Readers, I will announce the winners later today, but first I want to introduce you to a debut author. Janice has been my critique group, and we're both in ACFW and the local chapter DFW Ready Writers. Welcome, Janice. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I chuckled when I read your question. The reason being, my husband read my book Serenity’s Deception for the first time just last week and one thing he said about the book was – Janice, I can see a lot of you in BJ (my heroine). So I guess the answer to your question would be, a lot. J
Honestly, I believe a little of every author is poured into their characters and stories each time they write. The plots and stories that pop into my head are full of my experiences, and more often than not, my personality, my insecurities, even my idiosyncrasies are there too. But definitely my independence and eccentricities have a direct effect on my characters and their outcome.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Quirky? Hmm. Several come to mind that I won’t put in print to come back and haunt me later.
But all I have to say is when my children were little I used to entertain them with my praying feet and my hitchhiking big toe. And I’ll divulge nothing more. ;-)
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Growing up, I was a slow reader and my comprehension level was poor. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I found that I had dyslexia, the reason for my often twisted and/or missing words, inverted letters and numbers, and my difficulty in comprehension and reading. Once I recognized I had dyslexia I worked hard to overcome the results, which today is better, but I thought of becoming a writer until 2003.
That year, on a fluke, I sent in a short story to Writers’ Digest Contest. When I ranked 33 out of the top100 of over 30,000 entries, I began to wonder if I could be a writer. My husband, seeing my interest in writing, bought me my first computer and I’ve been writing ever since.
However, I began writing because I wanted to create good, clean, suspenseful stories like I wanted to read but couldn’t find without the curse words and sex scenes. American Christian Fiction Writers, DFW Ready Writers, and ultimately the critique group in your home,
helped me to realize my dream today.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My favorite to read is historical if it has a good romance and intrigue.
Right up there with historical is romantic suspense, my genre. I love a suspense writer to baffle me so that I can’t figure out whom, but that seldom happens. And then if I can find a book with great, unexpected humor, I’m in heaven. As you can see by my choices, I read purely for entertainment.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
My day begins at 5:00 am and doesn’t end until about 9:30 pm and sometimes later. I will admit, there are times it’s hard to maintain my sanity. ;-)
However, being a PK (preacher’s kid) my parents raised me to submit my life and place my trust only in God regardless what it might be and He will take care of me.
Through the years as a PK and a PW (preacher’s wife), time and time again, when my world would be spiraling down around me, I have witnessed that when I place everything in God’s faithful hands, my world ceases to be that chaotic, out-of-control, a thousand miles a minute existence. Instead, He brings about an overwhelming peace to calm all the forces around me to help me slow down and enjoy life.
Psalm 46:10 says “Be
still, and know that I am God.”
When the run, run, run world takes over that when I have to remind myself
still, and know that I am God” and He is.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Believe it or not, most of the times when a story pops in my head, the names come with the story. I think it’s the way my quirky brain works. One such instance was with the Amish book I wrote. When a friend suggested I write the story, I told them I’d pray about it. I did—pray about it that is—and two hours later, I had the whole story and the names of my characters all in my head. Not always does that happen, but often enough.
If I get stumped for a name, which happens but rarely, I will use a baby name generator and look up the name and meaning to make sure they match the character in my head.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Marrying the best man around and raising two God-fearing, productive members of society (my children) is probably first and second place.
However, one that I have to give God full praise and believe is the greatest accomplishment for me is becoming a writer and a speaker. As I mentioned, I have dyslexia and with the inherent problems and challenges of dyslexia there have been several times I wanted to quit. I knew there were people far more qualified and suited to be a writer and speaker without the problems, but God and my husband wouldn’t let me quit.
The first time I saw my work in print, which was a short story for Chicken Soup for the Soul—“My First Tea Party”—I cried. And now to see Serenity’s Deception in print humbles me. Because it is only by the grace of God and my husband’s encouragement that has made this possible.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
That’s a hard one because I can’t really envision myself as an animal. Also there are so many to pick from. I’d love the ability to have sleek lines like a panther on the prowl; slide through the water then leap up and out of the depths of the sea doing several flips in the air like a porpoise; spread my wings and sore high above the earth like an eagle, allowing the winds to take me to heights unknown; and a graceful palomino gliding across the prairie, legs outstretched, seemingly flying over the earth in a gallop. So I guess that cinches who and why: Panporeaglmino – that’s me.
I love it!! What is your favorite food?
That’s a no brainer. ;-) Chocolate! Chocolate and lots of it in any form or fashion.
But if you’re asking about food food? Mexican of course. Give me some good taco and enchiladas or fajitas, or
Olvera Street ( Los Angeles) taquitos or some of my own
homemade taquitos loaded with guacamole and I’m in paradise.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Finding time to write. I work full time at an outside job. There just isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish all that I would like to. I have stories sitting on the backburner of my mind yelling set me free! And I will, but not soon enough for me or my characters. However, God has given me the ability to eke out increments of time and accomplish a whole lot with the small amounts allotted, for which I’m thankful.
Tell us about the featured book.
The release date of Serenity’s Deception in ebook form is on October 25, 2012, the Trade paperback will be released seven days later on November 1, 2012.
Serenity’s Deception is BJ Spencer’s story and the first in a stand-alone series “Texas Sorority Sisters” (meaning each book stands alone but may have a minor character or characters show up in one book then later have a book of their own). The second in the series Lethal Intent, is
Fletcher’s story and will be released in ebook and Trade paperback December 25,
Check out my Website on October 25, 2012 and register for my blog and you will automatically be entered for a chance to win a wooden jewelry box. For details go to www.JaniceOlson.com
And here is the short blurb for Serenity’s Deception
No stranger to Serenity,
Texas, BJ Spencer’s homecoming is met by
more than bad memories. Her return provokes a furious ex-boyfriend, menacing
threats from a Sheriff, and a town full of people who wish she would disappear
… for good.
Engaged in a battle to stay one step ahead of the assassin, BJ and Jason O’Connell join forces to unravel the truth behind the lethal attacks. BJ’s quest for legitimacy uncovers secrets buried deep within the grave that threaten to destroy her. Plagued with doubts, BJ wonders if love can be found in a town filled with lies and deception. And can she forgive someone even when they are asking from the grave?
Very intriguing. (Of course, I’ve helped critique some of the book.) Please give us the first page of the book.
Tentacles of apprehension wrapped around BJ Spencer as she climbed the narrow, dim-lit stairwell. The musty scent of old building filled the restricted passageway as each stair-tread creaked beneath her feet. A premonition that nothing good would come from this meeting gave her the overwhelming desire to turn around and head back to
Not one for running, BJ clenched her purse strap and trudged up to the second floor landing. A whiff of Old English Lemon Oil hung in the air and assailed her senses with memories of Heritage House. For fourteen years she had done her best to suppress the memories of her lonely upbringing, but today the hidden childhood images refused to stay buried.
Forlorn children entering. Excited children leaving. Always watching. Never chosen.
She shoved the pictures to the back of her mind. A small poignant smile pulled at BJ’s lips. One thing for certain, her arrival today would stir up questions with the old gossips.
With no desire to return to Serenity,
Texas, she’d fought hard to disregard the
letter she had received five days earlier. An
urgent matter regarding Heritage House
made her nagging curiosity difficult to ignore the summons. Regardless how many
reasons she could think up for staying away, there were many more for why she
needed to leave her safe haven and come.
BJ hesitated in front of the diffused glass and mahogany door emblazoned with gold lettering—Hampton, Hampton, & Rigger, Attorneys at Law. Though the law firm occupied this same building before the town’s incorporation, she’d never had a reason to enter its hallowed doors.
She squared her shoulders and took a deep breath. With a slight tremble, she turned the glass doorknob, making sure to conceal her misgivings. Entering the law office caused long forgotten insecurities to come rushing back punching holes in her well fortified wall of defense making her ask, why did I come?
How can readers find you on the Internet?I’m easy to find if you and remember my name: JaniceOlson.com. Or you may email me at Janice@JaniceOlson.com
Thank you, Janice for sharing this book with us.
Readers, I know you'll love this book as much as I have. Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
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