Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Romantic Reads: Waltzing with a Grease Monkey

Interview with Janetta Fudge-Messmer about her book, 
Waltzing with a Grease Monkey:

“Waltzing with a Grease Monkey” is quite the creative title for a story! What inspired it?

Janetta: It is a unique title, for sure. You ask, “What inspired it?” Since my main character is a ballroom dancer and moonlights as a mechanic, the book called for an out-of-the-box title. I wish I could take credit for the name, but I have to thank my friend, Linda A.

Here’s a fun fact: Ray and I owned an auto repair shop for eight years in the 1990s. After one of our mechanics quit, I worked in the bays for about five months.

Alexis: Why did you write this story?

Janetta: I have to blame my publisher. Cynthia puts out ideas, and the dancing one jumped out at me. I love to dance, and I love watching the TV program called Dancing with the Stars, which made a win/win combination. My hubby and I brainstormed and came up with the moonlighting as a mechanic.

What was the most fun part of writing this romance?

Janetta: Learning more about dancing as I researched. And figuring out how to combine a dance instructor with a side job as a mechanic. I’m a pantser (write by the seat of my pants), so a scene will pop into my head from nowhere. Most times, it surprises me as much as I hope it does my readers.

Tell me about your story’s heroine, Penelope "Nell" Price. What does she look like? Sound like? Act like? What are her greatest dreams and deepest fears?

You ask me what Penelope Price looks like. I know I’m different than other authors – I don’t have a picture of a specific person for my character. I want my readers to imagine what they look like in their own mind. One thing I do know about Nell, she has settled into her routine of working all the time. Her greatest dream: To make a difference. Her deepest fear: Stepping out of her comfort zone.

Alexis: Tell me about your story’s hero. What is his name? What does he look like? Sound like? Act like? What are his hopes and desires in life?

Janetta: If I tell you about my story’s hero, I’ll give away the book. It is a novella. Penelope has two men vying for her attention, and both are successful in life. One is happy to share his talents as an owner of an auto repair shop. And grease under his fingernails doesn’t bother him in the least. The other, he’s made his own way in life, not relying on his family name to get ahead.

Alexis: What brings Penelope and the hero together?

Janetta: They realize the Lord has a plan for their lives, and finding the importance of telling the other person how they feel – before it’s too late. Not wait for someone to woo them away.

Alexis: What threatens to tear Penelope and her love interest apart?

Janetta: Their stubbornness. Just like with all of us – our stubborn streak will get us going in the wrong direction more times than not. They (as with us) must listen to God’s leading in our life.

Alexis: Describe the setting for this story. Where does it take place? What makes this setting special to your characters?

Janetta: Newberry is the setting for my story but it isn’t real. The imaginary town is big enough to have a warehouse district (where Priceless Dance Studio is located), but small enough where people know their neighbors. And their business. I loved the name when it came to mind.

What gives Penelope a love for dance? How does she like teaching at her mom’s studio?

Janetta: All Penelope has known is dance. From her first steps, her mother and father taught every dance step their students learned. Penelope does love to dance. She also enjoys working with her mom and brother but wonders if there’s something else out there to use her talents.

Alexis: What role does Harrison play in Penelope’s life?

Janetta: As far as Penelope is concerned, Harrison plays a larger role in her life than she’d planned when she first met him. After their unexpected meeting, she didn’t care if she ever set eyes on him again.

Who is Derek and what role does he play in this story?

Derek is Penelope’s boss at the auto repair shop. He and Nell dated and broke it off two years before. And the more time she spends at the shop, she’s aware he wants to rekindle what they once had.

Alexis: What is Penelope looking for in a man? Has she ever been in a romantic relationship?

Janetta: Penelope wants a man that loves the Lord and works for the good of others. Looks aren’t at the top of her list. Character is of most importance to her. She and Derek dated before, but she wants it to stay in the past.

Alexis: What is it about Penelope that attracts suitors? Does anything that she says or does make these men leave her life? Explain.

Janetta: Penelope is kindhearted, witty, and isn’t interested in dating. Her excuse is that she’s too busy. When she does date, she’s the one who calls it quits before it gets too serious. And, don’t ever pigeon hole her. She’s a female and doesn’t have an issue with pursuing what people believe is ‘man’s work.’

Alexis: What do you want your readers to remember most about this story?

Janetta: 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV) is the Bible verse the Lord chose for Waltzing with a Grease Monkey. The verse reads, “Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” I believe the Lord gives us gifts and talents to use for His glory. Years ago, He spoke into my heart about becoming a writer. Obstacles stood in my way, but with Him by my side in all the struggles, we persevered.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Janetta! Would you like to share closing thoughts?

Alexis, thank you for featuring me on your blog. I loved your thought-provoking questions and will ask them when I begin my next book. Blessings, my friend.

Author Bio:
Janetta Fudge Messmer’s tagline is "Turning Life into Comedy." The reason being, she loves to laugh and that’s why she writes Christian Comedy with a touch of Romance.

She’s also a speaker and editor. For Janetta, writing and traveling go hand- in-hand, since she, her hubby (Ray) and their pooch (Maggie) are full-time RVers.

Most days you’ll find them sightseeing around the USA in their Winnebago…but first Janetta has to sit down and write a few words.

Book Blurb for Waltzing with a Grease Monkey:

Penelope Price contemplates dating her boss (Derek Hamilton) again. But all they talked about the last time was vehicles they worked on at the auto shop that day. 

Along with her job at Hamilton Auto Repair, Nell also teaches ballroom dancing at her mom’s studio.

And to top off her crazy job schedule, she takes a “Finding Your Spiritual Gifts” test at her church. This sets more things into motion than Penelope ever dreamed of – one being the day her two professions collide. She won’t be able to dance her way out of this predicament.

Will Penelope’s newest dance student (Harrison) waltz into Priceless Dance Studio and steal her heart away? Or will Derek’s gifts of wit and wisdom win her over in the end?

Buy Janetta’s book on Amazon

Connect with Janetta:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01DWHA1EW
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janetta.fudge.messmer
E-mail: janettafudgemessmer@gmail.com
Website: http://janettafudgemessmer.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nettiefudge

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1 comment:

  1. I wish that I could dance but I have two left feet lol, I have tried and tried to learn but I have no rhythm whatsoever.