Sunday, August 02, 2015

Meet Janet Marie Dowell!

Allow me to introduce you to Janet Dowell, my dear friend and the founder of Loree Lough & Friends: A Nice Place to Hide! I had the pleasure of meeting Janet in person a year or so ago, when she arranged a book signing for me in her home town. Those of you who already know her agree, I'm sure, that she's one of the sweetest and most thoughtful people in your world.

Janet appears as the town librarian in my latest release, Guardians of the Heart. When the story opens, she's a young widow, but... Well, you'll just have to read the book to find out how things turn out for Janet! And now, without further ado, he-e-e-ere's Janet!

First of all, thanks so much, Janet, for agreeing to this interview! old were you when you discovered a love for reading?

I was around 10 years old when I fell in love with books.

What was the first book you remember reading? 

My first chapter book was one in the Boxcar Children series. I was drawn into these books partly because they were about children and because the characters were lively and sometime mischievous; they also dealt with some real and serious issues. This series is a classic now! Many children today do not know the joy of reading classics like The Boxcar Children, To Kill A Mockingbird, Great Expectations and Across Five Aprils! I believe these classics are a very important part of childhood. Books are a way of escape and also a very inexpensive way to travel. You can go anywhere in a book....You can go out west one day and to the desert the next day. You can even go to the moon without leaving your house! I learned this early and that is why I enjoy reading so much.

Think of the last movie you saw that was based on a novel you read. Do you think the filmmakers did a decent job of telling the story, or are things left out—or put in—that diminished your enjoyment of the story? 

The last movie I watched that was based on book was pretty much on target with the storyline of the book, with a few changes here and there! I enjoyed the movie but of course the book was better! The story was about the adoption of a little boy. His biological dad was in prison and when he got out, he and his wife fought the adoptive parents for custody. His real dad was still bad news, but his adoptive parents were good people. It's a real tear jerker. Sometimes when you watch a movie based on a book and the movie is off-base with the storyline, it takes away from the book -- or at least it does for me!

Do you have a favorite genre (romance, historical, contemporary, sci-fi, fantasy, action-adventure, thriller)? 

My favorite genres is Contemporary and Historical Romance, especially stories about cute cowboys. I recently read my first fantasy book and I really enjoyed it. I always thought fantasy books as weird, but, to my surprise, I found a new category of books that I really like! I also enjoy reading autobiographies so I can get to know my favorite authors, singers, actors, etc. better.

How do you make time to read, with so many other demands on your time?

I hear people say "I don't have time" all the time. God gives us all the same amount of time. What counts is HOW we spend our time. Reading passes a lot of time for me so I try to use it wisely.

Do you have a 'Favorites’ shelf? How many shelves are filled with books? 

I have two rooms full of books, and I'm adding more books all the time!

How do you choose a book: Cover? Title? Author’s name?
I choose books partly by the cover. I know they say "Don't judge a book by its cover," but you can tell a lot about a book by the way the cover looks. 

Do you read the back jacket of a book before buying it?

I always read the back jacket of a book before I buy any book.

Do you prefer print books to e-books? Why? 

I prefer print books because I love to hold a real book in my hand. E-readers are more convenient because you have all your books in one place, but they are heavy and you have to deal with glare on the screen.

Do you enjoy interacting with your favorite authors online? Which social networking site is your favorite (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Other)?

I love to interact with authors online. I also love how most of them consider their fans...friends. When you read a friend's book, it means so much more to you. My favorite sites are Facebook & Instagram. I have an account on Twitter and Pinterest but I am not big fans of those sites.

How many book signings have you attended? 

I have attended two book signings. Both signings allowed me to meet some very special people. The second book signing was for Loree Lough! She and her husband Larry came to my hometown and did a book signing for some of my friends. We had an awesome time! 
Do you eat and/or drink while you read? If so, what’s your go-to snack?

I usually have a glass of iced tea beside me when I read.

Speaking of you have a favorite recipe you're willing to share with us? Is it an old family recipe? One you ‘invented’? Something your loved ones ask you to prepare often?

This is a family recipe that my mom cooks often, and I love it because the cookies are delicious!

Linda's Chocolate Chip Cookies


2/3 C. Shortening
3/4 C. Regular Sugar
1 C. Brown Sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 C. Chopped Nuts (Pecans)
2/3 C. butter (Softened)2 Eggs
3 and 1/2 C. Sifted Self-rising flour (Sift Twice-- Makes a softer cookie)
1 pkg 12oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Wash your hands and mix all ingredients together with your hands. Place on ungreased cookie sheet with a teaspoon and cook at 330 degrees (You may have to adjust the temperature because all stoves are different) for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
Just so you know, readers, I had the pleasure of tasting these cookies while I was visiting Janet, and she's right: They're delicious! So Janet, when you're not reading, do you have a favorite hobby?
I love to do bead work, reverse glass painting, and fuzz art projects.
Tell us a little something about where you live, your work and family. 

I live in a very small town in Georgia where everybody knows everybody! Most of the time it is a good thing. I love small town life. It's very relaxed, cozy, & laid back.

Thanks so much for participating, Janet! You’re the best!