We had the good fortune of connecting with Janet Kravetz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Janet, what inspires you?
A lot of things inspire me — the beauty of nature as well as human hope, creativity, and resilience. Committed to lifelong learning, I’m inspired by books and by learning about new ways of constructive thinking. I’m even inspired by the protagonist, Cecilia Miller, in my debut novel Sky Curse: The Chosen Five, who strives to save the world and do good, even when things don’t go her way.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a #1 Amazon.com bestselling and multi-award-winning author of Sky Curse: The Chosen Five and Reaching Beyond Ourselves: Leading A Spiritual, Peaceful and Diverse World. I’m also a professional researcher and, in writing fiction, the research seems to never end. I make sure to process as much research information as possible (in my three languages) and then include it in my writing in entertaining ways.
In my childhood in Ukraine (back then the Soviet Union), my family read many children’s books to me in Russian. I also enjoyed watching television, but it was books that made me dream big.
I have one vivid childhood memory in particular. My older sister loved reading books to me and instilled in me a great appreciation for that art form in my early years. When I was five years old, she read me my first novel in Russian — Captain Grant’s Children by Jules Verne. It became my favorite book. A tale of traveling adventures, new languages, and new places. I wanted to explore the world, live in different countries, speak various languages, and learn new cultures. I remember wanting to write like Jules Verne before I could even read, because nothing was more exciting than reading an engaging book and being inspired by it to do good and live a life worth living and then writing about it. So, I was happy to live in different countries later, grow up in Israel, and later call Nova Scotia, Canada home.
Today, some book reviews by fellow authors suggest that my writing style is similar to George Orwell and Issac Asimov.
In the words of author and screenwriter Jeff Bailey, Sky Curse is “an epic in the George Orwell, 1984 genre, on steroids.”
In the words of author Anthony Avina, “Thought-provoking, adrenaline-fueled, and entertaining, author Janet Kravetz’s ‘Sky Curse: The Chosen Five’ is a must-read sci-fi meets dystopian conspiracy thriller novel of 2022! The concept and execution of this narrative felt very much like George Orwell’s 1984 meets Issac Asimov’s expansive sci-fi collection, including I, Robot.”
I’m really humbled to hear that, but honestly, any resemblance to the writing of literary giants like Issac Asimov and George Orwell must be coincidental. When I write, I just build on my own childhood experiences of living in a KGB-controlled state — the former Soviet Union — coupled with my understanding of the future as I research and learn from readily available sources in three languages, while adding my own twist of imagination to the whole thing.
I’m always searching for the next story as I learn that writing is a journey, not a destination. I have had my fair share of challenges as an author so far, mainly the time-consuming work of balancing my mental health, but I attribute my newfound mental resiliency to the fact that today, I’m happy to learn from failures. When a door is slammed in my face and a rug is pulled from under my feet, I believe that it might just be fate struggling to tell me that I’m knocking on the wrong door. So my response to this is to knock on five new doors to possibly find my date with fate. If five doors are slammed in my face and five rugs are pulled from under my feet, I take some time to rest and recharge. Then I knock on twenty-five new doors to get closer to finding my date with fate. Subsequently, each rejection statistically increases my chances of success and thus I’m grateful for each rejection.
One of my top aspirations is to see my writing about mental resiliency being used in educational settings, like after-school book clubs, as a tool to build mental resilience for students and teachers. I believe that authors can help develop fun educational resources while engaging a wide audience in mental health conversations, especially youth and young adults. Together, through literature, we can promote collective and individual mental health resilience as one of the most important global priorities. Thus, I address mental health and resilience issues in my published and yet-to-be-published writing for all ages, in particular for children and youth, because I understand the challenges teachers and parents face in catering to the mental health needs of their learners, especially when they themselves might be facing some sort of mental health challenges of their own at some point.
In conclusion, I hope that my writing can help develop resiliency and inspire a new generation of global leaders, doers, dreamers, and thinkers, either through the written word or perhaps even one day, through the collective bonding experience of watching the story unfold on the big screen.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In fall, the leaves change their colours in Nova Scotia and I would invite my friend on a road trip to beautiful Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, where we would hike and stop at restaurants along the famous Cabot Trail, a roadway encircling the island, passing forests and rugged coastline. The drive skirts Cape Breton Highlands National Park, whose Skyline Trail footpath overlooks the Gulf of St. Lawrence, known for migratory whales. I would bring my camera with me for whale watching and make sure to take photographs of the beauty of nature around us. Perhaps we would feel inspired enough to write some poetry together.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Cheyenne Munawar is the graphic designer and developmental and line editor extraordinaire of my award-winning and #1 Amazon.com bestselling sci-fi novel Sky Curse: The Chosen Five (Amazon, August 2022).
She has also been acting as my story and writing coach, inspiring me to strive for excellence in every aspect of storytelling. Thank you so much, Cheyenne, for your hard work, mentorship, and enthusiasm!