Janet Ann Collins used to write feature articles for a newspaper in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a columnist for the Antique Auction Explorer and her work has appeared in many other publications. She is the author of two fiction books for children. The Peril of the Sinister Scientist is about a middle school boy who thinks he was cloned from the blood on the Shroud of Turin because a scientist who had worked on that experiment is stalking him. Secret Service Saint is a picture book about Nicholas, who discovers the fun of doing secret good deeds and eventually becomes known as Santa Claus. Collins is a retired teacher, enjoys public speaking and often teaches workshops at conferences. With her husband she raised three deaf foster sons with special needs in addition to their birth daughter, and has one grandson. They live in the beautiful Sierra foothills of Northern California. A wonderful welcome to Janet Ann Collins today. She is a versatile writer who wants to touch other people and make a difference in people’s lives. Her writing falls into many categories; adult’s, children’s, fiction and nonfiction, Christian and general market. Janet’s tagline, “Opening Eyes, Opening Hearts,” sums up what it all has in common. I’m so glad to have you here today, Janet. Thanks for having me, Dianne. Janet, can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a “real” writer? Oh, yes. When I was in college I told my roommate I wanted to be a writer and she asked me to show her my rejection slips. I had none, but finally submitted something unpublishable so I’d get one and showed it to her so she’d stop nagging. It was years later that I tried to get published commercially and my first story was accepted immediately. Then came the rejection slips. When I got the first one it reminded me of what my college roommate had said and I realized it did, indeed, show that I was a real writer. Tell us about what’s going on with your writing? I have a book for young readers and I’m working on several things, including a middle grade fantasy about a girl who can communicate with animals by thought language. She and her Deaf brother travel to a foreign land trying to find and rescue their kidnapped mother. I’m also spending lots of time learning how to do marketing and publicity for my published books, write a column for the Antique Auction Explorer, sometimes write articles for other periodicals, and have two blogs, http://onwordsblog.blogspot.com and http://janetanncollins.blogspot.com. What are your future goals for your writing? I’d like to have more books published as well as more articles in periodicals. Janet, would you describe for our readers a typical writing day for you? I reserve two days a week for writing and squeeze some in on other days if possible. After I check my e-mail I work on my current project for several hours. Often I’ll do the laundry the same day so when the drier buzzes I can get up and move around for a few minutes, then get back to work. If I’m on a roll I may write more in the afternoon. Otherwise I use that time for plotting, planning, sending out submissions, and working on publicity for my books. Why do you write? I guess because I want to repay some of what all the books I’ve read have given to me. I just can’t imagine not being a writer. Otherwise, what would I do with all the ideas begging to be released and shared? Janet, where can we find more information about you and your books? My website is http://www.janetanncollins.comand I have two blogs. One of them, http://onwordsblog.blogspot.com/ is about kids, books, and words and the other, http://janetanncollins.comis about special needs. If a reader wants to contact you, where can they do that? They can reach me through the contact page on my website or e-mail me at janetanncollins (at) sbcglobal.net. Janet, would you give us a list all your book titles so people can look for them? The books that have been published so far are a middle grade (or tweener) novel called The Peril of the Sinister Scientist and a picture book called Secret Service Saint. **** The Peril of the Sinister Scientist by Janet Ann Collins is a tweener, or middle grade, novel about a boy who thinks he was cloned from the blood on the Shroud of Turin because a scientist who had worked on that experiment is stalking him. It is available to local bookstores and on many online sites, including Amazon where it can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/yge7ukeThe U.S. price is $7.95. Here are some reviews of the book posted on Amazon: Joshua Davidson, like any other kid, asks the eternal question. “Who am I?” But he has more reason than some to ask. He believes he was cloned from the scrapings of blood on the Shroud of Turin. With an active imagination he sets out to prove he is the clone of Christ. Or, is he the son of a criminal? That can pretty much be verified – in his mind. But in the end, whatever his genetics, he finds himself a hero. His travels to reach a satisfying conclusion take many twists. Janet Ann Collins puts the reader in the reality of a young person’s world while she weaves the mystery of Joshua to a satisfying conclusion. Any Tween will relate to the trials of fitting in at school and the special world of the educational environment they live in. The setting rings true as does the peer pressure and personalities of the young characters in The Peril of the Sinister Scientist. The Peril of the Sinister Scientist is a fast paced, exciting, enjoyable read any young person should like. Reviewed by: Mary Jean Kelso It has been great having you visit with us, Janet. Thanks so much for coming today. Your welcome, Dianne. I enjoyed being here. I invite everyone to continue the fun and follow our virtual book tour every day in March. It’s a great way to add books to your must read list and enjoy getting to know authors and their work. You’ll get an insight into what makes your favorite writers tick. Join our March 2010 Author Tour. New and Famous writers and great content!