Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Texas Author Janet K. Brown

Welcome to the Book Loft, Janet! Is there a story behind your book Worth Her Weight?

Yes, this is a story of the destruction caused by handling the unfairness of life without submitting to God.   The main character, Lacey, turns to food for comfort and love when life tugs on her and destroys her peace.

I fought food addiction for over thirty years, so I understand the challenges faced by Lacey.  God healed me emotionally. I lost ninety-five pounds and have kept it off nineteen years. It wasn’t easy, and neither is Lacey’s struggle. In the book, her best friend and her mother also deal with issues of control and anger.
Ones that purchased and follow my previous book, Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness might enjoy a women’s fiction that highlights some of the problems with compulsive overeating. Divine Dining was a spring board for the idea of Worth Her Weight.

What started you on your writing journey?

I’ve written all my life. When my girls were little, I began selling a few short stories to Christian periodicals. I still do that. I love it. Once, I wrote a novel, submitted it to one publishing company, had it rejected, and I stopped writing novels. My day job became so demanding. My girls were graduating and marrying. For awhile, I wrote nothing but my daily prayer journal.

In 2006, I retired from my medical bookkeeping job so that I could spend more time with my grandkids and more time to write and submit. I joined Romance Writers of America. Margaret Daley spoke for our local chapter and told us about American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). I attended the conference that year, and God ignited a fire in my heart for writing inspirational fiction.

Since then, I’ve attended several writing conferences, some Christian, some not. I’ve written eleven novels. Most of them need major rewrites. I took Debra Clopton’s advice. Every time a manuscript got rejected, I started a new one. I got enough rejection letters to paper my study. Finally, in 2011, at the Oklahoma Writer’s Federated International conference, I pitched my one and only young adult novel to Vivian Zabel of 4RV Publishing. By summer, I had a contract. It’s been a whirlwind of excitement since it released in 2012.

Next came Divine Dining, my only non-fiction released early 2013 by Pen-L Publishing. Was God trying to tell me something? I started writing romances, but so far I’ve published a YA, a devotion book, and now a women’s fiction. Following Christ is always an adventure.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? 

I never expected to be so moved by Chief of Police Toby Wheeler. He was dependable and vulnerable, tough and tender, a strong man trying to learn how to lean on God instead of himself. The insights into those struggles touched my heart.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?

Social media and my hubby (though he’s a delightful distraction. Ha!)

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

I like a lot of different type of books. I keep one fiction, and one non-fiction going at all times. Here’s a few recent delights:

1. Mary Magdalene by Diana Wallis Taylor
2. Love’s Healing Touch by Jane Myers Perrine
3. The Debt by Angela Hunt
4 Lose It for Life by Stephen Arterburn, M.Ed and Dr. Linda Mintle
5. Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber

Of course, my list could extend forever. I love to read. Naturally.

If you could paint or sculpt like a famous artist who would it be and why?

I have absolutely no talent in art, but I love to go to galleries. One time, my husband and I spent more money than ever before on a painting by Jesse Barnes. It was in a gallery in Eureka Springs, Ark. We were on vacation and going through a rough time in our lives. His painting “Out of Ashes” spoke to me. It still does. He used the light of the fire to destroy the old and make room for the new. I once wrote a blog post on my “Writing with God’s Hope” blog about that painting. I would love to paint like that.

What is your strangest habit?

Even on cold nights, I often sleep with my feet outside the covers. I must have shoulders and arms covered, but my feet are claustrophobic.

What is your favorite season of the year? 

Spring,. When green starts showing on the trees and in the grass, it’s like God’s whisper of new beginnings and renewed hope. As you can tell, I write messages of hope in impossible situations, so how could I not like spring?
  
What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?

I live on the North Texas plains in Wichita Falls, Texas, about 130 miles northeast of where I grew up in Dallas. The thing I like about this area is breathtaking sunsets and friendly, helpful people.

What is a favorite memory from your childhood?

My neighborhood friends and I presented a “circus” in my friend’s backyard. One showed dog tricks. One was a clown. I was a clumsy trapeze artist. It was fun. We felt like big stuff.

Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?

My husband and I fell in love with RVing a few years ago. We have several spots we love to take our travel trailer and camp, some near our home like Perrin, Texas, then on the Texas coast in Rockport, also Vallecito Lake, in Colorado.
Probably, our favorite place to go is Ruidosa, New Mexico. We’ve made several trips there, the last being in October, 2014. Of course, I love to visit my daughter in Aurora, Colorado, but then we stay with her and my son-in-law.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?

I try to cook lean and mean since I lost my weight. I love nothing better than having something that’s healthy while visiting with friends. In fact, I cook the three recipes that are included at the back of Worth Her Weight. These are dishes that Lacey’s good friend makes as a peace offering after they’ve been angry with each other.

I would have to say my favorite meal with family is our traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey, dressing, and sweet potatoes. Mmm.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  

Oh, yes. God is our hope for any addiction, compulsion, or hang-up. As I say in my book Divine Dining, “It’s all about God,” whether you eat compulsively or have been consumed with anger.

Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?

Right now during the winter, I sit in a corner chair beside the fireplace which is often blazing. In warm weather, I sit on our back patio, looking out over the swimming pool and flower bed of roses. Then, a few times a year, we get out with our RV away from the hustle and bustle of real life. It’s easy to worship God out in the beauty He created.

Could you share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you?
The one that I use for Worth Her Weight not only ministers to the main character, but it ministers to me. I am in awe of the healing God has done in my life. I’m not the same person I was twenty years ago.
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
                                                                   1 Corinthians 12:9
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
The sequel to my YA, Victoria and the Ghost, should release sometime in 2015. I’m not sure when, yet. The title is A Ghost for Shelley. Here’s what it’s about:
A guilt-ridden country girl, forced to move to Dallas, confronts betrayal, arrest, and a loss of faith before she meets a jet-set jock with a heart for God, and a ghost with a message just for her.


Meanwhile, I’m busy writing another story of the healing of addiction with God in my fictional small town of Wharton Rock, Texas.

Thanks for sharing today!

Connect with Janet K Brown at:


Janet K. Brown is giving away a copy of Worth Her Weight. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.


5 comments:

cjajsmommy said...

I need the inspiration that I think I would get from your book! I'd love to win a copy. cjajsmommy (at) gmail (dot) com

Marianne Barkman said...

Great interview! Thank you for the chance to win this book. Has anyone told you lately that YOU ROCK!!!
Marianne
MitzuUNDERSCOREwanhamATyahooDOTcom

Deanna Stevens said...

Enjoyed getting to know you. I'd enjoy reading this book :)
dkstevensneAToutlookD OtCo M

Linda Kish said...

We put on 'Oklahoma' in one of our basements when we were kids. A big undertaking for a bunch of kids. I bet your circus was too.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Patricia Bradley said...

I've probably lost and found the same ten pounds a hundred times, so I know how hard it is to lose weight and keep it off. Congrats on keeping yours off! Worth Her Weight sounds great. If I don't win it, I'll be forced to buy it. lol.

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