A collection of musings, articles and news about romance fiction.

Tuesday Tidbits with Janni Nell!

Hi Shannon

It’s great to be here for a Q & A session, which had me digging deep at times. Thanks for the interesting questions.

How did you get started writing?

Okay, now I have to ‘fess up to being an obnoxious teen. Back in the day, I loved to read (still do, of course).  Anyway I read this book (nope, not going to mention the title), which I absolutely loved. Except for its ending.  I figured I could write better. (Well, I was an obnoxious teen.)  I gave it a go and soon realised that–duh!—I couldn’t do better. In fact, what I wrote sucked so badly, it didn’t even score a place in my bottom drawer. Only one option: immediate and total destruction. It was a year before I summoned the courage to try writing again. This time accompanied by some much needed humility.

What was your journey to publication?

Well, it was full of speed bumps. Lots of flitting from hot genre to hot genre (not recommended if you want to find your own voice). Many rejections later, I took a chance and wrote a story in a quirky first person voice that felt kinda natural. To my utter amazement, publishers were interested. That little story became the first book in the Allegra Fairweather series.

What is your “call” story, when your first work was accepted for publication?

When I got the call, which was actually an email, I didn’t react the way I’d expected. Instead of screaming and happy dancing, I went numb. I couldn’t believe I was actually going to get published at last. I kept thinking the email must have been meant for someone else. Until my husband pointed out it was unlikely anyone else had written a story called Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator. Then he took me out for a celebratory lunch. After that it kind of sunk in, and I did some happy dancing. Line dancing that is.

What have you learned about readers since getting published?

Readers are wonderful! Without readers there would be no one to hear our stories, no hearts to touch, no funny bones to tickle. I love readers. In fact, I am one. It’s hard to be a writer without first being a reader.

What have you learned about writing since getting published?

I’ve learned to juggle. Let me explain.

Last year I was working full steam ahead on the latest Allegra Fairweather story—let’s call it AF5—when I was offered the chance to write a novella for the anthology Carina Press Presents: Editor’s Choice Vol II. To be included, I first had to submit a synopsis for approval. That meant temporarily abandoning AF5 to write the synopsis. When it was approved, I got to work on the novella. Once again it was full steam ahead until I received extensive edits for Island of Secrets. You still with me? Great. So, I stopped work on the novella, and spent four weeks completing the edits. Then it was back to the novella. Around this time I was also brainstorming new titles for both works in progress. Fast forward three months and I’m working on edits—developmental and copy—for both Island of Secrets and the novella, which was published as Dance of Flames.

So I can now claim to be an experienced, if not expert, juggler.

What are you working on next?

AF5—remember the one I was working on all those months ago—well it’s been accepted by Carina Press. All I have to do now is…finish the darn book!

Tell us about your most recent release.

Island of Secrets is the third novel in the Allegra Fairweather series. (The novella, Dance of Flames is kind of a 3.5). By the way, if you’re wondering who designs the gorgeous covers for the series, it’s Frauke Spanuth of CrocoDesigns.

I’m a paranormal investigator without a home of my own. So when a wealthy client offers me a lucrative job on a private South Pacific island, I jump at the opportunity.

It’s not all fun in the sun, though. A dead merman—no, really—with an arrow in his chest has washed up on shore. My investigation reveals a century-old war between the mers and a goblin tribe, who believe the mers stole their treasure. But the real thief was a pirate! He buried the treasure and died before digging it up again.                        

Casper, my guardian angel and sort-of-but-not-really boyfriend, usually helps me out but he’s acting all weird and busy. The only person left who can help me find the treasure is the pirate’s former girlfriend, who happens to be a forgetful, alcoholic ghost.

Oh, and I’m not the only one searching for this treasure. Someone else wants it badly and they’re prepared to commit murder to prevent anyone else from getting it…

Island of Secrets is set on an island (no, really) near Tahiti. Tell us your favourite vacation spot, and you could win an e-copy of Island of Secrets.



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