MoAA Interview #9: Jane Porter

Today’s MoAA interview is with the fabulous, magical, and zen Jane Porter.

I met Jane when she gave her talk at the Washington Romance Writers Retreat. I think it was a discussion we were all taken with — so many I’ve been forced to witness talk about e-publishing and self-publishing…Jane’s was one of the first I’ve been to in a long time that spoke of traditional publishing with a sense of optimism. She wasn’t unrealistic in any way — just inspiring.

May Jane be your breath of fresh air this morning!


Alethea Kontis: What’s the best thing about writing?

Jane PorterJane Porter: I get to create a world with people and loves and lives that readers love, too. I’m a magician and a storyteller and I believe in the magic of story-telling.  We need stories for entertainment, but also, for meaning.  Stories can heal hearts and offer hope. I love that.

AK: What’s the worst thing about writing?

JP: The isolation.  To write a book, you have to spend a lot of time alone.   I can’t write well with distractions so its tough pushing the kids and family away so I can have quiet and concentrate.  I’ve also found that my books now need more time, not less, so that adds to the guilt that I’m always walking away from everyone to work.    Fortunately, my family is proud of me, and very supportive.  They understand that yes, writing is how I pay my bills, but its also my passion.

AK: Finish this sentence: “Writing is like…”

JP: …climbing Mt. Everest.

It is not an easy thing, and it gets more difficult the higher you climb, but it can be done.  You need a plan, and to work on getting conditioned. During the climb, pace yourself,  understanding that after this mountain, there’s another.  And another.  So enjoy the struggle, the effort  the view, and after the descent, rest, so you’ll be ready for the next adventure, knowing its not a cruise, but an expedition.
AK: If you could write anywhere in the world, where would it be?

JP: I’ve done this.  I’ve traveled around the world thinking I would write, because I would be so inspired, and I’d have free time, but it backfires, every time.  I actually can’t write when traveling or experiencing new environments.  Travel and new places so stimulate me that I can’t settle down, and go inward to find the story, and the words.   So the best place for me to write is at home, in my office, which has space, good lighting, and a door I can shut to keep it quiet.

AK: Pick five words to describe your latest work.

JP: Emotional, Compelling, Intense, Poignant, real.

AK: Pick five words to describe you.

JP: Driven, Loyal, Passionate, Funny, Emotional

The Good WifeAK: What’s your favorite type of tree?

JP: I’m a tree lover.  Does it have to be just one kind?  Jacaranda trees and dogwoods are two of my favorites.  Japanese maples that turn firey orange and red in Fall and tender green in Spring would round out my top three.

AK: What were you like in high school?

JP: Smart.  Over achiever.  Book worm.  Intense.  Passionate.  Emotional.  Hmmm…I don’t think I’ve changed much since high school.  Same crazy Jane.

AK: If you could give one piece of advice (writing or otherwise), what would it be?

JP: Writing is a craft, an art form, and a muscle. You’ve got to develop the craft—and work that muscle. And sometimes we will write with more confidence, and other times we will battle for our story, but don’t ever quit. Don’t ever give up.

AK: The Colin Harvey Memorial Question: What are 3 things you’d like to do before you die?

JP: I’m very blessed.  I’ve done virtually everything I’ve ever wanted to do.  Now I just want to make sure I spend more time with the people I love, not less.


Jane Porter is the bestselling author of over 40 novels (including six for Grand Central Publishing) Jane Porter has been a finalist for the prestigious RITA award from Romance Writers of America in 2002, 2003, and 2008. Jane’s July ’06 release, Flirting with Forty, picked by Redbook as it Red Hot Summer Read, went back for seven printings in six weeks before being made into a December 08 lifetime movie starring Heather Locklear.

Jane’s next release is The Good Wife, coming out September 3rd. To learn more about her visit her website: