Interview with Janet W. Ferguson
About the Author
Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served her church as a children’s minister and a youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a few cats that allow them to share the space.
1. What is your favorite dessert? All of them!
2. What is your favorite beverage? My first cup of coffee in the morning!
3. What is your favorite movie and/or TV show? Currently Poldark by BBC, so romantic!
4. Where is your favorite place to go on holiday? Any beach by an ocean with warm weather!
1. Whom or what inspired you to become an author?
My first story was a personal quest to alleviate some of the stigma and embarrassment connected to anxiety and depressive disorders. Then the stories kept coming. :)
2. What did you want to be when you grew up?
A singer/actor or a teacher or a missionary. Just a bit all over the map. Did becoming an author ever cross your mind? No, that seemed like a lot of work. :)
3a. What authors do you enjoy?
SO MANY! Right now I’m reading Charles Martin, Lisa Wingate, Misty Beller, and have a Mary Connealy book waiting.
3b. Do these authors inspire your own writing?
For sure! I wish I could write like these authors! I try to study their craft as I read. I’m underling, folding pages, back book treatment, ha!
4. When you are not writing, what other "hats" do you wear?
The Lord’s servant, wife, mother, friend, aunt, sister, dog owner, cook and cat slave. I’m supposed to like… clean the house, I guess, too. Oops…
Book Related Questions
1. What inspired the idea for Magnolia Storms?
Researching the port of Mobile, Alabama, for my book Blown Together, I emailed a college friend who is a ship pilot. When he answered my questions, he also included of videos ship pilots transferring from their pilot boat to larger vessels to guide them into the mouth of the Mississippi River. It was fascinating and beautiful and exciting. I knew right away, I had my next hero!
Here’s a video (You might want to turn off the sound of the heavy metal music): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtdZZrepBSQ&feature=youtu.be
The other part of the story is Hurricane Katrina. Once the levees broke in New Orleans, many people missed the fact that the storm obliterated whole towns and communities on our coastline and wreaked havoc over three hours inland. For Mississippians, time is often divided Before Katrina or After Katrina. There are still vacant lots on our coast after over a decade due to the storm surge that was up to thirty feet high in places. I felt a calling to delve into those emotions.
Here’s a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_lGgdJRplA
2. What do you want readers to take away from Magnolia Storms?
Here are a few quotes from the book that sum up the takeaway.
“Being a Christian doesn’t disqualify us from heartache.”
“God isn’t caught off guard when disasters and tragedies assail us from all sides. He is not shocked.”
“Jesus himself quoted the Psalm, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ Isaiah says ‘He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.’ He understands pain and disappointment. He understands having His best friends abandon Him when He needed them most.”
“God has a purpose for your pain. Your pain can become your platform. Trust Him.”
“Isaiah 43:2 says, ‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you,’ Being a Christian means we have a Comforter and a Savior who walks through our floods alongside us.”
I hope your readers find comfort and encouragement in my little story. :)
3. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about this project?
I’m working on a story that deals with drug and alcohol addiction, and it is set in St. Simmons, Georgia. The title will be The Art of Rivers. Addiction is a heartbreaking condition that transcends all socioeconomic status, race, and geographic boundaries.
8/23/2017 05:06:21 pm
I appreciate the opportunity to share about the inspiration for Magnolia Storms!! Thanks!
8/23/2017 07:32:13 pm
Great interview! This is a new author to me, and this book sounds so good!
8/23/2017 07:58:03 pm
Thank you, Tiffany! I hope you enjoy it!!
8/24/2017 03:54:29 pm
Thank you, Jann! I hope you enjoy it!
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