Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Janet Dean: When I Was Just a Kid

This interview is special to me in many ways. I met Janet as part of the American Christian Fiction Writers Indiana Chapter. She's a former teacher; so am I. She loves to draw, play golf and loves dolls; so do I. And then, her first historical romance novel was set in the town I was born in--Noblesville, Indiana! Janet is first class in my book.

Janet's childhood was filled with family storytellers. The creativity and stories from then have influenced Janet's writing today. Let's take a look at this beauty's past:

Childhood Ambition: At twelve I wanted to write. I illustrated my little romances, drawing my heroines in profile with turned up noses and long curly hair. I wish I had those stories today, but as I matured, they must have embarrassed me because I tossed them.

Fondest Memory (then): Christmas was a very special time in our house. Decorating the tree with icicles hung just so, singing Christmas carols, lighting a star-shaped candle, the excitement of Christmas morning with gifts under the tree. When we were little, my brothers and I woke before dawn. Some years our parents had barely gotten to bed, but they’d drilled into us that we weren’t to go downstairs until they were up.

Proudest Moment (then): Good grade cards. My dad was a teacher and I became one so perhaps that’s why I took such pride in my report card.

(Janet with her brothers above)

Biggest Challenge as a Child or Teen: The summer before I entered fourth grade, my family moved from a city suburb to the outskirts of a tiny community five hours away. It seemed everyone was either related or knew each other from birth. I was shy so making friends wasn’t easy.

My First Job: I babysat and picked strawberries for my dad, but I got my first real job during college. I took care of the younger children at an elementary school near campus while teachers had their lunch. I met my husband on that job. He oversaw the older children. We joined forces on the playground during recess. Soon children sang,” Dale and Janet sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g. First came love, then came marriage, then came Janet with a baby carriage.” LOL Not sure if that’s why he asked me out, but we started dating. That job gave me way more than a paycheck and five lunches a week.

Childhood Indulgence: Ice cream cones. Still love them.

Favorite Outfit as a Child: My mother made me a black velvet straight skirt. I was so proud of that grown-up skirt. I wore it to our extended family Christmas celebration and split the seams jumping with my younger cousins on my grandparents’ featherbed. I was devastated and red-faced to admit I wasn’t the young lady I believed myself to be.

Favorite Childhood Movie and/or TV Show: I loved all of the cowboy TV shows. I could watch one after the other and never tire of them. Still love the cowboys!

Favorite Childhood Book: Black Beauty.

Favorite Childhood Activity/Pastime: Reading and coloring. When I have the time, I now draw with colored pencils.

Childhood Hero: My mom. I thought she was beautiful. I admired her fun spirit, work ethic, and creativity. She was a quilter, made ornaments for our Christmas tree, could whip up a lovely meal and a couple pies, and volunteer in the community. I loved to sit on her bed and watch her get ready for formal occasions. I can still see her powdering her shoulders. I miss her.

Childhood Pet or Favorite Toy: The family dog, a shaggy mutt named Rags. He lived to a ripe old age, but we had to put him down following a stroke. A sad day at our house. Since then, I’ve developed allergies to cats and dogs. So our girls had hamsters, fish and a guinea pig for pets. My favorite toys were dolls. I still love them.

Favorite Subject in School: I loved school and liked all subjects except math. I don’t have a head for numbers, but fortunately my husband does.

See photos and more of Janet's writing journey at:

See what Janet's thoughts are at her blogspot:

Janet and her writer friends' blog at Seekerville:

Anything else you would like to share with readers about your childhood which affected the writer you have become?

I grew up in a family with a strong creative streak that cherished the past. My father recounted fascinating stories, like his father before him. Their tales installed in me a love of history and a desire to write.

Thanks for having me today, Crystal! I enjoyed it.

Courting Miss Adelaide

Mass MarketPaperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Steeple Hill (September 9, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0373827962
ISBN-13: 978-0373827961
The “orphan train” seemed like small-town spinster Adelaide Crum’s last chance to know the simple joys of family life. So many lost children, every one of them dreaming only of a caring home—the home she longed to offer. And yet the narrow-minded town elders refused to entrust even the most desperate child to a woman alone….

Newspaperman Charles Graves believed his heart was closed forever, but he swore to stand by this lovely, lonely woman who was fighting for the right to take some motherless child into her heart. And her gentle soul and unwavering faith made him wonder if even he could overcome the bitter lessons of the past, and somehow find the courage to love….

4 1/2 Stars, Romantic Times BOOK reviews

"Janet Dean's Courting Miss Adelaide (4 1/2) is a wonderfully sweet love story that includes facts about the orphan trains."

Like to win a copy of this book in a drawing? Just leave a comment with your contact information (your name AT yourISP.com)
MARTHA A. WAS OUR WINNER!! Thanks so much for all the comments.

The second book in the Courting series, Courting the Doctor’s Daughter will release in May 2009.

Janet's Awards
Fascinated by history and the role of strong women in our nation's past, Janet brings both together in her faith-based love stories. Two of her manuscripts were 2005 and 2006 Golden Heart finalists. One of those manuscripts was a 2006 Genesis finalist.
You can also order at eHarlequin.


Sharon A. Lavy said...

I would love to win this book. It sounds interesting.

Cara Slaughter said...

Janet, it's fun hearing the answers to such interesting questions! I learned a lot about you. It sounds like you had a wonderful childhood. Does it give you ideas for your stories?

ForstRose said...

Crystal & Janet,

Please enter me.


Donna M said...

Wow, I'm the first!! Please enter me in the drawing. I would love to read this one.


Jullie Scudder Dearyan said...

Hi Crystal,
Loved this interview with Janet Dean. I enjoyed learning more about her childhood and I absolutely loved the cover of her latest book! Beautiful.
Thanks so much.
Julie Scudder Dearyan

Myra Johnson said...

Oh, this is precious, Janet & Crystal! What a fun idea for an author interview!

Martha A. said...

Nice interview~

Missy Tippens said...

What a fun interview!! Janet, I love the photos. You're so cute! :)

Also, I loved Courting Miss Adelaide!! You all don't want to miss this one!


ladystorm said...

Sounds like a great book, I would love to be entered into the contest.

ladystorm282001 at yahoo dot com

CherryBlossomMJ said...

I'm looking forward to this book and have been ever since Julie Lessman sent me a bookmark for it. Please please do enter me!

cherryblossommj (at) gmail [dot] com

Janet Dean said...

Hi Sharon. I'm grateful for your interest in my book! Today is the actual release date. Though it's been in Wal-Mart since Saturday. B&N here since Monday. I'll check out Borders tomorrow. :-)


Janet Dean said...

Hi Cara. I'm blessed to have had a wonderful childhood. I can't say I get ideas for my historicals from those days. I'm not that old. ;-) But parts of myself are in my characters.


Janet Dean said...

Hi Melissa. Thanks for stopping in. And for giving us your e-mail address in case you win.


Janet Dean said...

Donna, Thanks for stopping in!


Janet Dean said...

Hi Julie,

Crystal's "When I was Just a Kid" blog is such fun! Glad you enjoyed the interview.


Janet Dean said...

Hi Myra, I've never seen another blog like this one. Crystal's a genius.


Janet Dean said...

Hi Martha! Thanks for your interest in my book.


Janet Dean said...

Hi Missy! Glad you enjoyed the interview.

I loved your debut, Her Unlikely Family. Guess we're a mutual admiration society!


Janet Dean said...

Hi Stormi, I love your name! Is it hard to live up to? ;-) Thanks for stopping today.


Janet Dean said...

Good to see you Cherryblossommj! You're entered!


Ausjenny said...

I too really really want to win this book.
Great interview and some great memories. my first job was babysitting too. but it was like a treat as they had a swimming pool and i got paid to play with the kids who were only a few years younger than me.
ausjenny at gmail dot com
note i am going to Canada this week leaving today but will have access to check email but not very day.

Lucie said...

What a lovely lady! I really enjoyed reading about Janet Dean and her family ect... How nice it is to get online and get to know book authors - we live in such a great time in history!
Please enter me in the drawing for this book! Thank you!


LucieInCA [at] aol [dot] com

Becky C. said...

This sounds like a great book!

Please enter me in the contest!

Thank you,

Becky C.

Janet Dean said...

Hi Jenny, Sounds like a pretty fun job, though watching kids around water is nothing to take lightly.

Is the trip to Canada a visit home, Jenny? Have a safe trip.


Lia said...

Thanks for the contest! I really wanted to read this and I pray I win (in the nicest way, of course!) =)

liatheddrfreak (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

Hi Janet and Crystal,

Although I am not involved in the group much, I try to keep up with everyone. Janet, I am so proud of you! What a beautiful cover to your precious, hard work and belief. It does match the beautiful lady inside of you, that I have had the opportunity to get to know. I look forward to reading it in complete.


Thank you for this blog. Just like you, it shows a real interest in the person, as well as the writing. It has been a treat to talk with you at meetings.

Sue Maley

Doreen said...

I Would love the chance to win this book! :) purposedrivenlife4you(at)gmail(dot)com

bookwurm70 said...

Thanks so much for the nice interview! How fun to get to know Janet. please enter me.

bookwurm70 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Janet...you were so adorable! No wonder you turned out to be so elegant and beautiful.

I REALLY love this blog, Crystal. It is the most unique one I've encountered and I love the "When I was Just a Kid" niche that you've carved. I find it absolutely fascinating to read about authors' childhoods.



Pamela J said...

I don't need entered in your contest, I just would like to tell all the readers out there I'm almost finished reading Janet's book and let them know I have just been blown away with all the twists and turns it has taken me. Last night I was down to about 30 pages to the end (just estimating, I didn't actually count) and it took another turn I TOTALLY was NOT expecting. Great book, Janet!
Pam Williams
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

Cherie J said...

Wonderful interview! This book sounds wonderful. Would love to be entered in the drawing.


Carly said...

Cool book! it look slike a good read. please enter me in the drawing


Carly said...

Cool book! it looks like a good read. Please enter me in the contest.


Sabrina L. Fox said...

Great job, ladies. And HUGE congrats to Janet.

I feel so proud of our fellow hoosier. Woohoo!!!

Janet Dean said...

Hi Lia, thanks for your interest in Courting Miss Adelaide!


Janet Dean said...

Lucie, I love reading about authors, too! Thanks for your sweet comments.


Janet Dean said...

Hi Becky, Doreen, Gail, Cherie and Carly!!!!! Thanks for leaving a comment. You're in the drawing.


Janet Dean said...

Sue, it's good to see you here! Your kind words are a huge blessing. Thank you.


Janet Dean said...

Cheryl, I'd love to see your baby pictures, pretty lady!

I agree, Cheryl. Crystal's blog is fabulous!


Janet Dean said...

Hi Sabrina! Great to see you!! Hope to see you soon!


Crystal Laine Miller said...

Martha A was our winner. I very much enjoyed this interview with one of my fellow Hoosiers! Be sure to hurry and get your copy of this book. Go to http://www.eharlequin.com/ to order!

Thanks so much to Janet and all those who commented. I enjoy reading the comments just as much as the featured author!