Today I welcome fellow 4RV Publishing author, Janet K Brown to my blog. Janet’s debut novel, Victoria and the Ghost made its first appearance at the Kansas Book Festival last September along with mine and a second novel by our “sister” author, Galand Nuchols.
Welcome to Celtic Connexions, Janet. It’s great having you here today. Enough of the preamble, I’m going to cut right to the chase. I’ve been dying to ask this question since your cover was revealed last summer.
I don’t believe in séances, witches, or trying to communicate with the dead. What I do believe: the Almighty God of the Bible invented the supernatural (as we humans think of ghosts). We can’t understand angels, impossible or invisible beings, or any of the mysteries of the universe that God created.
On the other hand, if God sees a young woman like Victoria who needs and asks for His help, He can use any means at His disposal. Even a ghost.
I post about “Are ghosts real.” Find it in the archives on Wed., April 4, 2012 on my site: http://www.janetkbrown.com.
At fifteen, Victoria, a city girl, loses her mother’s love and copes with country isolation, no friends, and no one who cares, until she meets a ghost.
When her mother leaves the family to become a Dallas trophy wife, Victoria’s dad moves her and her sister to a North Texas farm to herd cattle and raise chickens. Refusing to believe this is more than a temporary set-back, Victoria tries to make new friends which isn’t an easy task. The first one stabs her in the back with gossip and a sharp tongue. Meanwhile, her new stepsister takes Victoria’s place in her mother’s heart. Rejection and anger stalk Victoria like a rattlesnake in the cemetery. Good thing she makes friends with a ghost and through him, a good-looking teenaged cowboy.
Is Victoria and the Ghost your first novel?
In 2005, when I started studying the writing craft and trying my hand at finishing a novel and submitting it to editors and/or agents, my policy was if one was rejected, I started another one. Therefore, I have completed seven novels and am 2/3 through with my eighth.
Victoria and the Ghost was the first one I sold. I will always be thankful to Vivian Zabel and those at 4RV Publishing for taking a chance on a new author like me. Victoria and the Ghost is my only YA, but my work in progress now is the sequel.
My sentiments, too, Janet, not to mention my work in “lack of progress” is the sequel to my novel.
How did you find your publisher?
When I attended my usual Romance Writers of America chapter here in Wichita Falls, Texas, the year of 2010, two of the members, one from Altus, Oklahoma and one from Durant, Okla. told us about the organization of OWFI (Oklahoma Writers Federated International). They explained the wonderful conference they do each year in May in Oklahoma City. Since I live two hours away, a writer friend and I registered for the next conference.
I attended in May, 2011 for my first time. I carried with me a proposal for Victoria and the Ghost and made an editor appointment with Vivian Zabel. I met her at breakfast the first morning and found her delightful. When I heard her name mentioned, I told her I had an appointment later with her. She listened to my pitch at the designated time, showed interest, and requested I send her the full manuscript.
I sent it and received a contract my e-mail shortly afterward. I spent the next week dancing all over my house and calling or contacting online everyone I knew to share my excitement.
Your experience with Vivian sounds similar to mine, except I pitched to her at the MuseItUp online conference.
Have you written anything else?
I’ve written short stories for both teens and adults for several years selling most of them to Sunday school take-home papers, but others to magazines or newsletters. I continue to do that. I contract with one publishing company to write thirteen stories at a time. That helps the old cash-flow. Ha!
My completed novels are romance or women’s fiction. One is a coming-of-age romance. They are in various stages of editing or submitting.
I’m glad to hear that you’ve not given up totally on your other completed novels. It’s all a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
On December 6, 2012, Pen-L Publishing released my one and only non-fiction book titled Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness. Since I struggled for years with compulsive overeating, this book came from old journals and memories, so it is a book close to my heart.
Are you working on any other projects that you can tell us about?
I’m 2/3 through with a sequel to Victoria and the Ghost. For those who read that one, they will remember Victoria’s irritating friend/enemy, red-headed Shelley. This will be her story of a country girl who must move to the city without friends or horses.
Her father gets a job of cleaning an old courthouse. When he fights alcoholism, Shelley covers for him by doing his job. I explore the ghost legend at the old courthouse of McKinney, Texas. My working title for the manuscript is A Ghost for Shelley.
I plan on once again attending the OWFI conference and pitching it to Vivian Zabel. I can only keep my fingers crossed.
Purchase links for Victoria and the Ghost
Thank you for your kind welcome, today, Melanie.
It’s been my pleasure, Janet. Our writing journeys have paralleled each other’s in a number of ways.
Janet K. Brown lives in Wichita Falls, Texas with her husband, Charles. She began writing while her three daughters were kids but did not study the craft or submit her work until she retired in October, 2005. Writing became a second career.
4RV Publishing released Janet’s debut novel, an inspirational young adult, Victoria and the Ghost, July, 2012.
She studies her three grandchildren for help with teen expressions and actions.
Pen-L Publishing released Janet’s non-fiction book, Divine Dining Dec. 3, 2012. It’s a 365 devotion book to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness.
Janet belongs to such writing groups as ACFW, OWFI, CWFI, and RWA and continues to write short stories for teens and adults.
She and her husband love to travel with their RV, visit with family, and work in their church.
Contact Janet at:
You’ve heard Janet’s take on ghosts. Do you believe in ghosts?