Friday, March 25, 2011

Welcome to Jane Toombs

Today's Friday Friend is Jane Toombs

Jane, the Viking from her past and their calico grandcat, Kinko, live in Michigan's Upper Peninsula wilderness on the south shore of Lake Superior where the three great seasons of spring, summer and fall make up for the horrible winters. Jane has somewhere between eighty and ninety published works to her credit, and hopes to make it to one hundred of them if she lives long enough.  

She tells us today about her paranormal preference:

What attracts some authors and readers to paranormal while other of either breed don’t care for it at all? That’s a question I can’t answer because I was introduced to E.A. Poe’s poems and stories as a child and loved almost all of them--especially this line in one of the poems--“the ghoul haunted woodland of Weir.”

In fact I liked that poem so well, all these years later I wrote a story about a ghoul in a cemetery, green in color, who is the hero. Not easy, but I had fun doing it. The title is “It Can’t Be Mine!” and it can be found in my TEN PAST MIDNIGHT, Dark Tales by Jane Toombs.

As I got older I discovered H. P. Lovecraft, who wrote nothing but paranormal tales and A. Merritt, who wrote books with titles like Burn, Witch, Burn, and Creep, Shadow, Creep. Impossible for me to resist those. While Lovecraft wrote highly imaginative horror, Merritt wrote fantasy romance. Enjoyed them both.

My very first sale to a publisher (Avon) was a gothic romance back in 1973. Since then I’ve written seventeen more published gothics because I can indulge my love of the dark side in that kind of story and still have a happy ending. Six of them were Silhouette Shadows., the rest are all historical gothics. by various publishers

While gothics usually are paranormal romance, all paranormal romance isn’t gothic in nature. Some of it is closer to horror. Horror, by its nature, rarely has a happy ending. Since I’m also fond of HEAS, I have only one published horror novel to my credit, Hugger Doll , plus two novellas. So, all in all, my favorite genre to read and write is paranormal romance . Given the nature of paranormal and the fear of it, adds the element of suspense to paranormal stories.

My most recent book, HALLOW HOUSE, is one of those long multigenerational gothic suspense romances loaded with paranormal happenings. My publisher, Books We Love Publishing Partners, decided to publish it in two halves. I was surprised to find a natural place to divide the story, with each part complete in itself. And yet Part One at its end does hold the promise there’ll be a Part Two. Part One is out now, with Part Two to follow shortly. As one reviewer put it: “…Victoria Holt meets Stephen King…”

She isn’t far off. But Hallow House does have a happy ending for each generation, even if they have terrifying times getting there.

All my recent books have a buy button at my website:

Thanks so much for being with us today, Jane.  Congratulations on your publishing success - I'm sure you'll make it to a hundred!


  1. I am thrilled to meet you, Jane! I get how winter can be offset by other seasons; I live in northern Minnesota.
    I love paranormals but I'm not savvy about suspense. It strikes me that suspense needs to be pre-planned so clues are dropped, twists are subtly set-up.
    Do you plot? To what degree?

  2. Hi Jane,

    Thanks so much for joining us at Heroines with Hearts today. My, you are prolific. Good luck with that goal of one hundred! I'm betting you'll make it!

  3. Ana, I wrote my first two books--gothic romances--without conscious plotting. Both sold to Avon. But the third one was rejected by more than one pub. My agent asked me to do a gothic fot a packager, telling me to do just a partial--three chapters and a synopsis. Green as I was, I had to ask what a synopsis was. But I did it and the partial sold. I found the book surprisingly easy to write and realized that was because I had the synopsis as a guideline, though I did depart from it here and there. So I decided to write a synopsis using the book that didn't sell. AHA! I found I'd wandered all over the place, even confusing who the hero was. Revised the synopsis and then the ms. and the book sold, convincing me I needed to plot ahead to keep on track. Yes, I do need to plot the suspense ahead, however vaguely, so I don't wander. And I've never gotten confused who the hero was since. Jane

  4. Hi Jane, and welcome to HWH.

    I simply adore historical suspense novels airing weird happenings, and love a good Gothic theme. But, any thing Stephen King (thriller-horror)has me backing up fast: people buried alive etc.

    Going by your previous prolific output, a 100 score looks a doddle for you! ;)


  5. Jane--You are the lady--the writer who made me realize I tend to give many of my stories a gothic feel. I don't think I ever thanked you for that bit of insight. It has helped me describe my work, something I needed as I tend not to write inside the "box." Thank you Jane, not only for giving us so many wonderful books, but especially for the support you give new writers.