Janet writes hilariously funny, feel-good (and hot and sexy) contemporary romances. If you're in need of cheering up, or just need a break from too many angst-ridden novels, I highly recommend you pick up one of Janet's wonderful books. Take it from me, (as someone who has once again stuffed her knee playing her first game back at netball and is almost finished this book) she will have you laughing out loud and forgetting your worries.
|Self portrait of Janet - "Smurf Me"|
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a Scottish lass living in New Zealand and loving it. My days are filled with caring for two adorable tiny girls, one high-maintenance husband and more animals than one person can cope with! I’ve lived and worked all over the world. One of my favourite countries is Peru, where I spent a year. I’d live there again, only my Dutch husband refuses to learn another language! I have a degree in fine art – I used to be an installation artist – and a teacher’s qualification. I’ve taught every level, from primary school to art college. I love art history and am probably more than a little obsessed with Van Gogh. Apart from that, I eat too much chocolate and can quote large chunks of dialogue from Buffy The Vampire Slayer!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
…when I started to get letters from readers, telling me that they loved my work and wanted to read more. I remember sitting in shock after reading a couple of these, thinking: people think I’m a real writer. It blew my mind!
Aww...I love that! Makes it all worthwhile doesn't it to think others around the world are enjoying what you do. Do you remember what inspired you to write your first book?
Bugsy Malone. I was eleven. I wrote my own gangster novel. It was set in Chicago, a place that only existed in my imagination. The irony was, there were actual real life gangsters in my extended family and I had no idea as a child. I could have based it on them!
I love call stories. Can you tell us about yours and your reaction?
I don’t have a call story. I have ‘wait’ stories. My first romance sat with a publisher for two years while they repeatedly told me that they loved it and they would make a decision soon. I think I would still be waiting! That was after I had to part ways with my agent. They refused to send my books to romance publishers. It’s been a rocky few years! In the end, I decided to self-publish. I know self-publishing is a risk, there are a lot of people out there who naturally assume that if you put your own work out, you must be rubbish - or that no one wanted you! But I think that in time, your work speaks for itself. And if readers like it, then that’s all I care about! Well, that and the fact I don’t have to go back to teaching. I’d rather boil my own eyeballs than teach again! J
After reading your work, I'm flabbergasted you haven't been snatched up, quick-smart! What drew you to write your chosen genre?
I write what makes me happy. I love writing about people in mad situations that they think are normal. I love the humorous quirks of life, when people aren't trying to be funny but they so are. I love it when sparks fly between a couple, but they really don’t know what to do about it, or about each other. Mainly, I love a good story that leaves me with a smile on my face. I hope that’s what I write.
Let me assure you - you certainly do! What’s the most challenging part of the writing process for you?
Getting peace to write! I have two tiny girls who think my office is a playroom. The youngest still doesn't sleep through the night, which means I spend days as a zombie. I have a husband who likes to chat – particularly every time I sit down at my computer. I have animals that need to nest/ bed/ play in my room. It’s a mad house! I try to write at night when everyone’s asleep, but even these days that’s hard. Roll on term time!
Hehehe - I couldn't resist posting this photo which shows exactly that from your Facebook page. Hilarious! Which one of your books is your ‘baby’ and why?
Laura’s Big Break. It was the second romance I wrote and I feel like things came together for me in it and I found my voice. I love that it has laugh-out-loud moments, but also really serious sections. The only thing that bothers me about it is the length – if I was writing it again, I’d make it longer! I was seriously thinking about writing a follow up, just so I could see how Charlie and Laura were doing a few years down the track. Now, that’s sad!
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on a trio of books set in Scotland. I made up a tiny town in the Highlands and I’m now letting my characters run riot in it. These books are much longer than the last three I wrote, so it’s taking a bit more working out. The first is called Lingerie Wars and tells the story of Lake Benson, an ex-army guy who buys a lingerie shop to help his sister out. He then takes over and does what he does best – wages war with the lingerie shop over the road! It’s a case of last shop standing and the whole town get involved. Unfortunately for Lake he knows nothing about lingerie – other than how to remove it from a willing body. Meanwhile the owner of the rival shop is an ex-lingerie model, who knows quite a bit about lingerie and about men! I’m having a blast with it. Especially with Evil Betty, the 87 year old who resembles a Hobbit.
I love Betty already :) Latest news?
I have a revamped website that has a lot more content than the last one. There’s a resource section for writers, a list of wonderful Kiwi authors and excerpts from my books. It’s still under development but I’m hoping it will grow so full of information that I’ll struggle to control it! You can find it at www.janetelizabethhenderson.com
Where can we find you and your books?
I’m on facebook – http://www.facebook.com/author.janetelizabethhenderson
I have a blog, that I mainly use to humiliate myself by telling the world everything I do wrong! http://www.janetelizabethhenderson.blogspot.com
And my new website – http://www.janetelizabethhenderson.com
Oh and my books are on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/janet-elizabeth-henderson/e/B009NR5RHM
Thanks so much for stopping by Novel Natterings, Janet! You're just as much fun in person as your books suggest you would be. Good luck with all your future endeavours, I'm looking forward to reading more from you :)