Interview with Janis OwensFebruary, 2010
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?
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?
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?
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