For those of us who love reading, these days with little to do are like being given a gift. We don't need to feel guilty curling up in a chair with a good book. Today in My Writing Corner, I am pleased to feature Jana Richards, who has a wonderful new book out that is perfect for when you want to take a break from the outside world. Visit a small town and discover romance. Let's find out more about Jana.
Have you always wanted to write fiction?
Not always. At one point I considered becoming a journalist. Though I never made that dream come true, I managed to make writing a reality, just in different way.
What are some of the challenges of being a writer?
There are plenty of challenges: coming up with interesting stories, finding time to write, mastering a multitude of software products. But probably my single biggest challenge is marketing my books. That covers everything from learning how to create Amazon ads to learning graphic design. I find it’s a never-ending job, and not exactly in my wheelhouse. But I’m learning to treat marketing as a creative pursuit to make me feel more comfortable with it. Marketing definitely has a creative component to it. You’ve got to come up with out of the box ideas to make readers sit up and pay attention. I’m still learning!
Tell us about your road to publication.
It was a rather long and rocky road. I wrote for many years before I was published. That was back in the days before ebooks and Amazon. In 2006 a friend suggested I try submitting to her publisher, a brand-new small press that was publishing only ebooks. So I did, and was thrilled when my book was accepted for publication. That sale gave me the confidence to continue writing and submitting, and I’m still going strong today.
How do you come up with your characters?
I usually come up with a premise or situation and then create characters who fit into that situation. For example in my Love at Solace Lake series, the premise is that twenty-two years previously, the Lindquist sisters’ father murdered their mother. I tried to come up with characters who were a product of that childhood trauma. For instance, the oldest, Harper, who was ten when her mother died, has lived her whole life with feelings of abandonment. Middle sister Scarlet lives with guilt, believing something she did caused her mother’s death. Maggie was too young to remember her parents and she feels cheated out of the life she should have had. And in the small town they grew up in, they all live with the shame of being the daughters of a murderer.
How do you come up with your plots?
Lots of things influence plotlines. It might be something I’ve read in the newspaper or see on TV. Sometimes I’ll explore a theme, like trust. I try to come up with plots that allow for a lot of conflict between the hero and the heroine. It’s always exciting to throw obstacles at characters and make them figure out how to overcome them.
Tell us about your latest book, To Heal A Heart. What made you write it?
I’m currently working on a small-town romance series published by The Wild Rose Press called the Masonville series which is set in the fictional town of Masonville, North Dakota. In these books I’m exploring the effects of heartache, loss and various forms of trauma on my characters. In TO HEAL A HEART, which released June 15, 2020, Garrett Saunders is a former Marine who lost part of his leg in Afghanistan. Blair Greyson has had her share of heartache and trauma in the past. She thinks she’s put it behind her, but the truth is, everything she believes about herself is controlled by what happened to her in the past. She has to come to terms with her history before she can have a future.
What advice do you have for beginning writers?
If writing is what you really want to do, don’t give up. Keep learning your craft by taking classes and going to conferences. Keep reading. And definitely keep writing.
What’s your next project?
I’m currently working on book three of the Masonville series which I’m calling “Unexpected”. Ben and Jamie rush into marriage in order to retain custody of Ben’s stepchildren. To their surprise they discover an unexpected love. But when Jamie has to choose between what she believes is best for the children and her relationship with Ben, their love is tested. Can their new-found family, and their love, survive?
Let's find out more about To Heal A Heart
Garrett Saunders' world changed two years ago on a road in Afghanistan. Back home, he feels like a stranger. As he struggles to find his place in the world, he meets a horse destined for the slaughterhouse and a woman bent on rescuing the strays of the world, including him.
Blair Greyson moves to Masonville to look after her ailing grandfather and give her rescue horses a home. Right away she butts heads with a surly former Marine. Despite a rocky start, they come to an agreement: Blair will board Garrett's rescue horse and he'll help with repairs around her farm.
Garrett finds purpose working with Blair—and falls in love with her. But she's hiding a secret. Can she forgive herself and accept Garrett's love, or will she let guilt and regret continue to rule her life?
Want more? Here are the buy links:
And if you would like to get in touch with Jana:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/janarichards
Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B002DEVWWG
Newsletter Signup: http://janarichards.com/contact.html#newsletter
Thank you, Jana, for bringing us some much needed summer reading! Any comments or questions for Jana?