Today it is my pleasure to introduce to you, Janet Ferguson. I’ve “known” Janet online for several years now, and she is a joy to keep up with. But let me introduce you to her properly.
Janet W. Ferguson is a Christy Award finalist and the FHL Readers Choice Award-winning author of realistic inspirational fiction. An avid reader, she loved books so much she found a job as a librarian so she could be around them all day. Then she turned that love of story into writing faith-filled novels with characters who feel like best friends. You’ll laugh and cry as the quirky heroes and heroines chase their happily ever after. Janet and her husband live in Mississippi where they say y’all a lot, and she forces him to visit the beach as often as possible. They have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a cat that allows them to share the space.
You can connect with her through:
*If you sign up for her newsletter, you will get her Christy Award finalist novella, Falling for Grace for free. Click here!
Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Janet with rapid-fire.
CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?
CC: Print or E-book?
JF: Love print but since my eyes are aging, eBooks are easier to read now.
CC: Cat or Dog Person?
JF: Both again. 🙂
Morning Person or Night Owl?
JF: Night for sure. Mornings hurt!
CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?
JF: Summer and beaches.
Now for a couple of fun personal questions:
How can we pray for you?
JF: That the stories I write glorify God and spread the Good News of His love and grace.
CC: Amen! Amen!
What is your favorite Bible verse?
JF: So many! But I love Isaiah 55’s invitation,
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.”
We think we need so much, but really God supplies our true needs.
CC: It is so easy to get wrapped up in the “things” of life instead of what we truly need.
What are you reading right now?
JF: I am finishing a novel by Tosca Lee called A Single Light. It’s a thriller for sure.
CC: I’ve not read anything from her, but I have heard her writing still keeps you on the edge of your seat.
What do you like to do when you aren’t reading or writing?
JF: Walking outside, trying new restaurants, traveling, Bible study, and taking pictures of nature keep me happy.
CC: Those are all great hobbies. My family especially loves trying new restaurants.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
JF: In 2012, both my parents passed away, along with my mother-in-law within 2 months. I’d had a story idea for about 7 years. After those losses, I realized life was short, and I began writing my first novel which became Leaving Oxford.
CC: Realizing the brevity of life can be a kick in the pants for so many things. I am sorry for your losses, but so glad good came out of them in the form of your writing.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
JF: A lot of times, I write sitting on my bed, LOL! My room is quiet and I have a stack of pillows piled up and research books spread out all over.
CC: That would be far too tempting for me to take a nap instead of write. LOL
What is your writing Kryptonite?
JF: I hate editing. It’s just so hard to rethink something once it’s finished, especially part of the plot or story.
CC: I’m the opposite, but I can see where that could be difficult.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
JF: I’m not the best at having a schedule anymore. I’ve decided to write one book a year, giving it my best work. If I get behind on my deadline though, I’ll go to a library or coffee shop to finish those last chapters. Sometimes I have to get away from distractions at home.
CC: Distractions at home are the hardest. You literally have to leave in order to escape them. One book a year sounds like the perfect pace to me!
What has been the biggest challenge for you on your writing journey?
JF: Writing the stories of heroines who’ve gone through abuse was incredibly hard, because I had to dig into how that must have felt and how it affected them. The emotion of that is tough.
CC: That is definitely a huge challenge and one that also becomes a spiritual battle in and of itself.
Let’s talk about your newest release, Healing Skye.
People can’t be trusted.
Animals always made more sense than humans did to marine biologist Skye Youngblood. After her mother’s tragic death, she left Alabama and never looked back. These days, she pours her heart into protecting nature’s sea creatures. When she returns to Dauphin Island, Alabama, for a temporary manatee migration study, her dark past is much too close. She can’t let her guard down. But how can she keep her heart hidden when a kind man with a genuine smile makes her want a fresh start?
Charter fishing pays the bills for widower Pete Thompson and his little girl, but like his father, a pastor, Pete can’t help but fish for men. Only, after growing up under constant scrutiny as a preacher’s kid, Pete’s ways are a bit more unconventional. And the bulk of his life revolves around raising his precious daughter.
When he witnesses the car wreck of a new marine biologist on the island, it doesn’t take a genius to see that more than just her physical pain needs tending. Pete feels called to help Skye find true healing, but he’s navigating dangerous waters. And he’s not at all sure he’ll walk away unscathed.
Purchase your copy here.
CC: Who was the most challenging character to create?
JF: Probably this last character Skye. She’s had such a hard childhood with a terrible stepfather and a mother who suffered from depression.
CC: Those traumatic backgrounds can really make for reluctant characters–even for us the author. I’m so glad you stuck with it.
Which character was the most fun to create?
JF: My hero of For the Love of Joy, Davis, showed up in The Art of Rivers as a side character and he was just hilarious. He was also in Star Rising. At some point I knew he had to have his own story. I think God gave me Davis as a gift and a joy to write.
CC: That is so sweet. I love how those recurring side characters eventually get their own stories.
JF: They all involve travel, I think! I’d like to see Scotland, the rest of the United States that I haven’t gone to, and New Zealand.
CC: Travel never gets old. Or at least the dream of it, and your location selections are excellent!
Thanks for getting to know Deb Kastner with me. Don’t forget to check out her book, Healing Skye, and answer the question below to let us know what your bucket list items are.