Janet Nicolet is a seventy-two year old author and freelance writer, making her home in Panama City. In 2007, she authored Vintage Years: A Fulfilling Life After Divorce. A frank and honest story that reveals her transformation through God's inimitable Grace after a devastating divorce with her moving forward into a fulfilling life as a single woman.
Janet's first novel, Kerri: An Incredible Journey was published in the fall of 2008. Her second novel to be released in the spring of 2009 is titled Kerri: Recaptured Love.
Janet encourages others in her writings gleaned from life experiences from having lived on three difference continents. She writes articles for common-sensewisdom.com and FaithWriters.com.
This month we have two interviews and the first is with Janet Nicolet, a freelance writer & author.
Cindy: Hello, Janet. Nice to have you here on Writer's Block: - "bringing the world of books and the authors who write them together". I've been reading your interesting bio and I must say I'm impressed! So... you were not only shocked at your husband's announcement, but you were in a foreign country to boot? Wow! So, tell us a little bit about your first book that stemmed from that experience.
Janet: In 2000, I wrote the first unpublished book - my memoirs written as a Christmas present for my four children titled "Global Crossings". I wanted them to have documentation as to when and where we had lived as well as when they had chicken pox, measles, and the like. I loaned my personal copy to friends at church who encouraged me to publish it. I prayed about it, and when God gave me the nod to tackle the project it became a little overwhelming, knowing I could not use all the material in that manuscript. I began a new manuscript, titled, "Vintage Years: A Fulfilling Life After Divorce" telling about the move my husband and I made to Korea, where he taught in a Department of Defense school in Seoul. Seven months after arriving in that country he decided that after twenty-eight years of marriage he wanted out. We had sold our home in Texas, so I had no place to go. Our furniture and car were in his name as a part of my husband's U.S. government orders sending him to Korea, so I was left with only two suitcases of my clothing after almost three decades of marriage. Where was I to go? What was I to do? We had been attending church services at a missionary compound in Seoul for the American military men and women. I called there, and the missionaries suggested that I come and stay at the compound until I knew what God wanted me to do. I share in the book how God moved immediately in my life, providing me a job, a place to live, along with transportation. Every step I took over the next seven years in Korea, God ordered them and each step thereafter. My intent in writing this book was to encourage others with the fact that no matter what circumstances set us back on our heels, God lovingly picks us up and points us in the right direction.
Cindy: Wow, you've lived in three countries. We now know one was related to your husband's work at that time, but how about the other 2?
Janet: Our family which included four children followed my Army husband from the U.S. to Germany in 1964 and again to Germany in 1975 - and while there also toured many other countries. In 1984, the children were all married, so he and I moved to Seoul, S. Korea - I returned single in 1991. I always count the U.S. as the third country, because we settled in six different states, sometimes twice due to his military career. With each of those ten moves we incorporated sightseeing trips to places like Washington D.C. and Niagara Falls, allowing us to experience the U.S., much the same as we did while in foreign countries.
Cindy: I see you've written two other books as well. Can you briefly describe those and is this going to become an ongoing series?
Janet: In 2008 I attended novel writing classes sponsored by the Bay County Public Library and Florida State University. I kept telling myself that I could only write about my own experiences, but never a novel. It didn't take long, though, before I caught the enthusiasm about novel writing from the zealous instructor. Later, while sitting at my home office, the picture of my four adult children on my desk captured my attention. I knew that I was to write a novel using as the story line my oldest daughter's transformation from an insecure divorced mother of two living in poverty to now having two Master's Degrees and working for the State of Texas. Thus "Kerri: An Incredible Journey" was written. I wanted a story that encourages readers by showing that with God's Grace anyone could be transformed into a productive individual. The sequel, "Kerri: Recaptured Love" which will be published this August is strictly fictional and tells of Kerri's family, but more specifically the youth group from her church traveling to Mexico on a mission trip to renovate a building into an orphanage. While there many unexpected tragic event took place - the kidnapping of one of the youth. But, on the upbeat side, the budding romance of two of the chaperones took place.
Cindy: What obstacles have you found to be the most bothersome when writing a novel and how did you overcome those?
Janet: Writing my first novel I became stalled at times wondering if a certain scenario that was of interest to me would be of interest to others. If unsure, I would let the words sit for a day or two and come back with fresh eyes to see if it complimented or detracted from the story.
Cindy: In marketing your final work, how have you been promoting your books and what avenues would you recommend for new authors just getting out there?
Janet: I can only speak to self-publishing. I held book signings with local Christian groups, advertising the event in our local newspaper. Also, writing articles for Christian websites, generally allows a writer to promote their own work.
Cindy: What methods of marketing has worked best for you and why?
Janet: Because I self-publish, marketing is generally left up to me. Now that I am with Richie O'Brien at RealTime Publishing, he has been faithful in locating other outlets for my work; this interview he secured for me. I had several book signings, and one such event held at our local library brought a wonderful crowd of readers to listen to how and why I wrote the novel - this community turns out well for one of its own.
Cindy: Of all your published books, which was the most difficult to write, which the easiest and why?
Janet: The first one, "Vintage Years" was the most difficult, as I had to relive sorrowful times in my life. But, on the other hand it was cathartic, allowing me to see where I came from and also areas where I needed to deal with unresolved issues. The easiest book was "Kerri: An Incredible Journey", as it brought joy to write about the Godly transformation of my daughter's life.
Cindy: Books Alive. Can you fill us in on what the Books Alive website it about and how it is associated with you and your work?
Janet: BooksAlive is a well-attended annual event in February sponsored by the Bay County Public Library here in Panama City, FL and held at the local community college. Seasoned authors are invited to hold classroom sessions speaking on topics regarding their particular writing genre. Those authors along with local authors, such as myself, are provided a designated area to sell their books. A keynote speaker for the luncheon is generally a well-known author who speaks of his or her work, but also encourages those individuals in attendance to keep on writing. I came in contact with this event as a member of the Panhandle Writers Group and Friends of the Library, which meets at our local library.
Cindy: What future reads are in the works next for you?
Janet: I have completed the manuscript for the sequel to "Kerri: An Incredible Journey", titled, "Kerri: Recaptured Love". It should be in print within the next couple of weeks. Because of the good feedback I've received on the Kerri series, I'm prayerfully contemplating a third book.
Cindy: Where can we purchase your books and do you offer signed copies?
Janet: My books sell on amazon.com and other online bookstores. The Kerri series in paperback and eBook format are also sold on the website theebooksale.com. Requests for a signed copy can be made by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cindy: And what websites or blogs can we visit to keep up to date on your newest releases?
Janet: I am in the beginning stages of putting together a website, but in the meantime my publisher's website: theebooksale.com handles my Kerri series. AllBooks Review produces the review of my books, and they are posted on its website: allbookreviews.com. I write articles for a Christian site common-sensewisdom.com where my books are also listed.
Cindy: In parting, is there anything else you would like to tell the readers that I may not have covered in your interview?
Janet: I also write for the website faithwriters.com, where I have an unpublished book titled "A Window into the Future" which deals with the emotions evoked during and after divorce. The desire of my heart is to encourage people of all ages to write, especially the elderly. They generally have the time and the stories of heartaches and heroes of WWII and depression era that need to be shared with family and friends. Memoirs, poems, and short stories are also wonderful legacies for their family.
Thank you, Cindy, for this opportunity to share with you and others the fulfilling life after retirement; which God has provided me.
Cindy: That wraps up this enlightening interview with author Janet Nicolet and I thank you, Janet, for allowing me this time to get to know you better.