Though I've never met Shirley in person we have known each other for a number of years since we once write for the same publisher.
1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?
I started writing historicals, then branched out to paranormal and fantasy.
2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?
I guess you would say both. I enjoy history, reading and writing about it. But paranormal and fantasy have such a wide range that I got interested in those, also.
3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?
I enjoy reading mysteries but I wouldn't want to try writing one. Wouldn't write horror, either.
4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?
I love reading fantasy, esp. Terry Brooks and Terry Goodkind. Also, I read many Amish novels.
5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing,
Janet, like you, I'm from Pittsburgh but live in Birmingham, Alabama now. I'm a widow with two grown sons. One son passed away a few years ago. I enjoy reading and walking. I've been writing for over twenty years.
6. Which of your characters is your favorite?
Do you know, I get so immersed in all of my characters. I fall in love with all of my heroes.
7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?
Villains in my fantasy romances and in one of my vampire romances, "One More Tomorrow." Moloch is an evil vampire who tries to separate the vampire hero, Galan, from his lover, Stephanie.
8. What are you working on now?
I stopped writing several years ago for personal reasons.
9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?
My last romance is "The Princess and the Curse." I have a book of Celtic fairy tales, and several of my ideas have come from that. The entire fantasy realm is rich with ideas.
10. Tell me about your latest book and how it came about. Enclose the opening of the book around 400 words.
"The Princess and the Curse" came from my book of Celtic fairy tales. It's about a fisherman who loved to tell tall tales. He liked to brag about places he's never seen and things he's never done. When a stranger challenges him to go on a journey to a faraway country he's never heard of, he knows he can't refuse.
Nolan Tremaine smiled as he strolled the cobblestone streets of his village of Baile Beag, headed for the White Ship Tavern, for he enjoyed whiskey, women, and a good time, not always in that order. Part of having a good time was relating his travels as a fisherman, and if he embellished his tales a little, so what? No one could call him a liar; he merely exaggerated a bit.
Passing a fabric store and a shoe repair shop, he reached the tavern, where a few men stood outside, talking about the weather and their crops. He exchanged greetings, since everyone knew him here in the village. He pulled at the heavy oaken door and stepped into the crowded room, filled mostly with men but also several women, all talking and laughing, drinking ale or whiskey. A few patrons were eating a late meal of mutton, boiled cabbage, and oat bread, apparently oblivious to the smoke of countless pipes that hung over the room like a fog. Nolan found an empty table and drew out a chair, smiling and nodding to the others he knew, which included just about everyone in the room. Aware that the evening was young and hopeful that others would soon join him, he didn’t mind sitting by himself for a short while, as long as he had company later. He loved people, whether friends or strangers.
He ordered a shot of whiskey from Betha, the pretty, buxom barmaid whose favors he’d enjoyed more than once. She brushed his hand as she took his order, and when she returned a few minutes later, she bent low, giving him a good glimpse of what she had to offer, as if he could forget! He hoped this evening would bring more than a glass of whiskey.
The door opened and a stranger stepped into the room, a tall man whose blond sun-bleached hair glinted gold under the lamplight. He had a commanding mien about him, like one accustomed to giving orders. He peered around the room, his gaze settling on Nolan.
“Mind if I join you?” the stranger asked as he reached Nolan’s table and pulled out a chair.
Nolan inclined his head. “Happy to have you. Don’t like sitting by myself.”
“Neither do I.” The stranger sat down and caught the barmaid’s attention, gesturing toward Nolan’s whiskey glass. Soon he joined him in a drink. “So tell me,” the stranger said, “how do you spend your days?”
Nolan grinned. “I see you’re a stranger in this village. Everyone knows I’m a fisherman. Got the biggest catch today you’d ever want to see. Why, I caught so many fish in my net, I feared my boat would sink.”