About Jana Richards:
When I read my first romance novel years ago, I was hooked. I knew what I was meant to do – write stories about finding love while also finding yourself. Writing about the hopefulness and redeeming quality of love appeals to me. I think we’re better people for having loved.
I write in a number of different romance genres including contemporary, historical (World War Two), and suspense. I love to throw in large helpings of humor in some of my stories, and I’ve been known to include a touch of the paranormal on occasion. For me it’s all about changing it up.
In my life away from writing, I’m an animal lover, an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to my husband Warren. I enjoy golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. My husband and I live in Western Canada with our Pug/Terrier cross named Lou and several unnamed goldfish. I love hearing from readers, so drop me a line!
What inspires you to write?
Several things inspire me, chief among them a burning desire to tell a story. But sometimes specific events, news stories or incidents will give me the inspiration for a story. For instance, years ago a prominent politician in my province was convicted of killing his wife. They had three young children that were left to be raised by their grandmother, and I always wondered what it was like for them to grow up without parents, along with the stigma of knowing their father killed their mother. My current work-in-progress is about three sisters who face that reality. I want to explore how their traumatic childhood shaped their lives, and especially their ability to love.
I also write stories set in the World War Two era, and my passion for that time period comes from my dad. He was a Canadian soldier during the war. He stormed Juno Beach on D-Day, was captured by the Germans a few days later, and spent the rest of the war as a POW. As a result, I’ve always been fascinated by the era. There are so many stories of love and loss and sacrifice, and incredible stories of survival and reunion to come out of the war. I’m especially interested in the effect the war had on those who stayed at home. The war changed the lives of everyone in many countries of the world, and those are the stories I want to tell.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m sort of a plotter/outliner. I like to create character sketches before I start writing so I can get a feel for my character, but I always find I really don’t get to know them until I actually begin writing for real. So I’m constantly learning about my characters, almost to the end of the writing.
I have a kind of crazy, somewhat unorganized system that I use to plot my books. Using a pen and paper, I sit down and begin telling myself the story that’s rattling around in my head. It’s usually a rambling, barely decipherable, stream of consciousness sort of thing, with tons of notes in the margins and arrows pointing in different directions. Nobody but me could understand it, and sometimes even I can’t. It’s weird to actually write in long hand for this exercise since I use my computer to compose the actual story, and for almost everything else in my life. But I find there’s something about putting pen to paper that helps me “see” the story. Usually about halfway through the actual writing, I need to go back to my rambling outline/plot/synopsis and flesh it out. Happens every time. During the writing process I always discover something I didn’t know before, or my characters do something to totally surprise me. I love it when that happens!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Sure. When you can hear your characters in your head, that’s when you know you really understand them. That’s when you know what they’ll do in any situation you throw at them. When you really know your characters, their actions will be true to who they are.
What advice would you give other writers?
The advice I’d give to other writers is to not give up if writing is truly what you want to do. Persistence and determination are key to a writer. I’ve only gotten this far because I’m too stubborn to quit.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’m published with three different publishers. I decided to go that route in order to get the benefit of professional editing and cover design, and to just have someone else in my corner. Though I’m responsible for most of the marketing of my books, I don’t have to be responsible for a lot of technical issues, such as uploading the books to different sites like Amazon or Kobo. However, I’m not ruling out self-publishing in the future.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Though I believe paper books will always be with us in some form, ebooks are here to stay. In the future we may be introduced to new ways of reading books on devices not even invented yet. Anything could happen! As long as people keep reading, it doesn’t matter how they do it.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: contemporary romance, World War Two romance, small town romance, romantic suspense
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.