Interview with Janet Willis

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Charlotte's Web was the first story I remember reading. I never realized how much of an impact it would have on me as a writer until I started writing children's stories. With Charlotte's Web it became more than a story. It was an awareness of the way we, as writers, can use our imaginations to bring the story to life. Whether it's Charlotte's Web or Dr. Seuss, each story possesses imagination that intrigues the reader.
How do you approach cover design?
I enjoy designing my own covers. While I'm creating a story I have the characters and scenery constantly in mind. I create the cover based around the story and what will capture the attention of the young readers.
Describe your desk
Three cushions and a table. Although I have a roll top desk that I use occasionally, I prefer sitting on my couch with my laptop. It's where I'm most comfortable doing my writing and reading.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My dad was in the military for 26 years so we were accustomed to doing a lot of traveling and seeing different places. I think that had some influence in being able to see in my mind different areas and cultures to draw on.
When did you first start writing?
It's interesting because I have not always been a writer. After I graduated high school I felt drawn towards wanting to write, but never did. I started writing poetry about ten years ago. I had a few published in Anthologies. I did that for a number of years before I started taking an interest in writing books. I've always loved children and had worked in an educational setting for ten years with children who had challenges. Story time was always a delight for them, as well as myself. That's when I decided they were my target audience I wanted to write for..all children.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I think my latest book is, "My New Friend." I have an adult child who has disabilities. One of his challenges is Autism. As a parent of a child with challenges you see how they are treated by their peers. Most times they are looked at as being "weird" and definitely being different. Children tend to shy away from them, or they can even be cruel. I think it's due to lack of education. They don't understand what makes them different. They don't understand that we are all different and that it's okay. I wrote " My New Friend" to help educate children at a young age that it's okay to be friends with someone who is different.
What do your fans mean to you?
They are the reason I write. Each and every one of them. Without them I wouldn't be able to do this, and I hope they get as much pleasure from hearing the stories I write, as much as I enjoy writing them. They are always there with me when I write my stories.
What are you working on next?
Currently I've been working on a story for children 10 - 12 years of age. It's been in the works for the past two years and almost complete. This book will contain some humor and suspense. The characters come alive on the page. My nephew has been giving me the thumbs up on this book. He's been my critiquer! He's waiting for me to get it finished so he can see how it ends.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Family is very important to me. When I'm not writing I spend time with my family taking walks, going hiking or just relaxing at home. I also enjoy some "me" time just reading. It's a great way to relax.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My e-reading devise of choice is my Kindle Fire. It's bigger than the original Kindle I purchased when Kindle readers first came out. I like the size of it and the functions that it does.
Published 2015-05-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Timmy and the Magic Crystal
Price: $2.00 USD. Words: 8,540. Language: English. Published: February 28, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Adventure & Adventurers
"What's he doing? Why isn't he staying with the group? Where's he going?" Timmy started to get scared, his heart beating fast as he heard the whispering. "Don't let him go. Stop Him!" A trip to a cave with his fifth grade class was not something Timmy looked forward to, until he met Isaac! Follow Timmy as he unravels some of the strangest happenings in this adventure that has eyes always seeing.
Numbers Are Fun To Learn, With The Help Of An Apple And Worm
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 270. Language: English. Published: March 7, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Concepts / Counting & Numbers, Nonfiction » Children's Books » Concepts / General
With the help of an apple and worm, children will enjoy learning their numbers and counting to ten.
Tara's Wish
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,630. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / Old Testament
"This is impossible," Tara said. "Oh, but it is quite possible. And now that you have woke me, do you mind telling me who you are, and why you have disturbed me?"
My New Friend
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,640. Language: English. Published: September 23, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Readers / Intermediate
It's hard for Maria to do some things her peers can do, she has autism. Catching a ball is difficult for her, but what's even more difficult is how she's looked at by other people.