Sunday, September 4, 2011

Welcome to Jana Richards!



I recently had a chance to chat with my friend Jana and one of the things I was curious about was if she had the chance to go back in time and meet one person. Who would she want to meet and what would you ask about your latest work in progress?

Here's what she had to say to me:



That’s a good question, Regan! Mostly I write contemporary, but lately I’ve delved into history and discovered a passion for the World War Two era. I find this time period ripe with stories, both on the battlefront and on the home front.

One of my works in progress is called “Twice in a Lifetime”. In this story, Frank Brennan is given a second chance at love. An angel shows up in his nursing home room claiming to be able to take him back in time, to 1944 in Plymouth, England. It was here Frank experienced, and lost, the love of his life.  Even after all these years he is still bitter over Claire’s betrayal. And he still mourns the death of his best friend Cal, who died in a training accident just before D-Day.  He accepts the angel’s offer, hoping he can save Cal this time around. Can Frank change history or is his attitude the only thing he can truly change? As he relives the events of 1944, Frank discovers new insights into old tragedies. He also discovers a love for Claire even stronger than he remembers. But unless he learns to trust that love, Frank is doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.

If I could go back in time to Plymouth, England in 1944, there wouldn’t be just one person I’d want to meet, there would be many. I’d want to soak up the atmosphere of the time. I’d want to experience the fear and worry, as well as the excitement. It’s obvious why there would be fear and worry; there was a war on after all, and Plymouth experienced its own blitz in the early days of the war. Everyone was worried about family or friends fighting in the conflict. But there was excitement because everyone was pulling together for a common goal; to win the war.

There was also excitement created by the arrival of thousands of Allied soldiers onto English soil. Many English girls were swept off their feet by dashing American soldiers. I would love to go to a dance with a group of young English girls like Claire, and dance the night away with a handsome soldier like Frank. What would that dance hall look like? What kind of music was played? I’d want to know what Claire’s life was like during the war. Was she scared? How did she manage with all the shortages? What did she think of having her city taken over by American troops? I’d want to know details about how life carried on during a time of war.

And then I’d want to ask Frank about his training with the First Battalion of the 116th Infantry of the 29th Division. Why did he sign up? What did their camp outside of Plymouth look like? Was he afraid of the upcoming invasion or did he believe it was part of his duty? Did he think he was going to die?

I’d want to immerse myself in Frank and Claire’s world so I could understand the things they faced. By understanding that, I’d have a better insight into their motivations. I’d know what made them tick.

Thanks for having me with you today, Regan! I’m looking forward to hosting you on my blog in the near future.

If you are curious about Jana, here she is in her own words:

Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length paranormal suspense and romantic comedy.  She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side.  She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.

When not writing up a storm, working at her day job as an Office Administrator, or dealing with ever present mountains of laundry, Jana can be found on the local golf course pursuing her newest hobby.

Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren, along with two university aged daughters and a highly spoiled Pug/Terrier cross named Lou. You can reach her through her website at http://www.janarichards.net
You can find me on the web at http://www.janarichards.net  I blog weekly at http://janarichards.blogspot.com on topics of writing and the writer’s life. 

And for a fun sample of her writing:
For the first time since her husband’s death, Hannah Kramer can imagine herself with another man.  But then she discovers the truth about Quinn Anderson’s reason for staying at the bed and breakfast at her farm.  He’s there to buy farmland from her cash-strapped friends and neighbors and resell it to foreign buyers.  How can she love a man bent on destroying the way of life she loves?  Will Quinn convince her that he wants to build her community, not destroy it?  Can he make her believe he loves her before time runs out in September?

16 comments:

  1. Hi Regan,
    It's good to be here! It's exciting to get our blog tour rolling.

    If you're interested in reading an excerpt from "Till September", please click here. Talk to you soon!

    Jana

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  2. Wow, Twice in a Lifetime sounds like an intriguing book! You'll have to keep us posted on its progress.

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  3. Great interview ladies! I love the wip premise Jana. Good luck with your writing!

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  4. Hi Jana,
    Your new books sounds so good with the intereaction of an angel, the war and a lost love. It sounds as though you've soaked up quite a bit of history. Congratulations.

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  5. Hi Jana--Great post and interesting question! I'd like to meet my ancestor, Polly Griggs. I have an image of her as a Kentucky frontier woman wearing fringed buckskin, a musket in one hand, a baby at the breast, a toddler hanging onto her skirt. She had to be tough to survive those times, stronger than a man. I wonder if any of my strength comes from her. Thanks for posing the question!And best of luck with your book sales!

    Sharon

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  6. Jana,
    I enjoyed reading your post, especially since I've been to Plymouth, England. What I remember most about my visit is the list of passengers who sailed to America all those years ago. History never ceases to fascinate us.

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  7. I don't know if I'd want to meet a specific person back in time. I think I'd rather just go to a specific time and watch for awhile. Like when all the pyramids were bring built or other such strange stuff that keeps cropping up but no one really has a good answer for. I love time travel and this one sounds really really good.

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  8. I love the concept for this story, Jana. Who wouldn't want the chance to change or make right something from their past!

    Happy touring!

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  9. Jana,
    There's not just one person I'd want to meet either, but if I had to choose, I think I'd like to sit through one of Peter Abelard's lectures. I can only imagine how exciting the Latin Quarter was at the time. Of course that's just one of a hundred points and places in time that I'd like to visit. If only Doctor Who would let me be his companion for a few years.

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  10. Sharon, I have a friend who would LOVE to meet your ancestor. Polly is the exact kind of person that fascinates her. Me? I see at least three romances from the few lines you wrote.

    P.L. I'm on the fence with what you say because watching the pyramids being built is one of the things I wish I could have seen. But then I would love to be able to meet one of the original priestess of Bastet or Isis.

    Keena, don't I wish! There are so many times and places I'd want to go to if it were possible.

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  11. Hi Jannine,
    Thanks for coming by. Unfortunately, my progress on "Twice in a Lifetime" has been exceedinly slow, mainly because I keep getting distracted by other writing! But I love the premise too. Who wouldn't want to go back in time and change something that went wrong? But can you really change history? Someday soon I'm going to finish this, really I am!

    Jana

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  12. Calisa, I love the premise too. Like I said, all I have to do now is finish it!

    Gail, I love soaking up history, and World War Two is a fascinating period, one that has intrigued me for a very long time. There are so many stories left for me to discover!

    Sharon, I'm sure you inherited much of your strength, and your smarts, from Polly. She sounds like one heck of a kickass woman!

    Marilyn, how lucky you were to be able to make that trip to Plymouth. I can scour the Internet and books for facts, but nothing replaces being there.

    Patsy, wouldn't it be amazing to go back in time to see the pyramids being built? I'd love to see Stonehenge being built. That one truly is a mystery. Where did the stone come from and why was it even constructed? The answers are lost to history.

    Karyn, thanks so much for dropping by! Our tour will run for the next eight weeks so I hope you can pop by again.

    Keena, I think Dr. Who would be a fun guy to pal around with for awhile. Whenever you wanted to research something from history, just call him up!

    Thanks everyone for stopping by. Much appreciated!
    Jana

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  13. Jana, Very interesting interview. You've left me with lots to think about.As for going back in time, your choice is certainly an exciting one. That was an era filled with every emotion. I enjoyed the read.
    Sharon Poppen

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  14. Interesting question Jana. Not sure I'd be brave enough to land in the middle of a war zone. I'd like to meet F.Scott Fitzgerald and immerse myself in the flapper era.

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  15. You're right Maggi. I'm not so brave as I'd want to be in the middle of a war zone. Perhaps after the blitz was over! :) But seriously, to understand a period in history I think you have to understand what was going on in ordinary people's lives at the time. And to understand Plymouth, England in WW2, that means trying to understand what it means to live under seige.

    Meeting F.Scott Fitzgerald in the 1920s sounds very cool. Wish I would have thought of that one myself!

    Jana

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  16. Hi Sharon,
    Yes, that era is filled with emotion, one I hope to tap into more often. Thanks for visiting today.

    Jana

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