In the interview seat today we have the lovely Janice Horton, she writes contemporary romantic fiction with a dash of humour and a sense of adventure. Look out for Janice’s No. 1 Amazon Kindle Bestseller ‘Castaway in the Caribbean’ which is now also available as a paperback as well as her Amazon Kindle bestselling books 'Bagpipes and Bullshot' and 'Reaching for the Stars' and her fun ‘Voodoo Romance’ series of novellas. Her nonfiction guide to online promotion 'How To Party Online' is recommended reading for all authors and writers by publishers. Janice is a regular blogger from her website at janicehorton.co.uk and you'll also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
Janice Horton - writer of romantic adventure novels
Follow me on Twitter: @JaniceHorton
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Link to my Amazon Author Page
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LLm Author’s Café
Senior Editor at Loveahappyending Emagazine
Hello Janice and welcome to Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom
Thanks for having me on your fabulous book blog – I’m a great fan of Booky Ramblings!
Was there anything particular that inspired you to start your journey of being an author?
Being an avid reader from childhood inspired me to write. I love being entertained and immersed in a good story and I have always been amazed at how reading a book can magically transport a mind and an imagination into a fictional world and make it seem real. This made me want to try and learn how to write fiction and to become an author. For me, there is nothing better than reading a review for one of my books where a reader has said that I managed to do that for them.
What would you say is the hardest part of writing/publishing a book for you?
I think all writing is hard, but for me the hardest part is keeping going when I get around half-way through the work in progress and decide that it is all a load of rubbish. This crisis point happens to me every time and even though I now know just to put my head down and write through it, it never gets any easier. Writing is really hard work!
If you could only read four books for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Oh boy that’s a hard one. I’ve read so many amazing books. I think if I was castaway on a desert island, as indeed my latest hero and heroine where in ‘Castaway in the Caribbean’, I’d certainly want my first edition hard back copies of ‘Riders’ ‘Rivals’ and ‘Polo’ with me by one of my very favourite authors, Jilly Cooper. My fourth choice..? I’m still thinking on that one!
Do you and your main character share any personality traits?
We both have the same taste in hero.
If you could live in any book what book would it be?
It would have to be a romantic adventure novel for sure!
Where do your ideas for your books come from? Dreams? Music?
I get ideas from many sources: romantic situations, interesting conflicts, overheard conversations, and fascinating locations. Then I add the ‘what if..?’ factor and my imagination takes flight. My novel ‘Bagpipes and Bullshot’ was inspired by my move to rural Scotland from urban England and the differences I found in lifestyle. The book is not biographical but a dark fictional comedy, as we see our poor heroine struggling to make sense of her new and totally different way of life. ‘Reaching for the Stars’ was inspired by my fascination with the world of celebrity ‘rock-star status’ chefs and the terribly stressful system they participate in to attain ‘stars’ for their restaurants. We meet my poor celebrity chef just as he’s won the ultimate culinary accolade – three stars – and yet he’s just realised that he has never been more miserable in his life. The idea for my latest novel came about while spending the summer of 2014 island-hopping in the Caribbean. I eventually settled down on one rather tiny and remote island to write a tropical adventure romance entitled ‘Castaway in the Caribbean’. I’m delighted by how well the book has sold on Amazon Kindle since its release in March this year. It is doing very well in the US and has achieving the #1 spot for Adventure Travel Fiction in the UK. The paperback version has just become available for those who prefer to read a real book rather than an e-book and is available to order worldwide from most good booksellers.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Castaway in the Caribbean
Captain Travis Mathews hates tourists, although he’s not above making a bit of money off a prissy and sharp tongued young British girl when she’s desperate to get to the neighbouring island of Tortola.
After striking a deal, they set off together in Travis’s weather-beaten old boat. When the vessel comes to a sudden full stop in the sea, the mismatched pair end up as castaways on an uninhabited island.
In this fast moving romantic adventure about a vacation that turns into a tropical nightmare there’s more fun than you’ll find in any travel brochure.…
Message from the AuthorI was incredibly fortunate to spend the summer of 2014 in the Caribbean, writing and researching this novel. I found it challenging only in the respect of being continually distracted from the manuscript by the tropical sunshine, the white sand beaches, the warm aquamarine sea, rum cocktails, and the fabulous social scene on offer. Many of these distractions are well documented on my website, blog and Facebook page, if you are interested in reading the details and seeing the photos!
For the purposes of proper research for Castaway in the Caribbean, I travelled to and explored many Caribbean islands and, despite my tendency for sea sickness, I also spent a lot of time in boats. I even got to sail around Tortola, the larger of the British Virgin Islands, in a restored schooner that had been used in the filming of the original Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
The Virgin Islands inspired me with the modern day setting for Castaway in the Caribbean because, of this chain of around 90 small islands, islets, cays and rocks in the Caribbean Sea, many are uninhabited.
I eventually settled down to write this romantic adventure story on the Caribbean island of Utila, the smaller of the Bay Islands, just off the coast of Honduras. Likened to the Key West of long ago, Utila is a quaint, unspoilt and laid-back little island. Sitting on the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, it is also a paradise for scuba diving, which is exactly was what my husband was doing every day while I was busy writing this story.
Research is a valuable tool for a writer, so I do hope all the fun and adventure I had in the Caribbean has found its way into the pages of Castaway in the Caribbean.