September Q&A with Jane

I’ve been doing lots of interviews this summer in conjunction with the release if It’s You, and my attendance at various writers conferences and book festivals and thought I’d share some of the questions (and answers!) from the interviews. You might already know this stuff but a few of you might be new readers and find it interesting!

  1. You’ve just had your 50th book published in June. What has changed in the 15 years since you sold your first book?

Besides the massive transformation of the publishing industry?  I’ve changed.  I’m a very different woman now than when I sold that first book back in 2000.  I’m stronger, more confident, and more resilient, too.  I’m also less interested in being out, ‘visible’, then I used to.  When I first sold, I was so excited to be a published author, and I’m still very proud of my work, but I’m ready for my work to speak for itself.  I don’t feel the same need to go everywhere and do everything. 

IMG_5902
Jane on the steps of the grand Old Courthouse in Decatur, GA for the Book Festival.

 

  1. And yet you created Tule Publishing.

Tule wasn’t a calculated move.  It certainly wasn’t intended to get as big as it did.  It grew very quickly and I think it grew because there were writers who wanted and needed a place that valued their ideas, voices, and stories.

  1. So how did Tule get started?

Three years ago I was firmly entrenched in ‘traditional publishing’ when I began to worry about my fellow author friends.  It was late 2012/early 2013, and I became aware that I wasn’t the only author exhausted by the changes in the industry and bruised by the publishing rhetoric that sales were down ‘due to authors not writing good enough books’, or the right kind of books  

Writers weren’t being told the truth.  Writers didn’t create the problems in the industry—the economy did.  When the 2008-2009 recession hit, it impacted all areas of the economy, resulting in one of the US’s biggest book chains closing, and the other downsizing.  Print runs shrank.  E-books were on the rise.  Amazon was changing the nature of the game.  The industry was shuddering and changing, but it wasn’t the author’s fault. 

Frustrated that smart, creative, successful women were getting the short end of the stick, I reached out to my three of my closest author friends, CJ Carmichael, Lilian Darcy, and Megan Crane and asked them if they’d want to do a special project with me, something fun and creative that would allow us to work together and enjoy being smart, creative, successful women, and well….Tule Publishing was born.

Montana Born, Tule’s first imprint, launched Sept 2013 with the Copper Mountain Rodeo series with the Holiday imprint, headed by Kelly Hunter, launching in 2014.  In the past two years Tule Publishing has expanded to four imprints, with the goal to continue publishing fantastic stories by gifted writers, and in so doing, delighting readers while satisfying authors’ desire for creativity, freedom, and commercial success. 

That’s the how and why of Tule, but now, two years into it, I’ve stepped back, handing the day to day management over to the Tule team.  I meet with the team weekly and get daily updates when big things are happening, but with three incredibly competent publishing professionals running the show, the team doesn’t need me getting in the way.

  1. So essentially Tule Publishing was founded because you felt a need to support writers?

Because I love books, readers, and writers.  I can’t imagine life without stories.

JaneAndSallyKilpatrickBeforeRomancePanel
Jane with Sally Kilpatrick before the Romance Panel at the Decatur Book Festival in GA.
  1. Let’s talk about books, then. What kind of stories did you love when you were a child?

Series.  I really passionately loved connected books, stories about a little girl, or the girl and her family.  My two favorite series when I was young was the Little House on the Prairie series about Laura Ingalls, and Louisa May Alcott’s series about the March family (Little Women, Little Men, Jo’s Boys, Under the Lilacs, etc).  I loved that Jo, from Alcott’s Little Women, was a writer.  Looking back, I think I was also loved inspired by Laura Ingalls who was also a writer.  Being a writer definitely seemed to be the way to go! 

  1. Do you remember the first romance novel you read?

It was probably a Barbara Cartland romance.  I would have been 13, and it was probably something like the The Impetuous Duchess.  I was in heaven.  Within months of reading everything I could find that Cartland had written, I stumbled across my first Mills & Boon romance while living in Europe with my family.  It was sweet but had such emotional intensity and I was hooked forever.  Now this is what I wanted to do.

  1. How old were you when you know that you wanted to be a writer?

Young.  Really young.  I’ve always written stories.  I don’t remember a time when I didn’t make up stories in my head.  I wrote down my first story in Kindergarten and it was a short story about a Christmas Elf.  I wrote my first picture book in second grade (my friend Laurie Johnson illustrated it for me) and my first young adult novel in fourth grade.  Writing was my ‘gift’ and I took it seriously, from walking around with a notebook as a little girl, to spending recess sitting next to my classroom wall writing, to entering poetry and essay contests.  I don’t know why, but writing is as natural as breathing for me.  I have to do it.  I want to do it.  Not that it’s ever been easy for me.  I actually find writing quite challenging…maybe that’s the attraction!

Decatur Book Festival
One of the beautiful rooms inside the Old Courthouse where the Romance Panel was hosted at the Decatur Book Festival
  1. When did you first sit down and start to write? How long after that before you were published?

I got serious about being published in romance in college.  I’d been published in national magazines while in high school, but started writing my first ‘adult’ romance the summer between high school and my freshman year at college, and continued working on that romance my first year at UCLA before submitting it to Mills & Boon as a sophomore.  That story, Struck Out in Love, was rejected, along with many others.  I finally got my first sale in January 2000.  It took nearly 15 years to finally sell to Harlequin, and nearly 15 rejected books before I got I sold The Italian Groom to Harlequin Mills & Boon in London.

  1. How hard was it to first get published?

Very hard.  Very, very hard.  14-15 years.  14-15 rejected books.  It took a toll on me.  But it also made me resolute….I would succeed.  I’d put so many years into it, and so much effort, that I simply couldn’t accept that I wouldn’t eventually make it.

  1. What authors do you read and/or admire now that you’re an author (and publisher)?

When I read for pleasure, I love historical romance and paranormal, athough historical romance is definitely my ultimate comfort read.  I love Mary Balogh, Loretta Chase, Lorraine Heath, Joanna Bourne, Anne Gracie, Sarah Maclean…Eloisa James, Elizabeth Boyle, Tessa Dare, Vicky Dreiling, Grace Burrows…gosh, there are so many more, too.

Kresley Cole and JR Ward are two of my favorite paranormal authors, although I wouldn’t be a fan today if it weren’t for Christine Feehan.  Her books gave me my love of paranormal.

I nearly always avoid contemporary romance since I write contemporary romance and don’t want other authors voices in my head.  With that said, I am a massive Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lisa Kleypas, Sarah Mayberry, Kelly Hunter and Megan Crane/Caitlin Crews fan, so I always read what they write.  But my escapist reading will always remain the historicals…. nothing scary happens, nothing violent, either.  It’s a beautiful, relatively safe world where the focus is on character!

  1. You haven’t mentioned any women’s fiction authors or titles, and yet you write it….?

I think because I write it, I tend to avoid reading a lot of it.  Also, some women’s fiction makes me sad, and I hate feeling sad when I read.  I read to be lifted up…bouyed.  I also read to escape.  I experienced a lot of tragedy and grief as a teenager and young woman and what got me through were stories that weren’t too dark, but stories of romance, and hope and healing.

  1. 9780425277157Your newest release, It’s You, is a story of love and loss….and considerable grief.

Yes.  And my novel, The Good Wife had a lot of conflict and loss in it, too, which is why I’m having a hard think about my fiction career.  Are my stories becoming too dark, or too depressing?  Or are they simply becoming more complex?  I don’t know.  I do know that my muse goes into those darker corners when I write fiction and spends time in the shadows.  It’s not always comfortable for me as a writer.  The muse is an interesting thing.  After 50 books, it’s begun to fight with me a bit.  Maybe that’s why I enjoy writing romance more.  It’s a different mindset and the writing is less torturous.

  1. What is your next romance?

In November I’ll have out my 5th Taming of the Sheenan story, A Christmas Miracle for Daisy, out and then I’m also working on brainstorming and drafting my fiction novel, but its still in the very early pre-writing and rough writing stage so that one will probably be put on a back burner for a bit while I write another romance.  I tend to procrastinate when it comes to my women’s fiction because sometimes the character’s intense thoughts and emotions are overwhelming.

  1. If you weren’t a writer, would you still be teaching, running a not-for-profit or something else?

I would either be teaching, or working in the film industry, as I love making things, creating things, and working on projects that are collaborative in nature.

  1. You have quite a big library.

I do.  I love books.   Old books, first edition, rare, interesting, non fiction history, memoirs, beautiful bindings of American literature, anything I find personally interesting… 

I think you can tell I’m besotted with books. I’m nothing if not a book girl!

~~

I have a giveaway for you!  One lucky winner gets to claim this great Atlanta inspired prize and all you have to do is leave a comment and you’ll be entered in the drawing!  Contest ends on Monday with winner announced on Tuesday the 15th.

IMG_5911

107 Comments

  1. Great interview, Jane. I loved learning more about how Tule came to life. Last weekend, while rearranging my bookshelves, I read an email response from you that I had printed and saved in my copy of Flirting with Forty. That was my first intro to your writing, and I’ve been loving your books since. Congratulations on your success!

  2. HI Jane,
    Great blog. I knew a lot of the answers to the questions already. 🙂 I don’t know where you find the energy to do all you do. My first love is historicals and when the world gets to be to much I love to lose myself in one. I am a Huge fan of GWTW. Being from the south I am partial. I loved Scarlett such a strong young. When mom was alive she bought me all kind of GWTW collectibles. I have statues under glass, ornaments, sets of collectible plates I even have a light up Tara.

  3. Oh how I loved this Q&A – so inspirational AND educational. I have heard you speak many times before, Jane, and even here your voice comes through 🙂 Thank you for this! The socks in the prize sure look cute! Best wishes to you!

  4. Thanks for the great Q&A, I did not know exactly how Tule Publishing got started and now I do. I think I stumbled upon a Tule book for the first time through a boxed set of books. And as with other writers I love, I try to find every book there is. So far I have bought a lot of the Tule books, because I love series just like you do.
    The only problem is that I cannot keep up, but I love that my Kindle is stocked up.
    What I also love about you and your writer friends, is that you tell us about books you love from other writers. And as I love your books, most of the times I also love the books you rave about.
    So a big thank you to you and the Tule team!

  5. That was a really interesting interview, Jane. I have become more and more a lover of books, I want to read all the time now! Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. Wow, it’s impressive that despite 14-15 years of rejection you kept going! That takes guts and determination! Good for you. 🙂

    And thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  7. I enjoyed reading your Q&A and learning some interesting facts about you. Thank you for taking the time and also for the chance to win the great prize.

  8. It’s hard for me as a fan, to realize you’ve only began being published in 2000…. Your voice is so true and honest! Tule Publishing is so great!! Thanks from all of us!! PS and for sharing your wonderful adorable family!

  9. Very informative interview. I definitely “see” the enate passion you have for story telling and writing. I like that by taking the initiative and empowering yoursel, you have also empowered other authors and opened up new opportunities. Kudos! and keep on writing.

  10. I am surprised it was so long before you were published. Why did it take so long, was it publishing companies at that time controlling the market or were your stories “not ready for prime time” and you got better at it each year? Love how you took control of your writing and how you support other authors. I enjoy your contemporary novels and I am not put off because they are more serious. I am more serious, too, and I appreciate the courage you have to tackle tough subjects. I hope you keep writing all kinds of books.

  11. That was a really good interview with some questions that I loved.

    And – yes -your Atlanta giveaway and is as southern as sweet tea! Thank you for the giveaway!

  12. Thank you Jane for sharing this interview with us. I so enjoyed reading your responses. It’s You just lingers with me. I read it and then read it again, something that only happens with extra special books. It was hard, but I donated my copy to our public library, but only after I gave at least a 15 min. review of the book to the cataloguer and made her promise to read it. Best of luck with all of your future writing….I will be watching for news of the book releases and ordering them.

  13. I fell in love with Gone With The Wind many years ago & have been fascinated by GA ever since. This was an interesting post learning more about you & GA.
    Thanks for the giveaway chance too.
    <3

  14. I enjoyed reading about how you started Tule Publishing. I didn’t know about it before today. I’m glad you are able to trust those who are in charge so you have more time to spend with your family and writing books for us.

  15. I love your Tule imprint! I understand what you mean re publishers, too, since one of my favorite series was discontinued by the publisher who said “there was now demand for it”….hogwash! Laura DiSiverio’s ‘Mall Cop’ series is outstanding and she has many more stories to tell but the publisher wants her cozies. Those are very good but the other is outstanding, in my never known to be humble opinion. You are giving authors their voice and I am delighted! BTW, I contacted the publishing house twice and have had no response. Thank you…p.s. don’t forget Georgette Heyer! 😉

  16. Thank you for the great q&a! I was able to enjoy it while waiting for my son in the school pick up line! Finally something inspiring to do in line!

  17. I love learning more about your background. I love all the books so far that I’ve read and love Tule. Even though I probably seen GWTW more than once I know I never read the book. As always Awesome prize, thanks for the chance.

  18. Thanks for Creating Tule Publishing. I think that it has help so many authors! I love your books! Thanks for this giveaway!

  19. I really enjoyed reading your interview. We, or at least I do, are in awe of authors. You are a very hard working down to earth person. You noticed that the publishers weren’t being honest and started your own publishing company with trusted friends. Pat yourself on the back you deserve it. Your books are wonderful. Thank you for writing them

  20. Thanks for sharing the question/answer. I love Trule Publishing and through it I have had the opportunity to read other wonderful authors books. Looking forward to your next book.

  21. Jane,

    Love, love, love how you love your readers, but also how you care about your fellow authors. You have a big heart and your writing always shows it. Thanks for giving us a perk into your life!

    Blessings,
    Melissa

  22. Thanks for sharing all of those personal details about you. It’s great to see someone so passionate and pround about what they do.

  23. Loved reading your answers. And I’m so glad you started Tule and that I’m one of their readers, I absolutely love it. Awaiting the Daisy/Christmas one. Thanks so much for the chance. and I am so glad you didn’t give up on getting published.

  24. I loved reading this, Jane! I’ve been hooked on your books ever since my book club read The Good Woman several years ago. I always look forward to reading a new one!

  25. Love your books! And thank you for starting Tule Publishing! I’ve downloaded lots of books and enjoy the reading some of my favorite authors writing different books!

  26. Thank you for sharing all this information about yourself. I love your books!! They are so thoughtfully written. I also love your giveaway, especially those sock!! What fun it would be to wear them!!

  27. Thank you for sharing books with us! Tule is amazing. I think your muse is not going to depressing, it’s going to complex and deep. 🙂

  28. Enjoyed reading that. Great questions and answers. I’m so looking forward to the 5th book, A Christmas miracle for Daisy. I enjoy reading that series.

  29. I love your books Jane. Beautiful this interview, it is good to know something about a writer who you loves. Thanks for the giveaway.

  30. I can’t believe after reading your blog, following you on Twitter and FB.. it escaped me that you are the one who created Tule Publishing. Bravo, Jane.

  31. A great Q & A post. I have It’s You that I just recently won . I’m looking forward to reading it. Thank you for the giveaway chance Jane.
    Carol L

  32. Jane! I didn’t know you were in Atlanta. I would have come to see you. I’m bummed:(. Great interview. And I’m thrilled that Tule is doing so well. Don’t stop writing women’s fiction. I love it! I adored The Good Wife and didn’t find it too dark. I did cry quite a bit while reading It’s You – but you know why. Still loved it.

  33. Liked and shared! I always enjoy reading Q&A and getting to know an author better. Thanks Jane Porter for the opportunity to #win this lovely #Atlanta inspired reader treat! Have an amazing and safe trip!

  34. really enjoyed reading this Q&A. i love Jane’s books. was so happy to have actually met her 5 years ago! congrats JANE; much love to you!!

  35. I cant imagine living in a world where I wasn’t allowed to read books. The stories often take me away to places I never would have had the chance to go and experience, and the better the writer the better the experience! I hope I get the chance to read these books and join the characters in their adventures….

  36. Have always enjoyed your books. Tule Publishing’s Montana Born books have been my first journey into e-reading. ( I haven’t given up my physical book collecting yet though.) I am about to catch up to the latest issued ones and have thoroughly enjoyed the connectedness between the characters in the many books by the varied authors. Good luck in your future endeavors.

  37. Congrats Jane on your 50th book, I love your books but like you my confort reads are historicals. I read a little of everything but not much on paranormals or scifi. I do read a few though.

  38. What a great interview. I always loved the fact that Jo March was a writer. She was the character I most wanted to be when I was a kid.

  39. Enjoyed reading about how you started Tulle. I just finished reading It’s You. I loved it. I couldn’t put it down until I finished. Thank you for the giveaway chance.
    Carol L

  40. Thanks so much for selecting me as your winner. I’m sure I will enjoy all the items. And, congratulations on your anniversary.

Leave a Comment

Your email is never published or shared.

*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By posting a comment, you consent to have your personally identifiable information collected and used in accordance with our privacy policy.