One of Janet Tronstad's favorite childhood memories is of borrowing Zane Gray novels from her grandfather's bookshelf.
"There probably weren't more than fifty titles there," she recalls. "It was only a shelf of old books in the back bedroom. But it was the call to adventure for me. I still remember what it felt like to start reading a new book. It's the same excitement I feel today when I start writing a new book."
Janet, one of five children, grew up on a family farm near Fort Shaw, Montana, a small town with a population of fewer than 200. This small town and the thriving church she attended have been an inspiration for her popular Dry Creek series of novels published by the Steeple Hill line.
"People respond to the characters I have in my Dry Creek series," says Janet, "and a lot of that is because of the sense of community they share. I think we all hunger to be in a place where people know us and accept us."
Janet likes to write books that show people struggling with issues in their life and in their faith. "We all struggle," she says. "That's why we like to read about other people who are facing problems."
In addition to the Dry Creek series, Janet is also currently writing books that are set in urban locations.
"The rural-urban switch is one I've been conscious of in my own life since I grew up on a farm and then, with graduate school and various jobs, lived in several large cities before settling in Pasadena, California," says Janet. "I often have a character that grew up in a small town and just moved to a big city or the other way around."
Janet holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin and was published in various national magazines before she started writing fiction.