Interview: Janet Chester Bly

Janet Chester Bly has authored 12 books, including Words to Live By For Women (Bethany), Hope Lives Here (Discover), God Is Good All The Time (Discovery), Awakening Your Sense of Wonder (Discovery), The Heart of a Runaway (Discovery).

Amazing, right? But she’s also a co-author with her husband Stephen of 19 nonfiction and fiction books, including The Power of a Godly Grandparent, The Hidden West Series, The Carson City Chronicles and Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot. As if that wasn’t enough? She’s a contributor to 7 other books.

Enjoy this interview.


Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been writing?

I’m the widow of award-winning western author Stephen Bly. Winchester, Idaho, is my home. Have been writing since 1976.

Tell us about Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot.

BlyBook-Stuart-Brannon's-FiMy 3 sons and I finished my hubby’s last novel, Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot. It’s 1905. Two orphans flee from Oregon’s Tillamook Head. One of them is branded a hero. Dare they tell the truth and risk the wrath of a dangerous man? Meanwhile, ex-lawman and Arizona rancher Stuart Brannon seeks to find a missing U.S. Marshal friend, while grappling with the game of golf on behalf of a celebrity charity tournament. Main theme: pursuing justice, truth and mercy brings success. Injustice, deceit and lack of mercy produce failure.

How wonderful that you and your sons were able to finish your late husband’s book. The cover is absolutely beautiful.

Let’s switch gears to blogging. How often do you update yours, and what types of things do you cover?

Have two blogs. On my website,, post about once a week: on western topics; western devotionals by my late husband and I write on relationships and Christian life encouragement; related to the content and writing process of our books; some cowboy poetry; and occasional recipes related to our books.

On my blogger blog,, blog articles are similar, except also add features of new releases by author friends and occasional reader fan features.

Care to share a link to a favorite blog post?

“Coping with Loss: Called Together, Forced Apart”:

Any type of writing ritual you have?

Not really. It was so much easier with my very disciplined writing partner husband. Now that he’s gone, find it hard to find my own rhythm and schedule.

What is one of the things you’re most thankful for as a writer? All the people who’ve contacted us with encouragement and stories of the books’ impact in their lives.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Yes, I believe in it. Have experienced it. Best way to get past it is to sit at a blank screen and start moving your hands across the keys. Or read the first chapter of a great author. Or take a walk with notebook in pocket. Or get in the car and take a ride with a creative person, preferably the driver.

In your opinion, what’s the measure of a successful writer?

One who influences people with positive input into their thinking, worldview, and actions.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Watch movies, read, travel the countryside, give parties at Broken Arrow Crossing, a false front town in my yard.

Everyone loves a good book recommendation. What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?

41jri+YGDEL._SL110_Heaven by Randy Alcorn.

Book you’re currently reading?

The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn.

What is one thing that frustrates you about being a writer?

The earthquake of change in the publishing field the past few years. Nothing’s the same. All the old guidelines don’t apply anymore.

Share some of your writing goals. What’s next for you?

This next year will intersperse releasing our backlist into eBooks, plus revisions of my nonfiction books and writing new fiction of my own.

Where can we learn more about you? and

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