Interview with Janis Owens

February, 2010
Janis Owens

Quick Start


SS: How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

JO: Happy woman bright woods barking dogs books and books

SS: What is your motto or maxim?

JO: It'll all work out in the end. If it hasn't worked out yet, it isn't the end.


What Readers want to know...


SS: How would you describe perfect happiness?

JO: Being content to live in the moment. And Mama's barbecued chicken. And stumbling upon a book I've never heard of that I really love.

SS: What’s your greatest fear?

JO: Failure. North Atlanta rush hour traffic. Any rush hour traffic.

SS: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

JO: Right here sitting on my futon in Newberry Florida. For the moment.

SS: With whom in history do you most identify?

JO: Underdogs.

SS: Which living person do you most admire?

JO: Nelson Mandela

SS: What are your most overused words or phrases?

JO: "Well don't tell them I said it, but...."

SS: What do you regret most?

JO: Time wasted on fear.

SS: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

JO: Healing the sick (seriously.)

SS: What is your greatest achievement?

JO: My children, greatest. Marriage, two and books, three. Or maybe faith is number one.

SS: What’s your greatest flaw?

JO: Fear

SS: What’s your best quality?

JO: Not listening to fear much anymore.

SS: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

JO: Can't think of anyone but me.

SS: What trait is most noticeable about you?

JO: Height and hillbilly accent.

SS: Who is your favorite fictional hero?

JO: Bilbo Baggins

SS: Who is your favorite fictional villain?

JO: Don't care for the villains.

SS: If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

JO: Stonewall Jackson: would tell him to quit being a freaking martyr and let the medics treat him. When he goes, there goes old Dixie. Would also like to ask my paternal great-grandmother if she really died of a hex. And who put it on her. And why.

SS: What is your biggest pet peeve?

JO: One word answers.

SS: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

JO: Reading

SS: What’s your fantasy profession?

JO: This is it.

SS: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

JO: Kindness, laughter, sincerity

SS: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

JO: Fried chicken wings

SS: What are your 5 favorite songs?

JO: Midnight Mile, I See Jesus, Graceland, Jessica, Soldier's Joy


Questions About Books and Writing


SS: Who are your favorite authors?

JO: At the risk of offending the million writer friends, and just off the top of my head, here are current and old favorites, constantly shifting, though the core remains the same: Truman Capote, Tennesee Williams, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Dani Shapiro, Robert Leleux, Pat Conroy & Cassandra King; Evelyn Waugh, John Toland, George Plimpton, JRR Tolkien, Connie May Fowler, Rick Bragg... my mind has gone completely blank. Give me a while and I'll add more.

SS: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

JO: Brideshead Revisited, Biography of a Place, The Hobbitt, The Reivers, The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes; anything by Conroy; anything by Capote, includng his grocery list.

SS: Is there a book you love to reread?

JO: All of them. If I like them, I'll reread. If I love them, I'll read till they fall apart.

SS: Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

JO: Never give up love of reading. Writing will end; reading will last.

SS: What comment do you hear most often from your readers?

JO: What is your mother's maiden name.

Get more on Janis Owens at SimonandSchuster.com

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