Animation by Kayelle Allen at The Author's Secret

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday's Writer - Janet Doolaege

I'm very excited to welcome today's guest, Janet Doolaege. I read her excellent story A Paris Haunting last year - and it's no exaggeration to say that it's continued to haunt me ever since. So much so that I recently approached Janet to collaborate in a new boxed set coming very soon.

Today I've asked Janet to tell us something about herself and her work, so here she is:

I live in France but write in English. This certainly limits my opportunities for promotion: no book signings and no chance of interviews in the local press in this French-speaking context, so I’m very grateful for ManicScribbler’s invitation here.

Thank goodness for the internet! Like many writers, after years of rejections from literary agents, I started publishing ebooks on Kindle Direct Publishing, and it’s wonderful to know that at last we have some readers. Even so, I’m one of those people who still prefer “real” books made of paper, so gradually I’m self-publishing print editions too.

A Paris Haunting, a spooky contemporary romance, is set in the city where I lived and worked for a long time, so I’m familiar with its atmosphere – not always glamorous, I should add. “This book is a page-turner," writes one reviewer. "I was totally hooked by the unfolding story,” writes another. The unexplained has always fascinated me. Animal-lovers may also enjoy the role played by a cat in this ghost story. 

Likewise, Candlepower is set in present-day Paris. It also tells of uncanny events, and of the persecution of one person for being different. A reviewer says: “This is a quietly brilliant book, delicate, emotive, powerful - highly recommended to those who enjoy originality and a good mystery.” By the way, don’t let the cover mislead you. This is not Steampunk! There is a reason for the candle.

Birds have always been an important part of my life, and the true story of Ebony and Spica, my much-loved rescued blackbird and starling, is best read in paperback with illustrations by Carol Jean Watkins and Alain Perry, not to mention Marianne Weeks’s attractive layout.  Both birds had unforgettable personalities.

Another attractively produced paperback, for children this time, is The Story of an Ordinary Lion, a retelling by the lion of the old legend of Saint Jerome, patron saint of translators. One reviewer said, “The inside is as good as the cover,” the cover being again the work of Alain Perry, and the print edition has fine colour illustrations by Paolo Santoro. A ten-year-old said: “When I read this book, I felt like I was in the story.” What could be more gratifying? 

Set in ancient times, Tobias and the Demon is a tale of adventure for middle-grade readers, told by a dog. Young Tobias sets out across the mountains to recover his father’s money, but what happens to him is not what he expected.  A boy reader in the UK writes : “It is really clever how it is taken from a dogs point of view and that tag can speak to other dogs. I like the idea that Sara is possessed by a demon.”

Flora and the Wolf, another retelling for children of an old legend, is in ebook format at present and I’m hoping to publish an illustrated paperback edition quite soon. It’s aimed at children aged seven and over, and I would very much like to know what they think of it.

Reviews, reviews – please write honest reviews! We indie writers do need them.

At present I’m working on another contemporary novel with a paranormal twist, this time set partly in Paris and partly in Greece.

About the author:

Janet Doolaege grew up in Dorset, England. After university she found her first job in France, and has stayed in France ever since. She worked for UNESCO, initially as a translator and finally as Chief of the English Translation Unit. Her husband is French and they live in a village south-west of Paris.