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Why did you decide to become a writer?
I’ve always had a healthy imagination. Back in elementary school, 4th grade to be exact, a senior high girl came to our classroom after lunch each day and read from a variety of age appropriate books. My favorite stories were from The Camp Fire Girls by Margaret Sanderson. Until then, I’d only read textbooks and you know how boring those can be. Then, for the first time, I found myself in the middle of the story. I felt the chill of the wind, the heat from the campfire on my skin when dusk drew near, heard the flutter of bird wings flapping overhead, and smelled the damp muskiness of the pine needles as we walked through the forest (I say ‘we’ because I felt I was there with the other girls). I was hooked. My senses came alive with each new adventure and I promised myself that someday, I would be an author telling my own stories.
Do you have authors who inspired you to write?
Obviously, Margaret Sanderson, author of The Camp Fire Girls, but over the years authors like Fannie Flagg, and Day LeClair have had a huge influence on my writing style.
What genre(s) do you write and what made you choose it(them)?
I write southern contemporary romance with a sense of humor. I like happy endings and there’s more than enough troubled and sadness in the world. Everyone needs a good laugh sometimes.
What kinds of classes, workshops, organizations, groups helped you learn the craft of writing?
As writers, we never know all we should about writing. My first venture was to take a Creative Writing Class with Long Ridge Writer’s Group. Over the years I’ve attended Writing Conferences and taken workshops online and in person. There are tons of sites on the internet which offer free articles about writing and marketing. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, and Heart of Dixie RWA. The writers at Heart of Dixie have been a tremendous help in my writing career, offering help and advice in any way I need.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how often do you meet?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a critique group close enough for me to attend. I belong to an online writer’s group called Scribophile where I’ve met some incredibly talented writers, some published and some pre-published. We critique each other’s work. Sometimes it’s one chapter at a time, but I prefer to read several chapters in a row so I can get a feel for their writing style.
Tell us about your first break into print experience.
Nerve-wrecking, to say the least. It was a short story was about my older brother’s life as a blind man and the incredible things he’d accomplished. I’d written the story as an assignment in my creative writing class and had no intention of anyone reading it outside our immediate family. It wasn’t until he was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer that I found the courage to submit the story to a local magazine for publication. The editor immediately accepted the story and it appeared in their next issue (Tombigbee Country Magazine). Thinking the magazine had a small circulation area, I was pleasantly surprised when I got phone calls and letters from readers located in other southern states telling me how much my story had inspired them.
What’s one tip you’d share with other writers? It can be a practical how to tip or an inspirational/encouragement tip.
Never give up. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I’ve yet to meet a writer who started a novel one day and became a best selling author overnight.
Please share your most recent book title and the opening line.
RIGHT TIME FOR LOVE
Thunder rumbled, rattling the windows of the old, two-story house.
Buy Link: AMAZON
From the first reading of The Camp Fire Girls to her 4th grade class, Jannette Spann knew she wanted to be an author. She admits her aspirations were almost shattered when English grammar proved to be her toughest subject in school. As it so often happens, her childhood dreams were pushed aside as life led her in other directions. The dream faded, but never went away.
In the early nineties, she began writing short stores for her grandchildren and the dream of being an author sprang to life again. After completing a creative writing course, she wrote her first full-length novel which to this day remains in the back of her closet.
More stories came to life in her imagination and in December of 2012 she decided the time had come to get serious if she wanted to fulfill her childhood dream. In August of 2013 she published her first full-length Inspirational Romance Novel Hidden Hills, with Astraea Press. Two years later she released her 2nd novel with the same publisher entitled Right Time for Love. Both books are available for purchase on line in e-book and paperback at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.
Jannette is a member of Heart of Dixie, the North Alabama Chapter of Romance Writers of America. She believes when God gives you have a dream, you should go for it. Chances are He’s given you the ability to succeed, but you’ll never know if you don’t try.”
Note from SM Ford: Margaret Sanderson’s Camp Fire Girls series were written 100 years ago! So cool!
SM Ford writes inspirational fiction for adults, although teens may find the stories of interest, too. She also loves assisting other writers on their journeys.