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I’m delighted to have Jane Toombs visiting here today. Readers, check out her impressive backlist of award-winning books! Jane, please share with us a bit about yourself.
I’m an old bat of 84 who was first published in 1973 with a gothic, Tule Witch, which sold to Avon. Earlier in my life I married a doctor, had five kids and then started to write seriously. Unfortunately my husband evidently felt threatened by this and told me I was writing trash and it was writing or him. I chose writing. After the dissolution, I had to get a job to support myself–he did pay alimony for the three kids still at home with me. The oldest was in med school, and the next oldest in a private boarding school. I took an evening writing class and in it met a man. The last thing I ever wanted to do was get interested in another one, but I did. Shortly after we married and added his two to my three, I sold my first book. He decided if I could sell one, so could he–and he did. After that we both sold regularly. Though we never collaborated, we did edit each other‘s work. After he died suddenly in 1994, out of the blue the Viking from my past (we met in second grade) called me where I lived in NY from Nevada. He’d read a book of mine and wanted to know if he was the Swedish hero. During the conversation he discovered I was a widow and I discovered he’s been divorced for 8 years. Plus he was going to be in lower MI at a family party the same weekend I was going to be down there for a wedding–only forty miles apart. Seemed like Fate. We met and took up where we left off as kids.
So now we live in our home town and have been happily together sixteen years.
That’s wonderful you and your Viking are together! What is your writing process like? Do you outline, wing it, or something in between?
I wrote my first two books pantser-wise. But my agent couldn’t sell my third. Before I got too upset about it, he called wanting me to do three chapters and a synopsis for a gothic Zodiac series. I asked what a synopsis was, he told me and I wrote one, plus three chapters. He sold it on that basis and then I discovered, with the synopsis, the story was incredibly easy to write. So I took my new tool and struggled to write a synopsis for that third ms., discovering I had wandered all over the place. I tightened the synopsis and rewrote the ms. It sold. Aha! I’ve been a plotter ever since.
How do you go about developing your characters?
Since I realized early on that my characters had to enact my plot in much the same way actors bring plays and movie scripts to life, I knew they had to “fit” the plot in a different sort of way than actors are chosen for plays or movies. They had to have motivations and flaws that would work with the plot and also give them a chance to grow and change. At the same time, since most of my books are romances, they had to fall in love with each other. Unfortunately I have no idea how I pick them other than that, because evidently my choosing is intuitional.
What do you do to celebrate when you get a new contract, fantastic review or maybe meet a deadline?
I tell the Viking . He says, “Good for you,” and usually gives me a kiss. Remember he’s 85 to my 84. Sometimes, if we remember, that’s what we have our one drink to at Happy Hour before supper.
Why don’t you tell us about your newest release?
In January, Unwanted, the second book in my Underworld Series was released from Eternal Press. This Underworld has nothing to so with Satan, but is an alternate world among other alternate worlds, including Earth, that have shifting one-way gates between them.
On Earth, redheaded green-eyed Ella Mak is returning home in a thunderstorm along a mountain road from a charity fete where she contributed by telling fortunes with her Tarot cards. Her car skids and heads for a cliff. She unhooks her safety belt and tries to get out, but fails before it plunges over a cliff . As it falls, she’s thrown clear and suddenly finds herself drifting down. What’s happened is she’s fallen through a “gate.” Lucky? It might be if the country she falls into didn’t believe that all red-haired green-eyed females are evil witches and are killed on sight…
What’s your favorite pizza?
One with sausage and salami and a thin crust. (I believe it’s turkey sausage now, though)
If you could wish for anything, what would it be?
Good health for everyone. As a nurse I saw way too much of sickness and disability.
Tell three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I’m essentially shy and somewhat of an introvert.
I tend to be a procrastinator and have to push myself to overcome this.
I hate to do promo.
Where can fans find you on the internet?
Thank you, Jane, for visiting here! I enjoyed interviewing you!