The Prehistoric Games
Rain Forest Colors
If Kisses Were Colors
Love Is Real
A Father's Song
A Mama Bug's Love
A Mother's Song
Start Writing for Kids
CHATTING WITH JANET
If we could sit and chat over a glass of milk and cookies, you might ask:
What was your childhood like and how has it influenced your writing?
I was born and raised in Milford, Connecticut, where my older sister and I cared for chickens, dogs, rabbits, ducks and a large vegetable garden. We ran a small roadside produce stand some summers (like a lemonade stand, but we sold vegetables).
My sister and I also spent a lot of time playing make believe games with friends, fishing with our father, ice skating on a small pond in the woods and playing school (yes, I loved school!). I often biked two miles to the town library to check out as many books as would fit in my basket. In between chores, I sometimes climbed an old backyard apple tree to read in the shade.
My love of nature and being outdoors has inspired much of my writing. (I’m not afraid of bugs, spiders and snakes and they are the subjects of some of my work.)
Where did you go to school and did you have other jobs before becoming a children’s author?
I went to grammar school and high school in Milford. Then I attended Connecticut College, where I majored in Government and American Studies and played varsity badminton. After college, I worked for two years and then went to law school, graduating with honors from the University of Connecticut School of Law.
I have had many jobs, including working in a garden center, waitressing (I once spilled a whole plate of spaghetti on the floor!), teaching tennis, creating volunteer programs, publishing a travel magazine and practicing law. I held many other jobs while working my way through college and law school.
One of my most important jobs, of course, has been the job of mother to my son, Andy, and my daughter, Cami. They have been the source of many story ideas!
When did you start to write?
When I was very young, I began writing poems for family birthday and holiday cards. (My first sale as a writer was the text for three greeting cards!)
What have you published and what are you working on now?
My published books are listed on the left side bar; click on each title to learn more.
Highlights Magazine published a short story, “Cami’s First Soccer Game”, in July 2005. I have also been published in Humpty Dumpty’s magazine, Shoofly (an audio magazine for children), and a poetry workbook released by educational publisher Evan-Moor. Click on Poem Zone to read a fun poem and some related background.
I am currently working on several other picture books, novelty books, an early chapter series and a middle grade novel.
Can you tell me about your writing process?
I most often start writing drafts using paper and pen. Then I type and use the computer for revisions. I have a desk and office space in my home, but don’t always write there. Sometimes I write while sitting outside on a sunny day, or at my daughter’s soccer or swim practices.
Reading my work out loud is an important part of my process. I read stories and many subsequent drafts to anyone who will listen – my husband, my son, my daughter, my wonderful weekly writers’ group, good friends, my parents and, sometimes, even my dog.
What is your life like today?
I live in Connecticut with my husband and daughter. We often visit my son, who is in graduate school. Our family includes a loyal dog, Patches, and a lizard (now a teenager!) we call Talon.In addition to writing and revising, I attend children's publishing industry conferences, writers' workshops, and my weekly writers' group meetings. I enjoy visiting schools, libraries, and book stores to share my stories and writing process.
In my spare time I love to read, walk my dog, play tennis, rollerblade, visit with friends, and garden.
What else can you tell me about yourself?
I love to travel. I once traveled with a friend through Europe and the U.K. by train, spending only a dollar or two on food each day, but seeing many sights and meeting many interesting people. I have also visited many parts of the United States. In February of 1998 I visited Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where we adopted our daughter when she was 14 weeks old. We visited there again in 2008-09.
If you have any other questions, you can e-mail me at J.Lawler@snet.net and ask. (Be sure to put "Author Question" in the subject line.)
The Prehistoric Games | Rain Forest Colors | If Kisses Were Colors | Love is Real | A Father's Song | A Mama Bug's Love | Tyrannoclaus | A Mother's Song | Snowzilla | Ocean CountingMedia/Publicity Kit | Poem Zone | Write for Kids
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