MURDER IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, available now @ amazon.com, is a cozy mystery set in small town Western NY. The reader feels the shock of local citizens’ disbelief when crimes are committed where children run, play and attend school without supervision in picturesque small town America.
How did you come up with the concept for this book?
I do a “what if” for all my plots. I look at a particular peaceful environment and ask, “what if this or that chaotic events would happen.”
What are you working on now? Do you have a release date for this book?
I have finished the sequel to Murder/Neighborhood, called MURDER IN THE JUNK YARD. It is due for release in May. Right now I am writing a historical Regency Romance which is my second favorite genre.
How did you get started writing?
I have written since I learned the alphabet. It’s my opinion a person is born to write or perhaps play the piano, etc. Lucky ones do both, no doubt. Whether you publish or not is the result of determination to make the most of your talent.
Are you a fast writer or a slow writer? What’s the most number of pages or words you’ve ever written in a day? The average number per writing session?
I guess I write fast, but I spend time editing afterwards. I plot most of the story before I sit down to write. I usually know the beginning, middle, and ending; the rest appears as I create. I try for a minimum of 10 pages a session, sometimes more.
Setting is also important in books. Do you do anything special to create yours, like visiting the area, googling satellite maps, looking at books or pictures?
My Mystery, MURDER/NEIGHBORHOOD, is set in my small village which is quaint and picturesque. I took liberties when needed–it is a fiction, after all–and renamed the actual village. My friends enjoy sorting the real from the fiction in the story.
How have your reading (and writing) tastes evolved over the years? Do you still read the same genre of books you did as a teenager?
I am a voracious reader and I’ve never met a book I didn’t like on some level. Some I love more than others, but all are worthy. My parents didn’t believe in censorship, therefore we sibs were free to browse at will. If we could hold it in our hands, we were free to read it. I could still enjoy The Bobbsy Twins and Little Women (Men). Spent one summer in my teens reading War and Peace. Not sure I understood all of it, but some parts I remember vividly. It was an interesting adventure.
Do you have a favorite book? (Or books since it’s always hard to whittle it down to one.)
I like J.D. Robb’s series. When I want to gasp in amazement, I pick up a Steinbeck, doesn’t matter which or about what. He was my version of a word master. Mysteries are always wonderful. My mom had a membership in a Mystery Book Club and I cut my teeth on that genre. For relaxation I read Regency Romances, Georgette Heyer is a favorite, but there are many wonderful contemporary authors.
What’s the first book you ever remember reading as a child?
Not a book. It was the comics at age 3 sitting on my dad’s lap while he read the newspaper (he was babysitting, I later learned as there was a new baby in the house). He taught me to read using the words and the comic pictures. I still love the comics and read them first.
Do you have a day job? If so, what is it?
I work in the summer at my son’s plant nursery/greenhouses. I feel privileged to be allowed. Later in the summer I do cut flower bouquets for the farmers’ market and all year do arrangements for church.It’s difficult to ever be “down” when surrounded by gorgeous nature.
Do you have an all-time favorite movie that has stuck in your mind or that you’d watch over and over?
Several. Fried Gr. Tomatoes, Steel Magnolia, and the Note Book for sheer emotional turmoil.
I like to travel. Do you?
Some of you know I have a thing about Superman. I finally met a man who flies; he needed a machine but I settled and married him anyway. Consequently my family traveled quite a lot over the years.
What is the farthest place from your home that you have visited?
The most fun place?
Yellowstone Park, San Francisco and visiting my friends in Phoenix. Can’t choose between them. Oh, and Hawaii.
The most relaxing place?
Sinking Ponds, a nature preserve close to home.
The most historic place?
Gettysburg. I contend you can hear the voices of the soldiers on the grounds. It’s a very sad place.
It’s been a pleasure having you here today. Janis. As you say goodbye, can you leave the readers with an encapsulation of your life’s philosophy?
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Bible
“…and the greatest of these is love.” Bible
Emma Janis Lane lives in Western New York where Winter is snowy, Spring arrives with rave reviews, Summer days are long and velvet, and Fall leaves are riotous in color. At long last she enjoys the perfect bow window for her desk where she is treated to a year-round panoramic view of nature. Her computer opens up a fourth fascinating window to the world.
She writes Regency Romance as Emma Lane, but delights in dipping into a Cozy Romantic Mystery (Janis Lane) in between sipping tea with sweet biscuits. A winter visit to the Southern US produces sweet romances set in Florida including nature photography and wild beasts that roam in the night.
Janis is part owner of a “Herbtique and Plant Nursery” and will answer gardening questions at her website. Connect with Janis and post gardening questions on her Facebook page or send her questions via email firstname.lastname@example.org
A killer is attacking respectable citizens in picturesque Hubbard, NY and leaving corpses on their front steps in the middle of the day. Detective Fowler isn’t certain who causes him to lose the most sleep, a certain sexy reporter with bouncing curls and sparkling black eyes or the elusive psychopath creating panic in his small town community. Together the detective and the reporter race to find the monster in their midst and return the town to the desirable place where people come to raise their families in peace and contentment. Can they sort through their differences to find romance even as they search for a determined stalker with murder on his mind? The clock ticks down on a man in a rage with a deadly mission.
EXCERPT FROM MURDER IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
A young woman competently filling a pair of gray slacks and a blue sweater was backing out of a bedroom with her hand still on the door. She was slightly built but of medium height with a thick mop of curly brown hair cut just at jaw line. A tiny waist and the snug slacks accented a firm, rounded bottom that strained and rippled the material as she stepped backwards from the room.
He thought he had seen those hips someplace before, but he waited patiently for the intruder to turn around. Would she recognize him outlined against the light? She finally did and gave a visible start and squeak of surprise.
“Miss Hampton,” he greeted keeping his voice quiet and noncommittal. He nodded with raised eyebrows, as he leaned against the doorjamb with his arms crossed in front of him waiting for her explanation. Her cheeks reddened slightly as she came toward him. He had never known such a rounded woman before. Everything about her made him think of succulent apples. She wasn’t fat. Just curvy round. He tried not to look down at her chest, which he knew would bring thoughts of Delicious to mind. He was slightly acquainted with Beverly Louise Hampton and more than a little wary. His attraction to her had his automatic defense mechanisms clicking, one by one, firmly into place.
“Hey, Detective Fowler,” she said warily by way of greeting. “I came in the back door from behind. I parked my car over on the next street because I knew the short cut through the yards. Used to ride my bike through here to get to school,” she babbled. “I guessed you would have all the official vehicles out front. I said hello to the police earlier,” she added, winding down and giving him a slightly apprehensive look. He knew she knew she shouldn’t be here.
She clutched a notebook to her chest nervously but tilted her chin up slightly. So, she wasn’t sorry she’d intruded herself into a crime scene. Just as he knew she’d monitored the calls to the police.
“Just because your daddy, a mannerly gentleman, by the way . . .” He gave her a hard stare. “. . . owns the newspaper does not give you the right to contaminate a crime scene, Miss Hampton, and you are perfectly aware of this fact,” he said between clenched teeth. He strode past her and walked through the house.
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT JANIS AND HER BOOK?
Visit mystery writer Janis Lane at http://ejanislane.com/ or at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000338539637