Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Interview with Jane Toombs

Tami: Welcome to the nuthouse Jane....I mean, welcome to the blog! How are you doing?

Jane: Other than a tooth root abscess, I'm still truckin' along.

Tami: Tooth root abscess, that doesn't sound good. I hope you feel better soon. I was reading a little more about you on your bio and got extremely tired reading about your kids, grandchildren, cat, and computers. When you have some time when you are not reading and spending time with all of them, what do you do?

Jane: Alas, most of my time with my kids and grandchildren is online or by phone as none of them live nearby. And, since winter on the south shore of Lake Superior is fearsome, they visit only in the summer. So, since it gets colder every day now and snow is predicted for the weekend, we're gearing up for having to use the exercise machine instead of taking a walk every day. I do get a lot of writing done in the winter. Plus we're set to dig out the cat toys to amuse Kinko so she gets exercise, too. After snow falls, she's an inside cat. I'll be volunteering as a cataloger at our Historical Museum and will try to get the Viking to help me since they have a lot of stuff stacked up to be put into order and labeled.

Tami: Wow, you made me even more tired! And the mention of snow made my bones shiver. **burr, burr** We have four indoor cats and they decided to take all the 5 year old's stuffed animals and use them as their cat toys! :) Got to love kitties!

Jane: Hey, you do so much online for all of us that I don't know how you find the time.

Tami: Nah, it's easy....just clickity, click, click, click! You guys do all the work. I mean seriously, I noticed on your website that it said you have written 80 books. That's a typo right? There's no way that one person could write that many books. When did you start writing? What got you started?

Jane: My first book was published in 1973, so you can see I've had a lot of time to get to 80 plus. And it was my first novel-length. Before that I wrote short stories and never sold a one. How did I sell it? I took an off-campus writing class from the University of California, San Diego. Our instructor was a published mystery writer who announced at the first class session that if any of us weren't planning to try to sell what we wrote in class, then we'd better leave now before we paid the fee. He likened writing without trying to sell as akin to masturbation. Half the class left. The rest of us learned a lot. He liked the gothic I was writing and told me if I finished it and rewrote using his suggested edits, he'd send it to his agent. Being a newbie I merely thought that was nice of him. Little did I know it was close to a miracle. So I did and he did and his agent sold TULE WITCH to Avon. So I aquired an agent as well. Lucky me!

Tami: That's AWESOME! I like that instructor and I wasn't even in the class. It's a good thing that you took it when you did. Now, I would love if you would give me some information on your latest book from Champagne. You know we're all interested in hearing more about Once an Outcast.

Jane: Once an Outcast is the caboose of the Orphan Train Series, the sixth and last book. So in my book, at the end, ten years later, the six girls that met on their orphan train, get together with their husbands at a Boston hotel to meet again for a wonderful reunion. All have suffered, but now are happy. My heroine, half-gypsy Jehenna, went through some of the same horrendous difficulties as the others, but while their destinations were mostly farther west, she spent most of her ten years in the primitive logging towns of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. These were all wonderful books to research and write. And read! It's a great series. I also have Nightingale Man, a WWI spy-thriller, with a touch of romance, coming out from Champagne in January 2010. What happens when Lucky Luke Ray from Colorado, is inveigled into becoming a British spy?

Tami: Well, tell me a little more! You can't possibly be that mean and leave me hanging like that. I have to know more about Luke Ray. I have a thing for the leads in books. I have to know...tell me more! Please..... **gives you puppy dog eyes**

Jane: Luke meets his match in an English nurse named Kezia, who gets involved with him in a group attempt to infiltrate German-occupied Belgium to rescue Nurse Clara Barton from a Boche firing squad. Is it just a coincidence they're stymied at every turn--or are they being double-crossed?

Tami: That sounds wonderful - I can't wait to read. Yet another book to go on my TBR pile. I don't know what it is with all the Champagne authors, but I think you guys are trying to kill me slowly by blinding me by reading. What a way to go. Thanks so much for joining us today and we hope to see you back next week when we interview Allison Knight!

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