When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer?
After my son was born I began writing and trying to get published. I think I was always a "writer" but it took me longer to become a published writer and then published author. I started writing a book about ten years ago and when I was done that one I was hooked. Before that I always had the writing bug though. I kept journals, re-wrote commercials when I was driving and pretty much found any excuse I could to write. Writing is my favorite way of communicating.
Why do you write young adult fiction?
There are virtually no boundaries about what you can do and what you can write about in Young Adult fiction and I love that kind of freedom. Kind of like the teen years. It can be tough, but there is so much hope and transition in teen lives. I love writing about things that I find tough but also injecting some humor. I like to look underneath the surface and see the yucky stuff sometimes and in YA there is freedom to do that. Also I think a part of me kind of got stuck in the teen years, and I have a chance to re-write things over and over.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
These days I work full time and I have a busy husband who keeps giving me jobs to do, so finding writing time is more difficult. I use time on the weekend to write, and write at night when I’m particularly inspired. I miss writing full time. As far as the writing itself, I used to hate revising, but now it's my favorite part. I am not an outlining author so a lot of my fine tuning and crafting begins at the revision stage.
What is the hardest part about being a writer?
Well, it would be great if it paid better and had benefits, but it’s a passion so what do you do? Ha ha. I love writing I really do, but it’s hard to do full time and make a living. That’s why I went back to work full time. Being a sales person uses a totally different side of my personality. I get all bossy and competitive and it’s kind of weird. I love writing though and always find my way back to it. I’m so excited to launch the Anthology I edited, a complete different process from fiction.
Do you get to pick your own covers?
Not as a traditionally published author. Luckily, there are people out there who do it for a living, and man, they’re good at it, right?
I'm doing a book report on you. Where were you born? Where did you go to school?
I was born in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. I lived there for seven years, moved to Ontario for five years and then back to Western Canada in Regina Saskatchewan where I went to Campbell Collegiate until Grade 11. In Grade 12 I moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba and finished high school at Westwood Collegiate. After high school I went to Red River Community College in Winnipeg and took a Communications Diploma. I returned to college a few years later and got a Sales and Marketing diploma. I have one son, named Max. He is the delight of my life. I’ve been married to a lovely man named Larry for over 20 years and he can still make me laugh.
How Can I Contact You?
You can email me at or find me on twitter @janetgurtler
What inspires you?
I am an open book so to speak. I am always listening and gathering images, sounds, smells etc for my books. Like most writers I listen well. I'm often inspired by something I see or something I read and have that question always lingering in the back of my mind..."what if".
What do you do when you're not writing?
I work for a liquor company full time. I love walks and I love music. Loud music. I am that embarrassing old person who blares her music too loudly in her car. I spend far too much time on the Internet. I need to start exercising and eating healthier. I’m working on that. It’s a process.
What is your biggest secret?
I have a lot of secrets that are secret for a reason. I grew up before the Internet and phones with cameras. That’s a good thing. Trust me.
I have two tattoos one is very old. It’s a tiny rainbow on my shoulder. It was meant to be symbolic at the time. Somewhere over the rainbow things were going to be great. (It mostly came true!) I think I was also woke before my time. I have another tattoo on my wrist, with a Hummingbird and my brother Ian’s name. He passed away a few years ago. He was brilliant and weird and I miss him very much.
I have five piercings (4 are in my ears one is in my nose. I only use two of the four in my ears.)
What are you working on now?
I’m so excited about the anthology I have coming out in January 2020, but excited seems like the wrong word really because it’s a serious topic with serious essays. I’ve been writing, editing and now working on marketing that book, called YOU TOO?
I’m also co-authoring another book that comes out in 2020, with a very cool and amazing male writer. More on that SOON!