Author Janet Elaine Smith's Muse Tamed by Music

Author Janet Elaine Smith's Muse Tamed by Music
Over the past month, I've spoken with several authors who share my love for music. What type of music do you listen to when you're writing or relaxing and who are some of the musical artists?
It depends on what I am writing. As a rule, I love to listen to either classical music or "Americana," such as Gershwin tunes. The faster the music, the faster my fingers go over the keys. If I am on a real strict deadline, I will put on either Flight of the Bumblebee or the Sabre Dance.

However, if I am writing my Christmas books, even if it is July or August, I put on Christmas music. I guess you could say it gets me "In the Mood." My favorite is a Julie Andrews tape my daughter gave me for Christmas a few years ago. As I head down the last chapter, though, I always put on Handel’s Messiah. There is no feeling quite as great as typing "The End" as the last strains of the Hallelujah Chorus swell and fill the room! It is awesome!

Please tell the readers a little about yourself.
I’m an old lady—and I do wear purple and I have several red hats. No, seriously, my husband and I were missionaries in Venezuela for 9 years. When we had to return to the US because of my health (I got a good dose of hepatitis and tropical anemia), we came to the Red River Valley of Minnesota and North Dakota and started a charitable organization, Mission Socorro, which deals with helping people from all walks of life 24/7. There are times when I would like to give that all up, but then I wonder where I would get all the delightful story ideas that have popped into my head from the people we have met and helped.

I started writing over 30 years ago, primarily because I didn’t want to forget all the great experiences we had in Venezuela. By the time I finished that, I was "hooked." I cannot imagine my life without a means to express my feelings, thoughts and ideas. I became quite successful in the magazine field, but it was not until June, 2000, however that my first book was finally published. Since then, I have 14 books out, all still available. I am truly living my dream life!

What type of books do you write?
I love to write in different genres. People ask me why, and it seems perfectly logical to me. I like to read different types of books, so why not write them, too? So far my books have been published in these genres: historical romance, contemporary romance, cozy mysteries, time travel, young adult (historical), western, inspirational romance (historical) and inspirational romantic intrigue.

I will not attempt to list all 14 of my books, but 3 that will give you a little variety are as follows:

Dakota Printer – a historical set in Fargo in the 1870s. It centers around Papa Levine and his granddaughter, who run a small town weekly newspaper. I thought it was an inspirational romance, until men began writing to me, saying—in the words of one man, "This is the greatest western I’ve read since Zane Grey died." Hey, I’m not going to tell them it’s a romance!

Par for the Course – the 3rd in the Keith trilogy. Time travel. A young woman golf pro from (fictional) St. Andrew’s Golf Course, just outside Aberdeen, Maryland, finds herself cast through a dense fog to St. Andrew’s Golf Course, just outside Aberdeen—but wait! It is Aberdeen, Scotland, and it is in the mid 1500s. She gets to golf with the first woman golfer recorded in history: Mary, Queen of Scots. She soon decides she has been sent back in time to "keep Mary from losing her head"—quite literally. Of course she finds just the right "hunk" to help her pull off her plan.

Monday Knight – 1st book in the Woman of the Week series. Based on the old children’s poem, "Monday’s Child is fair of face." Monday Knight was the top model in the world, and her whole life had revolved around that line from the poem. Now, in the blinking of an eye, she has lost everything she had—her looks. Can she ever find fulfillment in her life again? With a cast of some delightful secondary characters, it is the egotisitical Dr. Stephen White who leads the charge to pull her back from the depths of despair. Despite the way it sounds, there is lots of fun in the book.

What inspires you to write?
Life in general. There are so many wonderful people and situations right in front of our noses every single day. With a little imagination and the seed of an idea, you can create a whole world from almost nothing. My book, A Christmas Dream<, began at McDonald’s! How much more mundane can you get than that? You can see how it all began on my blog at

How did you transition from being a non-fiction writer, writing for magazines such as Woman's World, Ladies' Home Journal to writing fiction?
I have always written fiction, but it didn’t "go anywhere" for a long time. The truth of the matter is that the non-fiction writing pays the bills, but the fiction writing adds the spice to the table. Also, writing the non-fiction gives you a built-in readership when you finally break through into the fiction world. I already had a "fan base" before my first book was published. Of course, thankfully, it has grown considerably since then.

How can readers reach you?
My website is

My e-mail address is

My books are all available at,, scads of other online bookstores, or in a "brick and mortar" store near you. I love to hear from readers. Without readers, there would be no need for writers.

Thanks Janet. My life seems boring compared to yours (smile). Keep writing those books.

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