Women and Adversity: Janet Boykin Baker
Co-Founder, Widow’s Mite Experience, Novelist
In 2004, Janet Boykin Baker and seven other women in Shallotte, North Carolina decided they wanted to ease the suffering of people throughout the world. Christian Broadcasting Network offered to assist them in achieving their goals, and the result is Widow’s Mite Experience, a nonprofit that raises money to dig wells where people don’t have clean water.
Janet became executive director of the organization and supervised the fundraising for more than 2,000 wells and hundreds of water projects throughout the world with every penny of the profits designated for the ministry. She has gone across the U.S. and to India, Israel, Guatemala and other countries to witness the exhilaration of the people who receive clean water for the first time.
Janet handed over her role to other volunteers in 2017 and decided to fulfill her lifelong dream of writing a novel. A professional interior designer and president of Baker Interiors, Inc. in Atlanta for 25 years, Janet fashioned Anne Boyd, the protagonist in her romance, By Design, as an interior designer, determined to follow her strict code of conduct.
Janet agreed to answer questions for this blog.
JAM: What factors in your life made you decide to write a novel?
JBB: I have six granddaughters and wanted to write a book that would give them a loving plan to help guide decisions they would face in the different phases of their lives. I felt an honest love story about a young, professional woman, the man in her life, and the complications that arise, could tell a story that may show young women a more fulfilling way to live their lives. I wanted this book to show a better option for living in a culture that is undermining important values and time-honored morals.
JAM: What was the biggest obstacle you faced when you decided to write By Design?JBB: Navigating the drastically changing publishing industry and once getting the publisher, understanding the steps involved before you hold the book in your hand.
JAM: What obstacle/s do you face now as a writer?
JBB: Learning about marketing and understanding that it is basically on the author’s shoulders. I am now looking for the proper agent to help with the marketing process.
I love a poem by John Milton that says, “I am a part of all that I have met.” I believe that with all my heart, especially as a writer. When you write a book, you pull from experiences you didn’t even know you remembered, experiences that are yours and yours alone. These memories help with the uniqueness of your written words which enable you to be a much better author. I dearly love writing. It allows me a delicious opportunity to day dream as I visualize the next sentence.
Next blog post: February 14, Ann Weisgarber, Novelist