Interview with Jane Toombs, Author of HIGH RISK

Jane Toombs, author of 80 published books and sixteen novellas in anthologies, writes for both print and electronic publishers. She, the Viking from her past and their calico cat, Kinko, spend summers in Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula and winters in nice and warm Central Florida. Though Jane writes in all genres except men's action and erotica, her favorite is paranormal. Her latest book is HIGH RISK (Champaign Books 2005). You can visit her website at or her blogs at and


When did your passion for writing begin?

I began to write seriously when I had learned to spell enough words--at maybe seven--so that my father allowed me to hunt and peck on his huge old L.C. Smith typewriter. I was never an oral story teller, with me it was always in writing.

Can you tell us what your typical “writing” day is like?

The last time I tried to describe a typical writing day, my monitor fried. The laptop I'm currently using has already crashed four times in two months, so I'm holding my breath until I buy a new one in Reno, when we fly there next week. Assuming no crash today, I read email first, then take a walk with my Significant Other. Just before lunch I bring up whatever my current project is, and edit yesterday's contribution before I begin new writing. After lunch is for errands and necessary chores, then back to the work-in-progress. I also write for a time after the evening meal, trying to reach my goal of five single spaced pages per day. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

Do you write full time?


Can you tell us a little about High Risk?

This thriller, set in the high Sierras, pits three unarmed women against a vicious killer and his men who are pursuing them in the mountains during a violent storm. The issue is stolen money.

Who published your book and how has your experience with them been?

Champagne Books published HIGH RISK. I found the editing to be very helpful, and the publisher J. Ellen Smith is a pleasure to work with.

Can you tell us the inspiration behind High Risk?

I became interested in the rock-climbing course my stepdaughter took in college. I lived in California at the time and marveled that people actually rappelled down those high Sierra cliffs. I'm also a student of Native American mythology, and some of the Mountain Miwok stories fit perfectly into the plot, thus satisfying my love for the paranormal. It's also fun creating a really nasty bad guy.

Can you tell us ways you are promoting your book? Have they been successful?

I belong to three promotion groups composed of authors: and

In these groups, limited as to members, authors join together to place ads in reader magazines, hold contests, offer newsletters, do signings and so on, giving us a chance to afford promotion we couldn't do individually. I also have trifolds printed every other year showing new releases with blurbs and covers and sharing a bit of my life duriing that time, using personal photos. These I enclose in letters, and make available for conferences I don't attend as well as those I do. They make great hand-outs. Reviews are definitely important, so I approach a number of reviewers for each new book. I feel these promotion efforts work for me.

Who are your favorite authors and why do they inspire you?

Edgar Allan Poe influenced me as much as any one author. Also A. Merrit and H.P. Lovecraft. From them I acquired my liking for paranormal. Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre showed me how to combine love with gothic elements. With today's authors, I'm an eclectic reader.

Do you have a mentor?

My father was my only mentor. He was a non-fiction author and, as soon as I showed an interest in writing stories, he took each one, praised something in it, and then very gently offered a suggestion on how to improve the story.

What future projects do you have in the works?

I hope to do a dragon trilogy, I'm working on several novellas for different anthologies and I have two suspense book partials completed.

What do you feel are the pros and cons of the publishing industry today?

Electronic publishers offer far more freedom for what I like to write than the New York publishers. I enjoy my relationships with the epubs and I do believe in ebooks. But I do make a lot more money with the NY pubs. Erotic authors do make significant money with epubs, but, since I don't write erotica--more a matter of not being able to than having any negative feelings about it--that's not an option for me.

Can you give aspiring authors words of advice towards getting published?

Since for years I've judged in a lot of contests, I recommend them as good learning experiences. I've seen entries I've judged one year, come back in another contest so much improved that I can tell that writer paid attention to the critiques. Most of these eventually sell, which seems to indicate that those writers who can apply what they learn from critiques, have a edge as far as sales go. Critique groups can also be helpful. Our own valuable experience in critique groups prompted Jane Lane Walters and me to write BECOMING YOUR OWN CRITIQUE PARTNER, soon to be out from Zumaya. Of course, a writer does need some innate talent, but at times an ounce of talent combined with a ton of persistance pays off. Don't give up.

What’s one thing about your life that you think is important, but nobody asks?

Over the years I've been asked so many personal questions about my writing and my life that I think I've been asked everything permissable, as well as not permissable.

Can you tell us where we can go to buy High Risk?

Fictionwise and Amazon have High Risk for sale as well as

Thank you very much for your time!

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