Friday, October 31, 2014

Endings and Beginnings by Janis Susan May/Janis Patterson

Nancy: Please welcome an author who sounds like she has been as busy this year as I have! She writes mysteries as Janis Patterson, romances and other things as Janis Susan May, children's books as Janis Susan Patterson and scholarly works as J.S.M. Patterson.   

Janis: Some cultures regarded autumn as the end of the year; the winter was the dead time and spring was regarded as the beginning of the year.

This Halloween is a definite ending for me this year. I have spent the summer immersed in a wildly absorbing project. I had obtained the rights back to all the ones I could of my backlist and had two new books which had never been published. In May I self published one book as a test balloon. Found a wonderful scanner, an incredible formatter and a supremely gifted cover artist. As the book had been published before by a major publisher I didn’t send it through the complete editorial process again, but did go through it myself, tweaking and doing some minor revisions. From decision to republish to actually pushing the ‘publish’ button was six weeks, during which time I worked on writing a new book and other things.

Nancy: Wow! You sound like me again! I have a book coming out this weekend, and recovered three previously published novels from a now-defunct publisher. I am working hard to bring one of them out in December with a new title, new cover (by me), and a cleaner edit. 

Janis: The launch went well and sales were good enough to convince me that I should do all the rest of the books. However, time went against me. I did this and that with the books and at the end of three weeks had accomplished a lot – just not all one one book. I realized I had to give myself a deadline and – in a moment of pure insanity – to do one book every two weeks beginning on the 30 of June. My team went into hyperventilation, but agreed that it could be done.

And do it we have. LACEY, the last book, re-released the 30 of October, with each book being released right on schedule. I have seldom been so proud of any accomplishment in my life.

Two of the books were new, never before published – THE EGYPTIAN FILE and THE JERUSALEM CONNECTION. Both are romantic suspenses and are very special to me.

The main idea for THE JERUSALEM CONNECTION was born many years ago while I worked for three months on a film made in Jerusalem. One or two of the adventures occurring to the heroine actually happened to me. No, I’m not telling which ones!

The idea for THE EGYPTIAN FILE germinated during the three weeks my husband and I spent in Egypt our last trip there. Having other commitments, it was a while before I could start working on it, and by then I didn’t trust my memory of exactly what I seen. The Egyptological community is so very helpful and supportive, and I made a few new friends while doing research. I am a bear on having my facts right! The upside is that a new mystery idea – and a fabulous research opportunity – grew out of one of these contacts. I love Ancient Egyptian history, and THE EGYPTIAN FILE has both history and contemporary romantic suspense. It was great fun to write, and I’m so looking forward to the next Egyptian mystery – hidden treasure, a fake psychic, two young lovers and a ghost... Can’t wait.


Hmmm. I’m really rather a boring person, so there’s not really that much interesting to know about me.  Hmmm.

1.      I used to design and make a line of jewelry made from animal bone and semi-precious gemstones.
2.      For more than 20 years I wore a diamond ring on my left thumb.
3.      I absolutely love thunderstorms.

When their original leader falls ill choir director Robin Sabine reluctantly agrees to accompany six teenagers to a musical competition in Jerusalem. The simple purchase of a souvenir for her boss' wife plunges her into a nightmare of danger, kidnapping and almost certain death. The unexpected appearance of a former boyfriend turned enemy unnerves her, and the attentions of a suave, sophisticated British diplomat turn her head even as she wonders if she can trust him. 

After her unscheduled shopping trip in the Old City Robin discovers that there are a number of people inordinately interested in her movements. Her room is searched. She has difficulties with the competition. Neither man in her life trusts the other and after being ruthlessly kidnapped, Robin realizes that a number of people - including her teenaged charges - believe she is a spy.

Conflicting loyalties and the specter of international terrorism make her doubt everything she ever thought she knew. Worst of all, the teens who have been put in her care disappear even as Robin's own life is threatened. If she is going to survive and rescue all entrusted to her, Robin will need all the wits and courage she can muster.

Melissa Warrender is trying to solve the strange death of her art-gallery owner father. Her father's partner in Warrender's Fine Art, Melissa's specialty is paintings of the 17th and long 18th centuries, while her father primarily dealt in antiquities. Driven by an unexplained phone call which may or may not have come from her late father, she goes to Cairo to retrieve a mysterious file, not knowing that she is a prime suspect of a special task force set up to stop antiquities smuggling and the target of
her father's chief rival.

David El-Baradi is a professor of Egyptology in London, in Cairo on sabbatical to help the task force. Forced into masquerading as a taxi driver who befriends Melissa, he finds himself attracted to her and, eventually, becomes convinced of her innocence. David cannot reveal his true identity, especially when it starts to seem that the treasure is an undiscovered royal treasure. As the pair lurch across Egypt, dodging the murderous son of Warrender's chief rival and unable to call on the task force for help, they finally decipher the cryptic clues and solve the mysteries of THE EGYPTIAN FILE, almost sacrificing their lives to do so.

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Nancy: What's next for you? 

Janis: What’s next for me? First of all, I’m taking a week or so off to get reacquainted with my life and get some rest. As for writing, I’m in the final throes of completing a modern gothic set in rural England called THE MASTER OF MORECOMBE HALL. After that’s done, I have a hankering to go back to cozy mystery for a while. I’ve a couple of ideas – a young debutante in 1916 New Orleans is suddenly orphaned and totally broke when it is discovered that her late brother’s wife – unknown to any of the family – has been murdered. Another is a contemporary, where a fact researcher for an eccentric non-fiction writer finds herself pitched into a long dead scandal and a current murder. A third is about a wealthy, very eccentric older woman finds herself trapped very much against her will in a rehabilitation home after a car accident – and then the murders begin.

There’s the new Egyptian mystery waiting impatiently, but I can’t begin my research until March (it’s complicated, and I can’t say any more about it right now). Then there’s another half dozen potential ideas lurking at the fringes of my mind just waiting to pounce. But there always are.

I’ve just finished a cozy mystery called MURDER AND MISS WRIGHT, which I’m allowing to go cold before I send it to my editor. It’s about a number of murders at a scholarly archaeological conference. 

My official bio :
Janis Susan May is a seventh-generation Texan and a third-generation wordsmith who writes mysteries as Janis Patterson, romances and other things as Janis Susan May, children's books as Janis Susan Patterson and scholarly works as J.S.M. Patterson. 

Formerly an actress and singer, a talent agent and Supervisor of Accessioning for a bio-genetic DNA testing lab, Janis has also been editor-in-chief of two multi-magazine publishing groups. She founded and was the original editor of The Newsletter of the North Texas Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt, which for the nine years of her reign was the international organization's only monthly publication. Long interested in Egyptology, she was one of the founders of the North Texas chapter and was the closing speaker for the ARCE International Conference in Boston in 2005.

Janis married for the first time when most of her contemporaries were becoming grandmothers. Her husband, a handsome Navy Captain several years younger than she, even proposed in a moonlit garden in Egypt. Janis and her husband live in Texas with an assortment of rescued furbabies.

Connect with Janis: Website  Twitter  

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