Congratulations to the winner of last week’s Author Spotlight giveaway of Lightning by Bonnie Calhoun, ALISON BRADLEY. Please email info {at} suzannewoodsfisher {dot} com to claim your prize.

Welcome Janice Thompson, author of Every Girl Gets Confused, to Author Spotlight! Keep reading to find out how you can enter to win a copy.

Thompson_JaniceIntroduce us to you as an author: When did you get bit with the writing bug? How would you describe your writing style?

I started writing in the 6th grade. No kidding! I’d read every Bobbsey Twins book on the market and decided I needed another one. . . so I wrote it. I began to write seriously in the mid-90s and never looked back. My first book came out in 2000 and I’ve written 100 books since!

Tell us about your new release:

Every Girl Gets Confused is the second book in the “Brides with Style” series from Revell. This is the story of a young woman from a small town who ends up in the big city, working at bridal salon. Ironic, since the love of her life just ditched her (in book one). Or, did he? I guess you’ll have to read book two to find out.

How can readers connect with you online?

Website: www.janiceathompson.com
Facebook: JaniceHannaThompson
Twitter: booksbyjanice

Anything new for you on the book horizon?

Yes! I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be doing several “Bella novellas” over the next two years. Readers of my Weddings by Bella series will be tickled to learn that a new story will release every three months, starting in November. The first will be a Christmas story (Once Upon a Moonlight Night) and all subsequent stories will be seasonal. I can’t wait to dive back into Bella’s world!

Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well?

I drink Spark (an energy/vitamin drink). If I ever try to start the day without it, I’m a mess! Also, I tend to write better later in the day (my creative peak time is 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.) so coming up with anything worthwhile in the morning is usually a wash.

What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first-draft reader?

My absolute best help is (and always has been) the small circle of readers who surround me. I call them my “dream team.” They help me name characters. They read first-drafts. They proof. They help with cover ideas. They name characters. They promote my books. They’re the most valuable tool in this author’s toolbox. I pray for them. They pray for me. We are a team.

Do you prefer reading physical books or e-readers?

I love eBooks because they’re so immediate. Also, I have arthritis, so holding a paperback book in the “open” position is tough on my hands. The kindle is easy to hold/manage. Also, I love the idea that you can change the font size on ereaders. That’s very helpful.

What are you best known for … writing or otherwise?

I’m known for baking! I run a baking business out of my home: Nina’s Cakes and Cookies. You can find photo albums on my Facebook business page here.

What book have you reread the most?

The Heavenly Man. This is the amazing true story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun, who has faced death for his faith on multiple occasions. I try to read it once a year, but don’t always manage. Readers might be surprised to learn that most of my reading these days is non-fiction. I love a good novel, but self-help/Christian living books are my favorite.

If you weren’t able to write, what would you do?

I would probably start a publishing company and/or become an agent so that I could help other authors on their journey. I’d also spend more time coming up with lessons on my freelance writing site (freelancewritingcourses.com). There’s such a great need for solid teaching, especially with so many authors striking out on their own with indie books.

Right this moment, what does your office look like?

I’m curled up under the covers in my bed writing this, so it looks like a messy bedroom. My dachshund (Sasha) is under the covers, snoring away, and my other dachshund (Copper) is in his bed on the floor to my left. I love to write curled up in bed, but I also have a legitimate office in my house, loaded with the usual stuff: desks, book cases, tables, storage shelves, etc.

What book is on the top of your TBR pile?

Kathleen Y’Barbo’s Firefly Summer (from the Pies, Books and Jesus collection). I’ve known and loved this author for years and can’t wait to dive it!

If you could write any book–on any topic–and be guaranteed a publishing contract, what topic would it be? (Or genre?)Every Girl Gets Confused Book Cover

I’ve already played out the wedding topic, so I’d like to writing about baking (running a bakery) and dogs. I’m a dog fanatic. Hopefully I’ll get to write about both of those. . .soon!

Ever had a bad review? How did you handle it?

Oh boy. Yes, several! After Fools Rush In went free on kindle, negative reviewers came from out of the woodwork. They didn’t like the fact that the book had faith elements. (I guess this wasn’t mentioned in the publisher promo matter.) I got slapped around a lot. I’ve since (mostly) learned to ignore the bad reviews. For that matter, I try to ignore the good ones, too. Writing is a ministry. People won’t always agree with “how” you minister, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing what you’re called to do.

Can a person make a living as a writer?

I’ve been freelancing since 2005 and have managed to eek out a living. These days (with indie books) it’s getting easier. That said, there are zillions of inexpensive ebooks out there, so I have to know how to market my books if I want to get noticed. So, I’d say that “marketing knowledge” is almost as important as learning the craft these days!

What are your biggest distractions?

Oy. Facebook. I’m always on Facebook because I manage groups and market to my readers. It’s a lovely distraction, in that it keeps me in-the-know with my readers. It’s also the place where I post pictures of cakes and cookies. Sometimes the response to my baking projects is as strong as the response to my books. That’s always fun.

Describe yourself in one word:


If I could go anywhere, it would be…

Italy! I haven’t been, but would love to go.

Best indulgence:

Italian Cream Cake! I have a funny thing that I say to my daughters. I’ve always told them, “If you want to know if life after death is real, just lean over my casket and say these words: ‘Italian cream cake!’ I’ll come springing back to life, for sure!”

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