Monday, July 6, 2009


Shari: Janet, please tell my readers about yourself.

Janet: I’m a bookaholic, a former teacher, worked in the dormitories at California School for the Deaf for many years, and have always loved kids. My husband and I raised three foster sons with special needs in addition to our birth-daughter, and I’m now a grandma. When we retired my husband and I moved to the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills in California, but we often go back to visit family and friends in the San Francisco Bay Area where I spent most of my life.

Shari: How long have you been writing? Have you only written for children?

Janet: I’ve been writing most of my life, and submitted my first things for publication about twenty years ago. I’ve always wanted to be the author of books for children but nearly all my previously published work has been non-fiction articles for adults. I used to write feature articles for a newspaper and have had things published in dozens of other periodicals and a few anthologies. Once I even won a poetry contest, although I don’t consider myself a poet.

Shari: I understand you have a book coming out soon. Is this your first book? Please tell us about it.

Janet: Yes, The Peril of the Sinister Scientist is my first book and it will be released in August, though I don’t know the exact date yet. It’s about a middle school student who thinks he was cloned from the blood on the Shroud of Turin because a scientist who had worked on that experiment is stalking him.

I also have a Christmas picture book that will be published near the beginning of October.

Shari: Did your publisher pick your illustrator or did you have some input?

Janet: Since this book is for middle-grade kids the only art is on the cover. The publisher chose the person to do it, but I have had some input.

Shari: What are you doing now to prepare for when the book comes out?

Janet: I’ve gotten involved with Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking, which has taken a lot of time to learn since I’m not good at technical things. I’ve already got some speaking events scheduled, and have made a list of contact information for schools, stores, media and other places to send information nearer to the release date. I’m working on bookmarks and will have some of those made as soon as I get the final version of the cover art.

Shari: Do you have a website or blog?

Janet: Yes, my website is and I have two blogs. The first one, is about words, books, and kids. A few months ago I started a second one, about special needs.

Shari: What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Janet: The hardest part is catching errors when I rewrite. Often I think I’ve solved all the problems, only to have a member of my critique group or an editor point out something I’ve missed.

Shari: What advice would you give to someone just beginning to write for children?

Janet: Know children well, read lots of books for children, and don’t give up. You’re not a real writer unless you have rejections.

Shari: Do you have a designated writing space? Tell us about it.

Janet: I have a bedroom that I use as an office. There’s a big window that looks out on evergreen trees and a bulletin board covered with photos and artwork to remind me of people and places I love. The rest of the room is absolutely jammed with books about writing, file cabinets, equipment, and piles of papers that never stay organized for more than a few days. It’s sort of like my brain in that respect.


Marinela said...

Thanks for sharing Janets interview.I enjoyed reading it!!!

Mayra Calvani said...

Great interview! It must be exciting to have two books published so close to each other. I bet you're busy with all the promo. Good luck, Jan, and congrats!

Cheryl said...

Great interview ladies. It's nice to know more about you Jan.

I think it's very hard to catch your own errors. I know I sure have challenges with it, even though I can pick up errors in everyone else's writing.

Best of luck with your books.


Janet Ann Collins said...

Thanks for the nice comments!

Joy said...

Shari, Thanks for some indide information about Janet. It's nice to get to know fellow authors and cyber friends.
Janet, congratulations on you two books. Now the fun begins!


Margot Finke said...

WOW! Janet is an amazing lady - and so talented!!

Great interview, mate.

Margot Finke

Critiques - Writing Help - Books:

Janet Ann Collins said...

You people make me blush. Thanks for the praises.