God was most gracious to cross my path with author Jan Watson several years ago. He did this in my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky in Rupp Arena, no less. (GO CATS!!!) My friend Nancy Aguiar and I had road tripped it over to attend a Book Fair and have lunch with Paula Deen. Yes, the Butter Queen. Lest you be impressed, Nancy and I, and one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight others joined Paula for lunch.
Prior to our going downstairs for lunch, Nancy and I wound our way around countless tables, with countless authors, with countless books at the Book Fair. Heaven comes to mind. The very last table we came to beheld the cutest lady named Jan Watson. We were immediately drawn to her. Turns out her book was her first-ever published book! She had won a publishing contract with Tyndale publishers from a contest she’d entered! Oh, this gets better. The contest Jan entered was one the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writer’s Guild First Novel Contest sponsors. Jan’s husband encouraged her to enter. She’s a retired nurse and had been writing away since her retirement, with prodding from her husband.
The best part? Jan turned sixty years old the year her book published! Isn’t that a light to hang your hat on for all of us writers out there???
The worst part? Tragedy quickly struck. When Jan went to Colorado to accept the award, her husband died suddenly back in Lexington. Can you imagine?
The silver lining lesson for us all? She had a little conversation with God on the airplane home that night, rushing back to Lexington.
She told God she was mad and didn’t care if she made it back home or not. He quickly spoke to her spirit, “Jan, remember….YOU are not the only person on this plane.” In other words, “There are plenty of other people also hurting in this world and your mission is to continue to do what you’ve been doing.”
And the Lord’s been with her every step of the way. We praise you, Lord.
Troublesome Creek is Jan’s first novel. The book I’ll be telling you about next week, Buttermilk Sky, is her eighth novel!!! Whichever one of hers I’m reading becomes my current favorite. Her style is so dear, so encouraging, laugh out loud funny, crazy suspenseful, very visual, and always full of God’s grace and lessons. This week, please enjoy the first half of my interview with Jan. You’ll love her candid sense of humor and determination. Go make a cup of coffee or tea and sit with us… INTERVIEW: Question #1: What’s in your frig? (This question was Jan’s idea!)
Answer: I love both. I have a Jack Russell terrier, Maggie, and a domestic short-haired cat, Willy. (I once closed Willy up in my fridge. He is a cool cat.) Question #3: What is the toughest season you’ve had to endure?
Answer: I suppose being a widow is one of the most difficult seasons. It is a season of sorrow that doesn’t end.
Question #4: What lesson did God reveal to you on the other side?
Answer: During the summer following my husband’s sudden death, I began to hear strange sounds emanating from the thick hedges under the windows of my ranch-style house. It was a reptilian sound and reminded me of those prehistoric raptor birds in Jurassic park. Errr-errr-errr-errr…
I would hear it whenever I went outside to get the mail or to walk Maggie. After a lady up the street found a large lizard in her swimming pool, I began to imagine that one of those slithery things was nesting in my hedge. I figured when it got hungry enough, Maggie might become a tasty treat. After several days of this, curiosity overcame my fear. My common sense told me to call Critter Control.
Instead, I prayed for protection before I carried a large flashlight and a broom handle into the bedroom at the end of the house where the sounds were the most pronounced. I closed the door (to protect Maggie), took the screen and the lower storm window out, and sat down on the ledge, keeping my feet well inside the house. I shone the light into the overgrown bushes and poked around with the broom handle. My heart lept to my throat when my efforts were rewarded with an intensified errr-errr-errr-errr!
Then I heard that still small voice, “Look up, daughter. Look up.” From over my head, I saw a long nail sawing back and forth in the metal gutter. Errr-errr-errr-err.
Answer: Perhaps a Christmas novella featuring Copper.
THANK YOU, JAN, FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THE INTERVIEW!
We can’t wait for a novella about Copper! She’s one of my favorite characters!!!
Next week, we’ll finish the interview, which includes an only-God-could-pull-this-off-incident as well as pearls Jan shared at a recent book signing I attended. We’ll also touch on Buttermilk Sky . IF you comment, you’ll be entered in a drawing to WIN a copy!!!
Translation: FREE GIVEAWAY NEXT WEEK!!!
Meanwhile, you can find out more about Jan’s other novels (See covers below) on her website: www.janwatson.net ‘Til next time!