To Live & Write in FLA— Janet Franks Little

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Janet Franks Little writes romance with a splash of levity. I got a sense of her humorous take on life when she told me about her first “teaching in Hialeah” experience. For those of you that are not South Floridians, Hialeah is a Cuban stronghold and unlike any other place in the world. (I love Hialeah, my father lived there for many years.) Janet’s tale of ‘you’re not in Ohio anymore’  ended with her student telling her about his Santeria church. Instead of freaking out and running home to the mid-west, Janet took it in stride with a good laugh to herself. Beyond being an excellent Speech Language Pathologist, Janet Franks Little is the author of adult romantic comedies that touch on real life issues faced by contemporary women. A member of the Coral Springs Writers Group, Florida Writers Association, Romance Writers of America and the Florida Romance Writers, she has contributed to several of the Writing Advice from Authors to Authors series available on Kindle.

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How long have you lived in FLA?

I’ve lived in Florida since January 1, 1990. We moved from Akron, Ohio to Miami. It was quite an interesting adjustment from a Midwest mid-sized town to an international big city. Working in the schools in Hialeah will eventually be fodder for a book. After Hurricane Andrew (we were not adversely affected) my husband moved his company to Coral Springs. We bought a house in northern Broward county where we have been since then.

 

Where do you write and when?

I remodeled the den in our house into my office. It helped that a pipe in the slab of this room sprung a leak which required new drywall, flooring and paint. As a result, I treated myself to office furniture and an up-to-date desktop. If I was going to spend thirty or more hours in there, I wanted it to be a pleasant, organized space. I tend to write at all hours of the day and night, except in the early morning. I’m still a night owl who doesn’t really feel alive until mid-morning. Some of my best scenes and chapters were composed in my head while driving. I couldn’t wait to get home and save them electronically.

 

What is your biggest failure and what did it teach you?

I once regretted that I wasn’t spectacular at anything. I wasn’t going to be a famous artist. I wasn’t going to be a renowned Speech Language Pathologist. I wasn’t going to get on TV for rehabbing old houses. But I’ve been married to the same man since 1975. I have a great adult son. I’ve written a book that I’m proud of and people have liked. Although I haven’t had spectacular successes, I also haven’t suffered through devastating failures. Being middle-aged, middle class, and middling successful isn’t so bad and that’s what I’ve learned.

 

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?  Or do you have some personal writing advice to offer?

My personal writing advice is to write the book you want to read. Writing is hard work. Publishing is harder work. Marketing is the hardest work. Put in the effort for a book you wish could be wiped from your memory so you can read it and enjoy it as much as you did when you wrote it.

 

Who is your Dream Dead Date and why?  (Literary or otherwise)

I’m not sure what a Dream Dead Date is, but all the male protagonists in my books are patterned after men I find attractive. In Worth Her Weight, Cort Hardison looks like Keanu Reeves. In my book due out later this year, Glass Promises, Beau Charvet reminds me of Anthony Carrino from the HGTV show, Kitchen Cousins. In my almost finished book, Estate of the Heart, the Australian, Jackson Ryan, is a younger version of Simon Baker from The Mentalist. Before I was married, I had some killer dates and some where I wanted to kill my date. Nowadays, a great date is one where I don’t have to cook and my husband doesn’t want to rush home because a game is on TV that he can’t miss.

 

Favorite cocktail and at what Florida bar?

I’m not much of a drinker and hate bars. But I love to eat. When one of my favorite restaurants closes, it is like a death in the family.  I don’t care what anyone says, the best ribs are at Rock ‘n Roll Ribs in Coconut Creek. The vanilla vinaigrette on the spring greens and goat cheese salad at Big Bear Brewery in Coral Springs is worth the trip. The specialty pizzas at Pizza Time also in Coral Springs are to die for and too many of them will hasten your demise. The best Pho soup in South Florida is at Saigon Cuisine in Margate.

Get to know Janet and her comedic romances  by following her on facebook and twitter.

 

To Live & Write in FLA — Victoria Pinder

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Hello to my faithful readers and welcome to all the new readers. I am excited to introduce you to the first author of my new interview series. As always, I am Florida focused. If you haven’t gotten the pun of the series’ title just search “to live and die in LA” and remember mystery writers love punny titles. Forgive me for my sins. Onto the interview!

Victoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She worked in engineering, then became a lawyer. But after passing the bar and practicing very little, she realized that she hated the practice of law. During all this time, she always wrote stories to entertain herself or calm down. When she sat down to see what skill she had that matched what she enjoyed doing, writing became so obvious.  She is bold, and brainy like her characters. Her website is  www.victoriapinder.com. 

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1. How long have you lived in FLA?

Officially I moved here in 2003 so that was 12 years ago. However I spent every summer of my childhood in the humidity of Florida as mom was from here. I was here for Hurricane Andrew. My parents raised us in Boston for the school system but always told us the day my brother, the youngest, graduated was the day we moved. I moved here on my own, before then, but my parents were true to their word. The day my brother graduated high school is the day they packed their bags to come back to Florida.

2. Where do you write and when?

I write in my house or I go to work early and sit in the lobby to write. That sounds strange but I work at FIU. Students are studying. No one cares I’m on my computer early in the morning. I’m a better morning writer than night writer. The creative juices are flowing in the morning. The evening I get tired, but I can do editing or rewrite something then.

3. What is your biggest failure and what did it teach you?

At my very first pitch appointment ever with an editor, this woman who had never read a word I wrote told me ‘I’d never be a published author.’ I was so upset that someone dared say that to me. However it ended up motivating me very much to submit my work elsewhere which was published. For years later I was nice to this woman who was so rude and never called her out on it. One never knows who someone is or what they will end up. So mom’s advice to be nice was probably good for my soul.

4. What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?  Or do you have some personal writing advice to offer?

You make your own success. Writing is subjective. Both of these fit in my spirit. One editor might hate the work. Another might love the work. It’s up to me to find the people I mesh with.

5. Who is your Dream Dead Date and why?  (Literary or otherwise)

Being 7 months pregnant while answering this question has made me laugh. My dream date at this point is my unborn baby. I don’t think that’s what you meant though. Literary wise, I’d like to hang out with Shakespeare and see what inspired him for real. I saw Shakespeare in Love but that doesn’t quite explain the man’s success. I’m so curious.

6. Favorite cocktail and at what Florida bar?

So being pregnant makes me think, what do I want the most. I’d really just want a Guinness. I’m Irish. I’ll head to Pembroke Pines to The Pub and be happy enough there. One day soon. I could talk about fancy girly drinks near my house on the beach, but honestly my lips water for that beer. I’m a simple girl at the end of the day (though most people would probably say I’m slightly difficult.)

I love an honest pregnant woman. Victoria, I hope when you finally get to enjoy that Guinness it is perfectly drawn with a foamy head. 

 Guinness for strength

Cheers! Or as we say in South Florida Salud!

Please leave a comment below, share this blog, and  subscribe so as not to miss the other great writing advice and fun from Florida authors.

Find out more about Victoria Pinder on her website and to download a free novella–

Returning for Valentine’s Please Click here: http://victoriapinder.com/returningforvalentineshorttimeoffer

 

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To Live & Write in FLA

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Welcome to my new interview series. These interviews will be with all kinds of Florida writers– poets, fiction writers, genre writers, non-fiction writers, memoirist, published, unpublished  —- you get the idea. I want to know (and I hope you do too) is : When did they begin writing as craft? What is their biggest failure? What is the best advice they’ve ever received? Dream dead date? Favorite cocktail and a what Florida bar?

What else should I ask? What do you want me to ask? Leave you questions in the comment section.

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Until my next post , I wish you a shady palm tree, a good read, and a breeze.

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