My Friend, Jan
"Watson's success lies in her ability to create characters that are endearing and timeless. . . ." Romantic Times Magazine.
One of the best things about writing in the inspirational market has been the friends I’ve made of other inspirational writers. One of those friends is Jan Watson who also lives here in Kentucky and writes historical Kentucky novels. So sit back and let me tell you a little about my friend, Jan
Jan Watson was a registered nurse and peri-natal loss counselor before she retired and began a second career as a writer. She got a great start by winning the 2004 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest for her first novel, Troublesome Creek. She's won many awards since then including being voted 2012 Best Kentucky Author by the readers of Kentucky Living Magazine. Her books are set in the Appalachian Mountains and have a great mix of history, romance and suspense. Jan says that while she has always loved books, she never had the dream to write a book of her own the way so many writers, including yours truly, did. But then she remembered a story her grandmother told her once about a terrible flash flood that swept away a baby whose body was never found. Thoughts of this baby stayed with Jan for fifty years before she decided to save her, if only in a fictional story.
Troublesome Creek and More
After she began to toy with writing a book about that baby, the first three sentences of what became Troublesome Creek came to her as she waited in a drive-thru line at McDonalds: “Girl! You’d better get to the house. If your mam catches you in that creek again she’ll skin you alive.” When the words wouldn’t stop coming after that and she was scribbling them down on any and every scrap of paper she could find, she knew she was going to write that story. Turns out, that story became more stories as she kept following her characters down their life paths. Her first series about that baby and her family include Troublesome Creek, Willow Springs, and Torrent Falls. I’m sure you’re noting the water connection in all the titles.
Jan’s Loyal Writing Companion
Jan and I are both dog lovers. That gives us even more to talk about than writing. Her husband brought Maggie, a Jack Russell, home to her when the puppy was a few weeks old. Several months later, they realized Maggie was deaf, but that didn’t seem to slow her down much. Jan says Maggie understands doggy sign language, but if she doesn’t want to mind, she just turns her head and pretends not to see Jan.
Jan sometimes writes with Maggie sleeping on a pillow on her lap. But she says the best thing about Maggie is that she reminds her there’s fun to be had every day and that it’s best not to take life too seriously.
Jan’s Newest Series
In Skip Rock Shallows, Jan begins the story of Lilly Corbett, Copper’s daughter. Copper is the baby rescued from the flood in Troublesome Creek. But now we’re getting to know Lilly after she graduates from medical school and takes an internship in the coal camp of Skip Rock, Kentucky. Lilly is drawn to the stubborn, superstitious people she encounters in Skip Rock–a town where people live hard and die harder and where women know their place. You can follow Lilly down some romantic pathways in this Appalachian town as she begins to earn the residents’ trust.
Tattler’s Branch follows up Skip Rock Shallows. Lilly, married now, loves her life in Skip Rock and the people who are like family to her. With her husband away for a few months at a mining job, Lilly has her hands full with her patients and a younger sister visiting for the summer. Then an abandoned baby plunges Lilly into a struggle between what is right and what is safe. She must discover the strength of her country neighbors, her God, and herself.
Check out more about Jan’s books at her website, http://www.janwatson.net/
Win Jan’s Books
I have autographed copies of Skip Rock Shallows and Tattler’s Branch to give away to one lucky person. To throw your name in the hat, just leave a comment here with a way to contact you please. The giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada, but you must be eighteen or over to enter. Deadline to enter is midnight EST, November 27.
And if you don’t want to wait that long to read one of Jan’s books and you have an e-reader, Tattler’s Branch, is available right now through Saturday, 11/16, for the great download price of $2.99. Check it out at your favorite e-book distributor. Here’s the Amazon link.
Kentucky Book Fair Saturday, November 16
If you’re in the area, you can come meet both Jan and me at the Kentucky Book Fair at the Frankfort Convention Center this Saturday, November 16, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We’ll be signing our books there along with about 150 other writers including inspirational fiction writers, Virginia Smith, Jennifer Johnson, Allie Pleiter, Shelley Shepard Gray, and others. Of course, I hope you’ll come by my table way in the back to say hello.The fair is a great place to pick up some unique gifts for the booklovers on your Christmas list.
As a preview to the fair, Virginia Smith and I will be talking about our books and writing at the Frankfort Senior Citizen Center, 202 Medical Heights, Frankfort, KY, at 10 a.m. on Friday, November 15. The event is open to the public, senior citizens and younger citizens too. So come on out and get a jump start on the fair.