Walker the editor. At breakfast before a conference in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, in May 2018, the author looks over the manuscript for a memoir penned by Paris professor, international speaker, and trailblazing American broadcaster Nita Wiggins. Like Ms. Walker, Ms. Wiggins grew up in Augusta, Georgia, but the two did not know each other. The book, with the working title Civil Rights Baby: My Story of Race, Sports, and Breaking Barriers in American Journalism, is scheduled for release in 2019.
Above: The author in March and May, 2018.
Chad "Sky" Walker
Janet Walker lives two very different lives.
At home in fancy Atlanta, she spends time behind a computer, writing and editing for herself and others—that is, whenever she is not accompanying her beloved godmother to an elegant sorority function or on a shopping trip to Neiman Marcus (the g-mother's favorite place).
But when Janet goes to her outside job, she's hauling freight and tramping through mud and snow—along with brave, scruffy, he-men truck drivers who are eager to share (tall) tales and gentlemanly manners (at least, in her presence).
Photos the author snapped while on a shopping trip with her godmother in the fall of 2018. "I love creating and augmenting the Toni Breland look, but when it comes to real-life shopping, I'm like a typical man," Walker says. "So I took these photos to alleviate my boredom."
Walker's Thoughts About Sexuality and Christianity
“I believe that because of the rebellion of our first parents, humans are born with natures that conflict with God's original design. However, that gives us no excuse to pursue our own courses. We are still accountable to Him for every decision we make, including those based on sexual desire and orientation. The main characters in my fiction are attractive and fascinating old-school women whose lives reflect this private battle. Just as do characters in the Bible, some of my people make godly choices and some do not—which results in plots I hope readers will find intriguing.”
Janet Marie Walker was born in San Antonio, Texas, and grew up in Augusta, Georgia. She is one of eight children born to William and Marie Walker (of Jacksonville, Florida, and Charleston, South Carolina, respectively). As a youth, Ms. Walker enjoyed reading novels, playing sports, visiting the public library, and studying the Bible literature of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
After graduating from A.R. Johnson Health Professions High School in Augusta, Ms. Walker held jobs as newspaper reporter and copy editor, TV associate producer, intern for a major New York City publishing house, UPS package handler, and cross-country truck driver. She once struggled as a welfare mother, and like the pivotal character in one of her fictional works, has worked as a janitor on a housekeeping staff—in Ms. Walker’s case, at the Cable News Network (CNN) headquarters in Atlanta.
Ms. Walker studied communications and creative writing at Augusta State University, where she received the Walter Wiggins-James Lott Communications Scholarship (first and second annual recipient), the Samantha Dawes Wich Scholarship for Creative Writing, and the Will Shingleton Creative Writing Scholarship. At Georgia State University in Atlanta, she studied rhetoric and composition, as well as African American Studies, and performed literary research as a Ronald McNair Scholar.
In 1991, before college, Ms. Walker became founding editor of Candace (kan-DAY-see), a regional woman’s magazine patterned after Essence and the first publication of its kind in the Augusta area. In 1994, she received top guest-editorial spot in The New York Amsterdam News for a racial analysis of Disney’s movie The Lion King, and her feminist critique, “The Disney Girl,” appeared in the St. Martin’s Press college text The Great American Bologna Festival and other Student Essays, 1994-1996 editions. For two years, she wrote fictional stories about the Imani doll for Olmec Toys, a national company. The stories were designed into booklets that sold with the dolls.
Ms. Walker is the author of the three-book e-novel Amazed by her Grace, first released on December 12, 2012, and revised and re-published in final version in 2015; Desire of Ovid's Mother, a stage play released as an e-book in 2013 and re-released in final version in 2015; and an adult novel published in 2010 under a pseudonym. She has published 100 newspaper articles and editorials in local newspapers, including an interview with one of her favorite writers, novelist Gloria Naylor, and has published a book of social commentary. Additionally, she has transcribed her 28-year private diary into 14 small books, yet to be published.
Her most recent project involves serving as line editor for a memoir written by Nita Wiggins (former Dallas and Seattle sportscaster who now teaches journalism in Paris, France, and delivers political and social commentary on print and broadcast platforms in the United States and abroad).
The themes that drive Ms. Walker's fiction are social taboos, the power of religion, class differences among African Americans, and the complex nature of female sexuality. Her ultimate dream has long been to walk into a public library and find her works traditionally published and wedged between those of Alice and Margaret Walker.
Currently, Ms. Walker markets her fiction, resides in Atlanta, Georgia, and travels the country for an employer. She has a son named Chad Niger (wrestler Chad "Sky" Walker, pictured below) .