Jane Toombs is my first guest author for the monthly “Lucky 13” series, published on the 13th of each month. These are personal stories from authors and artists about the role luck’s played in their work and their lives. I’m thrilled to host Jane today. She is the author of around 100 books, counting both novels and novellas. She and her Significant Other live in their old home town in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula wilderness across the road from Lake Superior. The two of them are owned by a calico cat named Kinko.
My two good luck stories: The first is about writing, the second about life and love.
Midway along in my writing career, my best friend was selling regularly to Harlequin. At a conference, she introduced me to her editor, telling her, “Jane is writing a book about dog sledding in Alaska and the Iditarod Race that commemorates bringing diphtheria serum to Nome.”
The editor smiled at me and said, “I love that statue of Balto in Central Park. He was the lead dog when the serum was brought, wasn’t he?”
“Send the book to me when you finish it,” she added.
The result? I sold the first of what turned out to be many books to Harlequin.
I skipped from First to Second Grade and the only empty seat was in front of a boy named Elmer Anderson. I was scared of all these strange kids, but he smiled at me and we became friends, but never “went together.”
Years later, after my book Ladies Of The Lakes came out, Elmer read my book, found out I lived in upstate New York and called me from northern Nevada to tell me my Swedish hero couldn’t have a last name ending “en” because that was Norwegian. Swedish last names ended in “on.” He also wondered if I I’d based this hero Swede on him.
As we talked on we discovered he was visiting relatives in lower Michigan the same weekend I was attending a wedding there–in towns not too many miles apart. Obviously we were intended to meet–and when we did, something clicked for both of us. My second husband had died and Elmer had been divorced for eight years. It didn’t take long for both of us to decide we wanted to be together permanently.
I flew to Nevada a few months later and we haven’t been apart in the eighteen years since then.
Information about Jane’s books can be found at her website: www.JaneToombs.com
Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org If you email her and ask for one, Jane will send you a read-only CD with covers and excerpts of all her books on it. (This offer is limited to the USA and Canada only.)