Welcome to the next Guest Edition of What Was on Her . . . This time with the award-winning author Janet Fox!
Janet’s first novel, Faithful, set in Yellowstone National Park in 1904, was a YALSA Best Fiction for YA nominee and an Amelia Bloomer List pick for 2011. Forgiven, set in 1906 San Francisco during the great earthquake, was a Junior Library Guild selection for 2011 and a 2012 WILLA Literary Awards Finalist. Janet’s most recent novel, Sirens, is a ‘noir romance’ set in the 1920s in New York City.
If you couldn’t tell already, Janet is never lacking in drive and inspiration. She is currently working on three–three!–novels: a middle grade fantasy featuring a boy who sells his soul to save his sister, a second fantasy for middle grade readers set in wartime England, and a young adult novel set in the future when the earth has become uninhabitable. Add to that a recent move to Montana and a new puppy and Janet’s life is splendidly full. But it is best to hear about it all from Janet herself.
So, here she is with What Was on Janet Fox’s . . .
Writing table: New novels, very different from anything I’ve ever written. Middle grade fantasy and young adult science fiction. I’m trying to be the author who is no longer introduced as an historical fiction writer (please? Just a kidlit author. Okay?) Picture in these new stories a steampunk witch, a castle in Scotland, a magical artifact, children charmed by magic. Or picture a dragon, a giant, a girl disguised as a knight’s squire, and the knight himself, aging out of existence. Or, over here, find a refuge on the moon, and a Borg-like transformation.
There is a pattern to all of these stories; see below.
Garden plan: I’m thinking about building a Little Free Library just outside my garden gate. Now: should it look like a Scottish castle? A spaceship? A dragon’s lair? (Reach inside and take a book if you dare!) It will be surrounded by the flowering perennials I love. And probably attacked by the puppy.
Window sill: A riot of red. Geraniums I’m wintering over. Red, of course, is emblematic of what I’m working on, so I only need to glance in that direction to feel the effects. Power, anger, love, death, beauty.
Bulletin board: Pictures of steampunk jewelry. Especially a mask-like face, semi-human, mostly artificial. Yes, I’m toying with the concept of what makes us human. Coping with my own mortality.
Mountain road: A herd of elk, streaming across the road, the only sound their breath in a huff, huff . Or a mountain lion, tail in a flick, and gone. Or a moose, antlers dripping. You could picture a dragon, if you like, although they haven’t been seen around here for thousands of years, more’s the pity.
TV screen: House of Cards. Terrific intrigue and hugely complex characters. Game of Thrones, because I secretly long to be the mother of dragons.
Catalog of biggest regrets: That I’m not the mother of dragons.
Agenda: Finish these three projects by the end of the year. Celebrate by traveling to Scotland (tickets booked!), to see that castle first-hand. Pretend I might see a dragon or a giant or a witch while I’m there. Dream about magic in all its forms. Avoid facing my own mortality by concentrating on my humanity.
Mind: Gratitude. I love being a part of the fabulous kidlit community. I love and value my writer friends. I love my new agent. I love having the gift of writing. I love living in Montana. I love the puppy, most of the time. I love being human, even if that means no dragons, and inevitable mortality.
To keep up to date with Janet Fox, follow her at janetsfox.com, on Facebook at /AuthorJanetFox, and on Twitter at @janetsfox. If you haven’t read Sirens yet, don’t miss out. You can order by clicking below:
And be sure to stop by again on April 30 for my own What Was on My . . .