I am super excited to introduce to you my writer friend Janet Perez Eckles, who is a bestselling author and international speaker. Unexpectedly, at age 31 a retinal disease took her sight completely away . . . and some years later her youngest son was killed — with the man responsible set free. In her number one bestseller, Simply Salsa, she helps her readers turn obstacles into triumph and success. Janet, whose mission it is to helps others “see the best of life,” shares her writing world with us in this interview.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Janet: Born in Bolivia, I brought with me my Latina flair and passion for life, both of which set the tone for my books, magazine articles and keynotes I deliver across the country. And . . . almost forgot, I’m completely blind. So, I teach folks to see the best of life too.
Q: Tell us about your current release.
Janet: Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God’s Fiesta danced its way to #1 in Amazon in August 2011. But more importantly it continues to dance inspiration in thousands of readers’ hearts.
Q: What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write?
Janet: After I lost my sight completely, God nudged me a bit, showing me what I could still do — hear, talk, walk, love and know how to find joy in everyday life. Then stories, insights and episodes with colorful descriptions swirled in me. Eventually they filled lines and chapters of my writing.
Q: How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher?
Janet: I did both. My first book was self-published, then God put an agent in my life, and my second book was traditionally published.
Q: Have you always wanted to write a book?
Janet: No. But I always wanted to make people feel better — feel important and loved. Then I found that God’s path was for me to do that through my writing.
Q: Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book?
Janet: No. The writing flows, the chapters form and the contents follow the theme till I reach a conclusion.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Janet: To be humbled, be patient, learn to accept critiques, accept closed doors, and when God opens one, dash through it holding on to His hand.
Q: What is your preferred method of writing?
Janet: I use a computer that has software that reads the screen . . . technology is wonderful, and God is so very awesome to provide it.
Q: What is your inspiration for writing?
Janet: Life’s events, setbacks, trials, challenges and victories along the way.
Q: Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea?
Janet: While parasailing in Cabo San Lucas, there I was, way up in the sky with my hair blowing in the wind. But being blind, I thought the experience was a tad over-rated. Then I thought about writing about disappointments in life and how they come on land, at sea and even up in the air.
Q: Who were some of your favorite authors as a child?
Janet: As a child in Bolivia, I remember only one that stands out — Aesop’s Fables.
Q: Who do you envision your typical reader to be?
Janet: That woman itching for something better, for significance, for victory and for joy. The woman who makes the decision to accept the freedom God offers, accepts His ways to conquer fear and chooses to live a life rich with security and confidence.
Q: I’m always intrigued by how writers get started. Did you always have these books inside you and know that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day?
Janet: When I first wrote my story, the chapters flowed, but the insights and inspiration came with much thought, study and prayer.
Q: Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want?
Janet: I write what I would like to read—stories that impact with details that are engaging. I write with passion that leaps into the heart because that’s exactly what I like to read.
You can find out more about Janet on her website, http://www.janeteckles.com, where you can link to her blog that helps you live the Christian life. Coming soon is her newest book, Hola Happiness: Finding Joy by Dancing to the Melody of God’s Word.
CALLING ALL COMMENTS!
I’d love to hear how you turned obstacles into triumphs. Leave a comment below for a chance to win a personally signed copy of Simply Salsa!