Author, Author! — Janet Sketchley

11 May

Please welcome Janet Sketchely, author of Bitter Truth, book 3 in the Green Dory Inn Mystery Series. I love talking to authors about what motivates them, how they organize their writing life, and the books that they have created. Thanks Janet for sharing with my readers!

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

I did make up stories as a child—I even cleared out a corner of my closet for a tiny writing nook, although I don’t think I ever finished anything I started. My teen years brought other interests, and it wasn’t until my late 20s or early 30s that I started writing again.  


Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

My grade 9 English teacher, Mr. Campbell, was a great encourager. My short stories then bear no resemblance to what I write now. I did send him a copy of my first book to thank him for his influence, and he appreciated the gesture but I don’t know what he thought of the story.

Why did you choose Christian mystery/suspense?

The genre chose me! I had this idea of a woman abducted by the serial killer she’d been praying for—and I couldn’t get it out of my head. Basically I started writing in hopes it’d go away. (It was eventually published as Heaven’s Prey.) By the time I finished, I knew I wanted to keep writing Christian fiction because I value stories that show people working out how their faith applies to life’s challenges. I lightened the suspense level but continued with mystery-suspense because those are some of my favourite stories to read.

Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Other than learning how to craft fiction well enough? 😊 It was almost 25 years before that first book found a home, so I’m definitely on the slow road. As a Canadian writer, I’ve faced a few extra challenges over my US peers. Attending conferences allowed me to connect with a few agents and publishers, and online groups like American Christian Fiction Writers also helped bridge that divide.

What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc.

I like to do on-site visits when I can, to get a feel for the setting and atmosphere. And I’ve joined a couple of Facebook groups for the area where my stories are set (locals give great information!) and one where writers can ask medical research questions. Most of my research is online, though. Google is my friend, even for things like street view of a location.

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

My goal is to spend weekday afternoons writing. Far too often I lose some of that time to other responsibilities. I’m ever more aware of the need to start each writing time with prayer—this is too big and too complex for me to craft a God-honouring story and characters on my own. I like to start with a tumbler of ice water or a cup of tea. Right now, the plotting stage, involves covering my table with sheets of graph paper and breaking out the coloured pens and highlighters. I’ll eventually move to my laptop to develop an outline and to write.

How long does it usually take to craft your books?

I think I can do it in a year, but between COVID-19 and family health issues, the last one was two years or more. I love being an independent publisher, because deadlines stress me. I still want to produce books in a regular and timely manner, but as one of my characters (he’s a writer) likes to point out, “deadline” contains the word “dead.”

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel?

Bitter Truth is book 3 in my Green Dory Inn Mystery Series, so I already knew the setting and the series characters. This particular story came from an idea I’d had about a young woman returning to her hometown to regroup and being pushed over a cliff by someone who perceived her as a threat. The mental picture was of her on the side of a cliff, being held in place by a passing motorcyclist who’d seen the attack and climbed down to help her. Bitter Truth also let me introduce a character I’ve thought about for years but didn’t know how I’d use him. The original concept wasn’t one I wanted to write, but I’m pleased with how he “adapted” to this story and allowed me to address his core idea.

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

“Whatever happens, Jesus will be there.” I often sign that in books. Too many times, when we imagine troubling “what ifs,” we imagine ourselves facing them alone. I hope readers will be satisfied that they’ve enjoyed a good story, but I also pray that a reader who needs a little spiritual encouragement will find it in what the characters learn in their struggles.

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

I’m excited about Green Dory Inn 4, which will be a Christmas book. So far, I have an unwelcome snow globe gift, a cast of suspects, a victim, and a killer. And I’ve “overheard” a conversation between two series regulars about “invisible mistletoe.” The way Bitter Truth ended, neither of them will be expecting that!

Janet Sketchley is the author of the Green Dory Inn Mystery Series, the Redemption’s Edge Christian suspense series, and the daily devotional books A Year of Tenacity and Tenacity at Christmas. She likes her fiction with a splash of mystery and a dash of Christianity. Why leave faith out of our stories if it’s part of our lives? Janet writes in Atlantic Canada, and you can find her online at https://janetsketchley.ca/. Or you can follow Janet on BookBub at https://bit.ly/JanetSketchleyBookBub.

Who would want Ciara dead? And why?

Against all odds, Landon Smith and her ordinary-hero neighbour Bobby Hawke survived a murderous plot six weeks ago. Now, she’s determined to leave solving mysteries to the experts—like handsome local police officer Dylan Tremblay.

But when a friend is nearly killed in a daring daylight attack, Landon can’t sit this out. Not when she knows the anger of being a victim.

Her faith tells her to leave room for God’s vengeance. Her heart says to retaliate.

The fight to expose Ciara’s enemy will uncover secrets and betrayal that could cost Landon her life.

If you like clean Christian mystery and suspense, read Bitter Truth today!

PURCHASE LINK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09MDY3SZQ

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Welcome to the Green Dory Inn, a fictional bed & breakfast set outside the real town of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

Meet Landon, a young Christian woman with a traumatic past. And Anna, recently widowed, who owns the inn.

Meet Roy, their wisecracking elderly neighbour, and his adult grandson Bobby, who writes space novels.

And meet the cats, fastidious Timkin and the battle-scarred marmalade stray.

Come for the clean, faith-based mysteries.
Stay for the characters.



TITLES IN THE GREEN DORY INN MYSTERY SERIES:

Unknown Enemy(novella length) Who is the secretive prowler harassing innkeeper Anna?

Hidden Secrets(novel length) What secrets has the inn’s original owner left behind, and how far will Anna’s enemy go to find them?

Bitter Truth (novel length) Who would want Ciara dead? And why?

And more TBA…

If you like clean Christian mystery and suspense, visit the Green Dory Inn today!

2 Responses to “Author, Author! — Janet Sketchley”

  1. Janet Sketchley May 12, 2022 at 9:04 pm #

    Thanks for the chance to visit your blog, Beckie. I enjoyed our chat!

    • rbclibrary May 13, 2022 at 8:17 am #

      Thank you, Janet, for sharing with my readers!

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