All About Heroes Interview With Janet Lane Walters

Please welcome Janet Lane Walters to Suspense, She Writes. First, tell us a little about yourself, Janet.

As I usually say I've been writing since the dark ages, the days of typewriters and carbon paper. Actually I began in 1968 with short stories and graduated to novels when the short story market dried up. I took a break in the eighties to put four children through school and returned to writing in 1994 when I retired. In 1998 I discovered electronic publishing and was off and running and haven't looked back. I tend to be what I call an eclectic writer since I am published in mysteries, suspense, romance - contemporary and historical, plus paranormal stories. I also have a few non-fiction books dating from the days when I was a ghost writer for doctors. Under JL Walters I have a four book YA fantasy series. I've been known to dabble in music composition, Astrology and I do love to read most everything. As I tell everyone, housework is my hobby since that's what I do in my spare time. Not sure how many books I have floating around the internet but there are at least 30. The next book is always my interest.

As writers, we often become emotionally attached to our characters. Who is your favorite hero you’ve ever written?

I'm fickle. Usually my favorite hero is the one in the story I'm working on at present. I have favorite villains and a lot of great heroes. Lately my favorite has been Jules from A Spicy Seduction. He's tall dark and sexy and has a bit of a past that messes with his present.

Have you ever fallen in love with or had a crush on one of your heroes? Tell us about him.

What an interesting question. I imagine I have crushes on most of my heroes. There's Simon from Rekindled Dreams who is the most alpha male I've written. Loved that he was tamed by a baby who wasn't his but the one belonging to his enemy and cousin.

How do you develop your heroes? Do you imagine their personality or their physical appearance first? Do they grow as personalities as you write or do you do a character sketch before you type the first word?

I use Astrology to cast all my characters focusing on the Rising Sign, Sun and Moon. This gives me the face they show the world, their inner nature and their emotional nature. Then I search for a name. Though I have all the info when I begin the rough draft, my heroes grow as I follow the plot line to make the story. Most of this is in my head rather than written down. One of my present projects has all my heroines being Cancers and the heroes are of the different signs. Right now I'm working on a Taurus hero, a music composer.

I like to give my heroes a personality quirk, just so they aren’t too perfect. Have you ever written a quirk for one of your heroes and what was it?

The quirk for my current hero is his obsessive amount of time he spends at the piano causing his hands to ache and needing help. Many times my heroes have quirky reasons for avoiding commitment until they find the right woman. One of my heroes in a fantasy romance can see and read lines of fire on the skin of others. So yes, they always have something that can be a roadblock to romance.

How do you name your hero?

I have a lot of naming books and I use them when I have trouble finding a name. Often the name pops into my head as I'm daydreaming about the character.

Who is your favorite hero in books, movies, or television?

Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. I've read the book maybe 16 times and watch the A&E production of Pride and Prejudice at least once a year. At present I've been following Sherlock and have found Sherlock to be fascinating.

Who is your hero in real life?

Would have to say my husband. He's a psychiatrist and has been known to tell his colleagues that my writing is an obsession he has no intention of curing.

Tell us about your most recent release and where we can find it. Who is the hero and what do you like about him the most?

This is a hard one to write since my latest release arrived on the shelves last week. This is a collection of short stories and novellas in which the heroes of four of the stories are transported to another world. They are princes of Rivand and all descended from the Riva family. They all have black hair and green eyes. They are captured by a witch who demands they love her and on refusal are transported to another world where they must find their way. Stephen saves a princess who has been turned into an amber dragon. Rafel is trapped in a tower and must choose one of two princesses. Ivor must compete musically to save a princess. Kristen has loved the heroine since he first saw her trapped in the amber gem. He must free his family from the curse she set on the Riva family.

Thank you for being here today, Janet. She has so many releases to choose from! Here is the blurb for her book Spicy Seduction released in December 2013.

Trusting others isn't in Jules Grayson's nature. With the firm belief that those he loves will leave him, he always leaves first. When a wedding and a business project force him to return to the Hudson River village, he finds the only woman who ever turned him down. 

Will the attraction to the best man at a wedding where she's the Maid of Honor lead Grace to break her vow of no man in her life until she is completely financially secure? And can their passion chase the dark shadows from their past? 

Here's an excerpt from Spicy Seductions...

"You can't go back there."
He ignored the young woman and opened the door. Heat, a touch of vanilla and rum hit him. The aromas formed a collage with the other scents with no single one stronger than the others.
The baker stood beside a marble-topped counter. She wore a long apron tied at her slender waist. Temptation to see if his hands could span her waist nearly made him forget his reason for being here. A white net covered hair as dark as his. Would her face match the delectable rear view? She held a plastic bag and swirled icing on a cupcake. The door closed with a loud snap.
Without turning, she held one of the confections. “Try this and let me know what you think.”
Jules accepted and smiled. The voice belonged to the woman of the brief phone calls. During those moments he’d conjured a face to match the husky tone. The image belonged to the only girl who had turned him down.
What if? Such an occurrence would be beyond belief. The thought stirred his dick.
Cool it, dude.
Jules bit into the pastry. The spice, rum, pineapple, dates and cherries blended to perfection with the cake.
“What do you think?”
Her question pulled him from a sexual haze. What about sex with me licking icing from your breasts? Had he said that aloud?
“Well?” She turned.
He nearly dropped the rest of the cupcake. Here was the face from his memories and the star of his teenage fantasies. Alarms clanged. Trouble. He drew a deep breath and smiled. This time he intended to reach his goal.
“Actually it’s great. Fruitcake flavor but light. The spices and fruit blend perfectly.”
A frown creased Grace’s forehead. Did she know this man? Something resonated in her memories but a name didn’t bob to the surface. He resembled the faceless man of her fantasies. Had the same hair color, not long but short and styled. Was he someone she’d seen on TV, except she usually watched cooking shows, not sports or movies?
“How did you get in here?”
“Via the door.”
His crooked grin brought a name closer to the surface. Did he look like someone she should recognize? “And Bonnie let you come back?”
“The arrival of some customers diverted her.”
Grace sucked in a breath. Who was he? He was too young to be one of the men her mother had dragged home. “Do you really think the cupcake is good?”
“I do.” He finished the last bite and crumpled the paper. With a flick of his wrist he tossed the small wad into the trash bin across the room.
His smooth voice flowed over her skin like a swatch of velvet. Whoever he was, he’d talked about her treat like a man who knew food. Was he a rival? Had he come to steal her recipes? He certainly hadn’t come to ask for a job. Not when what he wore looked custom made.
“What will you call this one?”
Grace stepped back. The cold marble of the worktable edge pressed against her back. “Fruitcake.”
“Not like any I’ve ever tasted.” He grimaced. “Hate holiday parties when the hostess presses dark dense stuff she’s ordered by mail or baked.”
Grace laughed. “I’ve eaten some of them. For me, this is trial sixteen.”

You can find Janet at the following social media sites..

Twitter http://twitter.com/JanetL717


  1. Wow! You sure are a prolific writer, Janet. I enjoyed your comment about how you keep most of the stuff in your head instead of writing it down and working from an outline. I do the same thing. : ) I love the cover and the excerpt from Spicy Seductions. Will go check it out. : )

  2. Denise, Thanks for hosting me. I'd forgotten I was to be here. Age-related memory but I'll start posting this to others, Janet

  3. Thanks for an interesting post, Janet and sharing your thoughts on heroes. I especially like the way you use astrology to cast your heroes. Great idea.

  4. Hi Janet - Great interview. I'm fascinated with Sherlock lately, too! :-)

  5. Super interview, Denise, and a great excerpt, Janet. Thank you both!


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