Today, November 1st, marks the start of NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month. As most of you know, I’ve been working on my first novel for over four years. From an online creative writing course through Wesleyan University, to research trips to Philadelphia, Newport and Boston, to crafting/ editing/revising a story with meaningful characters addressing societal issues during a tumultuous period of history, it’s been a journey. Now, as NaNoWriMo kicks off, I am thrilled to share my journey will come full circle when indie press, Black Rose Writing, publishes Eliza’s story (title still TBD) in August 2022.

My signature on a contract joins family signatures which came before me.

Through genealogy research into my Robinson family, I discovered my great-great- great-grandfather’s involvement with the 1850 founding of the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, the first accredited medical college for women. As a graduate of Wheaton College, at the time a woman’s college, my antennae rose and down the rabbit hole I went, meeting the women of WMC upon whom I based many of my characters, including Anandi Gopal Joshi, Charlotte Fairbanks, and Olga Povitsky. My grandfather Robinson was a published author of multiple books in the 1910s-1920s. Inspired by his novel, Man Proposes, new characters entered my pages to build chapters in the fairy-tale setting of Newport RI.

In ten short months, Eliza, supported by a circle of women, will release out into the world. Boosted by feedback from my publisher, I know my circle of women, my posse, my wolfpack (thanks, Sue), will stand by me as my marketing campaign starts firing on all cylinders. Proudly adding #2022debuts #debutauthor #debutnovel to my repertoire of social media posts.

“But he who dares not grasp the thorn
Should never crave the rose.”


The current state of publishing, from traditional to indie to self, demands herculean efforts from an author to spread the word about their release. With a career spent in sales and marketing, I look forward to collaborating with experts in the field to ensure a successful launch. One tactic I’ll engage is meeting with book clubs. If you’ve followed me for a while, you know how much I treasure my book club. I believe Eliza’s story will raise multiple issues to stimulate a great discussion. I’d love to connect with as many groups as possible. If you’re interested, I’m collecting club info via this form. Thank you in advance!

As a tease before August, I’m posting excerpts here on the blog. First one posted last month, next one will come out on November 11. Why Armistice Day? With my novel set during the years 1897 – 1920, I include a few chapters on World War I and its impact on my characters. Make sure you’re following my FB page where I’ll be posting links to the other excerpts each month.

From the website: “Black Rose Writing is an independent publishing house that strongly believes in developing a personal relationship with their authors. The Texas-based publishing company doesn’t see authors as clients or just another number on a page, but rather as individual people… people who deserve an honest review of their material and to be paid traditional royalties without ever paying any fees to be published. Black Rose Writing features books from an array of fiction, non-fiction, and children’s book genres, all having one thing in common, an individual’s originality and hard work. It can take endless hours to finish a deserving manuscript, and Black Rose Writing applauds each and every author, giving them a chance at their dream.”

Recognizing and supporting independent authors since 2006

I already owe thanks to a circle of BRW authors whom I consulted with prior to signing on the dotted line. I look forward to getting to know them all better and share in each other’s success. To start, check out Landscape of a Marriage, by fellow BRW author, Gail Ward Olmstead, one of my five-star reads this past summer.

Thank you for following me on this journey. We’ve turned a major corner and the finish line is in sight. Onward and upward!!


  1. Kate Cochrane on April 17, 2022 at 4:01 pm

    Hi Janis, Cannot wait to read it! Congratulations! Would love to reserve a date this coming summer for the Lyons Cousins to get together after having read your book…..and maybe do a Book Club with a real live author!! That would be fantastic. Again, Congratulations! Enjoy every minute of your success. With true admiration, Kate Cochrane

  2. Amy Shelton on April 17, 2022 at 4:01 pm

    OMG- that message from the agency- 5 stars and very rare- you must have had your breath taken away. I am so excited to read- I love historical fiction. Philippa Gregory is one of my absolute favorites. Maybe now I have another. 😉

  3. J.R. Roessl on April 17, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    Congratulations, Janis! What a feat. Am looking forward to your publication date in August of 2022!

  4. Deb Bergerson on April 17, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    That’s so exciting! Congragulations! Look forward to reading it in a few months. Success after a lot of hard work and rewrites. Will check with a couple of my sisters-in-laws who belong to book clubs in Minneapolis area. Let me know title and where it can be purchased, and I can pass along info to them.

  5. Martha Munro on April 17, 2022 at 4:03 pm

    The best news in ages! It sounds fascinating! Just calendared your book launch in August. So anxious to read it!! ❤️❤️

  6. Peggy Iafrate on April 17, 2022 at 4:03 pm

    Amazing news Janis! I can’t wait!!!

  7. E. Wickham on April 17, 2022 at 4:04 pm

    Congratulations! That sounds like a fascinating story and you put so much work into it.

  8. Maureen on April 17, 2022 at 4:42 pm

    Congratulations Janis, it’s been a journey and now the prize! Good Luck! Maureen Amy

  9. Cathy Daly on April 17, 2022 at 4:42 pm

    Congratulations Can’t wait to read your book.

  10. Susannah Willey on April 17, 2022 at 4:42 pm

    I am so excited for you and even more motivated to finish my novel!

  11. Maureen Corcoran on April 17, 2022 at 4:43 pm

    Fantastic Janis! Congrats on all your hard work. Sounds like the journey has been enjoyable too! Best, Maureen

  12. Marnie Greenhut on April 17, 2022 at 4:43 pm

    Congratulations!!!!!! Such a huge accomplishment. With your diligence, persistence and research I fully expected you to find a publisher but it looks like you found the perfect publisher who’s going to support and promote your book. The pub date is amazing. Wishing you all the success in the world!
    One of my all time favorite books and the book i wrote my thesis on in college is The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Even back then, long before I found myself not going the traditional route of marriage and family, I was drawn to the idea of a woman being able to want Suffern different than what’s expected. Im excited to read Eliza’s story. And when it publishes my store will have been opened for a year so I should even have time to read! Haha. You go girl! So happy & excited for you. Marnie

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