Author and writing teacher, Janice Thompson joins us to chat about writing and a little about grandkids.
Janice, you are one BUSY lady with online courses, webinars on writing, your own editing business and writing. You've written a lot of books, tell us what genres you've written and how many you've published/contracted.
Yes, I’ve written a lot of books! I’ll be signing a contract soon for book #62. Seems crazy, especially in light of the fact that my first book wasn’t published until 1999. I write in multiple genres: contemporary romance, romantic comedy, historical, historical romance, cozy mystery, suspense/thriller, non-fiction self-help, non-fiction devotion.
Any genre you enjoy writing most?
Those who’ve read my most recent novels know I’m particularly tickled to write romantic comedy. This dates back to my days as a playwright. All of my stage plays are comedies. (There’s no greater reward for a writer than to listen to an audience roar with laughter at something you’ve written.)
Who was a favorite character you've written?
Ack. What a tough question. I love Aunt Rosa in the “Weddings by Bella” series, but I think I love Grandma Lenora even more. She’s the grandmother character in my upcoming “Backstage Pass” series from Revell. She’s an aging Hollywood star who’s stuck in the 1950’s.
I really want to take a moment here and highlight this, I think so many readers of this blog would also like to become writers but don’t know where to begin…Janice, you're very active in teaching ACFW's online courses, having free fiction writing webinars, and providing online courses for fiction writing. Please share with us more about what you offer in your online courses.
Thanks for asking. I’ve always been a teacher at heart. Back in the ‘90s, I taught drama and creative writing at a school of the arts. I also homeschooled my four girls and seven other students, as well. And yes, I’m active in the ACFW course loop. I’ve had such a blast helping other writers learn the craft.
Because I feel called to teach (and because so many writers come to me with the same questions/issues) I decided it would be easier to come up with actual lessons. Sending a lesson is much easier than repeating the same information over and over again!
I started with a course called “Becoming a Successful Freelance Writer.” It’s all about earning money with your writing. Each of the ten lessons in that course will become its own course. I’ve just completed the “Fiction Writing Master Course,” which I believe to be one of the most comprehensive, affordable courses available to fiction writers today.
To learn more about both courses, go to www.freelancewritingcourses.com.
Thank you, Janice. I’ve been there and there are several courses I’d love to take.
What would you say to the person visiting with us now who feels she has a book in her but doesn't know where to start, never written anything that wasn't a school assignment?
Learn the craft. I see far too many people dive in and write the book, not knowing the acceptable manuscript forms and writing styles. Learn, learn, learn. Then take what you’ve learned and apply it to what you’re writing. If you’re serious about selling that manuscript, figure out how to write a solid proposal.
Spend time checking and re-checking your manuscript for common problems like passive writing, and make sure you have a clear understanding of POV (point of view). I’ve seen more fiction writers shoot themselves in the foot because of POV than anything else.
What advice would you give a novice writer? What sort of support systems would you recommend also?
I would encourage you to do several things: join a local writing group, if you can find one. Get in a critique group. If you can’t find one, then join ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and asked to be put in an online group. Be willing to accept critique, both from critique partners and from editors and agents. Go to conferences if you can afford them. There, you will meet like-minded writers and others in the business. Finally, consider signing up for my online courses. As I said above, they are both comprehensive and affordable.
How can we find out more about your books and you as an author?
Easy! You’ll find me on the web at www.janiceathompson.com. I’m also on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jhannathompson
How can we find out more about your online courses and where can we go to see when classes are starting?
The classes are audio/video driven and are a “work at your own pace” style, so they’re always available. Check out the information at www.freelancewritingcourses.com. For more on the fiction course, go here: http://www.freelancewritingcourses.com/category/fiction-writing
For more on the “Becoming a Successful Freelance Writer” go here: http://www.freelancewritingcourses.com/becoming-a-successful-freelance-writer
Any question(s) you wished I'd asked that I didn't?
You didn’t ask about my grandbabies!
Oh my goodness! That would be the best part of our interview! Please do tell us about your little sweeties!
I have six beautiful grandchildren: Madysen Lynae (3), Avery Rae (2), Peyton Renae (2), Ethan Ames (18 months), Boston Craig (four months) and Brooke Ryleigh (three weeks). Can you imagine six grandbabies, all in this age group? They’re precious and I love each and every one!
Thank you so much the visit and the writing advice and sharing where we can take your writing courses! And, thank you that you’ve kept them so affordable!
Janice is giving away a copy of her book:
Fools Rush In
Book one in the Weddings by Bella series
Visit Janice's blog to look over her Books page.
Come back here and tell us what
top 3 titles sound like an great read to you.
Don’t forget to leave your email address in this format: YourName[at]whatever[dot]com
This giveaway ends Oct 31, 2010