Today I’m happy to have Dayna Leigh Cheser and her book, Janelle’s Time.
She’s doing a giveaway: 1 eBook copy of “Janelle’s Time” will be awarded to each of fifteen (15) lucky contest entrants
1 print copy of “Janelle’s Time” will be awarded to each of five (5) lucky contest entrants
Dayna was kind enough to answer some questions, so first we’ll meet Dayna and then read about her book.
Is this book part of a series? If so, can you give a general description of the series? Janelle’s Time is book 1 of a series of 5 books – Janelle’s Time, Moria’s Time, Adelle’s Time, Logan’s Time and Clarissa’s Time. The series follows the Grayson family from when Richard and Janelle meet and marry into the future (the time of the end of the series hasn’t been determined yet, but will likely be around the time of the Civil War). However, book 4 (Logan’s Time) is about Logan’s family (Conor). The two families have a history and get together from time to time, including when a Grayson and a Conor marry to unite the families and their timelines.
Do your characters talk to you? If so, what do they say? Quite a lot, actually. Logan (book 4) wouldn’t shut up for months until I agreed to do a book about him. Richard and Janelle did a lengthy interview, as well as some plot and dialogue guidance. Moria hasn’t said all that much but she’s so busy with her life, she doesn’t have time for idle chatter.
How long did it take you to write this book? Well, that depends on your definitions. To do the first draft was about 18 months – writing 8 hours a night while working as a security officer in the gatehouse of an upscale community. When the first draft was complete, I shelved it – for over 6 years. Then, when I started my Twitter page – @Writers_Cafe – I took it off the shelf. With the help of new Twitter friends, and other people, I finally submitted it in August of 2011, and it was released in July of 2012. So, you tell me … how long did it take?
What do you think makes a good romantic hero? He’s got to be a flawed human being. He’s got to have some traits that drive the other characters nuts. He’s got to put his foot in his mouth once in a while – say the wrong thing at the wrong time. His friends have to be less than perfect (they can’t be better than he is). Through it all, he has to be a gentleman!
Plotter or panster? Panster – I tried plotting Moria’s Time (loosely) but the story wouldn’t cooperate. So, I do a timeline after the fact (and I’m way behind on that, too) so I can keep the details straight and just let the plot and characters take care of themselves.
If you had to sum up advice to a new writer in 2 sentences, what would you say? ALWAYS write something every day. ALWAYS find the best editor you can afford.
What is the one thing you wish an interviewer would ask you? And what is the answer?
What writing challenges have you encountered? Describe. Moria’s Time, the second book in my series (which I hope will be out early next year), incorporates real-life historical figures (5, so far). The book takes place in the first half of the 19th century so the real-life character’s movements are not as closely documented as modern real-life characters (YouTube, internet, television, cell phones, etc.), but it’s still necessary to have the real-life characters be exactly where they were when they were in the real-life timeline. For example, Elizabeth Blackwell was in college in upstate New York when Moria met her, and Frederick Douglass was in his office the day her family met him. Years later, Florence Nightingale had to be in London to meet Moria at the same time Elizabeth Blackwell was there as Miss Blackwell was to introduce them, at the same time Moria’s family was in town for an audience with Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace. That gave me a rather small window of opportunity, time-wise, for everyone to be there at the same time. Miss Nightingale was in Germany early and the Queen would be leaving for a different castle later. There are a lot of challenges in using real-live historical characters accurately.
Day or Night? Why? My whole life, from infancy, I was a night-hawk. Sometimes, I would still be up at dawn the next day. Then, of course, I’d sleep the day away and do it all over again the next night-morning. Then, I dumped prescription medications in favor of natural meds for the same conditions and almost immediately, I became a morning person, up every day by 7:30 AM – and I love it‼
Last book you read or the book you are reading now? Right now, I’m reading Stephen King’s book, ‘On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft,’ and Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series (I’m into book 4, ‘Dreamfever.’
Favorite season? Why? Being a born-and-bred New Englander, I have always liked the autumn – the warm days and cool nights, the gorgeous scenery, especially in the mountains in northern New England, and McIntosh Apples, fresh-picked from the orchard in the next town! We moved to Florida 20 years ago and I haven’t seen the fall colors, or had a decent apple in all that time.
Title: Janelle’s Time (TIME Series, Book 1)
Author: Dayna Leigh Cheser
Publisher: All Things That Matter Press
Length: 98,600 words
Genres: Historical Romance (ADULT with a little time travel)
Heat Level: Steamy
Janelle’s Time is the story of the great love between a New Hampshire farmer’s daughter and the younger son of an English Duke.
From her father’s death to the birth of twin daughters, Janelle makes it difficult for Richard to keep her safe.
Unaware of Janelle’s maternal-line powers, the couple time-travel to 14th century England, where they meet Richard’s ancestors – and discover some startling truths about his aristocratic family.
Logan Conor, the Scots Duke of Muileach, crashes Richard and Janelle’s wedding, bent on revenge, but finds his own true love instead.
On their wedding trip, a madman attempts to kidnap Janelle – twice.
Later, Richard unknowingly betrays Janelle who strands him in England. Richard finally arrives home, but fate separates them again – and he misses the birth of his son. Will they ever make a life together?
Filled with unexpected twists and turns, their love story spans two continents, and hundreds of years. But, can their love survive their very different backgrounds and the endless obstacles life throws at them?
“The day he died, he told me he hadn’t danced since before I was born. He told me he and my mother danced, right here in this room. I’ve wondered if I could somehow see them dancing. I wouldn’t talk to him. I just want to see him with my mother.”
“Come sit by me, my girl. I think I can make it happen.”
Janelle cocked her head and hesitated for just a second. She sat next to Maura on the settee, she wondering what Maura meant.
“My dear, I can’t do time travel, but I can do this.” She pointed to the center of the room. Janelle inhaled sharply. Two life-sized ghostly figures danced there, gliding soundlessly across the floor, whirling slowly. When the shock passed, Janelle was able to focus on the dancers. The woman looked familiar. She was wearing a pale yellow empire waistline dress, popular in the early part of the century.
“That’s your mother, Janelle. That’s Adrienne. Can you see how her gown covers her pregnancy? It would’ve been scandalous for her to appear in public that far along.”
“I do look like her,” Janelle spoke softly, not wanting to disturb the dancers.
“The man is your father. He was about thirty-six at the time and so happy. His Adrienne was having a baby. The baby was you.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Writing ‘runs in the family.’ My mother is a multi-published non-fiction author, and my two brothers make a living writing, one as a newspaperman, the other as a copywriter. My sister edits her church newsletter.
My father was a school teacher/reading specialist (later an elementary school principal) when I was little. During story-time one night when I was about four years old, I stopped him and asked how he said the same thing every time he read that story to me. That night, he started teaching me to read. It began a life-long love affair between books and me – for that, I am grateful.
In junior high, I wrote short stories to entertain classmates. In high school, one English assignment was to write my autobiography. In the teacher-specified chapter entitled ‘Future Plans,’ being a published writer topped the list.
After a college professor told me I ‘couldn’t write my way out of a paper bag,’ I stopped writing for many years. Then, in the late 1970s, I wrote an article for “World Radio News” (San Diego, CA) about our amateur radio club providing communications for a March of Dimes Walkathon. The ‘WRN’ editor used my article word-for-word.
In early 2002, between jobs and wanting to write, I sought a third-shift position and used the ‘free time’ to write what became ‘Janelle’s Time.’ When it was complete, I shelved it. In 2009, the WIP came off the shelf. By August 2011, it was ready – at last – for submission.
In 2009, I started a Twitter account, @Writers_Cafe. I feel as if I’ve earned a degree in ‘book publishing’ since then! You can learn so much from over 14,000 followers.
I penned an article about @RileyCarney, a Colorado teen, and very prolific YA fantasy author, who heads her own non-profit literacy project. Never officially published, countless people have seen it, thanks to Twitter retweets and some carefully chosen email inboxes.
On New Year’s Day, 2010, I went ‘live’ with my blog. It has evolved into a combination of chronicling my writing journey and hopefully helpful posts on publishing industry topics.
In the fall of 2011, I added ‘DIY Interviews’ to my blog (see the left column of my blog for details on doing your own interview). Several authors have submitted ‘interviews’ to date.
Janelle’s Time is Book 1 of my TIME Series. Book 2, ‘Moria’s Time’ was my NaNoWriMo project for 2011. I reached 51,000 words on November 26! Now, I have to finish that book, and three more in the series: ‘Adelle’s Time,’ ‘Logan’s Time,’ and ‘Clarissa’s Time.’
Moving into 2012, I’m very excited about the release of ‘Janelle’s Time.’ It’s the culmination of a life-long dream – and is only the beginning of my retirement career. I’m working on “Moria’s Time,” book 2 of the Time Series.
My husband, Pete, and I have been married over forty-three years – no children. We lived in Massachusetts for thirteen years, and then moved to New Hampshire for eleven years. In 1992, we moved to Florida.
Find me on Twitter and Facebook:
Author Dayna Leigh Cheser
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