Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Writer's Wednesday: JANUS GANGI

Hello, everyone! As promised, to day we kick off with a new event for Writing World. Interviewing authors is something I've wanted to do for a while, because I believe both readers and other writers are intrigued by the creative mind. Here goes:

Talking now to JANUS GANGI:

Janus Gangi is a native New Yorker and Native American, so blood has always been a part of her life. After graduating from Flushing High School, where she majored in music, she was a professional singer/ songwriter for a short while. She then went on to medical school and became a Hematology Technologist. She worked for a major non-profit organization, where she was involved in distributing the latest AIDS research information to the top doctors in the United States. She then attended Bible School for six years and went on to be ordained and founded a ministry in New York City.

In the early nineties, she moved to East Tennessee where she returned to her roots in the Pagan tradition and went back to school. She now holds degrees in Religious Studies and Psychology, in addition to the others. She is an avid amateur Egyptologist, and now enjoys her new found love, writing.

WW: Hello and welcome, Janus, and thank you for giving us your time. You have inspired many of us and we feel honoured to have this opportunity to speak with you! Let's kick off with a somewhat serious question: According to your bio you are proficient in the fields religion, psychology, medical and music (wow!) and I heard a whisper you now study archaeology (more wow). With such a varied background and fields of interest, what sparked your interest in writing? Your proverbial light-bulb moment?

Janus: First of let me say this, when I write it down it looks impressive, but honestly, it is just because I have lived so long. I had three children that needed to be fed and so, I became a jack of all trades. When I needed a job, I went to school. When I am interested in something, I learn all I can about it. I majored in music in High School and so, I developed a love for it there. The most logical next step was to try my hand at singing and playing the guitar. I had dreams of being the next, Joan Baez. But I got married and had to put my dreams to the side.

Haematology was trade school and then an office job. Although, I worked with people that I will forever admire, brilliant minds and dedicated people, I was never more than a glorified clerk. During my run at National Haemophilia I got to have first-hand knowledge about what it is to struggle in a life that is not always fair.

My religious studies were the result of keeping a promise. When I married my husband I promised to raise our children Christian When I make a promise, I keep it. Otherwise I don’t promise. And so, I went to Bible College for 6 years. I did everything from clean the toilets to lead worship. Although there are many tenants in the Christian religion that I firmly I do not agree with, and most pertain to the way women are regarded, I walked away with a profound belief in a higher power.

Psychology was the just the natural choice to take in college. I had already taken some courses in counselling and quite frankly, it was the course I got straight A’s in so, I stuck it out. Besides, I have always been a people watcher, something that comes in quite handy when you are a writer.

And then there is Egypt, my first love. Many years ago I walked into the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The King Tut Exhibit was making its rounds around the country at the time. From that moment on I have been a sponge soaking up any and everything I could find about Egypt. At one time, it was impossible to walk in my bedroom because of the piles of books and notes that littered the floor (I am just a tad bit OCD about Egypt. (Can you tell? Haha). When I found an online college that teaches archaeology, I didn’t have to think twice about signing up for the course.

So as you can see, I am not that different than anyone else that has lived as long. I could also add that I was a barker in a Flea Market. I sold bubble jackets and wore a purple suede cowboy jacket and a Stetson. I was also a teller in a bank and a cashier in a supermarket. I had children and I needed a job and so, I worked. But all along, the way I gleaned from my experiences.

I never had much time for reading. All of my reading was textbooks and technical journals. Fiction was something for those that had time. I was busy working and changing diapers. But, one day on a whim, I saw the Twilight series in Wal-mart and so, I bought it, read it and said to myself, “I can do better than that”. And so, now I am on my next exciting adventure. I am learning how to write and hopefully someday I will master it. Everything I have ever learned and done in my life adds to what I write about in the Providence Series.

WW: You certainly are multi-talented! Would you say you draw most often from your own knowledge base when writing or do you research for fresh material?

Janus: As I have already stated, most of the bare bones of the Providence Series is drawn from my life, but when it comes to historical facts, I still have to research, which by the way, I happen to love. For example, I researched for six months about Syria before I ever wrote one word in Elizabeth Rose.

WW: And your research paid off. Having reviewed Elizabeth Rose, I am able to confirm it first hand for our readers! Tell us now a bit about your work. Why, for instance, did you choose ‘Providence’ as your series title?

Janus: The majority of my stories come to me in a dream or after meditation. I did not actively seek out the name of Providence. One day, it just came to me. But it is a perfect fit. The definition of Providence in the Merriam – Webster dictionary is:

A)  Divine guidance or care
B) God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny.

It is the name of the Goddess of the Universe and the name for the fictional Heaven in the series. In my mind, they are one and the same. To be in Heaven is to be with the Goddess.

WW: Who do you identify with most in your work? And why?

Janus: Can I tell you a secret?  Promise not to tell? I am Elizabeth Rose.

WW: Love that! We won't tell! ;)
If you could choose who would play Elizabeth Rose in the movie or series made from your work, who would it be?

Janus: By far, there is only one actress that I would like to play Elizabeth Rose, its Christina Hendricks.
Christina Hendricks
WW: Now some more about Janus: do you still write songs? Would you consider publishing them in a poetry format?

Janus: Most of the songs I wrote were destroyed in a flood. I have very few that I remember now. I do still write some poetry they are incorporated into the books as prophecies and spells.

WW: For many, the word ‘pagan’ is a curse word, although here on Writing World we do not in any way judge beliefs, whether of religion, politics or sex. How do you refute that, if you find it necessary to do so?

Janus: I don’t. Everyone has their own path. I have chosen mine. What others perceive about my beliefs has nothing to do with me. That is their walk and their problem. The only thing I can do is to concentrate on what I am doing.

WW: Well said! You are exceptional at networking and you share friends’ work selflessly. Those who know you call you caring, generous, positive and unselfish. Which four words would you use to describe yourself?

Janus: Learning, learning, learning, learning.

WW and Janus: I have to throw this in! That list of favourites we’re all interested in!

Favourite book: The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt
Favourite movie: Ever After
Favourite TV series: Ancient Aliens
Favourite colour: Green
Favourite food: Roast loin of pork, sauerkraut, and mash potatoes with applesauce.
Favourite drink: Coffee
Favourite pet: All of my fur babies are my favourite.
Favourite season: Autumn
Favourite place: My desk

WW: Tell us about your next book (we love to know what to look forward to!).

Janus: Each one of my books has a sub-genre besides Fantasy, Stolen Moments is Romance, and The Christmas Star is Humour. Right now, I am working on the rewrites and editing of Stolen Moments. But, I am also working on the next book in the series White Magick. White Magick is a Dark Fantasy it explores the world of drug addiction.

WW: What comes next for Janus, besides a new book project?

Janus: I have learned to take one day at a time. You never know what surprises are around the next bend.

WW: And finally, if you could choose one person, living or dead, you would like to meet, who would it be and what would you ask of that person?

Janus: It would have to be Mark Twain and the question is simple: Why those smelly cigars???
WW: Ha ha! Thank you again, Janus, for spending time with us! We look forward to hearing more from you and we look forward to great reading experiences with the Providence Series!

Those Links:

Elizabeth Rose

The Christmas Star

Connect with Janus Gangi on Facebook and keep up to date with other readers and writers on Stolen Moments Readers and Authors Group and discover the latest about her work on her Stolen Moments Page 

Writing World will update you with the links to Stolen Moments and White Magick as they become available.
Have a good day, everyone!

Great Words: Franklin

Monday, February 25, 2013

An Infinity Hat!

Review: Geisha by Sessha Batto

Geisha is the short prequel to Sessha Batto’s Shadow Wolf…and I have now delved into the world of homoeroticism and eastern mind-set.  And loved it! Sessha Batto writes with a calmness that races the heart and tells a story with such clean detail one cannot but follow onward. The dialogue is excellent, the setting spot on, the twist in the tale absolute brilliance. Right now I’m hoping the guard gets his comeuppance and I’m hoping Yoshi ends up with the one he fantasises about. Which means I’m dying to read Shadow Wolf, and you will too, this I guarantee!

A remarkable read. 5 stars well deserved!

Friday, February 22, 2013

How to catch a cat

Review: Elisabeth Rose

Elisabeth Rose
Janus Gangi

I’ve had this on my list of must-reads for some while now, but that mental list gets lost when you look at your Kindle library. I’m sorry it took me so long, but I’m glad I finally got to it…because, as short stories go, this is a humdinger.
It’s almost like to reading a full-length novel there is so much in such a short space! That, by the way, isn’t a bad thing at all, because the richness of the detail, culture and legends leaps off the page at you and draws you in.
I like how Janus Gangi draws two separate times and tales together, using the method of bards of old, and the telling is vivid and intense. Read this slowly to savour the detail, and if you get a bit lost, no worries, go back a bit to re-savour it! Elisabeth Rose is an excellent starter, I believe, to the main course – the Stolen Moments novels (which I can’t wait to sink my teeth into!).
Even now, hours after finishing it, I can see the Taurus Mountains, smell the devastation of Jericho…and the little twist in the tale at the very end will stay with me for a long time.

Go to it! Grab your copy here!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Magical Condition

Month of Fire

Amazon and the Kindle

For those of you who do not have an actual Kindle device (or you have one only to discover it doesn't really work for you in your territory – Africa being case in point in my experience) and you’re just dying to read the host of eBooks available from Amazon, there is a way to do so beyond a specialised device.

First you need create an Amazon account. It is quite a process, a bit to fill in online, but is also pretty painless. To use your account properly you will need to add a credit card. And this is where most of us get stuck. If you can, however, beg or borrow a friend or family member’s credit card and fill in the relevant details. Promise to buy only one tiny thing for 99c…because, friends, that is all it takes for your account to become interactive. Suddenly you can leave reviews on your favourite books and on all those freebies you come across, you can create a wish list, take part in the forums and so forth. If you have begged or borrowed the card, remember, buy only that one little thing!

Now you’re set, but you still need the means to read those eBooks in the Kindle Store. This is the easy part: download Kindle for PC (or Mac) for free from Amazon, install it on your computer…and you’re in. You are now a Kindle reader!

Go on then and browse for your 99c purchase and have it delivered to your Kindle for PC. And then go and browse all the great free reads as well and download what takes your fancy.

Note: in your Kindle Library the newest eBook you selected will be at the bottom with an arrow on it. Double click and the download to your library begins. And that’s it. Enjoy!

PS: if anyone has anything to add, please leave a comment!

14 000+!

And Writing World tops the 14 000 mark in visitors! Thank you to everyone for stopping by!


Writing Modes

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Greta's Review - The Infinity Mantle

Another good one!

More to read on Amazon! Remember to 'like'! ;)

Poppet's review - The Infinity Mantle

A good one!

For the rest, go on over to Amazon. Do click 'like'!!!! ;)

Review: The Killing Moon by Rod Glenn

Readers of hard-boiled military strategy and hardware et al will enjoy this. Readers of more emotional works will enjoy this also, although it might take you a bit longer to come to grips with it. This is a book that works on two levels (more, but for purposes of review, two), one being the detail that goes with war and destruction both technological and biological and, two, the intense characterisation which evokes an emotional response. This is ultimately a story about survival, about starting over, and to get there the reader needs understand how it happened and why all has changed.
I won’t mince words: I did find it hard at first. I am an emotional reader, so to speak, and thus were the initial chapters too much of ‘backstory’ for me, but I promise you what comes next is well worth the effort of staying with it, although you need be a ‘tough cookie’ to handle it! And, the cherry on top, those of you who enjoy the war and destruction detail initially, will also be intrigued by what comes next.
No spoilers, but expect fallen roads, abandoned hotels and a host of other buildings, bands of soldiers and worse (crazies!), and expect hardship and tribulation as well as brotherhood. And a few epic battles! The author has a ‘no frills’ style and it works well for a story that deals with the absolute loss of the frills civilisation as we know it brings. A worthy read indeed.

Find it here: Amazon US