Interview with Janne E Toivonen

Published 2019-07-18.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy that comes from writing is the absolute miracle that comes from the first downloads of the story and how it takes shape on the blank page. I call it first-drafting. It sounds strange, but I don't believe the story comes from me, it comes through me, as though I'm the vessel. I feel like story and the characters have chosen me to interpret on the page. When the characters become well established I actually am the characters while in the act of writing. I love when that happens. Some say that's becoming lost in the story. I don't agree with that explanation. When I'm writing I become PRESENT, Much like when people meditate. It's very spiritual.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love anything that's historic or about a long-ago era. I love Diana Gabaldon, Willa Cather, John Steinbeck, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Boris Pasternak, Daphne DuMaurier. I just read The Handmaid's Tale, a little late I know but my college-age daughter recommended it.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My writing and where it's taking me.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Back in a college creative writing class I wrote a short story about a little boy who'd lost his dad in the Vietnam war. My memories don't go back further than that. I liked writing poetry back then, but it hasn't called me since then.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the first story, but back in the summer before 7th grade I read two books by the same author, which I can't remember, called Guns in the Heather, and Cape Cod Casket. They were mysteries and I loved them. Back then I wasn't much of a reader though. It wasn't until I got into high school and college when I started to read more. I loved Steinbeck in my junior year of college. I remember reading The Grapes of Wrath in the summer before my senior year of college.
Describe your desk
My desk is my dining room table in an 1830's New England farmhouse.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small upstate New York town near Ithaca, home of Cornell University. Everything that my childhood was, who my parents and grandparents were, who my friends were, my own self-image, my adopted daughter, my marriage and upcoming divorce, has influenced my writing. What you read in Eva and the Irishman and all the subsequent novels, my life is subtly in there. Eva's relationship with her daughter parallels my daughter's and my relationship, you name it. It's in there. You write what you know.
When did you first start writing?
2009 - 2011. From 2011 my writing has been non-stop.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's based on true, little-known historic events called Karelian Fever. Not the sickness, but a movement that grew out of the socialist/communist movement in the early part of the twentieth century in the US, that in turn, was born from the Russian Revolution. My maternal grandfather who emigrated from Finland to the US, actually participated. I know that sounds cryptic but It's not ready for even an editor to look at. I use that history as the backdrop for another historic romance. It's another family-based story.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It was the right thing to do at the right time. I haven't counted out a publishing contract.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I'm early in the process, but Mark Coker is a genius, giving authors a platform with a "best practices" plan. There are virtually no boundaries, except for the "barely legal" clause with which I'm happy to comply. My stories have explicit sex scenes, but I do have scruples about the age thing. It's a matter of closing the door, or opening it when the characters are of age.
What kinds of fans are you hoping to attract?
I know there are millions of you readers out there who love Adult Historic Romance. I want to share with you the story that I absolutely love with all my heart. I'm looking for those who love a great story with conflict, great dialog, flesh-and-blood characters, heroes and heroines who are multidimensional and passionate, and who, on top of it all, love their sex.
What are you working on next?
As of July 2018 all seve novels of the Eva and the Irishman series are written, edited, and all will soon be available on Smashwords. I have been thinking about a fictionalized version of a group of my own great-aunts, 5 sisters who lived around the turn of the last century.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

Wild Rose Vigil
Series: Eva and the Irishman. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 126,730. Language: English. Published: May 2, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Adult
Wild Rose Vigil is the 7th and final chapter in the Eva and the Irishman series. It abounds with dramatic conflict - heartrending goodbyes, and painful separations; excellent story lines and dialog, humor, familiar lovable characters and new ones to watch come of age. And as always, it is chock full of the signature lusty amative monogamous sex that flows through the heart of Eva and the Irishman.
Home for Thanksgiving
Series: Eva and the Irishman. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 82,430. Language: English. Published: August 7, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Adult
It’s 1937, Europe is on the brink of war with Germany, and the U.S. is vowing to stay out of it. Back in Missoula, second- and third-born Sullivans enter adulthood at full steam. Kelly and Brendan's trials do not disappoint in the tradition of the Dady-O'Neill family saga of love, loss, and resilience. Novel 6 in the Eva and the Irishman series.
Where the Mountain Touches the Sky
Series: Eva and the Irishman. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 185,950. Language: English. Published: June 8, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Coming of age
In this fifth novel of the series, the third generation of the Wild Rose Ranch as growing up and the eldest, Ida O’Neill is in love. Sean and Ellen’s beautiful and independent daughter clashes with her protective father, echoing the long-ago conflict Sean had with Liam over Ellen. When things are at their worst, Ida’s life is drastically changed, sending shockwaves through the whole clan.
The Sweet Fragrance of New-Mown Hay
Series: Eva and the Irishman. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 193,770. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Mystery & detective
The Sweet Fragrance of New Mown Hay is Robert O’Neill’s story of a heart-rending, two-year journey to manhood. Upon his departure for NYC in 1925, he’s convinced himself that he’s made a mess of things with Aili, and that it’s too late for any kind of relationship with her. So after a week at the New York City Police Academy, he unceremoniously dives into a sizzling, sex-filled affair...
Wild Rose Ranch
Series: Eva and the Irishman. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 243,770. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Adult
You fell in love with Eva and Liam in Eva and the Irishman. In Wild Rose and the Horseman, you witnessed Ellen Mattson unabashedly become an accomplished, strong woman ahead of her time, while keeping her man Sean. Now the epic saga of the amazing Dady-O’Neill clan continues in Wild Rose Ranch, book 3 in the Eva and the Irishman series.
Wild Rose and the Horseman
Series: Eva and the Irishman. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 196,920. Language: English. Published: August 18, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Adult
Book 2 of the Eva & the Irishman series finds Eva's brilliant daughter Ellen determined to become a doctor. But the handsome and alluringly carnal Sean O’Neill, an avid horseman, takes her to places sexually where she completely lets go of the reins. Will she be able to hold to her life-long ambitions now that she’s discovered her intense love for him?
Eva and the Irishman
Series: Eva and the Irishman. Price: Free! Words: 233,450. Language: English. Published: July 25, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Adult
Eva and the Irishman, begins the epic love story of two broken people struggling together to regain trust, love, and happiness, where their love for each other can burn at white heat. Resembling the genre mix of the Outlander series in which multi-faceted characters and their stories dominate, Eva and the Irishman's frequent toe-curling sex is the delicious icing on the cake.