What works best for you:
As my writing is about gardening/nature, my favorite way to compose is to sit outside with pen and paper writing about what I see happening in my yard whether birds breakfasting, dappled light on the lawn, bee symphony in the squash blossoms. However, sitting at the computer to compose the words flow more fluently.
When did it dawn upon you to write?
I never planned to write. I had a serious of surgeries rerouting the blood supply to my brain. Afterwards I found I could write in rhyme. Rhyming would not stop, I soon had more than 7 gardening books written, more than 60 children’s books, and a Christmas book.
What inspires you to write?
Most of my writing is inspired by my gardening endeavors or by nature.
Writers are often associated with loner tendencies…
Being diagnosed with a disability puts me out of mainstream. To be a writer, one must have peace and quiet. So in my case, a negative turned into a positive.
The hardest thing is about writing?
I’ve found that writing flows but editing creates a brain fog. Yet editing improves the flow, a necessary evil.
I have paid or bartered with friends to proofread. Always makes for a more professional read.
Do you read any of your own work?
I find reading my own work is encouragement. My writing is somewhat my diary of God’s faithfulness. Rereading God’s past faithfulness is encouraging.
How realistic are your books?
What I write is taken from real life.
How do you see writing? A hobby or a passion?
I see writing as an addiction. When I started, I couldn’t stop. Was up early, stayed up late, wrote in the middle of the night, wrote in my car. Pen and paper were at my side or in my pocket.
Someone from another state saw my name on facebook and asked if I was the author, Judy Janowski. She had purchased two of my books from her local bookstore to give as gifts. I didn’t realize I was an “author” until she titled me. A local person purchased my book at the local bookstore, realized I was local and contacted me by phone. We have established a friendship since then.
How did it feel when your first book got published?
When my first book was published, I felt like a mother. The book was my child.
What is your motivation for writing more?
My motivation for writing my gardening/inspiration books is to offer encouragement and give birth to spiritual children as my writing attempts to give God glory.
Are you friends with other writers?
Yes, I have friends who are writers. In fact, local writing friends and I go to book signings together.
How did you celebrate the publishing of your first book?
I consider the first book signing the celebration of publishing.
Do you see the writing germs in any family members?
My father wrote little jingles so I would say my writing in rhyme came from my father. I have a niece who writes fantasy. She’s very prolific and imaginative.
If I were to die today, how would I want the world to remember me?
I consider my writing my legacy. Leaving my mark on the world. My blog shows which countries read my writings. Russia is the biggest reader. Most of my readers are from Europe and the Middle East, some from South America, Australia, India, the islands.
My current projects are editing what I’ve previously written and drawing illustrations to go with. The days when it’s too hot to do anything are spent editing and in the dead of winter.
Re literary greatness:
As a senior in high school, I remember the teacher posting my essay on the bulletin board. The essay was about pollution, tying in the song America the Beautiful. After I started writing more than 35 years later I recalled this to mind and thought how a little encouragement goes a long ways. Not that my writing is great, but that encouragement keeps one keeping on.
Re place to write:
I have friends who prefer to go to cafes to write. Perhaps away from distractions from home. I couldn’t do that. I would be people watching instead of writing. I need quiet to concentrate.
If my dad were alive he would be calling me everyday to hear what I’ve written. Dad always quoted the Night Before Christmas in December even though his impression of the materialism of Christmas was Bah! Humbug! Apparently when dad was a boy rhyming made an impact on him as he would write little jingles. My mother doesn’t get it which is hurtful.
Did you have a lot of differences with editors?
My first editor told me I had a clean copy which was impressive since I had been out of the workforce for many years.
A memorable encounter with a fan:
Love hearing how others relate to what I write. The first poem in my first book is about a spring bulb. A listener 20 years my senior told me that story represented life. I wrote it as literal and she applied it as figurative. That impressed me. Also, another listener said on of my stories reminded me of her grandparents and told me story after story of how what I wrote was her heritage. She purchased.
How do you think Kindle/e-books have changed the present…?
I’m not into electronics, so do not promote the modern version of reading. I much prefer holding a book in my hand. I believe e-books have hurt authors in that e-books can be purchased for a few bucks and authors make less than a dollar royalty.
My home library includes gardening books, Richard Paul Evans books, Nicholas Sparks books, craft books, and mostly devotionals.
I would like all of my gardening books published and at one point the better stories made into a video with flower photos from my garden as a slideshow backdrop.
Do you blog?
Yes, I blog weekly at http://lifeisagardenparty.blogspot.com
I have a facebook page entitled Life Is a Garden Party where I daily post a photo from my garden, update when the blog is updated, share gardening links, post what’s happening in my garden. There are currently more than 11,000 followers.
My books, Life Is a Garden Party, can be purchased via Amazon. Vol II is available via WestBow Press. Vol III is available via CreateSpace as well.