I am really excited to welcome author Janet W. Ferguson today. Janet and I connected through Facebook and I think you’re really enjoy getting to know a little bit about her and her writing. Be sure to read on for a special giveaway, too!
Welcome Janet! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m excited to be here! Thank you for the invitation! I live down South in the great, and perhaps little-known, state of Mississippi with my husband and our sweet labra-labra-doodle (three parts black lab-one part poodle) Remi who sheds terribly, leaving little black tumbleweeds around the house on a daily basis. We have a couple of cats who despise each other. There is often the sound of hissing and yowling while Remi barks in an attempt to break up the cat fights. And one or more of them always wants to sit on or beside us, while another wants in or out the backdoor.
We also have a son and daughter in their early twenties who are beginning their adulting phases of life where we are needed occasionally—other times not so much.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
My favorite part is using my imagination, when the words flow and the characters begin talking. It’s literally a surprise sometimes what they will say or do. They make me laugh, they make me cry. So much fun! Of course, my husband thinks it’s all a little strange, me laughing or crying while writing. He’s an environmental engineer, enough said, right?
What is your least favorite part of the writing process?
Editing! Rewriting scenes, changing things in the story, in other words—EDITING, ha! I spent four years editing my first book, but I had a lot to learn about crafting fiction. I’ve published three more stories since then, so I can hope the edits will be a little easier next time…a little easier, please…
Oh, bless you. We do not share an affinity for editing. Ha! Can you tell us about newest book?
Blown Together is my latest release and my personal favorite. It’s the story of two people who are the king and queen of bad first dates. They’re thrown together along with a hairless cat named Mr. Darcy in coastal Alabama with a storm brewing in the Gulf. It’s a lot of fun when the wind starts blowing and the sparks start flying!
Cats and storms…that sounds wonderful to me! I can’t wait to read it. From where did the inspiration come for this book?
I have these nice friends, who started asking me to go with them on “girls’ beach therapy trips” to Fort Morgan a few years ago. Bless them forever for that kindness. This story grew in my imagination while on one of these trips. On the Fort Morgan, Alabama, beach, I stood watching a while a storm blew in. I pictured a lonely and quirky romance writer, the queen of bad dates, running back to her little beach cottage she shared with her hairless cat Mr. Darcy. Yes, my brain works a little bit differently than most.
The perfect hero instantly came to mind for her. Sam Conrad. He appears in all three of the first stories of the Southern Hearts Series. He’s a bit jaded and snarky and tends to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Imagine the fireworks when they’re thrown together. Maybe even Blown Together by the weather.
And that’s how it all started. Did I mention that I love the beach? It’s my happy place!
I love that, Janet! What was the last/current book you’ve read/are reading?
I’m reading three or four books besides what I critique for other authors. Convenient Lies by Robin Patchen, The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate, A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz, and Close to You by Kara Isaac. All great stories!! The trouble with writing is that I don’t have as much time to read for fun. I also have trouble turning off my author brain. I read much slower now, savoring nice phrases, noticing their craft.
I bet many authors, including myself, can relate to that. Who are some of your favorite writers?
Oh mercy, that’s way too hard to pin down. I’ll tell you what writers/books made me fall in love with Christian fiction many years ago: Francine Rivers (Mark of the Lion Series), Charles Martin (Wrapped in Rain), Lynn Austin (gods & kings series), and Randy Alcorn (Safely Home). These books moved me. They reminded me fiction can teach, and fiction can inspire. They reminded me that Jesus taught with stories and parables.
What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give to other writers?
Be teachable. There is a craft to writing. Study the craft, buy the writing books, read the writing blogs every day. Exchange stories with critique partners. Listen to your highly qualified fiction editor. Don’t put out a bad product.
Great advice, Janet. Things for us all to consider, no matter what stage of the process we’re at! Thanks for being my guest today!
Giveaway: Blown Away
Readers, Janet is graciously giving away a copy of Blown Away to one reader! To enter, simply leave a comment for her below.
Southern Hearts Series ~ Book 4
When love storms in…
Wealth manager Sam Conrad is accustomed to his domineering father ordering him around, especially at the bank where they both work. But when his father demands that Sam manage the inheritance of his bossy ex-fiancée, Sam has finally had enough. He leaves in search of a new life, and attorney Big Roy Bosarge from Mobile, Alabama agrees to mentor Sam on his quest for direction. Sam didn’t expect to be thrown together with Big Roy’s eccentric and opinionated daughter.
Storm damage forces lonely romance writer Elinor Bosarge and her hairless cat, Mr. Darcy, out of her Fort Morgan Beach cottage. She plans to take refuge in the boathouse on her parents’ estate, but finds the place already occupied by one of her father’s “projects.” She’s shocked her father would allow another young man onto the property after his last mentee robbed her family and broke her heart. And from the moment she meets Sam Conrad, they disagree about everything from her cat to how to best renovate a local nursing home.
Between her mother’s health issues and the hurricane brewing in the Gulf, Elinor feels like her life is being ripped apart. It doesn’t help that she’s falling for the man she’s determined not to trust. Sam finds himself drawn to Elinor, wanting to help her and this new family he’s grown to love. But can he overcome the barrier she’s built to keep him out? When the storm rages and the two of them are blown together, can Elinor find the faith to open her heart again?
About Janet W. Ferguson
Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children’s minister and a church youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a few cats that allow them to share the space.