Monday, October 28, 2013

Janet K. Brown, Victoria and the Ghost, plus #giveaway

Janet would like to giveaway a copy of Victoria and the Ghost to go to the winner of a drawing that includes everyone who comments on the post. Be sure to include contact info in your comment.

AUTHOR: Janet K. Brown
BOOK TITLE: Victoria and the Ghost
GENRE: Inspirational Paranormal YA
PUBLISHER: 4RV Publishing

Please tell us about yourself.

     Janet K. Brown lives in Wichita Falls, Texas with her husband, Charles. She began writing while her three daughters were kids but did not study the craft or submit her work until she retired in October, 2005. Writing became a second career.
     4RV Publishing released Janet’s debut novel, an inspirational young adult, Victoria and the Ghost, July, 2012. She studies her three grandchildren for help with teen expressions and actions. A sequel is in the works.
     Pen-L Publishing released Janet’s non-fiction book, Divine Dining Dec. 6, 2012. It’s a 365 devotion book Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness.
     She and her husband love to travel with their RV, visit with family, and work in their church.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?

Full time except when I have fun with my sweetie or go spoil my grandkids. I write most morning except Sunday, and some in the afternoon depending on deadlines.

When and why did you begin writing?

From junior high to retirement, I could never stop writing. Characters talk in my head and keep me awake

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book lived in my dreams while I was growing up. It’s what is now called New Adult genre. One of these days, I might pull it out of a drawer and put it on the computer and try to sell it. I wrote it before computers. Yes, I’m that old.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?

Is there such a thing?

What are your thoughts about promotion?

I hate it, but it’s a necessary evil. I feel like a braggart telling how great I am.

I keep up a website and blog every Saturday on it. I keep a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Goodreads, but I’ve never been tech savvy and don’t plan on starting. I do book signings, speeches, anything I can think of to do. I’ve spoken in my area a lot about the setting for Victoria and the Ghost, since the cemetery is a real place.

Does criticism or positive feedback change how or what you do in your writing?

Criticism about punctuation or grammar errors bothers me. I try even harder when I’m told I speak with a teen voice. Imagine that.

Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?

I knew nothing about the ghost town of Clara, Texas, but the research made the place live for me. Writing the book helped me understand my granddaughter better.

Any advice for a new writer just starting out?

Take courses, meet other authors, and do creative exercises, but other than that, write every day. Give yourself permission to write junk, but write.

Every time you get a rejection, send out two more stories.

Who is your publisher, and how did you connect with them?

4RV Publishing. I went to Oklahoma Writers Federated Intl conference for the first time in 2011. There, I met Vivian Zabel, owner, publisher of 4RV. I pitched Victoria and the Ghost to her. She asked to see the full manuscript, and I sent it and received a contract a couple months later. The rest is history. Thank you, Vivian, Harry Gilleland,  Aidana Willowraven, and my line editor that I only know as KC for making it happen.

What are your current projects?

I wrote and submitted the sequel to Victoria and the Ghost. 4RV Publishing has indicated an interest in it, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that.. Right now, I’m writing a woman’s fiction about a woman with a food addiction, hoping this will compliment my non-fiction book, Divine Dining.

What do you plan for the future?

My mind pops faster than I can work. I’m contracted to write thirteen teen stories for Union Gospel Press, so that’s a work in progress. I’m shopping my inspirational adult romance. Who knows? These ghost stories may turn into being three books. Besides that, it’s promote and sell the books I have.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?


Twitter: @janetkbrowntx

What gave you the idea for this particular book?

When we moved from Dallas aread to the North Texas plains, we visited the area northwest of our town where I found a real ghost town, Clara, Texas. About that same time, my granddaughter (who just happens to be named Victoria) was going through the teen-crazies and didn’t like anything her mother did.

As my mind is apt to do, I thought, what if  a teenager felt rejected by her mother and was pushed outside her comfort zone without any friends Could the ghost legend surrounding Clara Cemetery of a sad man, who lost his soul mate, all his money, and finally his health bring comfort and direction to a sad teenager in contemporary times?

Read Victoria and the Ghost  to find out.

Is this a work of fiction or non-fiction? Why did you choose to write it this way?

Fiction. Simply, because I love fiction and read it most often. Besides, I think that appeals more to teenagers.

Do you believe in ghosts?  Why or why not?

I don’t believe in séances, witches, or trying to communicate with the dead. What I do believe in is the Almighty God of the Bible invented the supernatural (as we humans think of ghosts). We can’t understand angels, invisible beings, or any of the mysteries of the universe God created.

On the other hand, if God sees a young woman like Victoria who needs and asks for His help, He can use any means. Even a ghost.

I post about “Are ghosts real.” Find it in the archives on Weds., April 4, 2012 on my site:

Does your main character believe in ghosts?  Why or why not?

Not in the beginning. Her Christian upbringing tells her that’s of the devil, and her dad would have a fit if he knew about her and the ghost.

Are your ghosts friendly, angry, hurtful, helpful, known or unknown to your
main character? Why did you choose this type of ghost?

The ghost is scary to the main character, but sparks interest, too. The well-kept cemetery in the middle of nowhere draws her curiosity, gives her peace, and leads her to her first real friend in the country. He happens to be a good-looking cowboy.

What kind of research did you do for this type of book?

I made three trips to the Clara Cemetery. I read everything I could find. I talked with several people who still go to the church there. The ghost town is left with only a church, a rectory, and a cemetery. I also interviewed the historian for the nearby town of Burkburnett, Texas.

Are experiences based on someone you know or events in your own life? (Has anyone ever realized it?)

My granddaughter says it’s her story, but it really isn’t. I did get ideas though from some of the things she was going through at the time.

During high school, she moved from a large Dallas school where her graduating class alone would’ve been 1200 to a small town east of Dallas where her graduating class was 101. Her comment, like Victoria in the book, is “it’s a hick school.”

Which characters were the hardest to develop: living or dead?  Why?

Her first friend, Shelley, because I was faced with showing contrasting traits. Though she befriended Victoria, her flaws of gossip, impatience, and betrayal caused me to walk a thin line between not too nice, not too awful.

By the way, my sequel is all about mean girl Shelley (country born and bred) who is forced to move to the big city of Dallas.


What is your favorite food?

Reese’s candy and cream-filled donuts. Why else do you think I gained so much weight. I lost 95 lbs & have kept it off 18 years now by not eating candy and donuts, my trigger foods.

What’s your favorite quote?

“A man is about as happy as he decides to be.” Abraham Lincoln

Victoria and the Ghost

By Janet K. Brown

    At fifteen, Victoria, a city girl, loses her mother’s love and copes with country isolation, no friends and no one who cares, until she meets a ghost.

Back of Book Blurb

     When her mother leaves the family to become a Dallas trophy wife, Victoria’s dad moves her and her sister to a North Texas farm to herd cattle and raise chickens. Refusing to believe this is more than a temporary set-back, Victoria tries to make new friends which isn’t an easy task. The first one stabs her in the back with gossip and a sharp tongue. Meanwhile, her new stepsister takes Victoria’s place in her mother’s heart. Rejection and anger stalk Victoria like a rattlesnake in the cemetery. Good thing she makes friends with a ghost and through him, a good-looking teenaged cowboy.


  1. A wonderful interview:-) I love hearing about another author who writes both supernatural and inspirational!

    God bless,

  2. Excellent interview, ladies. Victoria and the Ghost would make a wonderful gift for some lucky teen... or young at heart person. Good luck with your future projects, Janet.

  3. Thanks, Susan. I love the combination of supernatural & inspirational. To me, it's a perfect match.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation, Melanie. I appreciate you.

  4. Haha. Love your interview, Janet and Penny. My first stories were written before computers too. Remember carbon paper?

    This is a wonderful novel. Everyone, from teens to adults, should read it. Looking forward to the sequel.

  5. Wonderful interview, ladies. Victoria and the Ghost sounds like an excellent read. Janet, I love that quote by Abraham Lincoln - it's so true.

    And, Beverly, I can remember carbon paper and white out!