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Monday, September 20, 2010

Interview of Author Janie Franz

Today it's my pleasure to interview romance author Janie Franz.

Latest Book: The Wayfarer’s Road
Buy Link:
Book Trailer:

BIO: Janie Franz still calls herself a Southerner (she was born in Tennessee though she has spent more than half her life living in North Dakota. She holds a degree in anthropology and has an unquenchable curiosity, which may explain the broadness of her journalism credits that include over a hundred regional, national, and international publications and thousands of articles for the past ten years. She’s written feature and cover articles about a wide-range of topics, including art, music, food and drink, environmental issues, medical and health issues, relaxation and yoga, organic gardening, and asphalt paving.

She has co-written two books with Texas wedding DJ, Bill Cox (The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book and The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book), and has self-published a writing manual, Freelance Writing: It’s a Business, Stupid! She also wrote seven chapters in Rick Baker’s 7-Minute Organic Garden book and have multiple entries in a number of Gale medical encyclopedias.

In addition, she runs her own online entertainment publication, Refrain Magazine ( And she was a prolific book and music reviewer, until she began actively writing novels and handling marketing for them.

She has been a radio announcer, a booking agent for a groove/funk band, and a yoga/relaxation instructor. She is married to a singer/songwriter, and their daughter (married to an animator) is a fiber artist while their son, the executive chef/part owner of The Toasted Frog, plays drums and blues harmonica with local bands.

The Bowdancer, her first published work of fiction, launched the Bowdancer Saga.. The Wayfarer’s Road and Warrior Women (November 5, 2010) continue the story of Jan-nell.

Franz has three books under contract with Muse It Up Publications. Ruins: Discovery is the first book in an archaeology romance/thriller trilogy and will be released under the Muse It Hot! division April 1, 20110. Sugar Magnolia, a contemporary romance about the music industry will be published by Muse It Hot! in July 2011, first as an ebook and then in print the following year. "The Premier
will be available later in 2011 as a Muse It Up sweet contemporary romance.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: My favorite character in The Wayfarer’s Road is Jan-nell, the bowdancer, of course. I know her very well and can identify with her as a mother and an herb woman. But I must say that my favorite character for the whole saga is Bekar, one of the warrior women. You’ll find out all about her in the third book, Warrior Women. She just came striding across the pages and I couldn’t restrain her.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: I haven’t really plotted a good mystery yet. I’d love to do one of those with lots of maps and codes and artifacts. It would be great fun but a lot of work to do it. I might do it down the road. I just haven’t had time yet.

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: No. All of my characters look very different. But I will admit that I’m rather fond of chestnut hair on my heroines. It’s a deep reddish brown that I don’t see written about much. There are lots of redheads out there in fantasy so I wanted something different. Jan-nell has long chestnut hair and a character in one of my contemporary novels has shorter chestnut hair. I do have some heroines with red or auburn hair.

When I wrote Warrior Women, I had to make all of the women in the sisterhood look different so I had a range of hair color and styles. These women were also very tall, while Jan-nell is very short.

The heroes are all different, too, but I have a fascination with dark-haired men. Khrin in The Wayfarer’s Road has shoulder-length curly medium to light brown hair. I have heroes in some of my contemporary books who are Hispanic or have American Indian traits, and some have Italian characteristics. Some of my heroes aren’t even 21, and some are in their 20s and 30s with a few who are middle-aged. Some are medium height; some are very tall. And in The Lost Song trilogy (books 4, 5, and 6 of The Bowdancer Saga), the heroes and secondary characters are from all races and some have shaved heads.

Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: I like to think my strongest ability as a writer is in characterization and being able to draw in multiple themes within a story.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: I just sat at my computer and stared at the acceptance email. In the days that followed, I felt a transformation occurring. I felt whole, as if all parts of my writing life had finally come together. I was a published author. It was a wonderful realization.

Q: You’re on a remote island with a handsome man, a computer, and a “mysterious” source of electricity to power your computer. What do you do?
A: I’d write and hope that the mysterious source of electricity also had an internet connection so I could send my stories somewhere…Yeah, I know a lot of writers would say they’d try to get close to the handsome man and create a few nights of romantic bliss. But I’ve reached an age when a handsome man looks at you as a friend or his mother if he’s young enough and not as a lover. Though I might enjoy looking at him and engaging him in intelligent conversation over some roasted fish at the end of the day, writing about him with a spunky heroine would be the only way I could experience anything romantic or adventurous I’m afraid.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!

The Bowdancer Saga continues in The Wayfarer’s Road. Healer Jan-nell, now a woman traveling alone with her precocious young daughter on the Wayfarer’s Road, meets a handsome wandering bard. But he is carrying his own secrets along with the priceless chance at hope for her and her child to belong.

Jan-nell strained her ears to hear in the darkened barn. The rain had stopped sometime during their late-night meal so all she heard was the dripping from the trees. The horses snorted and stamped their hooves but did not seem to sense anything amiss. Yet, there was something moving outside, a shuffling in the wetness, and then—there—muffled voices and some shushing like Jan-nell had seen village children do before attempting some innocent prank. If indeed this were such a prank, it would definitely not be innocent.

Khrin had obviously heard the noises too, and shot Jan-nell a questioning look, tinged with something like fear. When Jan-nell bent to blow out the candle and reached for her staff, he stayed her hand, putting his finger to his lips and began to fumble with his cloak and tunic. Before she could figure out what he was doing, he had flung off his tunic, opened his linen shirt, and grabbed her right hand to place on his hairless chest. She tried to jerk her hand away, but he held it fast, whispering in her ear, "Trust me." Then he blew the candle out.

Just then, the latch on the stable door was lifted and the door swung open. A shaft of lantern light spilled over the backs of the horses. Razlo and another man, both well into their cups, entered and came around the first horse’s tail. Their lantern light fell on Khrin who lounged with a bent knee, looking annoyed at the men, as he caressed Jan-nell’s hand on his bare chest.

"That light is frightfully bright, gentlemen," Khrin announced.

Razlo’s drunken companion squinted beady eyes at Jan-nell and Khrin. "Ye be right, innkeeper. She be a whore." He twisted his head toward Razlo. "When be our chance?"

"I am not a whore!" Jan-nell shouted, trying to pull her hand away from Khrin, and attempting to stand.

Khrin jerked her back down. "That is true," Khrin said quietly. "She is no whore."

The beady-eyed fellow cackled. "Then she be giving it away."

"No," Khrin countered. "She has not given anything away." He held up the coin Jan-nell had given him for the meat pies. "She paid me."

This time Razlo sputtered. "Whores! The both of you! Get out of my barn!" The shout unsettled the horses and they started stamping about the stable, making Razlo and his guest step clear of the animals near the door.

Jan-nell glared at Khrin and stood. Then she addressed the two men. "And I am sure your intentions were very pure. Were you coming to bring us an extra blanket or perhaps some scraps from your kitchen?" She harrumphed as she woke Mira-nell. "We have to go now, sweeting."

"Be gone and take that child abomination with you!" Razlo bellowed, startling one of the animals, causing it to whinny and rear. It pulled at its rope tether, nearly pinning Razlo and his lantern against the wall. The beady-eyed guest fled outside, and Razlo escaped to stand at the open door, supervising their evacuation.


Jean Hart Stewart said...

Excerpt sounds not only good, but different. A hard thing to do and intriquing..Jean

Author Mary C said...

Great interview, Janie. And sorry, but you sound like a sweetheart so I think the handsome man would fall for you.

Keep up the remarkable stories!

Mary Corrales

Janie Franz said...

Jean, I'm so glad you stopped by. It's interesting that you mentioned that the excerpt I share is different. Thank you. I think that comes from the characters. Though The Bowdancer Saga will feed the romance reader in you, I hope that you'll find more to take away than a blissful sensuous read.

Janie Franz said...

Mary, how wonderful that you dropped in here! Your comments made me smile.... That might make for another story.

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