Announcing Jan’s new book, HEAVEN’S SKY– American Dreams Series, Book One!
Please leave a comment to enter the drawing for a free copy of Jan’s previous book, EMANCIPATED HEART.
Heartland, Kansas, February 5, 1935
God was punishing her, just like her father said He would, just like He was punishing the bare, silent land of the Kansas plains. The same contemptible dry wind that swallowed up their crops had blown across her soul, stealing her hope and things she held dear.
Clarissa had prayed for a girl. The prospect of knitting soft pink booties and hats set her hopes soaring from the day she realized she carried another child. Her hopes gained strength as her belly swelled more each month. Her faith in life and in God grew with each kick that bounced against her skin.
Now the four walls of the bedroom seemed to pull in close to her bed as she lay next to the motionless tiny form. The green vines on the wallpaper were barely visible—faded not from the sun but from scrubbing off dirt that had invaded the house during each dust storm. She had worn herself out washing them down to be clean for the baby. Had she deceived herself that she had enough faith to please God?
– Excerpt from HEAVEN’S SKY
I’m so excited to have Jan Cline visiting my blog today. She’s a wonderful writer and someone I’m happy to count as a friend. Let’s get to know a little about Jan.
Do you write fiction or non-fiction?
I started out writing non-fiction with articles and devotionals, and I self-published a women’s help book several years ago. I did a few devotional books for Barbour Publishing a few years ago, but I believe most or all are out of print. They circulate their devotional books every few years. I do enjoy writing non-fiction, but I mostly do that now with my newsletters and developing curriculum for writer’s conference workshops. So now I focus on fiction in the Christian Historical Women’s fiction genre.
How much research, if any, do you do when writing a book?
I do a lot of research since I write historical, and fortunately, I love doing it. I try to go to places I write about if possible, but if I can’t, then documentaries are my friend. I have a bookshelf full of books on my topics as well as stacks of documents I’ve printed from the internet. I love history and learning about the important and sometimes tragic times in our nation’s past. There are so many stories to tell – I just have to remind myself to stop researching and actually write the story!
How important are book covers to you?
Book covers are very important – for authors and for readers. When I’m browsing for a book to buy, I pay attention to the cover quality and interest. I know that if it’s a well-designed cover, it’s more likely to have quality on the inside as well. The old saying of “you can’t judge a book by its cover” may not hold true all the time for me. As an Indie author, I’m beginning to learn how to do my own covers, and book two in this series will be a collaboration with my friend Lynnette Bonner to create the cover.
Do you have a dream project…something you’re planning to write someday?
My dream project has been the same for several years, and I hope it will come to fruition with book three of this series. It happens to be inspired by the true story of my mom and her first husband during WWII. I happened upon a box of his belongings after my mom passed away and inside was a great story of their lives. I only hope I tell it with the passion and love I have for that period of Mom’s life. I had to do quite a bit of research even for this project, as I didn’t know much about him.
In addition to that story, I’d love to tell more stories about the women who lived through tough times like the Great Depression and WWII. As I said, there are so many stories that need telling and I have a few ideas for future books.
How do you measure success as a writer?
I measure success by how my words and stories touch someone. Some of the feedback I have received from my first novel has been very encouraging. To hear that someone is learning about historical facts they never knew before is a blessing to me. I would love to see more of our young people read about America’s past, and if I can write something they will benefit from, that’s what will keep me going.
Where to find Jan:
If you sign up for her newsletter you will receive a free short story.
Where to find HEAVEN’S SKY:
Jan’s been writing since junior high but has improved significantly since then. Her first novel was published in 2016, a product of her love for history and research. She is a former writers conference director and speaks at writers groups and conferences. Jan lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and her impertinent dog, Cooper. When she’s not writing she enjoys golf, crafting, and time with grandchildren.