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)
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.
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.