Happy Monday! Is it cold and blustery where you are? It is here. Makes me want to just sit on the couch, sip warm coffee, and read. Ahhh….and I may just pick up a new read from today’s guest. She’s a supermom, a career author, and a funny lady who has somehow struck a balance between parenting three littles under five and putting out some pretty awesome books. Please join me in welcoming Janita Lawrence!
Hi, and welcome, Janita! Tell us a little bit about where you’re from, what genre you write in, and how you came to be an author.
Janita: I live in Parkhurst, Johannesburg, in a house with a red front door. I like to experiment in multiple genres — from sexy psychological thrillers to edge-of-sci-fi suspense to dark humoured short stories — which keeps the work exciting (and the marketing challenging). I started writing as soon as I could hold a pen in my hand; the journey towards a career in writing was inevitable. I wrote my first poem when I was seven years old, called ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Dragon’.
Are you ever going to release that poem to your readers? Sounds like you were made to write and how exciting that you’ve been able to make a career of it. Now tell us, who makes up your family?
Janita: I have three kids under 5! Two little boys and a baby girl. And two cats. Obviously.
Well, obviously. 😉 We have two cats, also. Gotta love the low maintenance pets, especially with three little ones! You are a busy lady. It’s a wonder you are able to make the time to write, which makes it even more amazing that you have stuff out there. Can you share with us something from personal life that inspired a particular work?
Janita: I battled infertility for years and wrote about it in my humorous memoir ‘The Underachieving Ovary’ — if you’re in the mood to spit tea out of your nose, read an excerpt here.
That sounds hilarious! I love the title and will HAVE to check it out. Now, do you model characters after yourself or after someone you know or do they all materialize into thin air from your imagination?
Janita: Most of my main characters invent themselves. The minor ones are usually based loosely on people I have met and immediately liked (or disliked).
Is there a particular message you try to convey with your work, or do you write purely for the entertainment factor? Both?
Janita: Entertainment is the main thing, but every writer has a voice and that voice comes from somewhere. Every writer is in their writing whether they admit to it or not. Usually my messages come in the form of kick-ass female protagonists.
That’s my favorite kind of protag, and I agree–you cannot completely separate who you are as a writer from what you write. On that topic, how do life and art intersect on an ongoing basis?
Janita: I deal with toddlers almost 24/7. I find art everywhere, usually in blue crayon on my favourite piece of furniture.
Haha, classic! What’s one thing your readers and mine would find really interesting or unique about you as a person?
Janita: I’ve been under the knife ten times in the last five years. I’ve walked three marathons. I bake a mean chocolate and guinness cake.
Wow, and also ouch.
So, you’re a kick-ass female.
And um, I need to try this cake.
Okay, moving on my cake lust…Tell us what you have out and where we can find it (include social links to your website, book sales page, etc).
Janita: Here they are!
★★★★✰ 4.5 stars
An eccentric modern-day witch, accused of murder, must explore her past lives in order to keep her freedom — and find her way back to magic.
This book has everything – family and expectations, love and fear, murder and mayhem, animals and potion gardens. The past and the present collide in this story, and sparks fly.” – Kim Smith (Women24)
★★★★★ 4.8 stars
This compelling collection of 12 short stories is diverse, dark-humoured, and deliciously bite-sized.
“Each story is masterfully constructed … Humorous, touching, creepy, but most of all entertaining, this collection is superb.” – Amazon reader Tracy
The Underachieving Ovary
★★★★★ 4.9 stars
“Hilarious & Heartbreaking”
Will there be light at the end of the birth canal? If Helen Fielding and Marian Keyes were to go through IVF, and use Caitlin Moran as a surrogate, this book would be their baby.
“This book is just so brilliantly written. So funny. So sad. So impressive … a page-turner of a suspense story: well, I am in awe. Should this not be an Oprah choice?” – Amazon reader Erica Platter
The Memory of Water FREE!
★★★★☆ 4 stars
Amazon bestseller with over 26,000 downloads
Slade Harris will do anything for a story, including killing the woman he loves.
“Moves at a cracking pace … a beautifully constructed novel that will hold your attention right to the end.” – Amazon reader Ian Barker
And here is a gift to you and your readers: You are welcome to grab my book ‘Why You Were Taken’ for free right here. I hope you enjoy it!
“A tightly wound and imaginative thriller.” — Paige Nick.
In tomorrow’s world, Kirsten is a roaming, restless synaesthete: a photographer with bad habits and a fertility problem. A troubled woman approaches Kirsten with a warning, and is found dead shortly afterwards. The warning leads her to the Doomsday Vault and a hit list of seven people – and Kirsten’s barcode is on it.
Edgy and original, Why You Were Taken is a glittering, dark, cinematic thriller that will keep you guessing till the last page.
Thanks so much for being here with me today, Janita, and sharing a little of your life and your work. I’ll be looking in the mail for that cake… 😉
As for the rest of you, go grab a copy of her books and snuggle up by the fire for some good reads. She’s got something for every flavor.