Interview with Janis Flores Musa Event (1)

Welcome to Julies Book Review!  Janis Flores from Musa Publishing is visiting JBR today!

They are giving away copies of Sweeter Than Wine on the rafflecopter to the right of the page. The giveaway will last all October long. So lots of GREAT items for a AWESOME giveaway!

We are all very glad you came here to JBR. 

Can you tell us a little about your self?

First, I’m so glad to be here, and I thank you for the opportunity to talk about a book that’s dear to my heart—SWEETER THAN WINE.

Product Details
I must have wanted to be a writer from a very young age, because I have the first story I ever wrote. I was about five years old, and it’s about a fox and a rabbit. It was only one page, but it was a beginning!

I started out as a Medical Technologist, but while taking a creative writing course after I got married, I wrote my first real book. It was a Gothic suspense called HAWKSHEAD. I sent it to Doubleday and Company, and they published it in hardcover! Things were very different “back then” in the publishing world. An agent saw the book at the prestigious Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany and called me asking if I wanted representation. He was just starting Writers House, so we kind of “grew up” together. He negotiated a very nice advance for my third book, so I quit my job at the lab. I’ve been writing full-time since then and have been lucky enough to have 35 books published. My latest, SWEETER THAN WINE, by Musa Publishing, is my first ebook.

What genres do you write?

I have written (and been published in) Gothic suspense, historical romance, family saga, contemporary romance, and contemporary mainstream fiction. I’ve been writing the mainstream books for about ten years now, but I hope that one day I’ll get back to historicals. I love the 1800’s, but only to read about. Aside from the corset and all those petticoats that women wore, I am too fond of modern conveniences to be a pioneer woman, like my great-grandmother was!

As a reader I love all genres but my followers want to know what to expect from your books. Action, adventure, romance, sex, magic??

One thing that readers can always expect from my books is a strong heroine who
doesn’t crumble at the last moment. I didn’t even write my romances that way. I love to write characters who have to strive to overcome great obstacles. They risk, they dare—and even if they’re afraid they forge ahead anyway. And of course I have a love story (not a romance, which is different—in my mind, anyway). My two main characters gradually fall in love, until by the end… well, you know.

I also like to have a mystery. In SWEETER THAN WINE, someone is willing to go to great lengths to stop the heroine from restoring her family winery—someone who is willing to resort to… murder.

Another element I like is action and/or adventure. Again, in SWEETER THAN WINE, the hero raises and trains Search and Rescue dogs. He and his #1 search dog go on some harrowing rescues. In another book I wrote, SIREN SONG, the hero is a wildlife documentary photographer who travels the world documenting wildlife abuse. He gets into some tight situations, too!

Who is your favorite character(s) from your books?

One of my favorite characters (female) is Terra Cavanaugh, from SWEETER THAN WINE. I like Terra because she is smart, focused, and once she is given the opportunity to right a wrong that was done to her, she accepts an almost impossible challenge to bring her family’s beloved winery back from the brink of bankruptcy. But she is also haunted by a past she has buried deep in her mind. She keeps getting “flashes” of a red dog she can’t remember until something (I won’t say what!) triggers her memory at the end.

What is your newest release? can you tell us a little about it?

My newest release is called SWEETER THAN WINE, the book I’ve been talking about here. I was so glad to see it published as an ebook. It’s set in the wine country of Northern California (where I conveniently live) and it’s about a woman, Terra Cavanaugh, who faces tremendous odds when she returns to the family winery in Napa to save it from bankruptcy. Next door to the winery is a man named Jake Vreeland, whom I’ve mentioned also. He raises and trains Search and Rescue dogs and goes on some very dangerous rescues, taking us with him. Terra and Jake are two damaged people—one can’t remember the past, and the other wants to forget it. A major element of the story is how these two people rescue each other.

What about future projects? any hints?

I’m writing a book right now that’s different from any I’ve written before. It’s about a young woman from a hard background growing to maturity—the people she meets (bad and good), the choices she makes, and who, when she finally finds out who she really is, will be faced with a hard decision that will impact her future, and the lives of those around her.

I’m also working on a book featuring a Military Working Dog (MWD) and two soldiers—a man and a woman—who return home from Iraq suffering from PTSD.

Can you give aspiring authors any advice?

I used to say that the best way to write a book is to pick up a pen (nowadays it’s a computer keyboard), start writing, and don’t quit until you reach the end. But I’ve realized that isn’t very helpful. So now I’d say that there isn’t a thing on earth that hasn’t been written about in some form; the trick is to write it a different way—to write it your way. So many aspiring writers have said to me that they planned to submit something even though they knew it wasn’t quite finished. I’ve known many editors over the years, and I can tell you that’s the best way to have your submission tossed in the “round” file (the wastebasket). Make sure that your book, or story, or novella, or whatever it is, is polished until it shines. Don’t send anything out until you believe it’s the best it can be.

How about some "fun" personal stuff!

Fun stuff, huh? For a serious person who tends to be a workaholic, that’s a difficult question. But one thing I really enjoy is walking dogs at our local animal shelter. I walk the dogs who first come in after they’re lost, or abandoned, or just unwanted. Often, they’re frightened and confused, and I love spending time with them, trying to restore their confidence so they can be adopted out to their “forever home.” They’ve given me so much more than I’ve given them.

Other “fun” facts: As you might have guessed, I have been an animal lover all my life. Fortunately I married a gem of a man who has, without complaint: 1) built a beautiful stand for my 30-gallon aquarium in a corner of my office; 2) built an aviary for my canaries, finches, and button quail that took up an entire wall of my office, floor to ceiling; 3) built a rabbit hutch that ran the length of another wall for my rescued bunny Oreo; 4) built a chicken house and run (outside) that’s completely enclosed because of the wildlife (we live in a semi-rural area), and 5) built a four-stall barn (although I did half the work on that one) for our horses.

What book have you read that touched you deeply? and why? (yours or someone elses)

One book? There are so many! But if I absolutely have to choose just one, I’ll say it’s GONE WITH THE WIND. There are so many wonderful elements to it: the writing, of course; the setting; the history of the Civil War and the South; and a heroine who starts out as a pampered, spoiled little vixen but who changes and grows into a woman of steel. And of course there’s Rhett Butler, every woman’s hero. What more could we ask for in a single book?

Favorite past time activity?

Writing, reading, of course, making quilting projects with my embroidery machine, riding my horse, working with dogs—those at the Humane Shelter, and my own. We only have three dogs now: an Aussie and two rescues, one with only three legs. But don’t feel sorry for her: she can outrun me in a heartbeat!

A favorite book or author you can recommend (not your own)?and WHY?

I’ve always loved Dick Francis. He’s a British mystery writer who started out as a
jockey for the Queen of England and turned to mystery writing when he retired from the racetrack. In the latter part of his life, his son Felix helped to write the books, but I’ve read his earlier ones again and again. His mysteries are always intriguing, and I always learn something from the occupations of his principal characters. I love his style of writing, and his opening sentences make me wish I was that clever!

Favorite place to travel to?

My husband and I have traveled to Hawaii, the Bahamas, Tahiti, and many of the states. But to be honest, Sonoma County (where we live) is the best place on earth. We’re always so glad to get home.

What kind of music do you listen too?

I don’t generally listen to music, especially when I write, because it distracts me. But I’m a “boomer” and I love music from the 60’s and early 70’s. THOSE were the days!

And finally where can we find your books?(please include any links you want including buy links)

You can find my newest release, SWEETER THAN WINE, and a reissue of another novel, TOUCHED BY FIRE, at Musa Publishing; also at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Overdrive and—I recently heard—at iTunes. Some of the links are:
Musa Publishing: http://tinyurl.com/ebookSweeterThanWine
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/JF-STW
Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/SweeterThanWine

Musa Publishing : http://tinyurl.com/Musa-Touched-by-Fire
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/JFlores-TBF
Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/eBN-Touched-by-Fire

For further details, I’d be delighted if you visited my website: JanisFlores.com
You can also find me at Facebook: Facebook.com/janfloresauthor
And Twitter: @JanisOFlores

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to reach out to your readers. I wish you continued success!

Well I know I learned a lot and have added to our TBR list. I hope you all have had fun as well as well. Thank you again Janis Flores for coming and talking with me here on JBR. I hope you had fun and I hope to see you again. Good Luck and wishing you lots of success!

Julie Ramsey

1 comment:

  1. First, I want to thank Julie for the interview and for putting Sweeter Than Wine on her website for review. And second--thanks to Petra for the five-star rating. I'm so glad she liked the book--and picked up on what I was trying to do with the story.
    A small correction: Sweeter Than Wine will be available for the rest of October (not April, when it was originally scheduled). I hope readers will enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.


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