Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I’ve been intrigued by the Camelot legend since my freshman year in college, when I played the role of a lady-in-waiting in the stage play. I attended college in East Tennessee, so I jumped at the chance to write a story set in the Knoxville area, just an hour and a half from my college. This story, like so many of my other comedies, is built around the premise that one person (in this case, a city planner) can make a huge difference in the lives of others. Of course, I had to add several comedic elements! A Janice Hanna (Thompson) story just wouldn’t be the same without ‘em!
That is so true. If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Ooo! What a party that would be! I’d start by inviting Lisa Wingate and Sandie Bricker. Can you even imagine how much fun those ladies would be? I have so much in common with both of them. I’d also love to invite a few more light-hearted authors, so I’d include Robin Jones Gunn, Megan DiMaria, Trish Perry and Kristin Billerbeck. We’d probably stay up all night laughing, but I’m sure it would be quite a party!
I know that group would be a blast. Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
I’m going to be attending a retreat with several historical authors soon! (And I’m looking forward to seeing you there, Lena, so your name will be the first on my list!) I’d invite: Lena Nelson Dooley, Tracie Peterson, Kathleen Y’Barbo, Martha Rogers, Nancy Jo Jenkins and Cathy Hake.
I know the six of us would have a good time. And I can hardly wait to see you next week. Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
My biggest problem, of late, is that readers tend to compare one book against another. My “Weddings by Bella” books were a hoot, so readers now expect all of my stories to be just as humorous. I’ll probably write funny stories forever, but occasionally like to throw in serious issues, as well. I do hope that readers will see me (and my stories) as unique.
Oh, they are totally unique. That's what I love about them. Tell us about the featured book.
Love Finds You in Camelot, Tennessee (Synopsis): Steve Garrison is the newly elected mayor of the tiny town of Camelot, Tennessee. When his childhood friend Amy Hart comes up with a plan to revive the town’s economy, he jumps onboard. The townspeople will perform the musical Camelot in the city’s park, drawing in nightly crowds. While excitement is high, talent is lacking. Amy casts several of the parts but is stumped when it comes to the role of King Arthur. In desperation, she turns to Steve. Will he pull the sword from the stone and save the day? Steve reluctantly agrees—on one condition. In exchange for his willingness to wear tights, Amy must play the role of Guinevere. And when a handsome newcomer cast as Lancelot takes an interest in Amy, the stage is set for a little tension—and perhaps love.
An early morning haze hung over the sleepy town of Camelot, Tennessee. Amy Hart squinted to get a better view of the road as she maneuvered her Jeep Liberty around a tricky bend. On a clear day, the journey into town would prove challenging. But on a morning like this—with the heavy sky pressing in around her—the curvy road seemed to slip away into a foggy mist. How many times had she imagined she could drive off into the dreamy haze and find herself in a world of knights and ladies, castles and kings?
Once she rounded the turn, Amy reached to flip on the radio then settled back against the seat as a familiar worship song came on. Perfect. Pretty soon the skies would clear and so would her mood. Just as soon as she arrived at work and shared her latest idea with Steve. Only then would the tightness in her chest dissipate. She lost herself in her thoughts as she pondered her best friend’s reaction to her latest plan. Likely he would think she’d lost her mind. Just like the last time. And the time before that. Oh well. She would prove him wrong. This time.
Amy made her way down Excalibur Drive and turned off onto Lancelot Lane, taking a shortcut to City Hall. Another turn to the right landed her on Camelot Court. She sighed as she caught a glimpse of the abandoned car lot to her right. As usual, nothing much stirred there. Or at the bank. Or at Gwen’s Grooming, Camelot’s only pet-friendly store. No, at this time of morning, not much fluttered but the birds. Well, the birds, and Lucy Cramden, who always walked her ferret, Fiona, at the crack of dawn. Strange sight, a ferret on a bright pink leash. Just part of the quirkiness that made Camelot...Camelot.
As Amy turned into the parking lot at City Hall, the sun peeked through the fog for one magical moment, taking her breath away. She took it as a sign. A confirmation, of sorts. Surely the Lord, Himself, had performed this wondrous act to boost her courage. She whispered up a prayer of thanksgiving and her spirits lifted immediately.
After pulling into her usual parking space, Amy turned off the car. Instead of heading for her office, she lingered in the car a few moments, watching the colors of the sky morph from dizzying gray to a pinkish blue. She used the extra time to get a handle on her thoughts. Last night’s town hall meeting had left her reeling, but this morning she’d awakened with the perfect plan, one she hoped others in town would go along with. In fact, it was such an amazingly simple idea she had to wonder why no one had thought of it before.
She glanced out over the bluff, the panoramic view mesmerizing her, as always. For as long as she could remember, Amy had always loved the dewy mornings in East Tennessee, and the changing of the seasons only made her love them more. Last fall when the leaves turned, the vibrant colors had proven spectacular. As a child, she’d believed her father’s tale that an artist’s paintbrush swept in across the bluff while she slept, leaving behind strokes of amber, hazy orange and brilliant gold. Of course, she’d believed all of her father’s tall tales as a kid, including the one about meeting King Arthur face-to-face and pulling Excalibur out of the rocky ledge near Bever Creek. But, who could blame her? Dad’s stories carried her away to a place deep in her imagination, and sometimes a girl just needed to travel.
Wonderful! How can readers find you on the Internet?
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/jhannathompson
Thank you, Janice for the fun interview.
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