I’m pleased to host trilogy author, Janie Franz, to my blog today. Janie Franz is a successful freelance journalist with a degree in anthropology, and has recently turned to novel writing. Her debut book, The Bowdancer, launched the Bowdancer Saga, published by Breathless Press. The third book, Warrior Women, will be released November 5. The rest of the series will be published by Muse It Up Publishing, along with another series and three other books, next year as ebooks and print.
Katie: I see that Warrior Women is the third in your Bowdancer trilogy. Can you briefly synopsize the two previous books?
Janie: The Bowdancer launched The Bowdancer Saga, a series of books about the life of Jan-nell a village healer and spiritual leader. The Bowdancer begins the story in her village on the horse plains where she despairs of every finding the child who she will train to take her place. A handsome rogue enters her village seeking healing for one of his men and fate intervenes. The Wayfarer’s Road finds Jan-nell traveling with her precocious young daughter, plying her skills as healer and midwife. Here she meets dashing bard Khrin who offers her and her child belonging.
Katie: And share a brief synopsis of Warrior Women?
Janie: Sure. Jan-nell the bowdancer, now pregnant with her second child, and her daughter, Mira-nell, trek up a mountain where bards’ tales have said a village of warrior women exists. Jan-nell makes this trip in winter—and in her condition—in order to find a place for Mira-nell where the child’s precocious abilities will be accepted. The women on the mountain, though, are not fighters or even man-haters. They have chosen to live apart from the world in a village of only women, led by a sisterhood of hunters. Chandro, a beautiful trackfinder, rescues Jan-nell and her daughter, offering them a home and the promise of love.
Katie: When you started out, did you intend to write a trilogy, or is it “what happened?”
Janie: It just happened, Katie. I had an idea of writing another book and sketched out the first scene of The Wayfarer’s Road but I wasn’t exactly where it would lead me. Then a chance line of dialogue in that book sparked Warrior Women. I have since written another companion trilogy called The Lost Song Trilogy that continues Jan-nell’s story. It will be published by Muse It Up Publishing, and I’m working on another three books that will start at the same scene but will present not only more of Jan-nell’s story but that of her two children.
Janie: All of the books, including The Lost Song Trilogy, required a lot of research on herbs used in cooking and healing. I also had to have some questions answered about midwifery. Each of the books has its own research challenges. The Lost Song Trilogy had extensive research about various cultures in the world, their music, their instruments, their spiritual practices. And then I made sure to blur and alter and, hopefully, surprise readers out of their own stereotypes.
Katie: These days, authors have a diverse choice of publication methods. Which did you choose and why?
Janie: I went with a royalty paying traditional publisher of ebooks at first. I have five books under contract with four more pending with Muse It Up Publishing as ebooks to print.
Katie: Would you continue to use this method of publication in the future?
Janie: I’ve been thrilled with the enormous support and marketing machine that Muse It Up has and will offer them all of my future books. Lea Schizas is an incredibly innovative and up-front businesswoman. It’s a privilege to have my work with her publishing house.
Katie: Please share what the major three things you learned about this method of publication.
Janie: Number one, a small, royalty-paying press often can give authors more attention and help with marketing than the big houses. Two, you still have to work hard to market yourself, but a good publisher like Muse It Up can partner with you and share the burden. That kind of publisher also has a larger marketing reach available to its authors. And three, I have learned to Muse It Up, in particular, treats it’s authors as if we are on a board of directors because Lea often runs business decisions by us before acting on them.
Katie: What stories do you have on the back burner?
Janie:Next year Muse It Up Publishing will be publishing a new contemporary romance thrillers trilogy called Ruins. The first book Ruins: Discovery will be published in April 2011 with Ruins: Artifacts coming out in August 2011 and Ruins: Legacy later. In addition, Sugar Magnolia, a contemporary romance about the music industry, will be out in July 2011. I also have a short horror book, The Neighbor, that will be released in October 2011, and The Premier, a Hollywood romance, will be released in November 2011. As I said, I’m working on three more Bowdancer books and am working on the new occult mysteries series and a romantic time warp novel.
Katie: You can find out more of Janie’s work at http://thebowdancersaga.wordpress.com, http://www.breathlesspress.com/erotic/forthcoming/warrior-women-bowdancer-book-3.html and http://janiefranz.fourfour.com/home.