I’ve worn quite a few hats in my half-century on this rock: librarian (my current day job), English teacher, wife, mother, obsessive gardener, and Def Leppard fangirl. I was even a Jeopardy contestant about 20 years ago (spoiler alert: I lost. Cue up that Weird Al song.)
Through all the ages and stages of my life, I have written. As best I can remember, I first started writing for the sake of writing (as opposed to for the sake of completing an assignment and thereby staving off parental wrath) in 5th grade, when I decided that since Marcia Brady had a diary, I needed one too. I journaled through high school and college, filling cheap spiral notebooks with whiny angst about whatever rock star or classmate I was crushing on. I became an academic librarian and wrote journal articles and, most recently, co-edited a real, actual, honest-to-goodness book. If you zoom in on the picture below and squint really hard, you can see my name on the cover.
I’d always wanted to write fiction, but a disastrous attempt at a short story in high school convinced me I had no talent, and I was enough of a sucker to believe that talent was inborn, and you had it or you didn’t, and I didn’t. And so I approached age 50 with one huge unfulfilled dream.
I don’t know exactly when or how I started to think seriously about writing fiction, but I do remember taking a break at work one slow afternoon and Googling, “how to write a novel.” Yes, I really did that–and I am a professional librarian, i.e. an expert searcher. *sigh* Anyway, one of the first results I found was the website for the Snowflake Method. Randy Ingermanson made the process sound do-able, so I started doing it. As I planned and drafted the novel I’m currently revising, Vanishing, Inc., I read everything I could find on how to write fiction, and I learned as I went along. The first draft was horrible. The second draft wasn’t much better. Now I’m finishing draft [redacted] and hope to send my precious baby out to beta readers in a few months.
When I’m not earning a living in the
salt mine library or wrangling cantankerous fictional people, I hang out with my husband, son, and these two nutballs:
Because I am a glutton for punishment, I also attempt to make plants grow in a volcano field 6900 feet above sea level, an exercise for which, much like writing, stubbornness is a virtue. I love connecting with pretty much anyone, so hit me up on Twitter (@crumj), Instagram (@janet_a_crum), or Pinterest (crum2679) anytime.