9 May 2013

Getting to know you Thursdays with Jan Drexler

Please welcome Jan Drexler to my blog this week. Jan's debut Love Inspired Historical book is out now.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m the mom of homeschool graduates, which pretty much sums up how I’ve spent the last twenty years J. My husband and I will celebrate our 31st anniversary this summer, and we have four adult children. No spouses yet, but they’re working on it.
We’ve lived all over the mid-western United States. I grew up in Michigan, and we’ve lived in Kansas, Texas, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas (again) and now in South Dakota. We hope to live here for a long, long time.

2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?
When I was growing up I took a book everywhere. The bookmobile came to our elementary school every Monday after school, and I’d load up. We were limited to only five books at a time – can you believe that?
I loved books about horses, cowboys, mysteries, adventure stories, and dog stories. I remember my favorite authors being Marguerite Henry, Jim Kjelgaard, Owen Wister, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Maud Hart Lovelace, Lucy Maud Montgomery and Zane Grey.
As I got older, I discovered C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein – and yes, I devoured their books, too. (Jenny here it would have been great to read as fast as you did I loved reading but wasn't a fast reader)

3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and right write?
Westerns were one of my first favorite genres (remember the horse stories?), and that liking has transferred to Historicals. I love to write Historicals and love doing the research that goes along with it!

4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?
Tolkein influenced me a lot. I’ve read the Lord of the Rings trilogy over and over – he’s a master of all the writing techniques I want to develop: characterization, foreshadowing, description….

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
It was when I was in fourth grade – but I never really thought I might actually be one until much, much later.

6. How did you go about becoming an author?
As my younger boys approached their high school graduations (and facing forced retirement from the most rewarding job I’ve ever dreamed of having), I prayed that God would give me something useful to do with the rest of my life. I was thinking of being a Bible teacher, or working in a support capacity for homeschoolers, but God laid this story on my heart of an Amish widow in northern Indiana in the 1930’s, and I knew what I needed to do next.
I had studied writing in college, and during our homeschooling years we had studied all kinds of literature, writing, and rhetoric. All of this gave me a great preparation for my new career.

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?
A homeschool mom J. I loved those years!

8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do?
We live in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and so we have a lot of opportunities to spend time outside! I love hiking, reading, knitting, cross stitch, dogs, cats, and children. I also love chocolate. Too much.

9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?
I love to travel. If I had to pick one place I’d love to visit, it would have to be…oh, wow. I can’t decide. Doctor Doolittle, in the books by Hugh Lofting, would plunk a pencil on the map and go there. That’s what I’d have to do!

10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why?
First, my dear husband. I’d rather spend time with him than anyone else in the world.
Second, my mom. She’s in the last stages of Alzheimer’s and I know she’s at the end of her life. We haven’t had a good talk for more than ten years – I’d love to have one more meal with her, pre-Alzheimer’s, if it was possible. Since it isn’t, I’ll settle for talking with her in heaven. What a great blessing that hope is!
Third, Elisabeth Elliot. She was my long-distance, unknowing mentor during the time when I was a young mother. Her radio program and her books have influenced me tremendously. I had the privilege of going to a seminar where she spoke once, and I’m afraid I sounded like a star-struck idiot when I had the opportunity to meet her J

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.
My debut novel, “The Prodigal Son Returns” will be out this May! It’s published by Love Inspired, and is available from Harlequin.com, Amazon.com and Christianbook.com – and, of course, at your local store.
You can find me on the web on my website: www.JanDrexler.com

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