Interview with self-published author Janus Gangi
To be a writer you need passion, perseverance and imagination. Janus Gangi has all of that in large quantities but she has something more. Janus has an all encompassing faith in the world she portrays in her books. Having made a thorough study of pagan religion, she is an expert in the fields of magick & witchcraft. So Stolen Moments and her second book White Magick -out very soon-, are not the whims of a writer trying to hitch a ride on the popular waves of fantasy. Ms Gangi breathes her characters, her intricate loving stories of the agents of Providence. Janus is the Mother Superior of Wiccan literature and the loveliest White Witch to walk our earthly realm.
Where do you live (town, country)? Were you born and bred there?
I live in East Tennessee now, I moved here 18 years ago from New York City. I was born in Flushing, Queens, but moved upstate and lived there until I was about eight or nine. We then moved backed to New York, and over the thirty years I lived there I lived in almost every borough.
What kind of food do you like? Are you a good cook? How important is food to you?
My most favorite food is Chinese food. There are some dishes I can cook, but what’s the fun in that? Dressing up, going out, and being served makes the food taste even better!
When the children were younger, I used to cook every day. I also baked everything from scratch. My father was a chef and so he taught me how to cook Italian cuisine. My mother–in-law was Eastern European she taught me German, Russian and Slovak dishes. Along the way I learned traditional American Cuisine. And my greatest accomplishment is operating the microwave! (hehe)
Do you do any sports? How often? What does exercise mean to you? Any other hobbies?
I am very proficient at weight lifting. I lift my coffee cup at a brisk pace all day long!!!
I do have a hobby I collect photographs and pictures, that I share on my MyYearbook site.
Do you have kids/grandkids? If so, please tell us a little about them?
I have three grown children. Robert David, Jessica Assunta, and Tatiana Athene.
I have six grandsons and one granddaughter. Matthew my oldest, lives in New York. He is almost seventeen and quite the ladies’ man already. Brandon, Matthews brother, is an expert skateboarder and football player. He is twelve, Jerry is twelve also. He is into comic books and he plays football also. Desiree, Jerry’s sister is a
typical fourteen year old girl. She is outstandingly beautiful! Dustin and Devin are Matthew and Brandon’s little brothers. They are six and four. Dustin is in the first grade and Devin thinks he’s forty. And lastly Damien, I share guardianship of Damien with his dad. Damien is nine, he loves playing the X-Box and he is terrific playing basketball.
Do you like traveling? Where do you go then?
I do like traveling, but don’t get to do it often. I am a real homebody and am very happy staying put right where I am.
Do you have another job apart from writing? For how many hours? How do you feel about the ‘other’ job?
I am a full time writer now, although I must say, I work more at marketing my book than I do write.
How do your family/friends react to you being a writer? Have their opinions changed since you became a published author? Which remark from your surroundings has stuck most with you?
“A prophet has no honor in his own country” It really doesn’t impress them. They nod their heads and say “that’s nice.” Most of the time they think mom is just playing on the computer all day.
Would you call yourself a social human being? Do you have time for going out and spending time away from the writing desk?
I do not socialize as much as I used to. As an independent author, writing is only half of my work, although I must say it is the most fun part! The other part of my time is devoted to promoting my work and networking, and that is the most time consuming.
Which character trait do you like best about yourself and why? Which trait would you rather do without?
My compassion for others and I have the gift of insight which has always been a beacon in my dealings with others and in handling life’s challenges. In that aspect, I can honestly say I like myself. What will seem a complete contradiction is the fact that when it comes to my writing I am riddled with self-doubt. I find myself in awe with the company of great writers in which I dare to call myself a part of that
community. And so with that said; I am constantly working to improve my skills
and am brutally honest with myself. Although there are some advantages to being
self-critical, being overly self-critical can be stymieing.
Can you describe the place where you write + the view?
Oh, the wonders of a laptop! I cloister myself in whatever room is not occupied, Barr the door, give forth the proper warnings and do not emerge until I have satiated the urge to write.
Is there something you always need to have near you when you work (beverage, cigarette, mascot, music, quote, etc)?
Plenty of coffee, my cigarettes, and an ashtray.
What genre(s) do you write in? How did that develop?
I was not aware of what genre my work was until it was finished. I am a Fantasy/ Romance writer.
At some point you decided to self-publish. Can you tell us how that process developed?
After my first book was finished, I started looking into publishing options and self-publishing seemed the most logical option to choose.
How do you feel about self-publishing now? What are the advantages,
disadvantages, pitfalls, etc.?
I find it very self-fulfilling. Although, I do believe that one must be totally committed to long hard hours of work, and to the realization that instant success is only for the very few.
Are you in a network of Indie authors? How do you market your own book?
Yes and yes. But I also have a marketing plan for my first edition with a previous publisher.
When was your first book released and how did that make you feel?
Can you tell us some background information on the book? (How did you get the idea, how long did it take you to write and edit it, is it part of a sequel, how does the published book make you feel now?)
I have always been quite disturbed about the negative light shed upon witchcraft and paganism in the cinema and in
literature (although everyone likes a good horror story now and then). I was tired of the misconceptions and prejudices. I wanted my work to reflect the positive aspects. I am a practicing eclectic solitary witch, and so, Stolen Moments was born.
The first chapter of Stolen Moments was actually a dream. When I awoke that morning, I had an overwhelming urge to write it down, and then the story took on a life of itself. I never had the desire to write before and Stolen Moments was just as much a surprise to me as it was to my family and friends. It took six weeks to write. (I had a little spiral notebook and wrote the entire book longhand). After acquiring a computer, it took a few weeks to type it in. Although as far as editing, I have never added or removed one single word from my original MS; the only thing I have ever done is proof read it.
I am very proud of Stolen Moments, in addition to shedding a positive light on Wicca, it is enriched with forty years of accumulated knowledge of the path I have chosen for my life. Stolen Moments is the first book of a series. I am now working on finishing and publishing the next book.
With Stolen Moments it was a continuous compulsion. With White Magick, my second book, it is when the continuation of the story comes to mind, usually in a dream.
Who’s been your biggest inspiration and why? Since when?
All those who have come before me, and all those to come.
Where do you see yourself in 5-years’ time?
Doing whatever brings me joy.
You are so very welcome!
THANK YOU for this lovely interview, dear Janus!
Here are the links:
CONFESSIONS OF A ROMANCE WRITER:
STOLEN MOMENTS BOOK SERIES:
JANUS GANGI FACEBOOK PAGE: