The Author's
Place


Interview with

Author Janet Kay

I understand that this is your debut novel?

Kay: Yes, it is. For me, this is a dream come true. I've been writing most of my life but have previously focused on feature articles, short stories, poetry, memoir, and technical writing. I've been published in a number of magazines and anthologies. But my lifelong dream has been to publish a novel.

When did you begin your writing career?

Kay: When I was eight years old! I was an avid reader and soon fell in love with writing. I spent hours writing short stories and documenting my life in the pages of my locked diaries. I wrote and published a neighborhood newspaper at the age of 10. I always planned to become an author when I grew up. Then, life got in the way of my lofty dreams - good things, bad things... While supporting my family, I still managed to find little blocks of time to study the art of writing and scribble away.

Good things? Bad things?

Kay: Life is a mixed bag, isn't it? The best things in my life have been my children and grandchildren. My marriage didn't work out - let's leave it at that. I will say, however, that you learn from the bad. You become a stronger person. Like most writers, I draw on the past to create my characters and the dilemmas they face in life. If you've "been there" it's easier to empathize and to portray the difficult aspects of life and relationships. Can you imagine how boring life - and novels - would be without conflict and suspense?

Tell me about the place where your novel is set. Rainy Lake?

Kay: Rainy Lake is a huge wilderness lake that encompasses parts of northern Minnesota and Ontario, Canada. It's incredibly beautiful, remote, full of islands, and home to Voyageur's National Park. I fell in love with the area and have done extensive research there. You could say that I'm a "place writer." Once I have an idea for a story, I find a unique place to set it. It's important to me to provide an authentic setting for my novels, a place that my readers will want to visit someday. I also enjoy doing local historical research, some of which I integrate into my work. We all have histories, stories from our ancestors. Our pasts help to shape us into the characters that we become.

How would you describe your writing style?

Kay: I've been told by reviewers and readers that my writing is descriptive, powerful, emotional, inspirational, with a good dose of suspense. I'm often told that my readers were "unable to put my novel down." Above all, I like to explore some of the bigger themes of life within my work."

Such as?

Kay: Such as the amazing ability of the human spirit to triumph, to survive. Forgiveness. Death. Life and "relationships" beyond death.

Do you have a specific message in your book that you would like to leave your readers with?

Kay: It is my hope that each of my readers will take away some little thing that will help them in their own lives and relationships. Perhaps, it will help somebody out there, in some small way, to broaden his or her perspective on life, thereby finding hope for the future.

Do you have plans to write more novels in the future?

Kay: Absolutely! I'm currently writing my memoirs, but I'm also doing research for my next novel. It is tentatively titled Amelia's Revenge and will take place primarily in the old western ghost town of Virginia City, Montana. The plot crosses back and forth in time between the 1860's gold rush days and 2012. I'm also planning to do a sequel to Waters of the Dancing Sky - something many of my readers are already requesting.
 

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