I’ve known Janet Quinn for more years than I can count on both hands. She’s a dyed-in-the-wool storyteller with the envious ability to create charming characters in stories that are both heartwarming and adventurous. Janet published her first novel, a time travel romance, Yesteryear’s Love, (Berkeley) in 1999, which by the way, is being republished by Amber Quill Press. If you’re in the mood for romance, adventure, a dash of time travel, a swirl of shapeshifter fantasy, pick up a Janet Quinn. Janet’s a prolific writer, and she kindly took time from her schedule to answer a few questions in an e-mail interview. So, here’s the Quinn-tessence…
Why do you write?
I write because it makes me feel good. I have always been a storyteller and I always have a story that needs to be told. I can’t imagine not writing. It is part of who I am.
How do you find the story?
I find stories everywhere. I’ll read an article in a magazine or see a movie trailer that will spark an idea. I’ve gotten ideas from television movies. I’ve had them pop into my head. Sometimes something a speaker says will spark an idea. At times I actually sit down and think up a story idea for a specific purpose.
What is your writing routine?
I try to write on Friday afternoons if I don’t have to go anywhere. Most of the time I write on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings. If I have to do edits, I’ll work every evening on them.
How do you revise?
I finish the first draft, then let the story sit for at least a week. Then I sit in front of the computer and start with page one and go to the end. I have the story read by someone else, and when I get it back, I go through the whole story again, putting in anything marked on the manuscript and rereading it for other changes. Now that I have a laptop, I sit on the couch, in front of the television, and do revisions. I don’t write on the laptop, just do revisions.
What are your thoughts about the writer’s voice? What do you think of your own voice?
Every writer has a voice. That’s what makes his or her writing different from everyone else’s. I think some writers have more than one voice. I have a romance voice which I have to watch and make sure it doesn’ t bleed into the non-romance pieces I write. I also have an historical voice with which I am very comfortable. I also am developing a contemporary voice and a fantasy voice. Each genre needs a different voice.
What advice do you have for the aspiring writer?
If you want to be a writer, the only way to learn is to sit down and write. Each piece you write will be better than the last one. You need to think of writing as a job and set aside time that is writing time. Otherwise it becomes a hobby that you do when and if you have time. Also, take writing classes. There is so much information out there and so many people willing to share their experience.
Thank you, Janet. Check out Janet’s books at her site.