Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle: Amazing Stories - ONE Woman!

In all my years of interviewing, I don’t think I have ever experienced a more amazing story of  mega success coming from such an interesting set of setbacks.  Having to drop a name because of poor sales, not once, but multiple times, then having those names rise back up to stardom! It is almost as interesting as the woman who experienced it.  Jayne Castle (real name… seriously!) has established a best-selling career that spans over 30 years, and in that time has amassed  a world of wisdom, humor, and self-depreciating common sense that everyone, no matter their background, can learn and enjoy.  Talking with her is like talking to a dear, wise friend; one who is kind and approachable while sharing wisdom that burrows deep and is remembered long.

InD: It is so nice to get to visit with you, Jayne! Few people understand how wonderful it is to visit with someone else who loves all the people in our heads and on the page.
A while back it dawned on me that those of us who have the gift of reading for pleasure are blessed. So many people don't read for pleasure–they can read–they just don’t do it for pleasure and relaxation.
InD: It is kind of sad because you can learn so much from a story. There are people who look down on genre fiction, for whatever reason, but there are so many lessons, and ways to be enlightened by fiction you cannot get elsewhere. People won't usually sit down and listen to a lecture on some moral theme, but they will read a story and learn from that.
: I agree. Genre fiction – and by that I mean popular fiction – carries our cultural values forward. It is how we affirm them. We all know what a hero is supposed to do. We all know what makes the hero a hero. We get that from popular fiction.  It doesn't matter how flawed or how much trauma is in the background, we always know that in the end, the hero or heroine will do the right thing, even if it costs them their life.
InD: I totally agree. There are also so many other   things we may never experience in our personal lives, but can learn and be enlightened by reading a story. They help us understand and empathize with the world around us.
I think one of the greatest aspects of reading fiction is that we do absorb a lot about the world and other people in it. It makes us more open to experiences. It allows us to take part in a journey we might not otherwise be able to take. Fiction opens minds in a way that, really, nothing else can do. It’s a unique experience.
I think that is why we have stories. You have to ask yourself, why would we even invent the whole story telling thing? Humans have always told stories. It is how we carry information and values forward.
InD: And you are the purveyor of all of those! Okay, let's talk about you! Your real name is Jayne?
Yes. My birth name is Jayne Castle. That is where the Jayne comes from.
InD: Of all the names you use, Jayne Castle is the one I thought was a pen name!
It was the perfect pen name, but I managed to sign it away early on in my career because I signed a contract I should not have signed. That was before I knew much about agents. Also, at the time, there was a widely held belief that if you wrote genre fiction, you wrote under a pen name. I don't hear people talking about that very much anymore, but back in the day, it was a common practice. By the time I got my name back, I had already reinvented myself as Jayne Ann Krentz, Stephanie James, Amanda Quick, and a couple of others.
InD: I did not even know about Stephanie James or Amanda Quick when I began pestering you for an interview!
Amanda Quick was actually the one name I invented. I really wanted to use another name because I had managed to kill off my Krentz name with my early attempts at Futuristic Romance. The Futuristic books I wrote back in the 90s just bombed in the marketplace.  Readers lined up around the block NOT to buy those novels. As a result, I had to reinvent myself and my career. I did that under the Amanda Quick name.
You always learn something from those kinds of experiences. The thing I learned from the Futuristic failure was how to identify my core story.  Once I got that blinding-flash-of-the-obvious, I realized my core story did not have to take place in a futuristic setting.  I knew it would work remarkably well in an Historical setting.

Read the entire fun and informative interview in the March 2022 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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