Washington multi-genre author Janalyn Voigt is a storyteller. Romance, history, adventure, mystery, and whimsy appear in all her books. Because she can’t be all things to all people, she limits herself to three genres: historical romance, speculative fiction, and romantic mystery.
Born in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the home of the Barkley family in the ’60s TV western, “The Big Valley,” she lived a stone’s throw from French Camp—a settlement that played a central role in California history. “A little more distant, but not much, was Sutter’s Mill, where a gold strike set off the California Gold Rush. Given my location, escaping an interest in history would have been difficult. Later, I would write about a gold rush in another state.”
The majestic hill country of southern Washington was the ideal setting for this romance author to begin weaving her tales of love and suspense. “When it comes to beauty, the Pacific Northwest received a double portion. Not far from where I live evergreens shade the roads, a wild river swells its banks, wildflowers stir in the meadows, and blue mountains rise above it all.”
The writing spark within Janalyn was ignited by her father who read children’s classics to her brother and her at bedtime. “Long after I should have been sleeping, I would lie awake dreaming up how a story might turn out. When he stopped reading classics as bedtime stories, I made up my own. I consider that my earliest training in storytelling.”
When she was twelve, a teacher suggested she become an author. His encouragement fueled her desire to write and fanned her creative flame. She credits vintage author Mary Stewart with teaching her to write. “Each of her books was a lesson in craft and artistry.”
Janalyn’s first manuscript—nonfiction, received a contract offer that fell through. Devastated by this unexpected turn of events, she stopped writing. Years later, she’d find her sweet spot in the world of fiction while penning DawnSinger, a story she’d daydreamed about as a teenager. It became her debut novel.
After giving up on ever becoming a novelist, Janalyn knows all about the heartache of broken dreams. “I had to learn that sometimes God fulfills your dreams differently than you could ever imagine. I not only wrote The Forever Sky (Montana Gold, book 4) to entertain readers but also to encourage the broken-hearted to hold onto hope.” Based on actual historical events during a time of unrest in America, The Forever Sky explores faith, love, and courage in the wild west. (Tap image to order.)
When asked for her advice to aspiring authors, Janalyn said, “It’s easy to feel invisible when no one cares about your writing. But you are not ‘no one,’ and you care deeply. Expect others to respect your writing time, and set the example by honoring it yourself. We teach people how to treat us.”
So what lies within the forever skies of Janalyn? “The next four books in the Montana Gold series will tell the stories of children from the first books. As for my other genres, I’m editing Deceptive Tide (Islands of Intrigue, book 3), part of an indie project in cooperation with two other authors. I have several projects in mind for the fantasy genre but nothing to announce yet.”
Janalyn invites you to connect with her on her website at www.janalynvoigt.com and to check out her books on her Amazon Author page.
“Through it all, Maisey had learned to hold her dreams loosely but to hold tightly to God, the source of all hope.” —The Forever Sky
This week’s featured author trained as a classical vocalist, which explains why her writing is often described as musical. Check out today’s Author Snapshot and meet Janalyn Voigt. Click To Tweet Devastated by an unexpected turn of events, this author stopped writing. Years later, she’d find her sweet spot in the world of fiction. Check out today’s Author Snapshot and meet Janalyn Voigt. Click To Tweet
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I cannot tell you I’ve read any of this young lady’s work (just not my preferred genres), but your insight as to her journey has me wanting to read her to perhaps learn more about this craft we call writing. Loved reading about her “detour.” Isn’t it funny how God can create detours for our lives until He finds a way to get us back on His planned path for our lives? Thank you so much for sharing this delightful insight. I could almost hear Ms. Janalyn’s singing melodically as she goes about daily chores around the house. 🙂 God’s blessings.
Aww…you are so kind. So happy to introduce you to Janalyn’s work. Blessings.
Thank you, J.D and Starr.! I’m truly honored.
I love Janalyn’s books. Can’t wait for the next installment of Montana Gold. I loved the characters and setting. She is such a gifted story teller.
Hi Cindy, I’m sure Janalyn will appreciate your words of encouragement. Thanks for dropping in. Blessings.
Thanks for such a glowing endorsement! I’m blushing. 🙂