Our client author Janet Fox invents worlds of ghosts, history and intrigue in her books. Especially in her latest middle-grade novel, THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE, Janet weaves stories of different pasts with an adventure of children who are sent away from London during World War II.
Janet’s characters are just as charming as her tales, and they make us wonder where she thinks it all up. We’re excited to hear from her in our interview this month:
Booking Biz: What does your average day look like?
Janet: If I’m not traveling (and sometimes when I am) I try to write for at least a couple of hours every day. I go to the gym, come home, get my coffee and head to my desk. I check email early because I’m on mountain time and that means my agent’s and editor’s days are already underway, and I want to not miss important traffic.
Then I get to work on whatever my latest project is, and that means anything from drafting to revising to reading aloud as I walk at my treadmill desk. Sometimes I have a page count goal, sometimes a word count goal, sometimes just a brainstorming goal—or a craft study goal.
Late in the day, I check in on the internet again and that’s when I try to tackle any marketing stuff (write a blog post, tweet, post a Facebook thing or two, or answer questions like these. 🙂 )
Booking Biz: When you’re not writing, what do you like to do best?
Janet: I’ve got a couple of favorite hobbies. My husband and I love to walk, so we do a lot of hiking. I love gardening, so during the warm seasons I’m outside a lot—and I also have a new greenhouse and I love propagating. I knit which is kind of a meditative thing for me. And I read a ton.
Booking Biz: Where do you get the inspiration for your books?
Janet: A lot of my inspiration comes from dreams. Seriously, I wake up with the idea in my head and I just can’t leave it alone.
For THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE, the inspiration was an image I saw on Facebook (that chatelaine is a real thing.)
For FAITHFUL, my first novel, the inspiration was Yellowstone Park itself, which our family has loved for a long time and now we live not far away.
For my newest book—hopefully my next middle grade—my inspiration was reading an author note in a Jane Yolen story, in which she mentioned that there came a time when knights were disappearing in favor of hired mercenaries. Hence the working title, THE LAST TRUE KNIGHT OF THE REALM.
Booking Biz: Did you always want to write books for children, or was there another career you wished for as a child?
Janet: I’ve actually had a somewhat checkered history. I wanted to be a writer when I was a kid but then took a detour and eventually got my master’s degree in oceanography.
I came back to writing when our son was diagnosed with dyslexia and I began to make up stories to help him learn to read. And that was so much fun, I dove into writing for children feet first.
As to careers I wished for as a kid? I wanted to be a ballerina, and then an actress. I actually did both, at one time or another. So I got to experience the stuff I was not cut out for.
Booking Biz: If you ruled the world, what would it look like?
Janet: Oh, wow. Golly. If I ruled the world, I’d want every child to have the best reading instruction and complete access to any book they wanted to read. I’d pair the perfect pet (goldfish, bunny, dog, cat, hamster…) with every living human. I’d ban billboards and whale hunts. I’d take the internet down every evening between 5 and 7 pm to encourage family dinner conversation.
Well, at any rate, that’s a start…
Booking Biz: Sounds like a good world to us!