I have read that you have received a good deal of negative feedback because you named a female main character after yourself. I think it’s brilliant, and haters gonna hate. What was your thinking there? Why did you want to name her after you? And how much of Janie, the character, is you?
Ooh, those are loaded questions. This is going to be a lengthy response! To properly explain, I have to give a lot of background. I originally drafted this story on Wattpad a few years ago. I had no idea it would become so successful—it had over 24 million reads before I pulled the incomplete draft. So I was not prepared for the attacks that came from the instant Team Kylie readers. They didn’t care about the fact that Jane, Janie’s G&M form, was named after me because I was trying to heal myself. When I decided to write G&M, I was grieving my best friend’s death, my marriage was falling apart, and I was suffering from severe depression, anxiety, PTSD from sexual abuse and other traumatic stuff, and learning to cope with a Bipolar Disorder diagnosis. All they cared about was “this is Kylie’s story… get over yourself.” They didn’t care about anything I was actually doing—only that they wanted Kylie and Logan, and it was wrong of me to shove myself down their throats. Or to give myself the hottest guy. Lol.
Anyway, it was my late friend, Tifani, who told me on the day we found out she wasn’t going to survive that I needed to share my story. After writing the first chapter as a sort of memoir/horror story, I chickened out. Then I saw Jane in my mind. She was me, but also not. I gave her part of my soul, my name(Janie is a diminutive of Jane), and I gave her every bit of sorrow, fear, pain, but also happiness, my hopes, and my heart. I still almost changed her name, but it felt wrong to ask another to suffer what she would. Together, we pulled each other through the journeys we were on. She gave me strength and I made her fight harder to show me I could survive. When it came time to writing WAotBBW, she was meant to be there for reasons readers will find out. And on her first appearance in the book, I wrote Janie instead of Jane. I hit backspace, but she appeared in my mind, shaking her head at me. Her boys did the same, and I realized she was telling me to be braver, be greater. To truly not hide anymore and embrace myself. After all, the story I was telling with WAotBBW is my way of speaking to my daughter and the continued path of healing I was undertaking for myself. So even with the insults, the threats, and plagiarism I held strong. I couldn’t turn my back on my girl. So Janie is my acceptance that I’m a very flawed girl. I’m one that can be hated and admired. I can be broken and healed. I can be brave and I am always loved. Never forgotten.
What characters in your series have you most enjoyed writing, and why do you think you’ve enjoyed creating them?
Ryder is always my favorite. Every version of him is precious to me. He’s inspired by something/someone very real and powerful to me, and I think that connection is what separates him from the rest. He’s truly real for me, and I love that sexy asshole.
In writing the Big Bad Wolf series, are you a plotter, outlining and knowing where you are going along the way, or are you a pantser letting your characters write your books for you while you hang on for the ride?
I guess I’m a bit of both. I don’t write down any of my plans, but I imagine the story in my head all the way to the end before I start writing. So each chapter, I go into knowing where I want to end up, but I allow the characters to guide me on the journey. Sometimes they do what I expect. Sometimes they surprise me, and I fight them. In the end, I remember they’re alive in their own way, and while I control my worlds, they live in them. So I trust the
Do you write linearly, or do you write in pieces? Do you think of conversations and write around that or write sporadically here and there?
Again, I do both. Like I mentioned above, I know where the story is going to go because I’ve already seen it all play out in my head. Sometimes, though, a particular scene will haunt me. I will get so caught up in it that I can’t do anything else, so I get it out of me and then return to where I left off.
Who or what would you say are your biggest influences or inspirations in writing and storytelling?
I suppose it sounds conceited, but my life is the inspiration for my writing. My faith. My pain and joy. The love that I’ve experienced and lost. I happen to love all sorts of myths and have always gotten lost in my own beliefs about them, as well as the different faiths embraced by humanity. So I listen to my heart and let my imagination free. J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan is something that is very dear to me too, and you’ll see it referenced in my books. I have the quote “To die will be an awfully big adventure” tattooed on my arm, a memorial to my best friend who waits in the stars, never growing up. So, with my life and trusting my heart and characters, I added a bit of pixie dust.
And please describe your current WIP in three words.
I’m writing 3 at once 😂 So… Descendants. Timetravel. Pregnancy.
Title: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? (The Big Bad Wolf Trilogy, #1)
Author: Janie Marie
Genre: Coming of Age, Fairy Tales, Young Adult
Release Date: 27 October 2020
Fantasizing about Trevor Grimm is Kylie Hood’s favorite escape from her cruel reality. So, when he asks for her help on a school project, sparks are bound to fly and her dreams are going to come true . . .
Not in this fairy tale.
No, everything changes when Kylie meets Logan Grimm, Trevor’s older cousin and a professional MMA fighter some call the Big Bad Wolf.
He’s the first person to peer under the hood she hides beneath. He’s the first person to see the signs that something is wrong. He’s the first person to give her any attention. And he’s offering to help protect her.
But Logan’s world isn’t safe. It’s dirty, exhilarating, and dangerous. It’s everything Kylie needs to stay away from.
About Janie Marie:
Janie Marie is a native Texan and resides in her hometown north of Austin, Texas, where she devotes her time to family, pets, and her writing.
Much of her life experiences–good and a lot of bad–are where she has chosen to draw inspiration from to create her characters and stories. It’s important to her to create the kind of characters she needs or needed at one point in time because she wanted to create something only the saddest souls would recognize as brave and strong.
Be ready for raw, emotional tales, as Janie never holds back. With her darkest thoughts she found light is still possible, that the sad girl can sometimes glow the brightest. Because she is beauty surrounded by darkness.
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