With in-person author events still on hold indefinitely, I'm devoting one blog post each month to an author interview.
This month's interview is with Janet Glaser, who writes as J.Q. Rose. Her mysteries, Deadly Undertaking, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard and Dangerous Sanctuary, released by Books We Love Publishing, offer readers chills, giggles, and quirky characters.
After presenting workshops on Writing Your Life Story for several years, Janet decided to take her advice and pen her memoir, Arranging a Dream: A Memoir. The book is scheduled for release January 1, 2021, also from Books We Love Publishing.
Arranging a Dream tells the story of how Janet and husband Ted, budding entrepreneurs with more enthusiasm than experience, purchased a floral shop and greenhouses in 1975, where they planned to grow their dream. Leaving friends and family behind in Illinois and losing the security of two paychecks, they transplanted themselves, their one-year-old daughter, and all their belongings to Fremont, Michigan, where they knew no one.
Through trials and triumphs, Janet and Ted dug in to develop a blooming business while juggling parenting with work and keeping their marriage thriving.
To celebrate the Arranging a Dream: A Memoir Winter Virtual Book Tour, Janet is offering a free eBook to a lucky reader. Just leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing. Deadline for entries: Sunday, December 20, 9 pm Eastern Time.
How is writing about real people, places, and events different from writing fiction, where you can invent characters, situations, and settings? Are the two processes similar in any ways?
In the acknowledgments, you mention that you and your husband Ted had fun recalling the times you write about in this memoir. Tell us more about how your memories meshed and how you reconciled differences when your memories of a specific event didn’t match.
What other techniques did you use to access the memories that helped you tell this story?
What do you hope readers will take away from Arranging a Dream? What did you gain by writing the book?
I hope readers will be inspired to work toward their dreams. Use their passion to keep driving toward the future they envision.
Looking through the lens of time allowed me to put myself into the shoes of the previous owners of the flower shop, Hattie and Frank. After owning the business for so many years and deciding to sell it, I discovered I was like Hattie. We disagreed a lot with Hattie about how to run the shop and greenhouses because we wanted to use our new ideas and not listen to the tried-and-true methods she had developed during her years of experience. She was afraid we would fail by being so bold. I never thought I would admit I acted like Hattie when we sold our shop. I was also fearful the new owners would fail if they didn’t follow our ways of running things. Instead, they have been successful and are still in business.
In addition to your own writing, you’re committed to helping others tell stories from their lives, through your Facebook group, your interactive journal, Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories, and your workshops. Why is this important to you, and what are the rewards?
What’s next? Are there other periods of your life that might lend themselves to a memoir? Or will you write more fiction?
Next, I hope to turn the book, Your Words, Your Life Story, into a course so I can reach more people and encourage them to write their stories, because I am a life storytelling evangelist. I always have ideas for stories swirling through my brain, so I will be writing, but I have not chosen which idea to develop at this time. I am just savoring touring around cyberspace, meeting authors and readers.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Thank you, Nan, for hosting me during the Arranging a Dream: A Memoir Winter Virtual Book Tour!
Connect online with J.Q:
J.Q. Rose blog
J. Q. Rose Amazon Author Page
Pre-order Arranging a Dream
BN.com - Nook
Amazon - Kindle
Amazon - paperback
Janet Glaser aka JQ Rose
12/16/2020 06:58:09 am
Thank you for hosting me on your amazing blog! Those old pictures look great. You must have used your photo wizardry to bring them back to life. I wonder how many of your readers remember the old chalet-style shop that was located on the west side of Fremont. It would have been in front of Walmart, but no Walmart in 1976, just fields. Only memories remain there now.
12/16/2020 07:34:35 am
Wonderful blog post. I'm looking forward to reading Janet's memoir, her and Ted's story.
12/16/2020 01:21:46 pm
Thanks, Susan. We'll start the new year with a bang when the book launches New Year's Day.
12/16/2020 07:36:21 am
Hi Nan, Hi JQ,
12/16/2020 10:41:23 am
Thanks for visiting, Pat! Hope you continue to enjoy HeartWood.
12/16/2020 01:23:21 pm
Pat,thank you for your kind words. I'm looking forward to reading your memoir!!!
12/16/2020 07:49:29 am
An interesting post! Thanks, Nancy.
12/16/2020 01:27:40 pm
Hi Valerie, thanks for stopping by.
12/16/2020 09:22:17 am
What a great interview. I loved seeing these pictures. I love how you wrote it like it was a fiction story. Very moving. Great work, Janet. I've shared.
12/16/2020 01:26:42 pm
Thank you, Marsha. I really enjoy memoirs so much more now that they are written like a fictional novel. More entertaining. Thanks for sharing!!
12/16/2020 11:25:18 am
WOW! “I never appreciated my life until ...” As someone raised in a storytelling family that impressed upon us that our lives are stories we write ourselves, this was a potent reminder that each of us has the power and gift to be another's "until." We can listen. We can always listen when someone shares their story.
12/16/2020 01:29:40 pm
Yes, Bex. I appreciate your comment. You can be a life storytelling evangelist right along with me. Listening is rewarding.
12/17/2020 05:20:08 am
How fascinating! This is a terrific interview, Nan. I enjoyed reading about Janet’s life from living it to writing about it. The phrase ‘life story evangelist‘ is So appropriate.
12/18/2020 12:58:00 pm
Thank you. I appreciate your kind words. Are you ready to tell your story? See? I just can't help encouraging everyone to go for it!!
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Written from the heart,
from the heart of the woods
Read the introduction to HeartWood here.
Nan Sanders Pokerwinski, a former journalist, writes memoir and personal essays, makes collages and likes to play outside. She lives in West Michigan with her husband, Ray.