Book Beat Babes

Book Beat Babes

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kaye George's Alter Ego, Janet Cantrell Offers Great Writing Tips and a New Book!

Janet Cantrell a/k/a Kaye George

Today, I'm happy to present Kaye George a/k/a Janet Cantrell, who has a fun way of dispensing advice through a fictional Aunt Janny column. Morgan Mandel

Janet Cantrell is a pen name for Kaye George, Agatha nominated novelist and short story writer. She belongs to Sisters in Crime, Guppies, and Austin Mystery Writers. 

Her cozy Fat Cat mystery series debuts in September of 2014 with FAT CAT AT LARGE, featuring Quincy, a pudgy, adorable cat who is an accomplished escape artist. Especially when he’s on a diet and hungry. Leave it to Quincy to lead his human, Chase, co-owner of a Minneapolis dessert bar shop, into trouble. 

Janet lives in Knoxville TN with her husband. Her recently departed feline, Agamemnon, is a source for some of Quincy’s antics. 

Visit for more details.

Here's Dear Aunt Janny:

Dear Aunt Janny,
I want to be a writer, but don’t know how to get started. I keep sending my fiction novel to the same agents over and over as I make changes, but I never get it published.

Want To Be A Writer

Dear Want To Be A Writer,
Several things come to mind.

1) Instead of saying you want to be a writer (please don’t capitalize the “A” in your signature), call yourself one. This is part of dressing for success. If YOU don’t call yourself a writer, no one else will.

2) All novels are fiction. If you are asking an agent to read your “fiction novel,” that might be part of your problem. It’s a novel. Period.

3) Send one novel to one agent. If you don’t hear back, or if you get rejected, do NOT send the same novel to that agent again. Honey, you’re going to get yourself on a blacklist. Think this through. If your best friend wanted you to go skydiving with her and you said that you absolutely would not ever do that, would asking you over and over and over change your mind?

4) You ask how to get started. Learn to write. Read, take courses, read, attend writer conferences if you can, read, find a critique group if you can, and read. And write more books. Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.

Good luck and don’t give up,
Aunt Janny

Dear Aunt Janny,
I’m almost finished with my novel. This book is going to blow the socks off the publishing world. It’s the Next Big Thing (in fact, that’s my title—clever, eh?).

My question is, when should I quit my job as a dishwasher? Should I allow a year to get everything settled? Or should I quit as soon as it’s done and concentrate on publicity?

Next Big Writer

Dear Next Big Writer,

You’re jumping the gun just a bit. After you’ve put all the words into the book, it won’t be finished. In fact, you may take another year—or longer—to get it into decent shape. A book is written in the rewrites. Most successful authors put a lot of effort into editing, getting feedback, and polishing.

It sounds like this is your first novel. Are you aware that most writers, even the most famous ones, wrote several novels before they produced one that was publishable? Are you also aware that the average time from beginning to write seriously to being published is ten years?

I hope this hasn’t discouraged you. Instead, when you start sending out Next Big Thing, maybe you’ll be prepared. While you’re trying to get this one accepted, start the Next Bigger Thing.

Don’t quit your job.

Good luck and don’t give up,
Aunt Janny

Dear Aunt Janny,
I don’t think I’ll ever get a book published. I’ve been trying for two years now and have 35 rejections on my first mystery. I’ve even written a sequel, but it already has 12 rejections.

I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I’ve bought books on writing, joined some online groups, and have taken classes in dialogue, setting, pacing, and even attended one weekend workshop with a well-known agent.

Should I give up and just write for myself?


Dear Discouraged,
You’re doing everything right! You just haven’t given yourself nearly enough time. I hope you haven’t quit your job. You may never be able to do that, but don’t worry, most published writers aren’t living off their writing incomes.

The biggest difference between a published writer and an unpublished one is perseverance. Keep going. You’ll get there.

Good luck and don’t give up,
Aunt Janny

FAT CAT AT LARGE by Janet Cantrell

When she’s not dreaming up irresistible dessert bars for her Minneapolis treatery, Bar None, Charity “Chase” Oliver is running after her cat, Quincy—a tubby tabby with a gift for sniffing out edibles. 

But what happens when this cat burglar leads Chase to the scene of a real crime?

Available now for preorder at:


Please leave a comment to welcome Kaye/Janet to Book Beat Babes!


  1. Welcome to Book Beat Babes, Kaye/Janet! thanks for offering such great writing tips. And, I absolutely love the cover of your new book!

  2. I love it, too--thanks! It's great to be here.

  3. Thanks for being with us. Your advice through correspondence is clever and so spot on!,