Monday, October 30, 2006
OCT 06 AUTHOR INTRO: Janice Thompson
See Ya On The Net: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.
Janice Thompson: Hi readers! This is Janice Thompson from the Houston area. I've been writing for the Christian market for about ten years now, and love what I do! I'm the mother of four girls (we'll talk more about them in a bit). Many of my story ideas come from real-life experiences. To date, I've written nearly a dozen novels and a couple of non-fiction books. To learn more about me (and my book projects), feel free to visit my website at www.janiceathompson.com
See Ya On The Net: Tell us about your current book?
THOMPSON: I'm so excited about my first ever cozy mystery THE WEDDING CAPER (Barbour Publishing). Here's a blurb about the book:
When a $25,000 night deposit mysteriously disappears from the Clark County Savings and Loan, Annie Peterson has reason to be concerned and to assume the role of amateur sleuth. Her husband’s job at the bank makes him a potential suspect, but knowing him to be a godly man, she can’t imagine it. Then again, there is that matter of the weddings to factor in. Twin daughters Brandi and Candy have just received proposals and two weddings are pending. Sure, Warren occasionally jokes about robbing the bank to pay for the ceremonies, but Annie knows him better than that, doesn’t she?
Just about the time Annie thinks she can wriggle Warren off the suspect hook, he mysteriously shows up with enough cash to cover the cost of both weddings. Annie dives into the investigation and the suspects pile up. One by one they fall, leaving her with only one logical choice. Who will it be a somber-faced loan officer, a security guard with a shady past, a drifter with local ties or the man she loves?
See Ya On The Net: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?
THOMPSON: Annie Peterson is an "average" mother and wife. She's "called" into the adventurous life of a super-sleuth quite accidentally. I can relate to Annie on so many levels! I'm more like her than I dare confess. She's trying to balance her workload of editing, wedding planning and crime-solving. I'm trying to balance my roles as author, speaker, wedding planner and mom. It's a lot, but I'm having a blast! I told you I'd get back to talking about my daughters, and the time has come! In 2004, two of my daughters (not twins, thankfully) received proposals within weeks of each other. My oldest (Randi) was married in February in a lovely Valentine's celebration. My second-oldest (Courtney) was married five months later, in June. The weddings - which I coordinated - were amazing! Since them, I've coordinated weddings for several others. And, I'm happy to announce, my third daughter (Megan) has just received a proposal of marriage, so we're in wedding-planning mode again! I also want to add (as a side note) that my dachshund (Sasha) makes several appearances in the book. The publisher was so excited that they actually put Sasha on the cover!
See Ya On The Net: How are you marketing your book and what are your thoughts about the importance of marketing for authors?
THOMPSON: I'm a huge believer in marketing, and I'm pulling out all the stops for this one! Barbour has hired a marketing firm to help promote the book, but I'm not letting that stop me from getting the word out. One of the coolest ideas I've come up with thus-far is my podcast, which can be found athttp://web.mac.com/maczach2/iWeb/Janice%20Blog/Podcast.html. At this site, readers can hear me talking about the book, and can even see photos of my real-life family! Another really fun idea just came about today, in fact! Annie Peterson (my heroine/super-sleuth) learns how to become a crime fighter by taking online classes at www.investigativeskills.com (this is all in the book). Anyway, the site didn't really exist - until today! I got to thinking, "How fun would it be for readers - curious after reading the book - to visit the site, only to learn that it's Annie Peterson's "real" site! I'll add more to it as time goes by, but I've laid the foundation, and it's been a blast! All of these things are linked to my personal website: www.janiceathompson.com and my newsletter (on my website). If your readers are interested in signing up for my newsletter, they can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See Ya On The Net: What advice would you offer on learning the craft of writing?
THOMPSON: I hardly know where to start! I guess the first thing would be to stay on a "forever" learning curve. Take as many courses (online or in person) as you can. I would also suggest creative writing exercises - to keep your ideas flowing. If your readers are ever in need of ideas, I have a ton of them! (I used to teach creative writing at a Christian school of the arts.) Go to conferences - and when you get there, take advantage of the opportunity to meet with editors and agents one-on-one. Overcome any fears you might have and realize that everyone there is just as nervous as you are! Be willing to accept critique - don't be easily offended. And remember that you are growing daily as a writer. Each day is a new day - and each word you write is a new word. Most of all (above anything you can do in the natural) stay tuned in to God for a fresh "word" from Him. He will keep your writing on-target.
See Ya On The Net: What writing business advice would you offer other writers?
THOMPSON: Don't necessarily buy into the trends. Just because publishing houses aren't buying historical fiction today (just an example) doesn't mean they won't be tomorrow. So don't toss your God-ordained ideas just because something doesn't seem to be selling.
See Ya On The Net: Name your top five writing books of all time.
THOMPSON: Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
All Quiet on the Western Front (Enrique Remarque)
The Pearl (John Steinbeck)
Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers)
At the Scent of Water (Linda Nichols)
See Ya On The Net: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?
THOMPSON: Coldwater Revival (Nancy Jo Jenkins)
See Ya On The Net: What resources do you use on the net?
THOMPSON: I guess I'd probably have to say research sites are my number one hit. Well, after www.mydevotion.com, that is. I use the online Bible (with its various versions) constantly. I also take advantage of stock photography and other graphics from the web for the sites I build.
See Ya On The Net: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
www.thewriteheart.com (I'm taking submissions for this monthly ministry e-zine)