Thursday, August 27, 2009

Welcome Janet Dean! Win a Copy of her Book...

I'm so thrilled to welcome my good friend Janet Dean today. She's going to answer a few of my questions and will be giving away a copy of her newest release, Courting the Doctor's Daughter in a drawing among those who comment and leave contact information. So be sure to comment! You don't want to miss her wonderful books.

1. Janet, I just love your writing. It's so evocative. Do you have to do a lot of research for your setting and time period?

Thanks for inviting me to your blog today, Missy. Huge thanks for the lovely compliment! I love your books! We’re both blessed to write for Steeple Hill.

As to research, all three of my sold books take place in small Midwestern towns in the late 1800s so most of the basic research I did for the first book carried over to the others. Once I knew the basics, I loved exploring the specific historical elements that anchor my stories. Courting Miss Adelaide and Courting the Doctor’s Daughter center around the orphan train phenomena. Over a seventy-year period, 250,000 orphaned and half-orphaned children living in New York City’s orphanages, or on the streets, rode trains to new homes in the Midwest and beyond. To write Courting the Doctor’s Daughter, I also investigated medical practices, medical schools and herbal medicine. With The Substitute Bride, February 2010, I explored the amazing stories of real life mail-order brides. I love history and can get caught up in research. Though the facts can be frustrating when they don’t support the story I want to write. :)

2. For those who haven’t yet read your books, could you give a little blurb of each?

Courting Miss Adelaide: The “orphan train” seemed like small-town spinster Adelaide Crum’s last chance to know the simple joys of family life. So many lost children, every one of them dreaming only of a caring home—the home she longed to offer. And yet the narrow-minded town elders refused to entrust even the most desperate child to a woman alone….

Newspaperman Charles Graves believed his heart was closed forever, but he swore to stand by this lovely, lonely woman who was fighting for the right to take some motherless child into her heart. And her gentle soul and unwavering faith made him wonder if even he could overcome the bitter lessons of the past, and somehow find the courage to love….

Courting the Doctor’s Daughter: A widow with three boys to raise, Mary Graves has no time for peddlers of phony medicine. She’s a dedicated healer working alongside her doctor father. When a handsome stranger blows into town with his “elixir of health” and asks questions about her newly adopted son, Mary’s determined to uncover the truth behind all his claims.

Once the reckless heir to a Boston fortune, Dr. Luke Jacobs travels the country with his herbal medicine while searching for his long-lost son. After meeting the feisty doctor’s daughter and her youngest boy, Luke has found what he’s been looking for at last. But can he convince her to let him into her home, her family—and her heart?

3. I know life gets crazy, and you have events with your family/grandkids as well as involvement in your church. But what does a typical writing day look like for you?

I typically begin writing at ten o’clock, having already slugged down three cups of coffee while I checked e-mail, commented at our group blog, Seekerville and had my devotions. By the time I get to the computer, I’m raring to go. I usually break for lunch, but the crumbs in my keyboard attest I often eat while I work. I write until four or five o’clock, depending on whether I’m going to exercise. I’m not a big TV watcher so I spend most evenings catching up with e-mail and promotion. Most evenings I take a walk with my husband. When I’m nearing a deadline, I spend almost every waking moment at the computer.

4. Are your characters based on people you know? If not, how do you come up with their personalities?

I suspect most writers absorb personalities like a sponge. My characters may share traits of people I know and even parts of myself. Not that I’m admitting to specifics. :) Its fun to create wacky secondary characters with no resemblance to anyone, living or dead, but over the years I’ve picked up traits from people watching and have fun exaggerating them. So beware. :) I also create my character’s personalities from their back story. What they’ve experienced in the past shapes not only who they are, but how they behave. At this point, I haven’t used personality charts and archetypes.

5. When can we look for another wonderful book by Janet Dean?? :) And what's it about?

The Substitute Bride releases February 2010. Debutante Elizabeth Manning will do anything to give her brother a good home, but her mail-order bride switch falls as flat as her rock-hard biscuits. Farmer Ted Logan, her widower groom with two children, has a secret he’s carrying and a Call he’s refusing to answer. Both learn love requires honesty, a hearty dose of forgiveness and the courage to accept God’s purpose for their lives.

6. How can readers find out more about you and your books?

I invite readers to visit my Web site:

And my blog:

And our group blog:

Other Web sites where I have a presence: Love Inspired Authors:

Love Inspired Historical Authors:

They can also check out my author page at

Thanks for having me today, Missy. I enjoyed it!

Janet, thanks so much for doing the interview! And readers, don't forget to leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of Courting the Doctor's Daughter.

Janet grew up in a family that cherished the past and had a strong creative streak. Her Social Studies/Art teacher father was a storyteller, like his father. The yarns her father and grandfather told instilled in Janet a love of the past and the desire to tell stories on paper. At twelve Janet wrote her first “novels,” even illustrating her little books, but when it came time to choose a career, she wanted to teach. Today Janet writes inspirational historical romances for Steeple Hill. Courting Miss Adelaide released in September 2008. Her second book in the Courting series, Courting the Doctor's Daughter released May 12, 2009. Her third book The Substitute Bride, February 2010, is a mail-order bride story set in Iowa.

When she isn’t writing, Janet enjoys making hand-crafted greeting cards, playing golf and bridge, and reading. The Deans enjoy travel and spending time with family.


Angela Breidenbach said...

I'm not quite ready, but I'm considering writing an historical in the future. (Boy, that sounds funny.) I want to fictionalize my grandparents love story. It was amazing. She's his second wife...anyway, do you just research the specific year the book is set in or do you go further to establish your characters?


Missy Tippens said...

Thanks for stopping by, Angie!

You know, we had a guest blogger on the Seeker blog last Friday who talked about fictionalizing her grandmother's story. Very interesting! It was Pamela Binnings Ewen.

Myra Johnson said...

Always love learning more about my dear friend Janet Dean! And it's fun to get a glimpse of other writers' work routines. Congratulations on the success of your books, Janet! I look forward to the next one!

Janet Dean said...

Hi Angie. Thanks for stopping in. Writing your grandparents' story will be fun and have its challenges. Like Missy, I'd suggest you read Pamela's post in Seekerville on that very thing.

All three of my sold books are set late in the 19th Century so I researched the era, then expanded into the historical elements my story encompasses.

For Courting Miss Adelaide besides learning all I could about the orphan trains, I also researched suffrage since my heroine insisted on speaking out on the issue.

With Courting the Doctor's Daughter, I needed to see if the requirements for attending medical school were feasible for Mary, a mother of three sons.

Lots of details make up our stories. That means lots of things to check. Wishing you all the best with your writing!


Janet Dean said...

Hi Myra! Thanks! I look forward to reading your debut, One IM-possible Christmas.

Do you do much research for your contemporaries, gals?


Carla Gade said...

Great interview! I already have Janet's books and have enjoyed them so much. There is a good amount of depth to the plots and characters. Courting the Doctor's Daughter had me wondering right up until the very end how on earth the characters were ever going to get together!

Since I've already read the books you do not have to enter me in the drawing, give someone else a chance to enjoy!

Sabrina L. Fox said...

I just love Janet's bookcovers. They're so lovely. Can't wait to read this one, Janet.

Cathy Shouse said...

Hi, Janet and Missy,

The last time I saw you ladies was in Washington DC. What a great time that was.

Janet, I thought I knew everything about you (not really) and now I find you actually start writing at a very sane hour!

Just this morning, I was thinking that maybe I should let go of the idea I need to start writing at 5 a.m. . That might be wise, since my body clock is not on that page. :)

Well, I have a copy of the book and if I won another one, I'd make sure it gets a good home with someone else who would enjoy it. So, please count me in.


Debra E Marvin said...

Hi Janet and Missy,
I love the idea of this book and it's close to my heart. I might pick your brain sometime, Janet, for the resources you used for your herbal medicine research.

(I'd love to win a copy of the book)

Looking forward to reading them all.

Janet have you been able to play as much golf as you'd like with the pressure of your publishing schedule?


Missy Tippens said...

Hi, Myra and Carla! thanks for stopping by.

Yes, Carla, I agree. I've loved Janet's books!

Missy Tippens said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sabrina!

Any of you who don't have the book already, be sure to leave contact info if you'd like to be entered in the drawing. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Hey, Cathy! It was great seeing you in D.C.!

Hey, Debra! The info she has on those early medicines is so interesting, isn't it? :)

I've got you both entered in the drawing!

Janet Dean said...

Hi Carla! Thank you for your lovely, encouraging words! And thanks for stopping to say hello.

Hugs, Janet

Janet Dean said...

Hello Sabrina. I love my covers too. I keep wondering what the cover for The Substitute Bride will look like.

I'm visualizing an old-fashioned marriage certificate and the hero and heroine's hands intertwined, maybe a sprig of flowers. :-)

But Steeple Hill may have a different vision that's better than mine. All the covers of Love Inspired Historicals have been amazing! I trust the Steeple Hill Art department.


Janet Dean said...

Good to see you, Cathy! I had a great time in Washington and at the RWA conference. Wish we could've spent more time together.

I tried to write early, then found I never got around to my devotions and was uneasy about leaving the house in disarray. When the calls and chores are handled, I can knuckle down. When I'm nearing my deadline, there is no schedule, no sane hour. We writers have to find what works for us.


Janet Dean said...

Hi Debra! The book I used for research is Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of HERBS. It's a excellent resource that includes the history of the herbs and their modern day use. Great stuff!

I'm in a 9-hole league that meets once a week. With my game, that's enough golf for me. LOL. But I haven't been able to get that in. It's been over a month since I've played. I love to be with people. And I need to get outdoors, but there's been oodles of conflicts this summer. Do you golf?


April said...

I would love to win a copy of your book.Great post. Thanks AprilR

Janet Dean said...

Thanks for your interest in my book, April!


Missy Tippens said...

Thanks for stopping by, April. I have you entered!

Dianna Shuford said...

Your books sound intriguing and entertaining, Janet. I'll have to look for them when I'm out browsing the book sections (when my husband's not blocking my path to that section $$$).

Good luck on future stories.

Janet Dean said...

Hi Dianna, we've got to learn to dodge our husbands. :-) Maybe you'll win a copy of Courting the Doctor's Daughter. Courting Miss Adelaide is hard to get though it may still be on Amazon.

Thanks for the good wishes with future boooks!


Project Journal said...

Hi Missy and Janet!
I actually talked to Missy about this book once before! Lol...then I never found it again.
Anyway, Janet, I have never read any of your books, but they certainly look interesting and entertaining.

Missy - I had my second carpal tunnel surgery this afternoon. It went fine, but apparently the CT was a lot worse inside than they thought in both wrists! Ah well, at least the surgeries are behind me now.
Thanks for this great opportunity!


Missy Tippens said...

Hey, Dianna! Husbands just don't understand, do they??


Missy Tippens said...

Hey, Hannah! I'm glad your surgery was a success. I just hope you can recover quickly and get caught up in school!!

Yes, I remember us talking about this book--the time I showed a photo of me reading it at the beach! LOL

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Janet and Missy, I enjoy reading both your books so much.

Janet, Courting the Doctor's Daughter was fresh and entertaining. I absolutely loved it. Looking forward to your next one.

Keli Gwyn said...

Nice interview, Janet and Missy. Please don't enter me in the drawing. I've already enjoyed Courting the Doctor's Daughter. I'm looking forward to reading The Substitute Bride. Mail order bride stories are my absolute favorites, and I know yours will be well done, Janet.

Carmen7351 said...

Oh, I don't have the book, Courting the Doctor's Daughter and would love to win it. Sounds like a great read. Please enter me. Thanks.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Patricia said...

I enjoyed the interview. It's a rainy dreary day here in MI and I was starting to feel overwhelmed with the "I'll never be a real writer" blahs. This interview was infused with energy, humility, and humor. Thanks for the boost. I would love to win a copy of the book. pgrau (dot) ggi (at) gmail (dot) com

Project Journal said...

Lol! Yes, you're absolutely right! It's funny what we remember

Missy Tippens said...

Anita Mae, thanks for stopping by! And thank you!

Keli, thanks for stopping by, too! I'm with you, I can't wait for the next Janet Dean book!

Missy Tippens said...

Patricia, I'm so glad the interview gave you a boost. If you could know Janet in person, you'd see she's just like that in real life!

Keep at the writing, and try not to let it get you down. I almost gave up several times and am so glad I didn't!

Missy Tippens said...

Carmen, I have you entered! Thanks for stopping by.

Susan Diane Johnson said...

Janet, I confess, I bought Courting Miss Adelaide because of the luscious cover. I absolutely loved the book and can't wait to read Courting the Doctor's Daughter. Interesting, the heroine in my first historical (not pubbed)sells "healing" spring water. It was a fun book to write.
~~Suzie Johnson

windycindy said...

Lovely author who writes delightful
books! I would appreciate my name being entered in your book drawing.
Many thanks, Cindi

squiresj said...

I would love to win your book and read it and review it for you and then share it with others. That is my ministry this past year. I love your books and yes, I have read some. I enjoyed this blog. God annoint and continue to use you for his glory as you write. I find authors daily God has annointed and they have so blessed me and kept me uplifted this past year.

HollyMag said...

I would so love a chance to win this book. I read "Courting Miss Adelaide" as part of the acfw group and was so surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Janet does a great job of writing characters that you can identify with and love reading about.


Missy Tippens said...

Cindi (windycindy), you're the winner of the drawing for Janet's book! If you'll email me at missytippens [at], I'll get that to Janet.

Thanks, everyone!

Missy Tippens said...

Oops, just realized you left an addy, Cindi. I'll email you. :)

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