1) Why Romance? Did you choose this genre or were you ‘chosen’ by it?
I’m not sure what happened! When I was 14, I started my first novel, of course it turned out to be romance. I wrote many small stories before, especially for school, and lots of things before it got finished. At 24, I finished my first novel. Since then, I’ve just written about couples and what their lives were like, and in the end, they always ended up together. So, maybe romance chose me.
2) Is there a romance author, living or dead, who inspires you particularly?
You know, I’ve had the privilege of reading a lot of other author’s books, but before I joined an indie romance group with yahoo, I never had a favorite. I’d just read anything, especially if it was romance. Since joining this group, I have many favorite authors. I’m not particularly fond of “hot” or erotic books, so I mainly look for contemporary, historical, some suspense. To the authors out there I would say, keep writing! I have a lot more years that I’m going to want new books!
3) Please, tell us about your last book and, if you can, about your future projects.
My last book… I don’t remember which I wrote last. I homeschooled my children and 2 of my grandchildren for a total of 20 years, so I really hadn’t written a full book in a very long time. At this moment, I am promoting 2 of my books, Dangerous Curves and Texas Prisoner. January 31st I am doing a book signing at the Salem Public Library with Dangerous Curves, and have been asked to be at the Cuba (Missouri) library ASAP to do a signing! Word is getting around.
Texas Prisoner takes place near a small town in West Texas, Guthrie. It came into being quite strangely. As I was driving through this area with my sister-in-law, I saw a big red barn-type building. There were small houses in the area, kind of like a community. A story jumped out at me right then, within a split second of seeing this. As I drove down the 2-lane highway, I had a pen in my hand and a notebook on the seat of my suburban, writing the ideas down. I never liked the desert-like setting of Southeast New Mexico, but it was where my husband could get a job, so I stayed there. The character, Amy, is just like that, she doesn’t like the dry, hot desert. She fights her feelings for the man who owns the ranch where her father works as a ranch hand. If she loves him, she will be stuck there for life. She tries everything to get away from there, but she really has no where to go, no way of supporting herself. She is supposed to go to college in the fall in West Virginia, but . . .
I am working on a book right now that I have the whole family involved it. I read the preface out loud to one of my daughters and opened up a discussion unintentionally. I just wanted to know what my daughter thought. She’s always after me to write a total Christian story, you know, no sex before marriage type of thing. My 12-year-old grandson got into the conversation and told me how this woman was going to meet her man! I really liked his idea, and it is going to be in the book, which makes him kind of proud of himself. The book starts out that her husband of almost 5 years dies, but he doesn’t leave her. When the time is right, it is the late husband who pushes her into the man that will be her second husband. My daughter came up with the dilemma to make the story interesting, and my husband came up with the solution. I love it! I’ve never involved anyone else in writing anything before!
4) How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find an agent and get published?
I had an agent one time, no it wasn’t hard to find him. When I first signed up with him, he said he really liked my writing style, and it wouldn’t be but a few months before he knew they would be accepted. Well, a few months, and another few months, and it turned into 6 years. I’d write to him and ask what was going on, he’d write back and send me a list of publishers he’d sent the three manuscripts to, but, nothing. The my daughter put some of my books on Amazon as Kindle, and some sold. In fact, one gal here in town was buying them, but didn’t know they were mine…didn’t even know I wrote. I knew her mother through the homeschool group. When she found out I had gotten one of my books published, she said, “I thought you were a normal person.” Okay, getting a book published makes me abnormal? Anyway, after over a year, my daughter was doing some researching and found CreateSpace.com. I’m self-published, self-promoting, and still wonder if I know what I’m doing!
5) What’s your opinion about this Ebook revolution? Would you consider the indie route?
There are a lot of people self-publishing their books now. I think it’s great! There is a problem with it, in that the readers have to go on a fishing expedition, weeding through the not so good books to find what they like to read. But it’s an opportunity that I have promoted. I’ve met some really nice people through writing groups online, like Christian Writers and Women With Roots, who write just because the stories are in their heads, just like me. I’ve helped several with their editing and teaching them how to get their books put in front of people. The Mad Pumpkin of Saunterville by Anne Elizabeth Steel is one, and she continues to write on 3 other children’s books; From Shame to Honor by Carlena Sue Biggs is another, who has Volume I and Volume II published and is almost done with Volume III. If it weren’t for my daughter believing in me as an author, researching so I could get ‘discovered’, these women, and others, would still be just typing up the stories, not knowing what to do with them.
6) Nowadays many publishers expect their authors to use Social media a lot to promote their books. Many authors, on the other hand, would prefer to write only, without being distracted by digital trivialities: what are your thoughts?
It isn’t cheap to get a book traditionally published, and I figure with the amount of money you spend, you shouldn’t have to do much promotion of your traditionally published book! That’s my thoughts. I really don’t know how it is with publishing. I inquired of one publishing firm and got a quote of $21,000 for one book! They only printed, nothing more. I don’t remember how many boxes of books you would get for your money, but it was up to the author to put the books in bookstores, and wherever else they needed to go to be bought. I told them I didn’t want to buy their printing press! At that time, that was more than we had paid for our house on 12 acres!
I know many publishers aren’t near that price, but with a disabled husband and children at home, me homeschooling, we couldn’t afford to go the route of traditional publishing. When my daughter started talking about the self-publishing stuff, I was like, yeah, right. I didn’t have much confidence in my writing to do much with it. But when the Kindles began selling without my promoting them at all, I started rethinking.
Now with all 15 finished books self-published, I feel really good. They aren’t selling as other people talk about how their books are doing on the yahoo group, but, hey, they are selling! I haven’t been promoting them but for about a month now, so I think we’re going to see something happen. I would really like to just write, not be bothered with the promotion, but it’s not going to happen. I want to help others also, so I have tried to commit to writing 1000 words a day in my book(s), and sometimes it just doesn’t happen.
Info about the author:
Janet Carol Morgan was born in Monterey California. When she wasn’t walking around the area between Pacific Grove and Seaside, sometimes into Pebble Beach, she was writing. At 20, she moved to New Mexico where she met her life-love. Fourteen years there raising their 6 children, they relocated to south central Missouri, where they’ve been nearly 25 years. Living in the country on 12 acres, Janet can write without much interruption…sort of. She has grandchildren living with her, and family in and out. First and foremost, she is a wife, mother and grandmother. Writing comes in a very close second. In her books, you can find a little bit of everywhere she’s lived, and a little bit of the events that have happened in her life. She chose her writer’s name, Jan Carol, when she was 14, and it stuck all through the years. She has 6 grown children, and 14 grandchildren. Lots of things to write about!
Romance Books by Jan Carol
To buy her latest book, simply click on the cover below: