Janet Eckford Interview

Today I'd like to welcome author Janet Eckford to Fallen Angel Reviews. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for us today Janet.

Tell us about your latest book. What's the title and when will it be released?
Well at the time of this interview my latest book is called The Next Level and is currently released. It's the story of two lifelong friends that have feelings for each other but are concerned about taking the relationship to the next level (haha pretty clever right). I frequently become obsessed with random philosophical themes that really only make sense to me. For this book I was mulling over what makes a relationship; either platonic or romantic? When does intimacy change from being platonic to romantic? Large questions that couldn't be answered in 8,000 plus words but I had fun creating characters that at least satisfied a bit of my curiosity.

When did you first start writing? What made you want to become a writer?
I have memories of sitting in my grandmother's living room writing non-sensical words on paper as a very little girl. When I was about five or six my mother bought my sister and I toy typewriters that actually worked quite well. I have memories of sitting for hours typing once again non-sensical words that would then get bound with yarn (crafts were big in my house) and presented to my mother as a story. To this day I get a tingly feeling when I see a blank piece of notebook paper. I have such a strong desire to write on it. Which made the desire to explore writing seem so natural. I just wish better grammar also came with my love of writing.

What satisfies you about your writing?
I love the act of writing, from creating the story in my head to putting it on paper. I have this really vast imagination that is influenced by some of the most random things around me. I am very invested in the idea of storytelling and derive great enjoyment from doing it orally and through the written word. I love to think people enjoy my stories but writing is often something that I do just for me. At the very least to do something with the voices in my head.

How did you celebrate selling your first book?
I went out drinking of course. Wow, that actually made me sound like an alcoholic, which I'm not...really.

Almost every author at some point or another suffers from writer's block. Have you ever had that problem? How do you deal with it?
Well, it's still pretty early for me as a professional writer (which I love saying by the way) so I haven't really experienced the dreaded writer's block. I'm currently on such a high right now that stories are popping up in my head at a much faster pace than I can get them down. I actually want to always have a standard of quality versus quantity and if the well dries up for a bit I'll be cool with it. I'm confident that it wouldn't last forever.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Well, that there are actually people out there that want to read what I have to say. I actually thought what I wanted to see in romance was just so out there, until I found there were other writers that told those stories. I've loved romance books since I was 11 but it was only until I started thinking about picking romantic partners that I saw couples that looked like mine weren't represented in romance fiction, or most fiction in general. Not only do I get to create characters that look like what I know, but people want to read it. I find that very awesomely rewarding.

What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted and when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
I'd actually written several stories prior to my first novel but they just went on the shelf. Then one day I became obsessed (the story of my life) with this concept and just wrote it out. I gave it to the women in my book club (we are a club of three) and they were so encouraging that it made me think, "Um, I should do something with this." Well I didn't until I'd had a hard day at work and on a lark sent it to my publishers. I'd read their books prior to my submission and thought it would be fun to actually do it. When it was accepted I was actually quite shock with numb. When the process started of creating my cover I still didn't believe it was real. It wasn't until I got the email while at work that the book was up on the site it finally hit me. I started to tear up I was so happy.

What can your fans look forward to in the next six months from you?
My adoring public can look forward to stories that are funny, sexy, and maybe a little dark (but still very sexy and funny).

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
I actually like to write first on a legal pad with a simple ball point pen and then transfer it to my laptop. I also really love how supportive the women at Beautiful Trouble Publishing are. It really makes the whole writing experience so much more enjoyable.

What book has influenced your life the most?
This is a really hard question because I have such a vast array of books that mean so much to me. When I was younger I got really into Gothic Literature (Mary Shelley and Edgar Allen Poe) and "classical" Romantic Fiction (Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters). Villette was a book that really moved me during my effected teenage years. To this day I can read the last few lines of the novel and sob at the tragic beauty of it. When I went to college I really go into books that had a socio/political stance to it. I would love to get riled up about social injustices and inequities in how men and women are gendered and socialized (I was a sociology/women's studies major). This really led to my fascination of micro-history books. I have books about the history of the chess queen piece and the socio/political ramifications it had (way cerebral). I even have a book on the history of red hair (a lifelong fascination of mine also). Well once I was done with grad school and started my profession I'd had enough of socio/political and just wanted to escape. I wanted the HEA and the characters that were so wonderfully simple the complexity of it kept me satisfied. I really wanted to be happy and now that is what I seek to read. I will throw in a book that looks at an obscure topic of history or revisit my classical literature but life for me has to have the hot Alpha and the kick ass Heroine.

What would you consider your most interesting quirk?
Since I have normalized what others might think of as quirks I asked the sig other what he thought were some. His response "You like to boss your husband around" does not make the cut for obvious reasons. If I must look at myself objectively I would say my desire to know random trivia. I'll hear a phrase and want to know the origins of it and when it was first introduced in the English lexicon. The other day I became fascinated with where the phrase "No rest for the wicked" came from. Does it mean there will be no salvation in heaven for the wicked? Does it mean because you have to constantly keep one step ahead of getting caught you don't have time to rest? I was driving in my car itching to get to a computer so I could find the information out. The best part is when I got home I'd gotten distracted by something else.

If you had a warning label, what would it say?
That's a funny question. I think it would say beware when not rested or well fed.

Do you have a website or blog where readers can learn more about you and your works?
I do have a blog because a website is so outside of my capacity right now. The blog address is http://janeteckford.blogspot.com/

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Come visit me at my blog if you want to learn more about my wild and crazy ways!!

Thank you for spending time with us today Janet!

Interviewed by: Tammy