Janelle Mowery’s writing career has grown exponentially since she signed her first contract in 2006. That book, a mystery co-written with Elizabeth Ludwig, was published in 2008 by Heartsong Presents.

This year, Janelle has released four books—two this month—an historical trilogy from Harvest House and a second mystery with Ludwig. She is also featured in a 2011 Christmas anthology from Barbour.

A transplanted Minnesotan, Janelle now resides in Texas with her husband and two sons.

What sparked your fiction-writing journey?

I guess it was a combination of things. First, I’ve always loved to read. I have a picture of myself at about the age of five holding my favorite Christmas present . . . Alice in Wonderland. Second, in the late 1990’s, I used to write children’s devotions for an online website. When that closed down, I felt a little lost until my sister told me about a Christian fiction author. After reading several of her books, I felt in my heart I could write a book.

With five books publishing this year, how have you managed to stay on top of everything? You must be incredibly organized.

LOL. Oh goodness. I’m anything but organized. My friends can attest to that. But with five deadlines staring me in the face, determination set in. My husband once said I do well under pressure, then when I’m finished, I fall apart. That pretty much describes what happened during the year of all those deadlines.

Two books, both from your Colorado Runaway Series, released this month. Please tell us about When Love Gets in the Way, (Harvest House, October 1, 2011).

This was such a fun book to write. It was light-hearted yet dealt with the very serious topic of sacrificial love. I have a tendency to be accident prone. Just ask the door I ran into, leaving my face print behind. (Though I still blame my husband for that.) But I decided to add that aspect to the heroine’s character. Add a hero with a tender heart that’s been broken and you have an entertaining story. But it’s when the heroine gives up her newfound freedom to save those she loves that she learns the true meaning of grace.

The second book is When Two Hearts Meet (Harvest House, October 1, 2011). Please tell us about it.

I’ve struggled with trusting God too many times, even after becoming saved. It was hard to understand how others suffered and yet never lost their faith. I put those two elements together in this story, then added tension and humor. I hope the readers are pleased with the result.

How does your faith play into your writing?

Faith plays a HUGE part in my writing. Before I even started, I said I never wanted to write a book that wasn’t for the Lord, that didn’t honor and glorify Him. My stories must have a faith element or they won’t get written. Saying that, a great many of the books I’ve written were based on something I’ve struggled with. And if I haven’t struggled with the issue I’m writing about, it seems I end up with that struggle before I finish the book. (Makes me want to be careful on what I decide to write about.)

Can you tell us about a recent “detour” in your life—or in one of your character’s lives—that taught you something?

I can’t think of anything in my own life lately, but I’m working on a new story about a girl who thought she had her whole life mapped out and was sure her way was best and would work out in a wonderful way . . . until she hit a large pothole that rerouted her plans and put her back on the path God had for her. It’s a great reminder for me that I may think I know what’s best but God sees the big picture and He’s always the best navigator.

A few fun questions…

When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?

Chips and dip. Especially guacamole or salsa. Or better yet, mix the two together. : ) I know they’re bad for us but there’s just something comforting about that combination.

This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?

LOL. Well, let me put it this way. I don’t dare attempt to sing in the shower or I’ll scare the water back up the showerhead. Or another way to say it is, I sing like a bird. It’s called a crow. (smile) Sadly, I have no musical talent, but I love music and attempting to sing . . .when no one is around.

If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?

It would have to be a praise and worship song. Especially if it has a fast beat. I love those toe-tapping, hand-clapping songs.

In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?

LOL. I love this question. I picture myself as the mysterious woman behind dark glasses who dreams of being the super heroine. I’ve never tried to be the little girl attempting to walk in high heels. I was too much of a tomboy to care for heels.

I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.

I’m a dog-lover, too. I think it stems from the wonderful dog/mutt, Snookie, we had while growing up. She loved us without reserve. We now have a black lab and a yellow lab. They are incredibly smart and a lot of fun. And the black lab wags his tail so hard it could be declared a lethal weapon.

Thanks, Janelle! I appreciate your taking the time to stop by DivineDetour!

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For more information about Janelle, logon to her website at www.janellemowery.com.

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