Interview with Jane V. Blanchard

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a very parochial French-Canadian working class neighborhood in Hartford, Connecticut. Most factories closed for vacation the first two weeks of August; during this shutdown my parents would take us to Lewiston, Maine to visit my grandparents and take day trips to ponds and sights of interest. As a result, I developed a wanderlust, always happiest when exploring.

Since I did not speak English until I went to kindergarten, I developed an ease for learning languages and for communicating with others who did not speak my language. Years later, this ability proved invaluable as I traveled. Going to new places is so much more fun when I can speak with the locals, learn their customs, and, if lucky, share meals with them. To me, this human contact is the best part of traveling.

In my book "Women of the Way: Embracing the Camino," I incorporate the conversations I had in various languages with women from around the world with my adventures on the Camino de Santiago.
When did you first start writing?
As a child, I would write "plays," which the neighborhood kids would put on for the parents. In my junior year in high school, my English teacher recognized my ability for writing and suggested that I develop my writing skills. At the time, becoming a writer was not a personal goal. In retrospect, I wish I had heeded her advice.

Writing has always been part of something I do. Newsletters, radio programs, letters to the editor, work instructions, and technical publications preceded my first book.
What would you do differently to enhance your writting skills?
I would journal. Writing daily, even a diary, develops discipline, style, and creativity. I think it would have facilitated my being able to communicate what is going on in my head at the time something is happening.

I have had an interesting life; having a journal would have been a great memory jogger, not only about things that I experienced, but also my reactions and feelings.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Like a child, I love to get up to a new day and see what is in store for me. I rise early, before 6 A.M. and start right in with my morning rituals and routines: check email, exercise, do chores, and then write. My mornings are usually quiet, without the music I enjoy later in the day. I am most creative during this time.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love having special times with friends--a walk on the beach, meeting for coffee, a chat on the phone. I enjoy walking or bike riding with my husband, working in the garden, and cooking for family and large gatherings. I also try to read several hours each day.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing about my adventures is reliving the experiences. Being able to share my discoveries and exploits with others who are interested in doing the same, in life or via the book, gives me great pleasure.

I was very moved, the first time a reader wrote to tell me about how the book affected her and how much she enjoyed reading it. As a writer, this was an unexpected gift.
What are you working on next?
I have just completed 140 days of biking and hiking in Europe. I hope to produce three books in the Woman On Her Way Series.
How do you approach cover design?
I used an indie publisher's cover design tool for Women of the Way: Embracing the Camino, I first chose the photo that best represented the Camino experience, then I chose a template and colors that complimented the photo.

For the upcoming Woman On Her Way Series, I plan to use a designer to create a brand for the book covers so my readers can easily identify the series.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Several friends indie published their books. Seeing how easy it was to do so, was a big factor in deciding to indie publish rather than traditional publish. Also, I wrote my first book as a sexagenarian and did not want to wait years to be "found" by a publisher.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I use various book marketing techniques and speak about these on my writer's blog http://janevblanchard.com.

My favorite marketing technique is public speaking and presentations, but these have limited effect on sales--reaching only to the attendees.
What do you like to read?
I like to relax with fiction: adventure, horror, mystery, espionage are my favorite genres.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have always been a fan of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Michener, Margaret Atwood, Anne Rice, Robin Cook, Dan Brown, and tons of others.

Recent indie writers that have my attention are Michael R. Hicks, J. F. Penn, Bill "Skywalker" Walker, Lawrence O'Bryan, Dennis Blanchard, Clive Eaton, and Kimberly Kinrade,
Published 2013-09-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Camino 4-Book Box Set: See, Feel, Prep, and Enjoy the Camino (Woman On Her Way 6)
Price: $8.99 USD. Words: 120,800. Language: English. Published: December 10, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Hikes & walks, Nonfiction » Travel » Specialties & interests
This four-book box set is the ultimate Camino collection: Take a peek at the remarkable Camino. Find the meaning of the journey. Learn how to prep for the Camino and how to get the most out of The Way. Read about modern-day pilgrims. Get all four "Woman on Her Way" Camino books for one great price!
A Peek at the Remarkable Camino de Santiago: A Photo Journey
Series: Woman on Her Way. Price: Free! Words: 2,390. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Hikes & walks, Nonfiction » Travel » By region
See how remarkable the Camino de Santiago is with this FREE photo journey.
Camino Quotes and Poems: The Meaning of the Journey
Series: Woman on Her Way. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 2,290. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Specialties & interests, Nonfiction » Travel » Specialties & interests
Feel what it is like to be on the Camino and what the journey means via poetry and illustrated quotes.
Camino Tips: How to Get the Most Out of "The Way"
Series: Woman on Her Way. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 33,860. Language: English. Published: April 10, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Hikes & walks, Nonfiction » Travel » Travel - Reference
Seventy incredibly practical tips to help you prepare, enjoy, and get the most out of "The Way. " This must-have ebook is chock-full of references and links to valuable information.
Hadrian's Wall Path: Walking into History
Series: Woman on Her Way. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 31,200. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Hikes & walks, Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Backpacking
In Hadrian's Wall Path: Walking into History you can sense the presence of the ancient Romans and feel what it was like to live on Rome's most northern frontier. Vivid descriptions and 130+ photographs and illustrations of northern England and the archaeological remains depict life on The Wall—now and then.
Women of the Way: Embracing the Camino
Series: Woman on Her Way. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 80,460. Language: English. Published: July 3, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Hikes & walks
(5.00)
Women of the Way: Embracing the Camino is a story of hiking the Camino de Santiago. Come along with the author on this incredible 500 mile journey across northern Spain. Meet women from different nations. Discover why they chose to undertake this arduous adventure, what they learned, and why they would do it again.