Christmas Awards 2011

Monday, 7 July 2008

Featured Author

Our featured author this week is Jane Toombs - a prolific author!

Welcome Jane.

Tell us a little about yourself

I live in the USA on the south shore of Lake Superior in the wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with the Viking from my past and our grandcat Kinko. My first book, Tule Witch, a gothic, was published in 1973. To date I have eighty plus published books out there, along with twenty some novellas and short stories.

What do you write?
Though I write in all genres except men’s action and erotica, my favorite to read and write is paranormal romance, My latest two releases will be out in July: The Dark Lighthouse, a suspense romance from Champagne Books and Traitor’s Kiss, a historical romance from Amber Quill Press. I have several others under contract.

Why do you write?
The late Phyllis Whitney once told me a real author is one who is compelled to write. So I guess I’m real. Those around me insist I turn quite testy when not writing, and the Viking has been known to order me to start another book. Writing is a lot like reading—you enter another world. Though this world happens to be one you’re creating, the sense of being elsewhere still prevails.

What are you writing now?
The two bonus novellas to finish up my North of Nonesuch Anthology which will be out in November from Whiskey Creek Press. North of Nonesuch will contain my Dame Turquoise stories from all the Jewels Of The Quill anthologies, plus these two new ones, "Let My Bones Rest" and "Capricorn Capers." JOTQ is a private promo group of twelve authors who promote each other as well as themselves. We do two anthologies a year, several of which have won awards. I’ve also planned out what I call my "caboose" story for the Orphan Train series by six different authors that Champagne Books is featuring Two are out, a third is ready, and mine will be the sixth and the last. The USA actually did send orphan trains west from New York City and Boston in the mid-1800s and folks along the stops took children off the train to adopt. Sometimes this worked well, often the children were mistreated. This series is fictional accounts of six such girls who overcame danger and hardship to not only find a place in the world for themselves, but true love as well. My "caboose" book has them all meeting in a Boston hotel for a grand reunion, ten years after they were together on the train.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
Casual, with a few fancy duds for conferences and special occasions. I rarely wear dresses because I feel more comfortable in pants—jeans and so on. Even my few "dress" clothes are pants suits.

Are you in love? Have you ever been?
Sure have. Though I divorced my first husband after he told me it was either writing or him, I did love him. My second husband and I met in a writing class—love at first sight. We merged my five kids with his two, but still wrote. I was published first, then he was. Though we edited each other’s mss. and brainstormed together, we never actually collaborated on a book. We did so well I retired from nursing and he retired from personnel management so we could write full time. After he died, I had no desire to go through the uncertainties of love a third tiem. But then the Viking from my past called me from Nevada (I was living in New York at the time) . He’d read one of my books with a Swedish hero and was calling to ask if I’d modelled the guy on him. During our talk I learned he was divorced and he learned I was a widow. Vikings work fast. The next I knew I was on a plane to Nevada and, whoa, we discovered age has nothing to do with love. We’ve been together ever since and—here’s romance for you—we’re even going to be buried together.

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he look like?
I always fancied bad boys. Humphrey Bogart was my first hero, and I never did really replace him, although Sean Connory came close..

What kind of comfort food do you like best?
Caramel-covered popcorn and good chocolate. Though I will accept Hershey’s kisses if necessary.

What makes you laugh? Cry?
Well done comedies. Jokes where the punch line is a twist on words. Cry? Almost anything sad in a book or movie chokes me up.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
I do love to read. After I’m through writing a book, it feels like I’ve
emptied myself out and reading fills me up again. I do like to garden, but do less of it the older and creakier I get. The Viking and I take daily walkd down to the Township Park and back most every day, and pick up all the trash people manage to throw out of cars along the way. I’d call them pigs, but actually pigs are very clean animals. We have bird feeders all over the place, but taking care of them is his job. We do enjoy the birds.

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
I tend to like kind and thoughtful people, and truly appreciate those who don’t assume I love all dogs and small children. Unruly dogs and unruly little ones tend to turn me off. Not that I don’t like kids, but I did teach mine manners. I notice cat people are far more likely not to inflict their pets on visitors that dog people, but I haven’t a clue why. I really have never gotten turned on by any women. Men certainly have turned me on, but the Viking most of all.

What do you hate about life?
I’m none too fond of the ailments that creep up as one ages, though we do our best to deal with them and still enjoy life.

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
Life has been good to me. I enjoyed working as a nurse, but really didn’t miss it after I began writing full time. I’ve been lucky to have three interesting men as partners. I’ve also raised seven children in all and love them all. And I’ve succeeded as a writer, which always was my dream.

What are you going to write next?
Finish the two novellas needed to complete my North of Nonesuch Anthology. Write The Outcast, my "caboose" book. Finish Weregriffin, the second book in my Far Darkness Trilogy. Write Unwanted, the second book in my Underground series. Write my next Dame Turquoise story for the fifth JOTQ anthology. Finish Dragon’s Pearl, the first book in my Darkness of Dragons Anthology. All this will certainly take me into some time next year. Probably late next year.

What a busy lady Jane is - and a lady after my own heart I think. Congratulations on writing all those books JANE. That is tremendous!


Liza James said...

Jane, you truly are a remarkable lady! And I can attest that there is nothing sweeter than watching Jane and her Viking walking along hand in hand. :-)

She also is an amazing critiquer.

~Donna Kowalczyk

Ciara Gold said...

It's always fun reading about the inner workings of a fellow author. I've enjoyed working with you on the Orphan Train Project.