Wednesday, October 27, 2010

VHP Author: Janet L. Walters

Good Thursday morning, reading world! Today, I have Janet Walters as my guest. She's a fellow VHP author, and an amazingly interesting woman!

Please welcome her here and enjoy our very interesting conversation! :)

1) You worked as a registered nurse for a number of years. Have you used your experiences in the medical field in any of your writing?

Definitely. When I first began writing nurse romances were my thing and I've published a number of them from sweet to spicy. Obsessions is a medical suspense with a twist. The nurses and doctors are being killed. My cozy mysteries feature a recently retired nurse Katherine Miller who doesn't want a third career but ends up having one. Even in the fantasies there are healers who know about medicines. In Mistress of the Moons one of the three heroines is a Healer. In the Warrior of Bast though Tira the heroine isn't in the medical profession she uses something she read in a book on the history of medicine that is useful in helping one of the minor characters.

2) You've written over 39 books, both fiction and non-fiction alike. Do you prefer one genre over another? If so, why?

As to preferring one genre over another, I can't be held to one. Sometimes I seem to be on a role in one genre and lately it's been fantasy but since I read most everything I write most everything. Though I've done some non-fiction, I doubt I will ever do another one. Some of the ones I've written were when I worked as a ghost writer for several doctors. Though those books earned me some money, I doubt I would ever go back to that kind of work. Now if you want to know what I would never write, horror tops that list. I don't like horror and never read that kind of book. I don't think I could do a police procedural or a military fiction. That is totally out of my experience.

3) Your current release, The Warrior of Bast,

and your next release, Mistress of the Moons

both have a Wiccan feel to them. Do you consider yourself someone of an alternative belief system?

A Wiccan feel. I'm not sure what that is. The Warrior of Bast is all about my fascination with ancient Egypt and the gods and goddesses. Cats and hawks play a major role in the story. And camels. Since there were no camels in Egypt during the time I wanted to set these stories I had to devise an alternate Egypt and thus the gods and goddesses are different. Mistress of the Moons was begun way back when women's lib was so militant and I believed both men and women should work together. No alternate religions for me, though I do have a fascination with learning about the other religions of the world and those that no longer exist. Mithranisn plays a part in the Mistress of the Moons with a bit of other religions. I guess I'm just fascinated with so many things and wind them together.

4) I love the fact that The Warrior of Bast has elements of suspense, romance and time travel. What inspired you to write such an intricate story line for The Warrior of Bast?

The Warrior of Bast is actually the first of a trilogy with two books to follow. The Ruler of Horu and the Priest of Toth. Titles may change. I didn't realize it was complicated but I love plots in books. Many times I get so involved in creating the plots that I forget to develop the characters fully until my critique group slaps me down. They're always yelling Emotions, emotions. I'm not sure time travel is really what we have here since it's an alternate world. I also love to read about alternate worlds. One of my readers, thought there wasn't enough romance in the book but she understood the reason for the holding back.

5) In Mistress of the Moons, it says that Ashiera, Dian and Egeria learn that they must act with their male partners in order to defeat the priests of the Lord of Shadows. As one who believes in the balance of masculinity and feminity, that's a point I greatly enjoyed. Was there anything specific that sparked you to create three strong heroines who also need their heroes in order to be victorious? Was that planned, or did it just happen as you wrote the story?

This is one of those strange stories. The dolls came to me when I was in Santa Fe and saw the various Kachina dolls there. I was also into the balance between men and women. Also I had been reading much mythology about the three women, maiden, mother and crone. The heroines evolved from them and to put a strange touch to the story, I had the spirits of three dying women sent into the bodies of three damaged women. Then they needed strong heroes and the three were born. This story was written years before it was published and put away after having been rejected since few publishers were publishing fantasy at that time. At least that's what my rejections said. I also think part of it was because of the romances in the books.

6) You seem to have very strong and courageous heroines. What are the positive and negative points to having strong female characters?

Strong heroines need strong heroes. Creating heroes who match the heroines is the only negative thing I can see. I read few books were the heroines are weak and the few I have I haven't liked. I think my heroes generally match my heroines in strength of character. I think most readers like to read about strong heroines who face life head on. Weak heroines don't make an interesting story.

7) What do you think is one thing people would be surprised to learn about your writing/writing process?

I'm not sure this would surprise anyone who knows me but maybe some writers and readers might find it strange. I write the first few drafts by hand rather on the typewriter. I write and think faster than I type. I'm also a draft writer and my books are re-written and revised from five to seven times during the process.


Charmaine said...

Hurray to both of you. Janet, you are one of the most interesting writers I know and Lauren is adept at asking all the right questions. Thanks.

Wendy S Marcus said...

Wow, Janet. I really do learn something new every day! I knew you were a nurse but never knew you'd written nurse nurse romances. Great interview!

JL Walters said...

Charmaine and Wendy, Thanks for stopping by. Wrote about a dozen of them but no longer have the desire though I still have one sort of suspense one I may pull out one of these days. Called Committee of Angels.

Shoshanna Evers said...

Great interview! I'm an RN as well. There's a lot of us nurse/writer combos, it seems :) I think it's interesting that you hand-write your first draft. I have to type or, like you said, I can't keep up with my thoughts (then again, I hand-write slowly and illegibly but I type fast!)