19 May 2011

Getting to Know you Thursdays with Janelle Dyer

Today I am happy to have Janelle Dyer on my blog. Janelle is another of Australia's talented authors. I recently read Janelle's first book and really enjoyed it. I am so excited about the books coming out of Australia and I hope you will enjoy learning more about aussie Authors.

1.       Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Janelle but many of my friends and family call me Jan. I’ve been around for a little over half a century so I like to think I’ve acquired a little bit of wisdom in that time. I’ve been married to Greg, a primary school teacher for 33 years and together we have two adult children, Gregg and Koren. I’m the oldest of four siblings and grew up in a middle income home in Brisbane, Australia and had wonderful, devout Christian parents who instilled in us at a very early age, God’s redemptive love. For the last 25 years, my husband and I have been living on the Darling Downs and more recently, in Toowoomba. Throughout my life, I have been involved in ministry with children and youth, teaching and outreach using drama and puppetry. As a youth, I was involved in repertory theatre and in later years as a school chaplain.

2.       When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?
·         The classic by John Bunyan, ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’.
·         Another classic by Charles Sheldon, ‘In His Steps’. Reading it challenged me for the first time to follow Jesus and put Him first in my life.
·         Lewis Carroll’s, ‘Alice in Wonderland’.
·         And adventure story, ‘Treasure Island’ by Robert Louis Stevenson.

3.       Do you have a favourite genre to both read and write?
Yes. I love adventure and thriller fiction. I love the mood and pace changes in this genre. It can give a lot of scope for a fiction writer.

4.       Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?
Authors such as CS Lewis and Robert Louis Stevenson certainly fired up my love for reading and writing. I loved too, Louisa May Alcott’s writing style and the richness of her characters in ‘Little Women’.

5.       When did you know you wanted to be an author?
My journey as a writer began at an early age, as do so many other authors. My first real work (not published), was ‘QT, The Quarter Ton Elephant’ who broke loose from his handler and created havoc down Queen Street, Brisbane. At ten, I was pen pal to an Indian missionary working in the Punjab District. I hope I was an encouragement to her as she selflessly worked with those precious people. I certainly was encouraged by her. That’s the marvellous thing about writing; no matter what our age or disability we can encourage, sympathise and comfort, teach and mentor people through the written word.

6.       How did you go about becoming an author?
I did what a lot of writers do; I made submissions to a number of publishers only to be rejected many times. It became a very disappointing and discouraging aspect of writing for me. My articles were accepted in youth magazines and sometimes in newspapers, but to get a book published was a completely different story for me. I truly believed that God gave me a gift for writing and I felt it was my responsibility to get my gift out there in the public arena and not hide it under a bushel. When I was 25, I self-published a collection of plays and skits but it didn’t do very well. I look back at my work and understand why it didn’t sell. I had much to learn and much more to experience. The Lord connected me with some wonderful writing companions. I may never meet many of them, but praying for them and sharing with them via emails has been very encouraging for me. Eventually, via seemingly unrelated events, I met Rochelle (Wombat Books) and she started me going again. It turns out that I’m not responsible at all for getting my gift out there. God had that part planned. I only had to make myself available at His leading.

7.       If you were not a writer what would you like to be?
I always loved sketching and painting. My dad was an artist and I loved to watch him at work. His specialty was watercolour. For myself, I’m fond of oil painting.

8.       Outside reading and writing what do you like to do?
I love to sketch and paint but I also love to hang out with family and friends. I also have a couple of very special fur companions that keep me smiling too. I also love hiking, although I haven’t been as disciplined about exercise in recent months. I must get back to it.

9.       Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?
Without a doubt, my special place is the Bunya Mountains. They are approximately 100 kms north-west of Toowoomba. To spend a few days up there, waking to the twitter of birds and watching the mist climb up the tree covered slopes and walking along the many tracks with my husband and friends is the best thing in the world to do. I love those mountains – God’s country! (Jenny Here its interesting I have heard Western Australia is God's Country too of course all is his but its interesting how different areas make us feel we are in God's Country. I been to the Bunya Mountains and seen the birds and it is beautiful)

10.   If you could have a meal with three living people who would you choose and why?
·         Doctor Billy Graham: I admire him and his integrity as a man of God.
·         Andy Thomas (astronaut): To listen to his experiences when preparing for shuttle missions, his time in outer space and working in NASA.
·         Avi Lipkin: Israeli who is building a Bible block party to be part of Knesset (Israel’s parliament). I have always been interested in all things Israel and her struggle in the Middle East.

Finally can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web.

About ‘Yellow Zone’:  Without giving too much of the plot away; terrorist cells attack and destroy a large proportion of our civilised world and cripple the global economy. Political systems fall as the financial sector crumbles. The whole world is perplexed as one leader rises to world dominance. No longer is there a democracy or a voice for the common people.  A young man, Scott Ryan and his teenage sister Sally are forced to live in Yellow Zone, a gated community set up to protect and shelter a large population. In time, Yellow Zone draws fear and cynicism from its people. Deadly secrets are uncovered and it is a race against time for survival.

I have just completed my second book, ‘A Door Left Open’ but its publication is still to be finalised. Watch this space!

Probably the best place to go is online to my publisher www.evenbeforepublishing.com ; my website, www.janelledyer.com or www.janellegdyer.com . Teacher’s notes are available through the publisher or www.janellegdyer.com . Cost of new cover book ISBN: 978-1-921633-15-7 is $15.99 + p/h. Old version at the special price of $6.50 + p/h. 

(I have enclosed a link to amazon for The Yellow Zone . There is also a kindle version, for Aussies you can checkout Janelle's websites.)

There is a review of The Yellow Zone in the post below.


Paula Vince said...

Well done, Jan. I appreciate and agree with your thoughts about dealing with the discouragement of rejections and the long process of getting published.
I think you should brush off "QT: The Quarter Ton Elephant" again. A title like that sounds like a winner.

sheri said...

Janelle, I really enjoyed your interview with Jenny. Your books sound really interesting and I agree with Paula. I would even love to read QT! Keep up the good work and thank you for your Christian witness. We need more authors with your kind of testimony. Sheri

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Great questions Jenny!

Janelle, congratulations on your book!

I'll have to try and visit "God's Country" one day :)

Ausjenny said...

Thanks Paula, Sheri and Eva Maria for popping in.
I would love to read about an elephant breaking free down Queen street too it would be interesting.
Eva Maria I hope you do get to visit one day.

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

That would be fabulous Jenny!

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