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: http://www.janetdean.net/
And my blog: http://www.janetdean.blogspot.com/
And our group blog: http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/
Other Web sites where I have a presence: Love Inspired Authors: http://www.loveinspiredauthors.com/
Love Inspired Historical Authors: http://www.myspace.loveinspiredhistorical.com/
They can also check out my author page at http://www.eharlequin.com/
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.