The Twelve(ish) Days of Authors – Day 10, Jane Toombs

27 Dec

Next up on this author-celebration is romance author, Jane Toombs! Jane is joining us for her birthday, so I’d like to first extend to a Jane a very happy birthday!


Jane Toombs is a retired R.N. who was first published Tule Witch, a gothic novel, in 1973 while still working as a nurse, which is probably why the heroine of this book is one. Currently, Jane is the caretaker at home for her Life Partner who has Parkinson’s Disease and is in a wheelchair. This has cut down her writing time, so she’s currently scanning rights-back books for ebooks to send to Books We Love, LTD. Since she is no techie and would have major difficulty trying to put ebooks up on Amazon herself, she uses this publisher. An eclectic writer, she’s written in most genres except for erotic and men’s action. 



Tell us about The Outlaws and who you think would like it.

My next book will be a rights-back book called The Outlaws and will be an ebook. The setting of the book is the New Mexico Territory in the era of Billy the Kid. Though he appears often in the book, he is not the main character. This book took a great deal of research so that I could use real characters and have them interacting often with characters from my own imagination. I call it a historical western, with romance. Also sex. It should have a broad appeal for most readers.

My main characters in this book are a family of three who have no mother or father. The girl is older than her two brothers and is trying to take care of them as best she can during this dangerous period with the Lincoln County War going on in the Territory. Bad as he was, Billy the Kid was a most engaging character.


Do you have any other projects in the works that we should know about?

I’m finishing up an original paranormal suspense romance called Uncanny, the third book in my Underworld Series from Eternal Press. My next project is to finish Stranger On The Shore, the fourth and final book in my Dangerous Darkness Series from Red Rose Publishing–again a paranormal suspense romance.


 In the spirit of sharing, tell us about a book by another author you adore

My friend and good writer, Janet Lane Walters has an interesting paranormal Egyptian Series I believe paranormal readers would really like. Check out her blog to find these books.


 Tell us a bit about your writing style – is there anything you find really easy or, really hard? 

I never know how to answer this question.  I don’t find anything in a story especially hard to write. I’ve written in first person when I was doing gothics, though I usually do write in third. I’ve also written novellas, novels and sagas.


 Who is your favorite fictional or movie villain of all time? 

Bela Lugosi playing Dracula in the first movie of that title really freaked me out. Of course I wasn’t even a teen at the time. So did Boris Karloff playing Frankenstein in the first movie with that title. Who knows–maybe that’s why I just can’t see a vampire as a hero in novels even today.


Is there anything you know now as a published author you wish you could go back and tell yourself before you had a book on the market?

Yes. Never be intimidated by an agent or publisher. Speak up if you have problems concerning the book you’re about to write.  I learned this the hard way.


Name a fad you never understood or, a fad you wish would go away.

It’s not truly a fad, but I’m really freaked out by some young girls’ desire to get naked and post pictures of themselves for all to see. Also, perhaps because I‘m a nurse I also have never understood anyone’s desire to get zoned out on drugs. Druggies miss out on so much of the world around them. 


Do you have any other writing projects in the works or coming soon?

Oh, boy, do I.  I’ve got two series I haven’t even started yet.  I particularly want to get at  Primes and Nulls, one where a family has both shape-shifters and norms, who resent one another.  Plus I have two books yet to write in my Dagon House Trilogy. 


Do you have any resolutions for 2013?

Yup. The same one I made back in 2009 when I vowed not to begin any more trilogies or longer series until I had finished every book in the ones I had started. So far I haven’t finished all of them, so I simply renew the vow every year.


How do you feel about writing the novel length as compared to other formats?

I started out writing novels, but nowadays I prefer novella length.


Did you get into to publishing a novel off the hop, or were you in any magazines or anthologies previously?

I didn’t actually finish any of the short stories I wrote before I wrote my first novel. Looking at them today, I can understand why. Unlike my novels, I never knew the endings for them. I still don’t, even today.  But I did finish my first novel. And it sold.  (Tule Witch)           

Oops. Just remembered I did go back and finish one short stories titled Frozen Section for a free anthology a group of Champagne Books authors are compiling. It’ll be out soon.


Every author has the most loathsome part of the craft – what do you hate the most?

Marketing and promotion.  I always wish someone else would do that for me.


For you, what makes the difference between a ‘good’ book and a ‘great’ book?

I truly enjoy Michael Connolly’s mysteries and Lee Child’s Jack Reacher stories.  Every one of the books by both these writers is good.  But they don’t resonate with me later as a truly great book does.


Are there any challenges you did not anticipate when teaming up with another author for a project?

Actually, no. I only did this once, with Janet Lane Walters when we wrote our non-fiction book, Becoming Your Own Critique Partner Soon to be reissued with a new title Words Perfect, subtitle still BYOCP.  As a matter of fact, neither of us can now remember which chapters I wrote and which Janet wrote. Which is strange because in fiction we write nothing alike. It took us two years, but the book came together seamlessly–maybe because we edited each other’s chapters and never fought over the edits. But Janet’s into Astrology and tells me that’s because she’s a Cancer and I’m a Capricorn and those two signs get along with each other.  She may be right because first I married a Leo–divorced him. Then married an Aries and we fought a lot. He died, and I finally hooked up with an old friend from school days who’s a Cancer and we do get on well.  



What, if anything, do you celebrate in the coming weeks?

Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Since my SO now has Parkinson’s we don’t do any real celebrating. We will have Christmas dinner on the 23rd with my step-daughter and her husband who have bought a house in town so now live a few blocks away. Leslie and Steve are cooking a ham and the trimmings, which they’ll bring over here. I will have cooked candied yams, cranberry sauce and a berry pie. We’ll all eat here. Makes it easier for my SO, who’s in a wheel chair so getting anywhere is a project, especially in snowy weather.  They will then drive down to Tennessee to spend Christmas with his family.


Do you have a special talent unrelated to writing?

Nope. Not a one. I did used to knit before my hands got too arthritic. But I was only a so-so knitter.


Can you come up with a limerick for us on the spot?



 Celebrating Christmas.

There was a Midwestern old bat

Who wrote many words with éclat

She shut off her pc

With a loud shout of glee

And lay down to nap with her cat.


Care to leave us with an inspiring quote?

 “Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat.”  ~ Robert Frost


I’ve always enjoyed that quote because I love poetry–even doggeral verse.


If I asked you how to crochet, could you teach me how? If not, could you teach me to play croquet?

No on both, but I could teach you to knit. Or play jacks.


Do you self-publish?

Actually I don’t self-publish because I’m a complete non-techie. But, as I happily discovered, even a non-techie can learn to operate a scanner. Books We Love, Ltd.  does editing and provides stunning art work, plus giving  me whatI consider a fair share of the book profits.  So many of my books were written in the days before computers and I’ve moved so many times I certainly didn’t save any of those carbons from typing days.  The only way I can republish them as ebooks is to scan them and then convert the book pages to ms. form for Books We Love, Ltd.

One of the books they’ve already published was Golden Chances, which I divided into seven shorter books because it’s a long California family saga.  After they sold it that way for awhile, they put it back together and  sold it as a saga.  It’s done far better than I ever expected.

Now I’ve discovered that Samhain’s “Retro” line is asking for rights-back romance books. So I intend to send them a few. They say they will take the actual books if you don’t have mss. for them. We’ll see how that goes.



Thanks for joining us today, Jane! I hope you have a wonderful birthday! You can check out her website at or check out her amazon profile here.


Okay guys – confession to make: I have two more interviews lined up and I’m sure I’ll get what I need shortly, but tomorrow’s post might be me attempting to stall for your attention. This might actually require some wit. Oh dear…

4 Responses to “The Twelve(ish) Days of Authors – Day 10, Jane Toombs”

  1. Ann Herrick December 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    Nice interview–thanks for the opportunity to get one of my fellow BWL authors better!

  2. Author Charmaine Gordon December 28, 2012 at 4:06 am #

    Jane, what a kick reading this interview so breezy and fun. Life experience does that if you let it. We seniors don’t take things too seriously. Love your limerick. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.

    • Karen Wiesner December 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

      Loved your limerick, Jane.

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  3. Diane Craver December 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    I enjoyed your interview and loved your limerick. I knew your interview would be fun and interesting. I enjoyed your answers so much when you were on my blog and the visitors did too. Happy New Year to you, Jane!

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