Interview with Author Janet Kay
I do love a good paranormal story, and recently picked up The Sisters by Wisconsin author Janet Kay. This story is an interesting tale set on historical Galveston Island, Texas that weaves in an ample supply of ghostly entities and reincarnated souls. The story is written in alternating perspectives of both living and dead characters, which makes for a fun read.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Bella and Jimmy, long lost soul-mates, re-discover each other in a chance encounter that forever changes their lives. Jimmy, however, is already engaged to marry Bella’s sister, Veronica. Heart-broken, they continue along their destined paths in life, journeys that flow from the shores of historic Galveston Island on the Gulf of Mexico to the icy depths of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota. Along the way, life confronts them with devastating losses – and experiences that defy explanation. Bella seeks solace through her spirit guide and visits to the other side of life.
The sisters, torn apart by their love for the same man, spend many years locked in a cycle that fluctuates between feuding and estrangement. It is only after Jimmy’s death that they begin to discover secrets buried within a past life they once shared. Secrets that may help them to unravel this bizarre love triangle. Can they find a way to heal, to forgive, and to break free from the karma that has haunted them for an eternity? Or, is it too late to penetrate the veil separating the world of the living from the land of the dead?
I’m so pleased that Wisconsin author Janet Kay has stopped by to talk about her writing adventures with us.
Can you tell us about the different jobs you’ve had other than writing? I always like to ask authors this, mainly because authors always seem to have had so many different careers and often an interesting job history.
I've held a variety of jobs ranging from counseling and providing legal advocacy services for victims of domestic & sexual abuse, to grant writing and administration for a local college, to serving as a Clerk-Treasurer for a small village in Wisconsin. I've also worked as a real estate broker and freelanced as a writer for several regional newspapers over the years. One common denominator in most of my jobs was writing - whether it be grants, articles, municipal ordinances, or newspaper articles. I've learned a lot about human nature in my various jobs which is helpful in developing the characters in my novels.
How long have you been writing and how long ago did you publish your first book?
I've been "writing" since I was 8 years old and decided I WOULD become an author someday! In those days, I wrote short stories and also published a neighborhood newspaper which I sold to my neighbors for 5 cents each! I continued to write over the years but was too busy with my career and raising children to get serious about it. That changed when I took an early retirement and decided it was finally time to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming an author. My debut novel, "Waters of the Dancing Sky", was published in 2009.
Can you tell us a little bit about how your ideas develop as a writer? Do you have a clear vision of the main characters from the beginning? Do you outline?
Many of my ideas for characters and plots seem to come to me at night while I'm sleeping - or while taking a walk beside the lake or through the woods. I make lots of notes but do not outline the whole novel. I do chapter-by-chapter very brief outlines - one chapter at a time- as the plot evolves and changes.
I create character profiles in the beginning. I need to know their fears, secrets, desires, background, etc. Sometimes I introduce a new character, or delete one, as the novel progresses. I find that once I'm totally into the novel, my characters take over. They sometimes convince me to change aspects of their personality or their life stories. Sometimes they try to justify their behavior!
Two of your three books have paranormal elements. Can you talk about what intrigues you about crafting a paranormal story?
I'm intrigued with the possibilities of life after death and reincarnation and have done considerable research on these subjects. My mission is to expand the horizons of my readers others above and beyond the limited confines of this world and this lifetime. This can be a healing process for some. I have had readers write to tell me that my books have made a positive difference in their lives. That, to me, is the ultimate compliment!
I am always curious about other author’s writing environments . . . so where do bring all your wonderful characters to life?
I live and write on a lake in the woods of Northwest Wisconsin. I write best when I am surrounded by nature and wild life - like the deer that roam through my yard. Sometimes I retreat even farther into nature - to a little cabin in a remote destination. Before I begin the actual writing, I spend a considerable amount of time at the places where my novels are set. I immerse myself in the place and its history in order to bring my characters to life.
Can we look forward to another book from you soon?
Yes! I am writing a sequel to my debut novel, "Waters of the Dancing Sky", which will again be set on the wilderness islands of Rainy Lake on the Minnesota/Ontario international border. My readers have been asking for a sequel for some time now - even writing to suggest ways to "get rid" of one of the abusive characters in the first novel!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Beth Calhoun is a middle-aged woman haunted by a tragic past - the drowning of her young mother, the shame of having no father. Escaping from an abusive marriage, she retreats to her family's wilderness island home on Rainy Lake along the Minnesota and Ontario international border. Here she embarks upon a journey of self-discovery that flows through a series of wilderness adventures, past and present. As she delves into her mother's old diaries, she discovers long-held family secrets including the identity of her mysterious father. Spirits of the past emerge as she struggles through a complex web of emotions and shifting relationships. Can she forgive and put the past behind her? Can she learn to trust and to love again?
Before we move on to the Fast Four list, is there anything else you want to tell readers about yourself or your books?
Please check out my website, http://www.novelsbyjanetkay.com for more information about my novels. There is also a photo gallery of the places where my novels are set. Place frequently becomes a character in my novels, and my fans sometimes take trips to these destinations - be it Rainy Lake, Galveston Island, Texas; or the old western ghost town of Virginia City, Montana.
Fav Pizza Topping – artichokes
Coffee, Tea, or Both – coffee
Fav TV Show as a Child – Mickey Mouse Club!
Best Place You’ve Vacationed – Ireland, China, Cozumel, Alaska, Hawaii
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Janet has also authored Amelia 1868.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Rose, a free-spirited young woman, leaves her fiancee at the altar of their country church in Walnut, Iowa. Driven by forces beyond her control, she flees to the old western ghost town of Virginia City, Montana, where she feels oddly at home ... Drawn to an old cemetery in the mountains, she discovers a weathered tombstone and begins to sob uncontrollably. Only two words are etched upon the stone - AMELIA 1868. Obsessed with uncovering the identity of this long-forgotten woman, Rose finds herself transported back and forth in time between the life of a hurdy-gurdy dance hall girl struggling to survive in the 1860s and her own sheltered life in the year 2011. Her strange and intriguing journey becomes more complicated when a love interest materializes and throws her off balance. Her life becomes a bizarre dance twisting and turning between the past and the present. Can she find a way to put it all together and move into the future?