Monday, October 3, 2011

Author Interview: Janice Hardy of the Healing Wars Trilogy

Yay! Today is my interview with Janice Hardy. The third book in her Healing Wars Trilogy comes out TOMORROW! Make sure you go buy it. You may need to buy the first two books as well, but it is well worth it. :)

I'll do a full review of Darkfall eventually (life has been a bit busy). For now, just know I gave it a 5 on my scale because at the end I was completely satisfied with how it all worked out. Oh, and I read the book in a day!

Janice Hardy always wondered about the darker side of healing. For her fantasy trilogy THE HEALING WARS, she tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. Her books include THE SHIFTER, BLUE FIRE, and DARKFALL. She lives in Georgia with her husband, three cats and one very nervous freshwater eel. You can visit her online at, chat with her about writing on her blog, The Other Side of the Story, or find her on Twitter .

Now the questions.

How do you “get in the zone” when writing? Do you listen to music? Look through art? Something else? What is your writing environment like?
I usually write at my desk in my office, but when I need to focus, I write on my laptop away from email and temptation. My office is very colorful, with all kinds of stuff hanging from the ceiling (butterflies, cool mobiles) artsy lizards climbing up the wall, funky figures and things in the shelves. I “get in the zone” by reading the last few pages, remembering where I was in the story and getting back into the voice and feel of the characters. I don’t usually listen to music, but I started trying that recently. As long as it’s instrumental it doesn’t distract me. I’ve been picking something that relates to the setting of the book, which has been fun.

What’s your favorite part of being a writer?

I love the feeling you get when a story just clicks and you see all it can be. You want to write it just to see how it all turns out.

What’s your least favorite part?
When it isn’t clicking so well and every word is a struggle. It really saps your energy and makes you want to do anything but write. But you have to stick with it to get past it.

It's so true about your energy being sapped when things don't click right away. 

Are you a pantser or plotter, or a mix?
I’m a mix. I outline the plot and the story, but I pants my way through how the characters fulfill that plot. That way I have structure to guide me, but I still retain the wonder of seeing what happens to keep it fresh. Me too!

Best thinking activity? (e.g. washing dishes, folding clothes, driving)
Washing my hair. Something about massaging the brain always gives me ideas or gets me un-stuck. I’ve had more book ideas in the middle of washing my hair than you’d believe. 

LOL, I guess that's better than getting ideas as you fall asleep.

Worst/most interesting writing related injury? (e.g. falling off chair or tripping over whilst trying to do something you're sure your MC could manage)
I wish I had something funny here to share, but my worst one has to be straining my poor eyeballs. Too much time spent staring at a screen really overworked them and I couldn’t even look at a screen of any type for two months. I was going out of my mind. Though it did get me to break my computer habit and get outside more, so it turned out okay in the end.

OMGoodness, I think I'd go crazy if I couldn't look at my computer, but I do see how it might be great for regaining some balance.

I have to tell you I think the idea of Healers/Takers/Shifters is brilliant. What gave you this idea and did you know it was going to be a winner? AKA, how did you fall in love with this idea enough to stick with it?
Thanks so much! The idea was a lot of small inspirations that all converged at the right time, but the core idea came after seeing the first X-Men movie. Rogue is my favorite superhero, and she accidentally steals powers by touch. I left wondering what would happen if someone did that with healing. What if they accidental healed people just by bumping into them? That led to me thinking about healing as a magical power, and what if it had consequences and a darker aspect to it. Once I started doing the world building, it all kinda fell into place.

I actually knew early on that it could be my breakout book. It just felt different from anything I’d ever written before. It came together so easily, practically fell out of my head on to the page. It was also lacking the issues previous books I’d written had. It’s hard to explain but it simply felt ready.

Sticking to this one was easy as well. I wanted to see where this took me and how this impulsive girl solved all the troubles I kept thinking up for her. And the more I wrote, the more connected and interesting everything got. It was also exciting to have a book I felt was going to get more than form rejections. How can you not stick with that?

Which character do you relate to the most?
I think Aylin, Nya’s best friend. She’s very upbeat and optimistic, even when things are really bad. She tries not to let things bother her and just accept that life sometimes takes weird turns.

My daughter loves Aylin's name. She started reading The Shifter Sunday and is really enjoying it.

What’s next now the Healing Trilogy is finished?
I’m currently working on a YA fantasy about an undercover spy. I’m trying some new things this time, with a romance, some dual points of view, and a wheels-within-wheels plot. I’m having a blast with it.

Don't you love it when the writing is fun? Good luck with the new project, and thanks for taking the time to visit with us today.


The Shifter

Blue Fire



 About Darkfall:

War has come.

Nya’s the one who brought it. And the people love her for it.

With Baseer in shambles and Geveg now an impenetrable military stronghold, Nya and the Underground have fled to a safer location—without Tali. Nya is guilt-ridden over leaving her sister behind and vows to find her, but with the rebellion in full swing and refugees flooding the Three Territories, she fears she never will.

The Duke, desperate to reclaim the throne as his own, has rallied his powerful army. And they are on the move, destroying anyone who gets in the way.

To save her sister, her family, and her people, Nya needs to stay ahead of the Duke’s army and find a way to build one of her own. Past hurts must be healed, past wrongs must be righted, and Nya must decide: Is she merely a pawn in the rebellion, a symbol of hope—or is she ready to be a hero?


  1. You gotta watch eye-strain from computer monitors. I try to keep my monitors tuned to a comfortable brightness and invested in some that were a little more expensive but had a high refresh rate, lots of resolution, and a low ms response to minimize eye-strain.

    I love the covers on the books. Nothing like the deep pockets of Harper Collins to produce fantastic covers for your novel.

  2. Thanks! The illustrator is Brandon Dorman, and he has an amazing way with color. I've been very lucky on covers overall.

    The eye strain has certainly been no fun. The hubby is a professional geek, so I think I have pretty good monitors, but I'll double check those things to make sure.

  3. Great interview. I'm so excited for Janice and love learning new things about her. I'll have to see if washing my hair ever gets me unstuck too.

  4. Michael, I never think about my monitors. I do try and have other lights on at night so my monitor isn't the only light.

    I agree the covers are amazing!

    Natalie, thanks for stopping by. You know what my favorite hair washing is? At the salon. I don't know if that would get me unstuck, but it sure does relax me. Good luck!

    Janice, how lucky to have a prof. geek for a hubby!


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