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Jul
20
2011

Ask an Author: Janet Lane Walters-Using Astrology in Writing

 

Today I welcome multi-published author Janet Lane Walters to Ask an Author. Janet is a friend and mentor (whether or not she knows that, LOL!) and I’m so thrilled to be chatting with her today!
Heather: You write in so many different genres and sub genres, is one of them your favorite to write? Why? Is there any genre you’ll never write?

Janet: Usually my favorite is the one I’m writing at the time. Right now I’m doing a spicy contemporary but the next one up will be an alternate world one. I generally write the kind of things I like to read. So I guess there is no real why I write the genres I choose.


One I’d never write is horror. I don’t read horror. I don’t watch horror movies. I do not particularly like to be scared. I will probably never write another non-fiction book. That uses a part of the brain that I usually let lie fallow.

Heather: I’m constantly amazed at how you can write so well in so many different genres. I honestly believe that if you suddenly decided to write a horror, you write a damn good one! But I certainly understand the hesitation to write in a genre you don’t love. How do you come up with titles and character names after writing so many novels?


Janet: Titles are easy. I usually know them before the book is begun. As for characters I have a lot of baby name books. Some are for foreign languages and if I hear one that interests me, I jot it down. Once I went to write Laura, the name of the character in the book. My fingers hit the wrong keys and came out Liara. Liked the name so I used it in another book.

Heather: I love coming up with names for characters. It’s one of the most enjoyable and tedious tasks of being a write. I don’t use baby name books, but I have a few websites I like to visit to help with the search. What’s the one common characteristic that all of your heros possess? Or are they all completely different?

Janet: I’m not sure any of my heros have a common characteristic other than I do like to make them tall and muscular. As far as their inner traits I think they’re different and chosen for each book. I do use Astrology to develop my characters, using Sun, Moon and Ascendant to discover their traits. This gives me a large number of ways to show a character. Mostly I would say they’re not alphas or betas, each one has some traits of each classification.


Heather: It’s fascinating that you have a deep enough understand of astrology to be able to use it to develop your character’s individual traits! How do you keep your characters physical traits straight after writing so many novels? Do you create some kind of character cheat sheet to keep them clear in your head as you write?

Janet: No character sheets. Since I only work on one book at a time there’s no problem keeping their physical characteristics different. There may be some similarities between one character and another but they’re also different. I use a minimum bit of physical description unless there’s something unusual. I let the reader form their own picture of the character. Part of writing is engaging the imagination of the reader. Actually when I’m writing, I become the character.


Heather: Hmm, now I’m curious how you become the character? Maybe you can share that experience with us another time.
And last but not least, the question we’ve all be waiting for… If you could take a vacation of a lifetime, where would you go?

Janet: Where would i go. Egypt has always been a place I’d love to visit. The pyramids, the Sphinx, the archelogical wonders would take more than a short vacation.

 

Visit Janet on her blog at: http://wwweclecticwriter.blogspot.com/

To find out more information on the rest of Janet’s books (and you should, because there’s many of them and they are all awesome!) click here! http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/jewels10.html

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  1. Shoshanna Evers says:

    Great interview! I love what you said about leaving most of the description of the characters to the reader’s imagination. I feel the same way!

    1. Heather says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Shoshanna! I like to describe my characters enough so that any important details are there, but the rest is up to the reader. We all have our ideal hero in mind!

  2. Heather says:

    Hi Janet,

    Thanks for being a part of Ask an Author!

  3. Wendy S. Marcus says:

    Hi Heather!
    Great interview! I consider Janet a mentor, too, and I stand (or sit as the case may be at the moment) in awe of her productivity!

    1. Heather says:

      Hi Wendy,

      I think Janet is probably a mentor to more people than she realizes. I’m always amazing at how fast she produces quality work!!

  4. Tara Stearns says:

    Hi Janet and Heather! Great Q&A.

    Love hearing (reading) about your writing process, Janet. Makes I all seem so easy.

    I would love to see Egypt, too. 🙂

    -Tara

    1. Heather says:

      Hi Tara,

      Thanks for stopping by. I’d love to see the pyramids one day. Ah, to dream…

  5. Janet Lane Walters says:

    Heather, Thanks for having me. Though a day late I’m off to promote this to a dozen or so lists I belong to. Janet

  6. Jennifer Probst says:

    HI Janet and Heather! I am way late on posting due to vacation but I really loved this interview. I never thought of doing astrology charts for characters but it is something I am going to try on my next book – fun and a wonderful way to delve deep. Janet has always been my role model!

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