Wednesday 2 October 2013

Jane Toombs Is My Guest

Please welcome Jane Toombs. Tell us about yourself, Jane.
I've been a writer for forty years, ever since my first gothic, Tule Witch, was bought by Avon in 1973. During that time I raised five children, divorced my first husband, had my second husband die of malignant leukemia and met up with an old classmate who became my Significant Other. Our meeting was directly due to a book I'd written that he'd bought and read, found out where I lived and called me.
My education includes graduation from high school, one year of college (Mich. State). Then three years of being a Cadet Nurse to get my R.N. I am now my S.O.'s caretaker because he developed Parkinson's this year.

You've had your share of triumphs and tragedies, Jane. Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?
Yes, I am an R.N and worked off and on for many years.

How did you get started writing?
When I was seven, I wanted to use my father's big old L.C. Smith typewriter sat on his desk--because he was a nonfiction writer. He said if I promised to write him a story on it, he'd teach me to use it. So I agreed and he taught me how to use the typewriter. He did gently critique every one of my little stories, showing me ways they could be better.

What a lovely beginning. What genres do you write in and why?
It's easier to say that I've never written either men's action or erotica, because I've written in all the rest. My favorite is paranormal due to E.A. Poe's early influence in my life.

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
I've never counted them all, but if you include novellas as well as novels, I must be up to around one hundred. Probably Ladies Of The Lakes is my favorite, since it brought me Elmer as my S.O.

Wow! You're prolific!Tell us about your current series.
I have several series going.
The Underground Series features another world connected to ours and to other worlds by "gates," It's possible to fall through one and wind up there. I've finished two—Unwise and Unwanted and am working on the third, Uncanny.
Dangerous Darkness Series, the stories of four Special Ops once then return to civilian life. The first three have seen the fourth ripped apart by bullets from an AK47 and are sure he's dead.
Shadow On The Floor
Watcher at The Door
Terror From Before
Stranger On The Shore

I've finished the first three and they've been published. I'm writing Stranger On the Shore, the story of a man who should be dead.
Dagan House Trilogy (Ghosts)
Taken In is finished and been published
Where's There's Smoke and Ghost Hunt are not done yet

What is your next project and when will it be released?
My next project is scanning Blue Glory, a rights-back book of mine and sending it to Books We Love, Ltd. to put up as an ebook.

Exciting. You sound like a very organized person. What is your typical day like?
First I get Elmer up and into his wheel chair. If it's a shower day we do that. He essentially can shower himself once he's in the shower chair in the handicapped shower. Then breakfast--he makes his own. He can also transfer out of the W/C onto the toilet and back--also in and out of the lounge chair. I feed the cat, look at email and answer what needs to be. Do any errands like going to the store, P.O. the pharmacy, etc. If no errands, I tend to any correspondence that needs to be done. Then I make dinner--we eat our main meal at noon. I either read or do some writing after we eat. At five we have our cocktail hour. (Tonic or juice, no vodka anymore, with a light snack). Then supper, which is always some kind of cereal and fruit. He watches TV in the evening, I write or read.

Do you self-publish?
Never. I am no techie. It took me long enough to learn how to scan my old rights-back books into the computer. Besides, BWL gives me a beautiful cover and also edits.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I wrote my first two books (gothics)by simply sitting down and writing them. But my agent couldn't sell my third book. This was the heyday of gothics and he called to tell me a packager was doing a Zodiac Series of gothics and needed a writer to do Sagittarius. All I had to do was send him three chapters and a synopsis. I asked what he meant by a synopsis. He told me. So I gave it a try. With the synopsis , I noticed how easy it was to write the chapters. Well, when the packager went to contract on the partial, I was stunned. I didn't have to write an entire book to get a contract for it? So then I always started out by writing a synopsis and found the books were much easier to write, even if I departed from the synopsis which I usually did. Tried finally to write a synopsis for that third book and discovered why it never sold—I'd wandered all over the place. So I wrote a synopsis for it and followed it, which cut out a bunch of stuff. The book sold. I never wrote another book without one. But, as I said, I don't stick slavishly to the synopsis. Does that make me a plotter? I really don't think so, because I've talked to plotters and they work differently. I think I'm a half and half hybrid.

Do you belong to a writing organisation?
I still belong to RWA, and to several other writing groups online, but no longer am able to go to conferences. Conferences are great—your friends know editors and so you meet them, which is always a plus. Plus you make new writer friends and make other contacts, which always is a help to a writer. I miss that. I'm now so old that RWA was formed after I sold my first book, but before it came out.

Where can readers find your print and Ebooks?
All of them are on my website, including the ebooks: or just and the ebooks are also on Amazon and all the other usual places,


  1. Jane, I love the way you keep writing and adapting!

  2. Loved reading about you and your life Jane! You are a hero! I want to have the sheer number of books like you do. I wish you continued success!

  3. Great interview, Jane and Ann. Jane you are my inspiration. I raise my orange juice glass to you.

  4. Rose and Melissa: Thanaks so much for your comment, Never realized I'd be anyone's inspiration and never thought I'd be a hero, either. I do appreciate the honor. Makes me feel special. Jane