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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

AUTHOR INTERVIEW JANE TOOMBS



Today's author is Jane Toombs and what a fascinating lady she is. Not only does she possess the knowledge and a very long life time of experience, she's almost fulfilled a personal goal - to publish 100 books. Yes you read correctly, sweeties! So please welcome to BRB author, Jane Toombs.

Tell us about yourself, Jane.
I’m a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother and have been a wife twice, a divorcee once and a widow once. Now I’m the Viking’s Life Partner. I’m also a retired registered nurse, and an author.  I have five children, two stepchildren, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren. I also am owned by Kinko, who is a calico cat.

When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I believe I always thought I was.  Because when I wanted to a child and wanted to use my father’s big old L.C. Smith typewriter, he told me he’d teach me how, but if he did, then I had to write him a story. So at seven, I wrote my first story about how he found and brought me my first cat.  He told me it was good and after I’d beamed at him awhile, then gently suggested ways I could make it better.  I gladly listened to my first reviewer and critiquer, and made the changes.

Who and/or what prompted you to write your first novel?
After I became a registered nurse, I wound up marrying a doctor and we had five children.  Once most of them were in school, I began to write in my free time, mostly short stories. That I never sent anywhere. Then I won a writing contest for nurses and the prize was an all expenses paid trip to Breadloaf in Vermont.  At the time I didn’t know at the time that this was probably the most prestigious writing course in the country.  I should have realized that my husband didn’t like the idea when he insisted we all go.  But I did get there, with my family in a motel in the nearest town.  One of the perks was to have your story critiqued by and one on one session with a published author of some note.  I had Seymour Epstein. The first words out of his mouth were, “What are you doing here when you should be home writing?” I stared at him, finally managing to ask, “Why?”  He told me that, based on my story, I didn’t need writing workshops, that I was good enough on my own and if I kept on writing I’d learn all I needed to know.  At that point I realized writing was what I really wanted to do with my life.

Where and/or how do you find the greatest inspiration?
Sometimes I feel as though my mind is a busy airport, with ideas circling like planes waiting to land.  The ideas are always there and some of them do land.  I don’t know if that’s inspiring, but it’s the way I feel out it when an ideas for a story comes rolling in. 

What made you chose to write romantic literature in particular? And is there any other genre you’d like to write? And if so, why?
I was only 17 and a half when I went into nursing.  I was raised in an innocent age and had never heard any slang terms for body parts.  So what I did learn was all the correct anatomical terms for parts of the    body.   And that’s what they forever will be to me.  I can’t bring myself to use slang terms for them. Which, of course makes erotica impossible for me to write. Somehow the correct terms just don’t work in that genre. But I do write sensual scenes, some so hot my editors have called them erotic. 

Which appears first when contemplating a new project: A character, the plot and/or the title?
I have to have a working title or I can’t get started, though I may change it along the way. Of course when I wrote for Harlequin, they regularly changed my titles. The plot and characters then come along together .  

What’s the hardest part of a novel for you to write: Beginning, middle and/or end? Why?
Always the middle.  Because in middles authors have to be careful not to let the tension drop too low, this losing the reader. 

Has your own life influenced your novels? And if so, how?
Certainly the fact I was a nurse predisposed me to write some medical suspense romances in the past. But medicine advances so fast, that now; if I include a medical scene I have to be careful to be up to date. Also I believe the author’s own life predisposes him or her to depict certain personality quirks in characters.  Also I’m an optimist, which I’m sure must. The fact I’ve lived all over the U.S. also has helped with settings.      

Writing sex/romantic scenes can be a challenge for some authors. Do you find it difficult? If yes, how do you compensate? If no, where do you draw your inspiration?
My second husband was also a writer and we both began by selling gothic suspense romances back in the day when such books had no consummated sex. When sexy historicals came along, he had no problem whatsoever. The historical part was no problem for me, but when I showed him my first attempt at a sex scene--well…  He was a somewhat dour man who didn’t smile often and very rarely laughed out loud. He howled with laughter at my flowery sex scene, finally recovering enough to say, “You need to work on this.” He was certainly right. But once I finally did get it right, I was okay. But it took hard work and time.    

Do you have a method you use to write the sensual parts? Do you prefer the sex to be open and bold? Or left to the imagination?
I was okay with leaving it to the imagination, but over time learned to get hotter and more open. My plots, though, are never heavily laden with one sexual encounter after another, probably because that’s not what I like to read. I like plot and to me sex is not THE plot, but only a part of it.

Are your characters based on people you know? Or are they completely fictitious?
I have a sneaking feeling all authors subconsciously base characters on people they’ve known in their lives--but only partially based on a real person.  Except for famous characters who really lived, whom I always research, I don’t consciously base any of mine on people.  But the subconscious is sneaky.  

Who is your favorite character, which you’ve created? And why?
The leading character of my Moonrunner Trilogy is one I’ll never forget.  I begin the first book with him waking naked on a beach in California during Gold Rush days. He doesn’t know where he is and worse--who he is.  But most dangerous of all he doesn’t know what he is. Having him go through discover after discovery as he struggles to survive somehow made me very close to him. 

Can you tell us about your latest release? Give a synopsis.
As it happens, it’s my first attempt at a young adult paranormal suspense romance.--The Turquoise Dragon from Devine Destinies Brief synopsis: On the dragon planet Cozz,  Blues and Greens have their own territory and never mate.  A blue having mated with her choice of blue male is flying back to her lair when a green male intrudes into Blue territory and forces a mating.  She can only hope all her eggs will be blue, because, if not, she’ll become an outcast. Two are, one is turquoise. She noticed an alien collection machine near her lair. These have been on her planet before and one blew up when a dragon tampered with it. So now they leave them alone.  To avoid killing her unborn progeny, she deposits the turquoise egg into the machine. Now she’s safe, (I’ve established that dragon eggs are hard and will go into hibernation for a time if not kept warm.) Fast-forward to Earth as the damaged robot veers off course and crashes.  An eleven -year-old far girl find the turquoise egg on a patch of moss and brings it home.  She knows how eggs hatch, so keeps it warm with a sun lamp. It does hatch.  Turk, as she names the baby dragon can mind talk so they can communicate.

What’s your newest WIP? And when we can expect a publication date?
Watcher At The Door, the second book in my Dangerous Darkness Series from Red Rose Publishing, has just been released. I am currently working on #3 Terror From Before Which I believe will be out sometime this fall. All of these are paranormal suspense romances.

How many novels do you have, that are currently published? 
If you include my backlist of NY books and count both novels and novellas (because most of my new releases are eBook novellas) I’m edging up on ninety published books.

Where do you see your writing career in the next five to ten years?
Well, I’m 84 years old, so I don’t see it as lasting more that five more years. By then I hope to have 100 books published. In the past I wrote gothic and long historical romances for many different NY pubs, plus romances for H/S but now I’m doing mostly eBook novellas, particularly paranormal or fantasy ones, because that’s what I like to read.

Thanks so much for doing this interview, Jane. It was great to have you. I wish you all the best of success for the future!
Happy Yaoi Hunting
Blak Rayne ^_^!!

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