Jan Romes is a hopeless romantic who grew up in northwest Ohio with eight zany siblings. Married to her high school sweetheart for more years than seems possible, she is also a proud mom, mother-in-law, and grandmother. She likes to read all genres, writes contemporary romance with characters who give as good as they get, is a part-time fitness trainer, and enjoys growing pumpkins and sunflowers. Jan is a member of Romance Writers of America.
Time to chat with Jan!
What is your latest book?
In December I published, Married to Maggie, book number 1 in my Texas Boys Falling Fast series.
What are the special challenges in writing a series?
Texas Boys Falling Fast is my first series so this is a well-timed question. I think the biggest challenge for me is carrying over certain details from one book to the next without slowing down each story. I want the books to connect but not so much that if someone was to buy book number two or three they wouldn’t be completely lost if they didn’t read book one first. The challenge is to connect them yet make each story distinct so they can also stand alone.
Some authors, like me, always write scenes in order. But I know some people write scenes out of order. How about you?
Such a great question – again, well-timed. Normally, I have to write scenes in order. For Married to Maggie, that wasn’t the case. I jumped around a bit. There were a few scenes that begged to be written out of sequence. I was afraid if I scribbled them down on paper I would lose the flavor and excitement of what I wanted to say.
Is it important for you to know the ending of a book before you write it? The title?
A solid YES to both questions. For me, knowing the ending ahead of time is like writing the book backwards. I need to know what prize will be waiting for my characters once they resolve all the obstacles I throw in their way. That unique ending in turn helps me figure out the obstacles. Like I said, it’s a back to forward approach. I think it’s also important to at least have a working title when you start your book. The title can help drive the story.
Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of the editing. How about you?
I would love to boast that I’m one of those authors that keep writing until I get all the way through the story before I tackle editing, but that would be a big fat lie. The truth is, I’m a writing neat freak. I fuss over a paragraph or line until I get it the way I want it. It’s a nasty habit. I need writing-rehab. *grins*
Do you write anything besides novels? Care to share?
I like to write short stories too. I was fortunate to have sold two stories to Woman’s World Magazine. (Not recently, however)
How would you define your style of writing?
I like to read books that move along quickly so I think I’ve naturally developed that style of writing. I place a lot of emphasis on sense of humor in my stories but there is always serious love at stake.
What are three things you think we can all do to make the world a better place?
I didn’t have to think hard about this question. Near and dear to my heart are these three things: making sure no one goes to bed hungry, no one should live on the streets unless they choose to, and recycling everything we can. I have been blessed to have the things I need and I want to give back. I currently give 10% of my royalties to organizations that feed the hungry and house the homeless. Someday I hope I can up that percentage. Regarding recycling, I’m a fanatic about it. Burying stuff in landfills doesn’t make sense when it can be broken down and reused.
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