And here we go....
- Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a mom - my son just graduated from high school! I'm also a former English teacher, and I still keep in touch with my students. I've been writing for children for the past 8 or 9 years, and FAITHFUL is my debut novel, with a sequel to follow next year (FORGIVEN). I'm just finishing my MFA degree in Writing for Children at Vermont College of Fine Arts, so I'm a student, too.
- What got you started writing? What brought you to YA?
My son got me started. He has dyslexia, and at first I tried writing things for young kids, and specifically for kids who struggle with reading. But I had a hard time finding the right voice in younger fiction. It wasn't until I tried my hand at middle grade and young adult that I found myself as a writer. I think I'm mentally frozen at about 14 or 15, so I write for the teen reader that I was then.
- Tell us about your most recent/ upcoming release?
- Do you plot out in advance, or just start writing and see where things go from there?
I just start with a vague idea and a character. Then I begin writing. About halfway through I usually have to stop and create a vague plot plan. But I know that my best writing comes out when I don't plan too carefully. When I let it flow, my writing comes from my heart, and that's when it works.
- Many authors have told me their characters talk to them, and sometimes even have different ideas of where the story should go than the author. Do you hear your characters?
I hear their voice. But generally they don't "tell" me what they want to do...I'll try something and if it doesn't feel right I'll try something else. Once I put the character in a scene, it's pretty clear how they will act. When they act "true to character" I know it's right.
- Who is your favorite character (of your own)?
Each time I write something new, my favorite character is the character I'm living with. I tend to live deep inside my character's heads. So at the moment my favorite character is the protagonist of FORGIVEN. I have to like my characters in order to write them - they may not do likable things, but they need to be likable at heart.
- What hobbies do you have when you're not writing?
I love to garden. I also love to hike - we have a little cabin in the mountains of Montana and I do a lot of hiking. When I'm out in nature I get my best writing done!
- If you had not become a writer what would you have done instead?
I actually have a masters degree in geology - I wanted to be an oceanographer. I went to sea a bunch of times...but I needed to do something more creative and internal. And being out on a ship can be exhausting, and it's awfully hard to have a family. I'm happy with the choices I've made.
- Where can readers find you online?
My blog: http://kidswriterjfox.
blogspot.comMy website: www.janetsfox.comTwitter: @janetsfoxFacebook: http://www.facebook. com/janetsfox
- Your turn. What question do you have for readers of Want My YA?
What do you want to see in a historical YA novel? Is a happy ending important to you?Thanks so much for your answers Janet! It was great to hear from you. Beyond a fair amount of accuracy, I'm not sure what else I'd look for in a historical YA. I honestly can't say that I've read much of the genre though. Most historicals that I've read have been Romance novels. As for the happy ending, oh yes, I much prefer a story that ends happily. I've read and even enjoyed a few that didn't have very happy endings, but those were definitely the exception for me.