Hi, Everyone! I am so excited to have Jan Cline on the blog with us today for coffee chat time! So grab yourself a cup of your favorite beverage and join us while we get to know one another better!
PM: What is one thing about you that your readers would be shocked to know?
JC: I never wanted to write fiction. I dabbled in it during high school, but as an adult, I leaned toward non-fiction. A writer friend I met online who writes fiction and was helping me get started in the writing world dared me to write a novel. So I sat down and started typing a story, historical of course. After 5 months of letting this story basically write itself, I was done. I had a novel. It stunk. It was terribly written, but I had caught the bug. So here I am today, a published novelist.
PM: That is pretty amazing! In your humble opinion, what do you think is missing in Christian Fiction today, or at least what would you like to see more of in Christian Fiction?
JC: More realism in what Christians are really like. We come from a lot of backgrounds, with different believe systems that may not fit the traditional norm. I don’t mean contradicting scripture, I mean writing about people who don’t always fit the mold of man-made rules and expectations. I guess I’d like to see more about men and women who find their own unique way of following Christ, of sharing the love of God, and not being trapped in man’s version of what Christianity looks like.
PM: What’s your favorite color? Any reason why?
JC: I love a lot of colors, but I would have to say purple because it’s so artsy. I’m an artsy person – I paint and do crafts, and I just love purples and greens and all the colors that enhance my personal expression.
PM: Purple is one of my favorite colors, I even wear purple glasses. That logo for the blog was created purposefully, lol! What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite gender?
JC: For me, it’s contriving their physical appearance. I usually go on the internet and find a likeness of the male that I’ve imagined in my head. I print that out to have in front of me. But I still have a hard time coming up with descriptions that don’t seem trite for the male characters.
PM: I am a baker as well – and my specialty is cheesecake too! We must be soul sisters, lol! My recipe is handed down for generations, is yours as well, or did you come with your own?
JC: I am a first generation cheesecake baker. When I started with my first cheesecake, it was a recipe someone had given me. Then whenever I found one online or in a magazine that caught my eye, I would try it. I think I have about 6 different recipes and my favorites are Mocha Chocolate Cheesecake and Pumpkin Cheesecake. But there are so many more I want to try!
PM: Who was your greatest influence when you decided to become an author?
JC: As a young person who devoured classic movies, I think that was a huge influence on me catching the bug to write. When I became an adult who wanted to write non-fiction, I was impressed with Max Lucado and other faith based authors/devotional writers. When I started writing fiction and realized I knew nothing about doing it, I found author and writing coach Susan May Warren. She and I became friends and she is the one who kept me going in those early years of floundering. I admired her work and with her encouragement I discovered I really wanted to be a novelist. I have several other best-selling author friends also who play a part in my career choice. It’s not an easy gig, but it’s in me to do.
PM: I am sure you get asked this all the time, but people want to know – what inspires your writing and characters?
JC: Again, movies play a big role for me in awakening the thrill of storytelling. Then it’s history. I have a passion for wanting to know the people and events of American history, and that is where my stories and characters come from. I find it fascinating that so many people lived through so much. I want to tell those stories.
PM: Do you have any family pets that currently own you?
JC: My husband and I are owned and definitely under the spell of our Yorkie dog, Cooper. Like most intelligent, high personality dogs, ours runs the show around our house. We love him to death and he’s rarely out of our sight. He’s a pill, but he’s our joy.
PM: Which do you prefer to write, fiction or non-fiction, and why?
JC: Fiction. It gives me a chance to not only entertain and inspire readers, but as I said before, provides an opportunity to bring to life our heritage and past events that aren’t always taught in school. The Japanese American internment story, the dust bowl years, the struggle of farmers during the depression, and wives on the homefront during WW2, are all topics I loved researching and writing about.
PM: What was your most beloved book to read as a child?
JC: I didn’t read much as a child, I had trouble with reading. But my sister read to me and I remember loving The Velveteen Rabbit and The Wizard of Oz. The Velveteen Rabbit always made me cry and I use passages of it sometimes when I speak to women’s groups. Lots of lessons on those pages.
PM: I loved those books as well! How can readers keep up with you and your new releases?
JC: I would love to have them sign up for my newsletter, which I send out monthly. They’ll receive a free short story when they do, and I don’t bombard with letters – just once a month or a little more often when I have giveaways or promotions for new releases. I’m also on Facebook: Jan Cline Author. My website has a blog that I post on occasionally and it also has my speaking information on it. I have a new book, the third and final book in my series, and I’ll be announcing that in the coming months on social media and through my newsletter.
PM: Finally, coffee or tea? Cream, sugar?
JC: Tea, brown. But I do indulge in an occasional latte. : )