With Janyre Tromp
I loved your book, Shadows in the Mind’s Eye. Historical fiction with the twists and turns of psychological suspense! What gave you the idea for this novel?
Thank you for your kind words. I always smile when I hear psychological suspense because I’m often described as a lyrical writer too. I love that I can mashup both types of books!
My idea for the book came started with an article about PTSD in WWII veterans. It included an estimation of the percentages of veterans that came home exhibiting symptoms as well as how the men hid the symptoms and tried to cope with a return to real life. As I read, I realized that my grandfather had likely had PTSD when he came home. It left me wondering how my grandparents had not only survived his struggles but eventually created an enviably strong marriage. Of course the events of the book are very different from what happened to my grandparents so I needed a new location.
As I searched for a place to set the book, my girlfriend suggested the area where her family was from in Arkansas. I researched the mountains and found Hot Springs which, with all the mob activity, was the perfect setting for a suspense novel.
I see in your bio that you’re a developmental editor. Tell us what that is.
A developmental editor is basically in charge of making sure a book hangs together as a whole and delivers the book the publisher contracted. In fiction that means checking character and plot arcs, timelines, basic believability/historicity/facts, and reader experience (is it satisfying?). In nonfiction it means checking book-wide hook, flow, arguments, permissions and copyright issues, and reader experience (does it deliver on the felt need). Sometimes it means redirecting an author and sometimes it means re-writing sections. I’ll also deal with grammar and spelling if it's something that is pervasive in a manuscript. But grammar and spelling are not my areas of expertise.
What is the most common mistake(s) you see as an editor? Any advice for writers?
My favorite piece of advice is to do edits in order. Don’t start with word choice and grammar. You might end up deleting that scene. And for that first edit, always, always, always create an outline after the book is finished (even if you hate outlines and even if you used an outline to write the book). Creatin a fresh outline helps see problems with timeline, character, and plot arcs. It’s the best weapon for writers (and editors) in first-round edits.
Also I run a Facebook Group called Editing Insiders with Janyre and Sarah where we answer general writing questions. It’s a great place to get general advice from a couple of professional editors.
Do you have another novel in the works? Can you tell us about it?
I do! Darkness Calls the Tiger is up on GoodReads.I’d love to have everyone mark it as “Want to Read”! It’s a little bit Poisonwood Bible meets Unbroken. It takes place in the mountains of Burma during WWII, and it’s about a young woman whose family is missionaries. The village is destroyed in a brutal Japanese attack and she has to figure out what to do with her faith in light of the darkness in the world.
That sounds wonderful. Where can we find you?
I joke that as long as you can spell my name, you can find me!
www.JanyreTromp.com (where you can sign up for my newsletter and receive a free novella)
Janyre Tromp is a historical novelist whose loves spinning tales that, at their core, hunt for beauty, even when it isn’t pretty.
She’s the best-selling author of Shadows in the Mind’s Eye and coauthor of O Little Town and It’s a Wonderful Christmas.
She’s also a book editor, published children’s book author, and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her family, two crazy cats, and a slightly eccentric Shetland Sheepdog.