Thursday, September 11, 2008

Welcome Janet Dean, Love Inspired Historical Author!

I'm thrilled to welcome good friend and Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical author, Janet Dean, to our blog today! Janet's debut novel, Courting Miss Adelaide, just released, and I'm so excited about it! It's a wonderful story with wonderful characters. Janet has graciously agreed to give away a copy of her book to one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment today with your contact information.

Angie and I had some questions for Janet.

Angie: Janet, tell us how you create the personalities of your characters.

Janet: I start with back story. What my characters have experienced is part of who they are and how they behave. Through the plot, I look for ways to develop the characters, to show their growth and how they overcome the obstacles keeping them from their full potential. Still personality change must ring true with who they are.

Angie: Are there personality quirks that you like so much in a character that you almost go overboard?

Janet: I have to be careful not to overdo my characters’ idiosyncrasies. For example, Adelaide has a touchy stomach. If I overdo incidences of queasiness, readers will find it tiresome, even irritating. During revisions, I look for incidences of going overboard with quirks.

Angie: What if there's a trait you really despise, do you find yourself shying away or diving into writing about it?

Janet: With multiple characters I have plenty of opportunities to explore all kinds of traits, even those I dislike. I try to not just give negative traits to my villains. Perfect characters are boring and unrealistic. Readers don’t relate to them.


Missy: One of the things I loved about your book is that I can really “hear” Adelaide’s voice in my head. It has stuck with me after the story. Do you hear your characters in your head as you write?

Janet: Glad to hear Adelaide’s hanging out with you, Missy. :) Characters sometimes speak in my head even when I’m not writing and I have to scramble to get their words on paper. When I’m speaking for them, I hear their voices, but don’t “see” my stories like I’ve heard some writers do, almost like they’re watching a movie. Wish I did!

Missy: Is there anything (beyond what Angie asked) that you do to make your characters really stand out?

Janet: I read somewhere that story is in the details. So I look for little things I can do to make a character stand out and come alive. In Courting Miss Adelaide, Adelaide recalls a time when she stayed with a friend whose parents hugged their children. When she returned home, Adelaide tried unsuccessfully to keep that warm sensation alive by hugging herself. A small detail, but huge in explaining what life was like for Adelaide as a little girl. Those details make readers understand and care.

Missy: Oh, I remember that hugging scene! It broke my heart. So, nice job on the details.



Missy: What would Adelaide think if she walked down the street of New York City today?

Janet: Adelaide is a small-town woman. At first, she’d be awed, even taken aback by the noise, crowds and traffic. But she’d soon feel energized and delighted by everything she saw. She’d enter stores to look at the latest hats. As a Victorian milliner, she’d be amazed at their simplicity and yearn to add a feather, bird or two. :) She’d pop in at the New York Times, a newspaper in mind-boggling contrast to the Noblesville Ledger and wish Charles had accompanied her. Her eyes would fill with tears at the number of homeless on New York’s streets. She’d locate a shelter to serve a meal or hold a battered woman’s hand. Before she left the city, she’d make the trip to the Statue of Liberty. Recalling the excitement of its unveiling in 1886, she’d want to see with her own eyes this symbol of hope and freedom America offers the world. And she’d be proud. Last she’d go to Ground Zero. She wouldn’t understand the hate that triggered what happened here, but she’d bow her head and pray for God’s comfort for the hurting.

Missy: Yes, we do need to remember all the families of those lost on September 11th. Can you share your favorite Bible verse, or one that has inspired you along the journey to publication?

Janet: My favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” In Proverbs 16:3, I found inspiration for my writing journey: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”

Missy: Thanks so much for visiting today, Janet! I hope you have a great blog tour.

Janet: Thanks for having me at Writing by Faith!

Janet Dean grew up in a family who cherished the past and had a strong creative streak. Her father recounted fascinating stories, like his father before him. The tales they told instilled in Janet a love of history and the desire to write. She married her college sweetheart and taught first grade before leaving to rear two daughters, but Janet never lost her interest in American history and the stories of strong men and women of faith who built this country. With her daughters’ grown, she eagerly turned to historical romance. Two of her manuscripts were Golden Heart Inspirational finalists in 2005 and 2006. Her debut novel, Courting Miss Adelaide, Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical, releases September 9. The sequel, Courting the Doctor’s Daughter, will release in May 2009. When Janet isn’t writing for Steeple Hill, she stamps greeting cards, plays golf, and is never without a book to read. The Deans love to travel and spend time with family.

41 comments:

  1. Loved the interview and the book sounds like a wonderful read. Please enter me in the drawing.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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  2. I just picked up my copy of COURTING MISS ADELAIDE last night. I can't wait to read it.

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  3. Hi Jo! Glad you enjoyed the interview! You're entered into the drawing.

    Janet

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  4. Hi Mindy, Thanks for getting a copy of Courting Miss Adelaide, Mindy! I hope you enjoy it!

    How's that grandbaby?

    Will you be at ACFW?

    Janet

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  5. Janet, you beat me here this morning! :) I'm still having coffee, trying to wake up.

    Thanks for stopping by, Jo!

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  6. Janet--Hi there!! I can't wait to read your book. Great interview. We'll see you next week at ACFW!

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  7. Morning Janet, So glad to hear more about COURTING MISS ADELAIDE. Congratulations on your debut book. I loved the question about how Miss Adelaide would react walking through New York today. What interesting insight. Best wishes and again congrats on a job well done.

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  8. Hello!
    This books sounds adorable! Please enter my name in the drawing. Thanks & God Bless!
    Kyndra
    smile_y9[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  9. You know I'll be at ACFW. I can't wait! All the grandkids are wonderful, and can you believe our granddaughter is almost two? She's giving her mama a run for her money :-)

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  10. Hi Missy, it took three cups to get me going this morning. I'm flying now! :-)

    Janet

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  11. Hi Lindi! Glad we'll get to hook up soon! Congrats again on your contest win! What editor is the manuscript going to?

    Janet

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  12. Sorry, Lindi. Should have said what editor did your manuscript go to?

    Janet

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  13. Hi Sandra! It's fun to think about my characters experiencing modern day life. :-)

    Can't thank you enough for your support of my debut, Courting Miss Adelaide!

    Janet

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  14. Hi Kyndra, Thanks for stopping. You're in the pot!

    Janet

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  15. Mindy, I thought you'd be at ACFW. Can't wait to see you!

    Two??? I would've guessed your granddaughter was one. Glad she's a typical toddler and keeping mommy on her toes. :-)

    Janet

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  16. This is a great interview. I would love to win.

    runninmama[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  17. Sounds good (again) *giggles*

    cherryblossommj (at) gmail [dot] com

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  18. I can't wait to read this one.

    Stormi
    ladystorm282001 at yahoo dot com

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  19. Hey, Sandra, Kyndra and Donna. Thank for stopping by! LOL, CherryBlossom. I know how it is to follow a blog tour. You start to feel like a blog stalker. LOL Best of luck on this drawing! :)

    Missy

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  20. Enjoyed the interview! This book sounds like one I would enjoy reading due to the time period used. I have always been fascinated by the time of the Orphan Trains.

    cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  21. Sounds like alot of fun!!!
    Please enter me!
    martha(at)lclink(dot)com

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  22. Thanks for the interview, I loved hearing your writing process. Please enter me!

    Gail
    bookwurm70 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  23. Hi Donna, glad you enjoyed the interview! Missy and Angie had great questions!

    Janet

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  24. cherryblossommj, I'm giggling right along with you. I love your perservance and playful spirit. Not surprising, since you're a friend of Julie's.

    Janet

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  25. Stormi, thanks for hanging in there with me for a copy of Courting Miss Adelaide!

    Janet

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  26. Cherie J, I love the time period too! You're in the pot for the drawing.

    Janet

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  27. Hi Martha! Adelaide's story is journey of ups and downs, like real life. :-)Thanks for your interest!

    Janet

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  28. Hi Gail, In my garden, I have the cutest little copper coiled worm holding a tiny book, my personal bookworm.

    Thanks for stopping.

    Janet

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  29. Hi, Cherie. Thanks for stopping by. I actually learned about the orphan trains from Janet! I hadn't heard of them before. (obviously, I write contemporaries!)

    Martha and Gail, thanks for stopping by to celebrate with Janet!

    Missy

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  31. Stormi, I just now realized I missed your post. Thanks for stopping by!

    Missy (who deleted the previous post because my finger spazzed and it posted twice). :)

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  32. Hi! please enter me in the book drawing. I think my mom would really like your book.

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  33. Janet,

    I loved hearing about your writing process, especially your point about the details. Never thought of it on a conscious level. Now I will. THANKS!

    ~Renee~

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  34. Hi, Carly and Renee! So glad you stopped by.

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  35. Hi Carly, it's thoughtful of you to think of your mom. Thanks for stopping.

    Janet

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  36. Renee, Though I didn't come up with the idea, I'm glad you like the suggestion to look for ways to add details to your characters that will make them come alive.

    You said: "Never thought of it on a conscious level." That struck a chord with me. A lot of what we storytellers do is intuitive.

    Janet

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  37. Whew! you are a popular gal, Janet:-)
    Thank you for your interview. Great chatting with you.
    Angie

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  38. Please enter me in the drawing for Janet's book, "Courting Miss Adelaide"
    I especially appreciated the verses that she gave towards the end of the interview. Phil. 4:13 has always been a favorite of mine as well.
    Proverbs 16:3 really spoke to me about something personal that I am embarking on right now, thanks again! God Bless!

    Blessings,
    Lucie

    LucieInCA [at] aol [dot] com

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  39. Oh, I love that cover! Congratulations, Janet on your debut novel! I am so excited for you.
    Blessings,
    Carrie T.
    carrie(at)turansky(dot)com

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  40. Sounds like a great book. Please enter me in the drawing. My email address is shryackmom[@]charter[.]net

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  41. We have a winner!! Jo, you've won the drawing for Janet's book! I'll contact you by email for your addres.

    Thanks, everyone, for stopping by!

    Missy

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