I’m interviewing author Jan Christensen who, like me, grew up in
. However, she bounced around the world as an Army wife, and in New Jersey after her
husband retired. After traveling for eleven years in a motor home, she settled
down in the Texas Coastal Bend. Previously published novels are: Sara’s Search, Revelations, Organized to
Death, Perfect Victim, Blackout, Buried Under Clutter, A Broken Life, Cluttered
Attic Secrets, and Organized to Kill. She's had over seventy short
stories appear in various places over the last twenty years, and is a long-time
member of Mystery Writers of America and past president of the Short Mystery
Fiction Society. Learn more at her website: www.janchristensen.com Texas
Question: What is the title and genre of your current novel? Why did you select them?
Answer: Haunting Dreams, a Paula, PI, mystery is my latest novel. I like writing mysteries because you start with a crime and know what needs to happen in the end—reveal a criminal. Haunting Dreams as a title just seemed appropriate for this particular book.
Question: What inspired this novel? How did it come about?
Answer: This is the fourth book in the Paula, PI, series, and the last two began with someone with a gun, so I knew I wanted to keep that up. Maybe I was hungry at the time. I put Paula in a restaurant, and there’s screaming and a gunshot in the kitchen, and off she goes. I never plot ahead, so I just keep going. Usually I don’t know who the “bad guy or gal” is until about three-fourths of the way through. I think this helps keep that person better hidden from the reader, as well. Of course, sometimes I have to add a few things during edits to make that work, but that’s pretty easy.
Question: Could you tell us a little bit about the heroine and/or hero of your novel?
Answer: Paula Mitchell is one of those feisty female PIs who never gives up, no matter how much danger she might put herself into. It’s fun to write about someone like that.
Question: Can you tell us about some of your other published novels or work?
Answer: I have another series of four books in the Tina Tales series out and am working on a new book with a different protag which I also plan to serialize. I’ve also had a few standalones published and over seventy short stories, most of them mysteries.
Question: What made you start writing?
Answer: I’ve loved books since my mother began reading
in Wonderland to me when I was a
toddler. English was my favorite subject in school. And when I began to pick
out my own books, they were often mysteries. I just decided to start writing in
my early twenties. I put it aside for many years and started up again later.
And began selling short stories rather quickly. With that validation, I decided
to keep going. Alice
Question: What advice would you offer to those who are currently writing novels?
Answer: The usual, I guess. Write every day. Or try to. Finish what you draft. Edit that draft several times (I average about four or five times). For novels, I’ve used editors and beta readers all along. Do some more editing after comments come in. Submit or publish it yourself. That’s for novels. Some of my short stories were workshopped in writers’ groups, but I haven’t been in one for several years. Now I usually just send them out after I’ve edited them.
Question: Where and when will readers be able to obtain your novel?
Answer: Haunting Dreams just came out a couple of weeks ago in paperback and Kindle editions. So, anywhere on-line for paperback, and on Amazon for Kindle.
Jan welcomes questions or comments!