Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Janet B Taylor

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday
 Janet B. Taylor

Janet  was recently named as a
quarter-finalist in the 2011 
Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.  
You can read her entry and leave a review here. 
I've read it. Great hook and terrific voice! 

Let's Get to Know Janet!
First, let's talk about the contest!
When I entered, I really had no idea what I was doing. I just thought..."Hey, a free complete manuscript contest... neat." I had NO idea I'd make it through the first round, where there were 5,000 entries, much less to the second round, where they cut it down to only 250. Now, I have my very own page on Amazon Kindle. 
 Now, let's talk about DFWCon
I met Dawn at the DFW writer's conference in February. (She is a lovely, fun woman~*Ahh, Jan is so sweet* ~) We'd met on Twitter before the conference, along with a couple of other girls, and it was such a pleasure having some friends to lean on and have fun with there.
I had a marvelous, informative time...Until.. Da..Da..Dummmm....
The Query Gong Show. Now, this is an event that took place in a huge auditorium with a panel of agents in front of a crowd of two-hundred people. 
I'd sent in a query back in January, and forgotten I'd sent it. The query in question had been on Janet Reid's fabulous Query Shark, and not only made it on the blog, it had made it through to yes. (You can check out her query letter here.)
Any of you who are familiar with that blog, knows that it is a big accomplishment..or so I thought. 
Still, I was concerned with it, and tried to pull the query, the day of the gong show. Too late.  I snuck in the back of the auditorium, having just finished up a class, and sat behind a row of some more agents. 
When the announcer, who sounded like the voice of God, began reading my query, I shrunk down in my chair, wishing the heavens would open up and take me away on a bright beam of light. Nope. I had to sit there and listen to the panel gong my query and tear it to ribbons in front of all those people. 
Thank the Lord, it was anonymous.
I've done some MAJOR revisions on it since, and I have to say that of all the things I learned at the conference, that was the most important--though most painful--lesson. 
You can read about Janet used this experience to her advantage on her blog. 
Tell us more about yourself
   Do you have a writing routine? What does it look like? Where do you usually write? 
My best writing time is early in the morning. Since my husband and I have to be at work at 7am, I usually get up around 3:30, and write for two hours. Then on the weekends, I write till noon or so.

 Is the life of a writer what you thought it be? What is different? 
 I love, love to write. But the submission process and the query process is so much harder and nerve-wracking than I ever dreamed.

    Do you have any special time management tricks for working in writing time and living a normal life?  
Well, gotta go back to the getting up early thing, for me. I can’t stay up late, so for me, it’s all about the mornings.

 What is the best advice you have received about this journey?
  Believe in yourself. Never give up, because you never know what will hit in this business. 

  What advice do you wish someone would have given you when you were starting out? 
I wish I’d had any advice. I pretty much figured it out on my own, but I have some good friends and great advisors now. I’m going to start working with the amazing author, of the wonderful book SPLIT,  Swati Avasthi this week, and I wish I’d started with her sooner.
    What do you do to fight burnout? Do you ever worry about "running out of stories"? 
How do combat that? I don’t worry about running out of stories, they float around in my head all the time, and I’ll stop what I’m doing and jot them down, trying to save them for a later time. I’m really new at this, so other than feeling discouraged at the rejections sometimes, I never get tired of writing.

     What kind of scenes do you have a hard time writing? 
I have the hardest time with descriptions. I can see the images in front of me, but getting them onto paper with new and exciting phrases is hardest. The easiest thing for me is dialogue. That just flows naturally for me.

     Do you ever write material based on your close relationships, such as a best friend?, and how do you balance that material with the need to tell an interesting story? 
Oh yeah, I think we all use tidbits out of our own lives, you just have to punch them up a bit to make them more exciting.

     What sources do you use for inspiration? ( Music, movies, people watching) 
I love to people watch, and when I see an interesting-looking person, I’ll jot down a description of them or write down funny or strange conversations.

     What do you do when you aren’t writing? 
 I’ve been a Radiologic Technologist for 25 years, and now I’m what’s called a Quality Assurance Manager. I have to approve all the digital x-rays the technologists take, before they go to the radiologist for interpretation.

    Tell us a bit about your work in progress. 
I am beginning a major revision of THE DIM with Swati. My book about a teenage girl who must travel back to the year 1543 to rescue her mother who is trapped in time.
    What is next for you? 
I’ve started writing and plotting my next book, which is about Ginny-Lee, a teenager from the poorest, most white-trash family in a small Arkansas town. Her mother wins the lottery and they buy an old southern-style mansion. Her father was killed by the police for a crime he didn’t commit, and when she moves into the mansion, strange things start happening.

Thank you so much for inviting me to participate in your blog. I am truly honored, and I’m also honored to call you my friend! ~
Ahh, did I tell you she is awesome! 

She is!

In honor of Janet's Gong Show Experience, tell me your story! Have you had any "Oh, no!" moments in your writing journey? Tell us about it then pop over to 



Teri Anne Stanley said...

My goal for 2011 is to live fearlessly, but not sure I could be fearless enough to to the query! Sending stuff to crit partners is terrifying enough for me right now.

Anonymous said...

Woot! Yay Janet!

Dawn Alexander said...

Teri~ but you have awesome crit partners :)
Sharla~ I know! So proud of her!
Janet~ You rock! and I will be honored to say I knew you back when you were butt-load girl!

Anonymous said...

LOL! GOOOO Buttload!! LOL

Dawn, Thanks so much for inviting me to be on your blog. I really need to find my way with my blog. I am going to follow your, Sharla, and Lindsay's leads and learn how to do an interesting blog. All of yours are just great!!!

Thanks again so, SO much! You are JUST a terrific lady!