Monday’s Friend: Janie Franz

Today I am pleased to welcome fellow MUI author Janie Franz to the blog. Take it away, Janie!

By Janie Franz

The Bowdancer 200x300Thank you for inviting me to appear on your blog, Sara-Jayne. As I pondered what to write about, I thought of a blog I did recently for a special feature on JQ Rose’s blog called Seeds of Inspiration. She asked writers to talk about what inspired them to become writers. I had toyed with an idea of either writing about how I became a multi-published author or what inspired my flagship series, The Bowdancer Saga. As I wrote, my life story spilled out. But I never talked about what inspired The Bowdancer. That’s what I’ll write about.

Sometime in the late 80s or early 90s, I stretched out on my dining room floor and drifted into meditation in the middle of the day. I just opened myself to see what happened. I’d been doing visual mediation, some guided, some not. As I relaxed, a landscape appeared. It was night and I saw this petite female figure shooting a flaming arrow across the night sky. I knew her instantly. Her title—the Bowdancer. And her dilemma, her angst.

Nothing else appeared in the few seconds of that flash of insight. When I was alert and aware again, grabbed a piece of paper and scribbled down what I’d seen.

The Bowdancer incubated for a few years. I finally wrote a brief sketch of a story, reworked it, and even tried to market it to a couple of magazines. One hated it. One loved it but the magazine couldn’t find room for it. It went back into a drawer.

In the late 90s when I was in college to finish a degree in anthropology, I pulled it out once again for a writing workshop I took as part of an English concentration. It was well received even though I broke every rule my instructor set up.

Again the story went back into a drawer. I pulled it out one final time to pitch to Breathless Press in 2009 during a pitch session for the Muse Online Writers Conference. They picked it up, published it December of that year, and then released two new books in that series.

In 2010, I pitched new books to MuseItUp Publishing, including three more books in the ongoing Bowdancer Saga. This year, the entire saga will be under one publishing roof. They will join the two published books in my Ruins trilogy, a couple of non-formula contemporary romances, and a creepy little horror story—to make eleven books published by MuseItUp Publishing.

I never realized how significant that one meditation would become. The Bowdancer, a novelette, sparked five other books. And I have ideas for four more that I hope to write eventually (as well as a time-warp novel that may be more than one book and a paranormal series).

You never know where inspiration will come from.

Author Bio

Janie [800x600]Janie Franz comes from a long line of liars and storytellers with roots deep in east Tennessee. Honed by the frigid Northern Plains and the high desert of New Mexico, as well as a degree in anthropology, her writing skill and curiosity generated thousands of feature and cover articles over a vast range of topics for more than a hundred regional, national, and international publications.

She co-wrote two books with Texas wedding DJ, Bill Cox (The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book and The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book), and self-published a writing manual, Freelance Writing: It’s a Business, Stupid!

She is a professional speaker and occasionally still reviews books, CDs, and concerts. Previously, she ran her own online music publication, Refrain Magazine, and was an agent/publicist for a groove/funk band, a radio announcer, and a yoga/relaxation instructor.

The Wayfarer’s Road: Book 2 of The Bowdancer Saga

Healer Jan-nell and her precocious daughter meet a handsome wandering bard, carrying secrets and the hope of belonging.

The Bowdancer Saga continues in The Wayfarer’s Road. Healer Jan-nell, now a woman traveling alone with her precocious young daughter on the Wayfarer’s Road, meets a handsome wandering bard. But he is carrying his own secrets along with the priceless chance at hope for her and her child to belong.


The stranger stepped a bit further into the room and pulled back the wet hood of her sodden, brown cloak, revealing a delicate, fair face. A thick chestnut braid curved across one suede-covered shoulder like a docile snake.

“It is the changing moon,” her soft voice answered. She untied the laces of her cloak and pulled the cloth free from her other shoulder, revealing the black curls of a three-year-old child against her thigh-length tunic. The girl’s little arms wrapped protectively around the woman’s brown leggings.

WayfayersRoad200x300The traveler shook the water from her cloak and asked, “Might I have a dry bed, sir?”

The innkeeper’s eyes narrowed. “We be not offering beds to women alone. This be a respectable place.”

“I am not alone,” the woman answered, smoothing the child’s curls from off her face. “Would you deny a child a dry blanket?”

The innkeeper frowned. “Good woman, if that indeed be what you are, it is not seemly to be housed here without your man.”

“I take care of myself,” she said and struck her great staff against the floor for emphasis, ignoring the customers’ mumbled responses.

Buy Links

MuseItUp Publishing Bookstore:

Find the first book in the Bowdancer series at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


1 comment so far

  1. J.Q. Rose on

    We never know where that one spark of an idea will take us. So interesting, Janie, to discover the beginnings of the Bowdancer. Thanks for sharing and best wishes with all your upcoming releases!

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