are the third set of opposites.

About the book. My heroine Liz is the mother of twin boys and a widow. As a nurse, she has a BA and is working on her Masters. The job offer from a friend’s husband seems to be a great one. She will remove her boys from the city. One of her problems is that she doesn’t want another marriage. Her husband, a volunteer fireman, died in a house fire trying to rescue two children. The children were saved but he didn’t come out.

In Eastlake she encounters Jeff the hero, a doctor who had a wonderful marriage and has no desire for another. His wife died of cancer when his children were in their teens. He has some problems coping with the coming use of computers at the hospital. He also suffers from what I call “hoof in mouth” disease. Though there is an attraction to Liz he’s not buying.

Getting these two together presents problems. Her twin sons provide part of the catalyst as does his daughter, a nurse and Kate’s friend.

You call yourself an eclectic writer with books published in the romance genre and fantasy/paranormal.

Let’s talk about eclectic writer first. Besides what you’ve mentioned, I also have published a cozy mystery series, a number of YA fantasy novels with not a bit of romance. There are also some non-fiction books to my credit. I’ve done one Regency historical and a series that are alternate world. These might be considered paranormal but are based on history. I’m also published in poetry and short stories.

Do you have a favorite book that you’ve written?

I’m rather fickle about my books. What ever I’m working on is my favorite book and the next one in line will be the favorite then. Why? Because when I’m writing a story I’m immersed in the work until it’s finished. I really can’t think about what went before. There are some books of mine I wish I’d spent more time with but I’m usually happy with them.

Do you have a favorite place to write?

I used to have a really favorite space and I’m adapting to a new space right now. What I really need to be happy and content is a recliner, a clipboard and some pens. My computer is across the room and that’s where I type the words into form and revise or make notes as I type. I write by hand very fast and very easy to read. Typing takes more time since I’ve never learned the proper time. Above my computer are my dragons. There are thirty or more who look over the writing. I’ve written in a car when stopped for a traffic light. Don’t ask about the ticket. I’ve written in a surgical waiting room while my husband was undergoing extensive cardiac surgeon. It’s the clipboard and the pen that are important.

Walters-HorusChosenWhat was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

The interesting fact that nearly sent a book off track was, there were no camels in Egypt until about 1 AD. Since I was writing a book using ancient Egypt, I had to turn the book into an alternate history. I really wanted camels. I’ve also learned I do enjoy creating villains and villainesses. They add a great depth to any story.

Do you have a favorite fantasy/ paranormal character by another author that you’d like to spend the day with?

Actually not a particular character but I would really enjoy spending a day in Andre Norton’s Witch World of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern. Maybe Marian Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover. I’ve been reading these books over and over again for years.

What’s next for you?

As usual I’m working on more than one project. Divided Dreams book 4 in the Moon Child series is undergoing revision. I’ve finished the rough draft of Wizards of Fyre, part of the Isle of Fyre series. I’m also looking over some books where the rights will be returned to me and updating and preparing to re-launch them with BWL. After that I’ll be looking at the 4th book in the Opposites In Love series.

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