Thursday, October 4, 2012

Welcome author Jane Toombs

I'd like to welcome author Jane Toombs to my blog today.  Let's find out more about her and her book "Thirteen West." 

Also Jane is giving away a copy of her book to one lucky winner.

How long have you been writing?

 Since I was seven and asked my father, who was a published non-fiction author to show me how to use his old L.C. Smith typewriter.  He agreed to, but said I’d have to write him a story every time I used it.  Hey, I read stories, how hard could it be to write one?  So he taught me how to hunt and peck, which I still do, and in due time I wrote him a story.  He praised it, but pointed out ways I could make it even better.  I trusted his advice and, though I didn’t yet know the right term, I revised it.  He was my first critiquer and did the same with every story I wrote for him. In effect, he was also my first editor.

What is your favorite genre to write? 

Influenced by E.A. Poe, who I read at an early age, I enjoy taking walks down the dark paths of life when I read, so it was natural that gothic tales appealed to me.  When I finally decided to write a novel instead of fooling around with short stories I never sent anywhere. It’s no surprise that gothic was my genre choice for Tule Witch, my first attempt at a full length book.  About this time we moved to San Diego.  I’m married with five kids--all in school. So I decided to take an off-campus class from a published older mystery writer.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but since he critiqued everyone’s stories in class, I now understand that I was the only one writing anything even remotely salable. No doubt this was why he told me privately that if I finished the book, rewriting it according to his critiques, he’d send it to his agent.  I had no idea this was unusual.  But I did my best and off he sent it. His agent sold it to Avon. Just like that I was a published author! 

What are you working on now?

Since the gothic genre is, as I write it, actually paranormal suspense romance, That’s what I’m writing now.  I have a series going at Eternal Press called The Underworld Series.  The first two books Unwise and Unwanted are already available.  I’m writing the third book, Uncanny, now.  The Underworld has nothing to do with Satan, but is simply an alternate world reached from Earth and other civilizations by gates which continually shift, so might be encountered anywhere. Once you fall through a gate you’re stuck in whatever world it is permanently.  Unless, that is, you can find a guide--and they’re very rare.
Unwise was a fairy tale that introduced the reader to one of the alternate civilizations. 
Unwanted  was the story of a redhead with green eyes who falls into the a different
country in the Underworld only to find she’s in danger of death since red-haired women with green eyes aree considered evil witches. 
Uncanny takes place in still another country in the Underworld where women with silver eyes are consider to be uncannies and can be put to death.  Of course the heroine has silver eyes. 

When you start a new story do you begin with character or plot?

Actually, neither. I learned the hard way that I was a plotter, not a pantser, so I begin with a synopsis.  And, no, this doesn’t mean I start with plot because the right  characters (to me, anyway) are fitted into the synopsis as I write it. This is my working synopsis.  Though I may deviate from it here and there, I pretty much stick to it.  I have to write this way because otherwise I have a tendency to explore byways that have nothing to do with the story I’m writing.  As I said, I learned this the hard way. 
Tell us about your latest release.  What inspired it?

Thirteen West is my latest release as an ebook.  I wrote it years ago, but it wasn’t right, even though it got published.  So, since I had the rights back, I changed the entire focus of the book to a woman meeting a derelict drunk on a San Diego street and recognizing him as the man who once was an RN Supervisor when she was a student nurse undergoing her psychiatric hospital affiliation. They had an extremely stormy relationship during that time. Now she feels a deep need to try to rehabilitate him, upsetting her adult daughter.  This story runs side by side with the story of what happened at that hospital when they were both much younger. 
I was once a student nurse at a psychiatric hospital and never forgot what I saw there.  So , in a way, this was my way of turning those  memories into a story of rehabilitation.

All my books , with buy links can be found at my website: link

Blurb: To her adult daughter's horror, her mother insists on picking a drunken derelict off the streets of San Diego to try to rehabilitate him. When the daughter protests,  her mother hails a cab, shoves the man into it and rides away . What the daughter doesn’t know is that her mother and this man share a dark history from the past, from the time her mother was a student nurse taking her psychiatric affiliation at the state hospital where this man was once an RN Supervisor. She also doesn't know her mother has no idea why she's doing this...

"Mother, will you please stop staring at that crazy!"
          Sarah Goodrow Fenz ignored her daughter's plea as well as Linda's frantic tug at her arm.  Her feet firmly planted on the southwest corner of Horton Square in revivified downtown San Diego, she peered at the stumbling, mumbling derelict weaving his way toward them.
He was no novelty--all cities had their quota of drunks, druggies and dippity-dos--but something about him triggered a warning flare of memory.  She shook her head, but the long-ago and unwelcome memory persisted from a time she didn't care to dwell on.
"Moth-er!" Linda cried, giving her arm a hard yank. "Let's go!"
As Sarah freed herself, the man's blurry gaze met hers and she noticed the wedge of yellow in the brown iris of his right eye.  The bottom fell out of her world.  Frank.  Almost unrecognizable but Frank, all the same.  The one man she'd thought she'd left forever back in the past.
After a moment she recovered enough to realize there'd been no flare of recognition in his expression.  He obviously hadn't a clue who she was.  Thank heaven.  She'd simply walk on by and that would be the end of it.  But her feet wouldn't move.
          "Frank Kent," she said when he drew even with her.
He blinked, stumbling to a stop, looking around, apparently unable to believe she was the one who'd spoken to him.
"Frank," she repeated, understanding with dismay that whether she wanted to or not, she'd made up her mind what must be done.  Reaching out, she grasped his hand.  "Come with me."
"Are you out of your mind?" Linda protested.  "You can't do this.  These people are dangerous."
"Not Frank," Sarah said.  "Not any more."
Linda stared at her.  "You can't be serious.  Even if you know him, just what do you intend to do?  Remember, you're staying with us and Darrin will have a fit if you try to bring him to the house."  She gave Frank a shuddering glance.  "I don't even want him in my car.  I'd never get the smell out."
Head down, looking at no one, Frank left his hand in Sarah's, apparently oblivious to what Linda was saying.
Sarah eyed her daughter.  "Don't worry, I'll take a taxi to a motel.  And I won't bother Darrin about this unless I need a medical opinion."
Linda's expression changed from worried to horrified. "You don't mean to stay with this--this street bum in a motel!"
"You know as well as I do that no hospital will admit him.  Where can he go to be taken care of?  There is no place for street bums, as you call them.  I have no choice but to try to take care of him myself.  After all, I'm a nurse."
"Be reasonable, mother.  You haven't done any nursing in years.  He's filthy.  He probably has lice and God only knows what awful diseases.  AIDS, for one."
Sarah shot her daughter an exasperated look.  "Either help me or leave me alone.  I'm doing what I have to do."  She waved her hand at an oncoming taxi and it pulled to the curb.  "I'll call you from wherever I go and you can bring me my things." Leaving her still protesting daughter, Sarah loaded a passive Frank into the cab and climbed in after him, wrinkling her nose at the stink of dirty clothes, unwashed male, old vomit and second-hand wine fumes.
"Take me to a motel where they'll accept this man, but make sure it's one where I won't be in any danger," she told the cabbie.
His over-the-shoulder glance was dubious, but he nodded. Frank hadn't looked at her except for the one time on the street.  He not only had no idea who she was but no concept of where he was headed or what she intended to do with him.  He was as helpless in her hands as she'd once been in his.
Jane Toombs, the Viking from her past and their calico grandcat, Kinko, live across the road from Lake Superior’s south shore.  Jane has nearly ninety published books in all genres except men’s action and erotica from many different publishers.  Her favorite genre to write is paranormal suspense romance, while her favorite genre to read is mystery, mostly Michael Connolly or Lee Child.     


1 comment:

  1. Jane, I hate you hate you hate you (JUST KIDDING)--to be published so quickly & easily--wow! How lucky. But of course, like those "overnight" Hollywood celebrities, you really worked very hard to get there. I love the story of your first editor! Thanks for posting. Meredith