Today I thought I’d brag on a fellow critter of mine, Janet Rocky. We’re both members of the Florida Writer’s Association, and we attend the same critique group. I like to refer to her as the grammar angel because pretty much verbatim she can recite any grammar rule. But, she refers to herself as a pixie. No matter, wished she’d come sit on my shoulder while I wrote everyday. Angels have special powers, you know. Anyway, thought I would give her a happy dance on my blog and post her interview. I’m soooo happy for her!
You can find her anthologies in the following books:
You can also find her author page @: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0032MU152
Now, on with the interview.
Me: What got you into writing?
JR: My grandmother was a writer and encouraged me to follow in her footsteps when I was a teenager. Of course, I didn't listen. One morning, I couldn't shake the vivid dream from the night before, so I started typing it out as a story. It became my novel, "Obedient Heart." Now that I'm older and wiser, I experience the joy that comes from writing short stories, devotionals and, yes, even my novel(s). And yes, I wish I had listened to Grandmother and started writing when I was younger.
My first publishing accomplishment was Thy Will Be Done, a true story in "God's Hand Prints," an anthology of Christian-themed accounts of how God is ever present in our trials and difficulties.
Me: What are your accomplishments so far
JR: After Suzanne Baginski spoke to our FWA group about writing for Chicken Soup anthologies, I submitted Romeow and Julicat to their book, "What I Learned from the Cat." Armed with more cat stories, I responded to a call-out for short stories in Barbour Publishing's anthology, "Heavenly Humor for the Cat Lover's Soul." They bought Silhouette on the Shade, a short devotional about my first cat names Sammy. The editor then asked me to write seven stories for "Heavenly Humor for the Mother's Soul (available April 4, 2011). After submitting those stories, the editor gave me the assignment to write five stories for "Heavenly Humor for the Dieter's Soul."
I continued to work on my novel "Obedient Heart" and entered it in the 2010 Royal Palm Literary Awards contest, where it won second place in inspirational romance genre. The same novel won third place in the Thomas Nelson/WestBow Press/Women of Faith 2011 writing contest.
ME: What inspired you to write your stories?
JR: The best inspiration for my short stories is, of course, my cats. They supply a wealth of opportunities to turn their antics into devotionals or life lessons.
Then Barbour Publishing asked me to provide seven humorous stories for “Heavenly Humor for the Mother’s Soul.” I had to take a step back. My cats offered no inspiration for this assignment. The only memories I had of my mother were years of pain and suffering; the agony of multiple hospitalizations and numerous back surgeries. With my sister's help, I dug deep within me to discover that my mother experienced joy and laughter. She loved and was loved. And she had a great sense of humor. The assignment blessed me beyond words. Now I can smile at memories of my mother.
ME: What's the best advice you can give to any writer starting out?
JR: The best advice I would give a new writer is to first learn the basics of English grammar. Get involved with a critique group to let other sets of eyes look over your work. Then expect rejection but rejoice with each success. Most important, though, is to keep writing!
She also keeps a blog @: http://rockeywrites.blogspot.com/
That’s all for now folks!
Contessa and Arthur will return tomorrow for the letter ‘K’.
Happy blogging, reading, and writing!
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