Interview with Janet Doolaege

What motivated you to become an indie author?
Like most indie writers, I went through the soul-destroying process of trying to find an agent. Just when I was about to give up in despair, I was advised by a friend to try self-publishing. Of course I would love to be published in the conventional way, but meanwhile I'm very happy when someone reads and likes one of my books which otherwise would just have remained unread. This way, I have at least found a few readers instead of being left on the slush pile.
How do you approach cover design?
So far, my covers have been designed by clever friends. A lot of people have admired the atmospheric A PARIS HAUNTING cover.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Actually finishing a book! It can be a hard slog, but I feel I've created something where before there was nothing. I also get quite attached to my characters, who don't always behave the way I originally intended.
What are you working on next?
I have ideas for two novels, but I'm still teetering on the brink, making notes and turning ideas over in my mind.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Telling myself that I ought to be writing! Otherwise, reading books and newspapers, composing songs, walking in the forest, spending time with friends, doing domestic chores - you name it.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. I was very young, maybe about four, and just learning to write. It was the story of an outing in the car with my parents, but I started writing at the bottom of the page and worked my way upwards. I was quite indignant when my mother began to read it "backwards".
Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many, both living and dead. A random list would be: Roxana Robinson, Henry Williamson, Mervyn Peake, Andrew Taylor, Anita Shreve, Sara Paretsky, Maeve Binchy, John Lanchester, Frances Murray, Mary Renault, Wendy Perriam and Ursula K. LeGuin. Their books are not all in the same genre by any means. I could write another list for children's literature.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
A Kindle, at least at present. Perhaps technology will come up with something even better.
What is your writing process?
I write straight to the computer, and I do this in concentrated bursts, sometimes with very long gaps between the bursts. I'm full of admiration for people who write in longhand. How ever did nineteenth century writers manage it? I wish I had such stamina.
Has living in France influenced your writing?
Yes, definitely. My two novels, A PARIS HAUNTING and CANDLEPOWER are set in Paris, and the fact that I'm very familiar with the setting makes them more convincing, I believe, although the events in them are strange enough.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in England, so I use British spelling and punctuation. Above all, I was exposed at an early age to the great wealth of children's literature in English and learned to love books of many kinds. My mother read me stories from my earliest years, and I will always be grateful for that. I feel sorry for children who don't have that experience and don't live in a house full of books.
Published 2013-09-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Ebony and Spica
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 23,020. Language: English. Published: August 13, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Pets & livestock, Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
I rescued two baby birds, a blackbird and a starling. Over time, first Ebony and then Spica became an important part of my life here in France. I describe their growth from helpless fledglings to confident adults, their antics, quirks and highly distinctive characters, and how I had to adapt my working life to their needs and demands. Birds are so unlike us, yet trust and affection can flourish.
Tobias and the Demon
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 44,960. Language: English. Published: August 13, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Legends, Myths, Fables / General, Fiction » Children’s books » Historical / Ancient Civilizations
Tobias, a discontented teenager, is glad to leave home on a quest over the mountains to recover his blind father’s money. His guide, Azarias, is an enigmatic musician who talks of destiny. Little does Tobias know that his destiny concerns beautiful, unhappy Sara in far-off Media. Meanwhile, the two men and their dog are being tracked and thwarted by an evil demon. Tag, the dog, tells the story.
A Paris Haunting
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 83,890. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Visionary & metaphysical, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
When a busker asks Kay, a translator in Paris, to translate a furious letter of accusation from a dead woman, she is drawn into a web of secrets and betrayals, jewellery, music, books and a missing cat. Can a ghost be haunting the metro, with its dark underground maze of tunnels and corridors? The mystery unfolds against a backdrop of boulevards, cafés, tiny flats and bridges over the Seine.
Candlepower
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 98,570. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Visionary & metaphysical, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
Strange things can happen in workaday Paris. When lonely Stella finds a new friend in her neighbour Rose, she little suspects that Rose is an outcast, an object of both fascination and fearful hatred. An eerie atmosphere gradually builds to a dramatic climax, and the lives of all involved are changed forever.
The Story of an Ordinary Lion
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 18,480. Language: English. Published: August 11, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals, Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy Tales & Folklore / Adaptations
Can a desert lion become the faithful companion of a man? Leo, a rather dreamy lion, meets Father Jerome and finds that he can. He can also be a hero. But people, even those who work as translators, can’t understand the language of lions. When Rebecca, the donkey, disappears, Leo is punished. How can he prove his innocence? This reworking of an old legend is intended for children aged 8-12.
Flora and the Wolf
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 17,390. Language: English. Published: June 2, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Legends, Myths, Fables / General, Fiction » Children’s books » Animals
Flora, running wild in the forest, longs to see a wolf, but her parents and grandmother are afraid of lurking dangers. Something unusual does indeed happen to her. Besides, who is the stranger in town that all are talking about? This story for children, set in mediaeval Italy, covers human relations with animals, respect for the natural world and the interconnectedness of all living beings.