Please welcome Jana Petken.
What is the one thing you want audiences to know about you?
I write historical fiction novels and believe in extensive research into the period to enhance drama and realism. My writing is engaging and I strive to bring my characters to life, which in turn, usually leaves the reader loving or hating them but never with indifference. I write about history but my stories are usually accompanied by love and war. Being ex-military, I strive to tell an honest tale of conflicts, even when they are graphic and disturbing.
If you had a writing motto, what would it be?
“When you have trouble with a chapter and it blocks you from continuing, delete it, because this particular chapter, as written is not meant to be.”
Why did you decide to self-publish?
I decided to self publish because I was tired of waiting. I turned down a publishing deal because of the year’s wait it would entail. My book was ready to go and had been hanging around my computer long enough with a story wanting and needing to be told.
Have you learned anything from the self-publishing process? Would you do anything differently next time?
I have learned that writing is the easy part compared to the maze of marketing and promotional necessities. Social media, the Amazon jungle, and the GoodReads’ black pit are difficult to maneuver. They are on-line media outlets where, I believe, luck plays a huge part and where recognition for new authors is rare.
I also note that spending money on marketing can be draining and that great thought must be put into, which promotional tools to buy, without going into bankruptcy with zero positive results. I shall take a deeper and more pensive look when I publish my next novel, and hopefully, will not repeat the mistakes I’ve already made.
A historical family saga spanning four generations, from 1912, Kent, England, to Spain and its 1936-39 civil war. Celia and Ernesto’s two sons march under opposing banners, whilst their daughters take different paths, one to the Catholic Church and the other to the battlefields, and in the shadow of war, an evil ghost from the past watches and waits for an opportunity to destroy the entire family. In exile, Celia and Ernesto can only wait and pray for their children and their safe return home.