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Janet: Sushi! I love it. Particularly sashimi. Although, I can be a bit of a purist when it comes to my rolls. When they get too busy with extra ingredients like cream cheese or pineapple (I saw that on a menu once) I get turned off.
SASSE: I love California Rolls with ginger sauce to dip instead of soy sauce (too salty). Now, that our mouths are full, tell the readers a little about yourself. LOL. How did you get into writing? When was that one moment when you felt ‘Oh, my, I’m really a romance writer.’?
Janet: I know it's a bit if a cliché to say I've always been a writer but it's the truth! I had a toy typewriter when I was about 4 or 5 that I would sit at it for what seemed like hours and "write" books for my parents. I'd type up my stories that started off with my name and a few basic words, but would eventually result in nonsensical words on several pages. I'd bind them with yarn, color something on the cover and read my "story" to my parents once finished. It wasn't until years later after finding myself settled in my career that I decided to develop my love of writing that wasn't technical writing for work.
I was particularly inspired when I discovered IR romance, because the majority of the writers were working out of the system of traditional publishing. If there could be an "ah ha" moment for me it would be at that moment. I was inspired by women telling their story, regardless if the mainstream wanted to hear it or not.
SASSE: What was the first romance book you read that you just couldn’t get out of your mind; that book that started your “keeper shelf”?
Janet: My first romance books would have been the Sweet Valley High Saga Books or V.C Andrews. Most likely V.C. Andrews because they were shelved near the youth section at my local library. I loved all of the drama and over the top stories and quickly discovered adult romances thereafter. I'm sure they're still packed up in my parents garage. ;)
SASSE: Friends to lovers has always been one of my favorite kinds of love stories. Your series Destined for Love, what sparked the idea for it?
Janet: I've always loved friends to lovers stories. As one of the romance tropes it's the most realistic but I believe one you can have the most fun with. I started the first two books with very traditional friends that become romantic, and the next two play with it a bit. I really like contemporary romance where the author has fun with what we expect from the genre and that's what I'm trying to do with these books. I also wanted to give some love to my home state California (particularly Southern California) and have made a point to set all of my stories there.
SASSE: Each of the stories have varied couples which one of the pairs are your favorite?
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Janet: I would say the couple from Finding Us is my favorite so far. They stretch the bounds of friends to lovers and could be thought of lovers to life mates. The heroine has a lot of sass and a lot of emotional blocks, while the hero could be a total Hollywood douche but pulls himself back. I also had fun changing the conflict for the heroines inability to commit still being she had "Daddy Issues" but it's because she views her father as being far superior to any man in her life and needing to learn that, yes as her father he can be that, but as a man and her mother's husband he has flaws.
SASSE: Do you enjoy friends to lovers movies as well? If so, what is your favorite one?
Janet: Oh Boy! This is a hard one. I was just talking to my husband about how I often find what reads well in a book doesn't necessarily translate well on the screen. I don't know if there is a certain magic in reading these type of love stories that is hard to capture on screen, but I can't think of a friends to lovers movie that is my fave. Off the top of my head I can think of one where the friends should have ended up but didn't. Pretty in Pink. Duckie and Andie should have totally ended up together, but in true romance novel fashion they would reconnect 20 years after prom and finally discover it was always meant to be them together. ;)
SASSE: My daughter totally agrees with you about Duckie. She has a t-shirt I just bought her that says “May I admire you again today?” because she loves the movie so much. Now, what do you do to get yourself in a writing frame of mind, television, quiet room, music…?
Janet: Well, it depends on what I'm writing and how busy my day job is. I'm a procrastinator and easily distracted, which can make sitting down to write difficult. I have a long commute for work, and I've found ideas will pop up while I'm sitting in traffic. The problem is once I get to my desk I'm not very good at writing them down. Currently, I'm bringing the notebook back out and plan to write stories out because I'm too tempted to goof off while at my computer. I'm also going to take the train a few days a week to see if it allows for more time with my creative process. Seeking balance is my newest plan for inspiring my muse, so we shall see how that goes. (Fingers crossed)
SASSE: What can readers expect next from you? What is the next series you will be working on/putting out?
Janet: I've been plugging away at my next Destined for Love book but am currently stalled. Actually I have two I'm stalled on, and I may let them sit for a bit. I'm participating in NaNoWriMo but in my true fashion am a bit behind on the original story I'd slated to complete and have started another. Long story short, something is coming, I just don't know what it is yet. ;)
SASSE: Thank you, Janet, this has been just delightful to sit back with you and learn a little more about you and your story.
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About the Author
Like most great superheroes (or super-villains, depending on who’s telling the story) I live a double life. By day I'm a mild-mannered crusader for justice (or nefarious deeds, depending on who’s telling the story) and by night an indestructible creator of prose (or pathological liar, depending on who’s telling the story) while munching on my favorite cookies—oatmeal raisin. A native West Coaster who hails from the sunny state of California I have loved the romance genre ever since I convinced my dad it was required reading when I was eleven. I believe love shouldn’t have a color code and strive to create stories that represent that belief.
Website: janeteckford.comFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/Janet.Eckford