Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m pleased to bring you romance author Janet Ferguson. I love the sound of her newest release and love that she’s tackling some hard subjects. She’s also giving away a copy of her book Magnolia Storms – read on to see how you can enter to win a copy!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m from Mississippi. I’ve had a variety of seemingly unconnected careers. I have a degree in Banking and Finance, but I never worked at a bank. I worked in the brokerage industry, managed property, was a stay-at-home mom, part-time children’s minister, high school librarian, and now I write. I actually really enjoyed all the jobs. We currently have one cat and one dog. I enjoy walking and taking pictures and traveling with my family.
Tell us about your current release. This story is set in lovely St. Simons, Georgia. The moss-covered trees there and the beach are beautiful. The novel deals with the different sides of addiction.
The Art of Rivers
Rivers Sullivan bears both visible and invisible scars—those on her shoulder from a bullet wound and those on her heart from the loss of her fiancé during the same brutal attack. Not even her background as an art therapist can help her regain her faith in humanity. Still, she scrapes together the courage to travel to St. Simons Island to see the beach cottage and art gallery she’s inherited from her fiancé. When she stumbles upon recovering addicts running her gallery, she’s forced to reckon with her own healing.
After the tragic drowning of his cousin, James Cooper Knight spends his days trying to make up for his past mistakes. He not only dedicates his life to addiction counseling, but guilt drives him to the water, searching for others who’ve been caught unaware of the quickly rising tides of St. Simons. When he rescues a peculiar blond woman and her sketch pad from a sandbar, then delivers this same woman to his deceased grandmother’s properties, he knows things are about to get even more complicated.
Tragic circumstances draw Cooper and Rivers closer, but they fight their growing feelings. Though Cooper’s been sober for years, Rivers can’t imagine trusting her heart to someone in recovery, and he knows a relationship with her will only rip his family further apart. Distrust and guilt are only the first roadblocks they must overcome if they take a chance on love.
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes! I specifically prayed that prayer when I released my first novel Leaving Oxford, and I try to keep that in mind as I keep writing.
Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? Absolutely not. Writing for me is a calling. I have no desire to write for any other reason but to glorify God. That is not to insult people who write for other reasons, like to make a living.
What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I remember my neighbor crying while watching on TV when President Nixon resigned. I didn’t understand what was going on, but I knew it was something bad. It’s always something that stood out in my mind.
Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? I was a HUGE Donny Osmond fan! I had records, magazines, posters, you name it! Puppy Love for sure!
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Study the craft of fiction writing. I was a librarian and avid reader for years, but I had no idea how much I had to learn about writing a novel. Join a group like American Christian Fiction Writers and get critique partners. Never stop learning.
What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done? Public speaking! People often ask me to speak to their church, library, or book club, and I get so nervous! But so far, God has provided me the words and courage!
Do you remember where you were or what you were doing when you started this story? I do! I was sitting on the beach while on vacation with my family on St. Simons Island, Georgia. We’d been on a tour where we’d heard about rescues during high tide. People on a sand bar were swept off their feet by the swift currents both in history and in recent times. I began to imagine two young people, cousins, out on a sandbar. One drowns because they’d been using drugs or alcohol. The tragedy rips the family apart.
Yes, I’m weird! Of course, the story eventually has a happy ending.
Here is where you can find Janet online:
Janet is giving away a copy of Magnolia Storms to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway