Welcome back, Janice. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
I started writing in 6th grade and never looked back! The push to write for publication began in the mid 1990s when my daughters were in their teens. I knew my day was coming. It was only a matter of time.
How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
This depends on the length of the book, of course, and the genre. Cozy mysteries (which only run about 65,000 words) can take longer than a full-length (85,000 – 90,000) romantic comedy, simply because of all of the twists and turns. On average, it takes me two to three months to write a book, give or take.
How do you come up with themes for your stories?
Most of my themes come from real life. If you follow my romantic comedies, you will see an overarching theme of cultural conflicts. It’s fun to throw different types of people into the same scene and watch them squirm!
Do you have a schedule of when you write?
For the most part, yes. I have more free time in the mornings and afternoons, which is ironic, because I’m a night person. When I’m on deadline, it’s a free-for-all. I write morning, noon, and night. . .sometimes even in the middle of the night.
How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
I have to plot out my days in much the same way I would plot a novel. For example, I’m currently directing a play at a local Christian theater. Our rehearsals are from 4:30 – 8:30 p.m. I work on my books from the time I wake up until time to leave for the theater. Thank goodness, our production ends two weeks before my next deadline, so I’ll have more free time in the evenings to work.
What elements do you think make a great story line?
Most great stories are built on conflict. You take a group of very different people, throw them together, give them a problem to solve (or a romance to tumble into) and watch everyone flounder. It’s great fun to see my characters squirm!
What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Staying focused. There are so many things to distract me—everything from friends to family to the Internet. Sometimes I get so caught up in online research that I forget to write.
I resemble that last remark, Janice. How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
I have written 107 books, to date. My favorite, I suppose, would be Fools Rush In, the first book in my Weddings by Bella series. It’s my best-selling novel, so I think readers would agree that it’s a favorite.
I loved that book. Actually, I loved all the novels in that series. Do you have a favorite character?
Yes, Bella Rossi, from the Weddings by Bella series. She’s a quirky wedding coordinator who doesn’t always have her act together. She’s also got an over-the-top family and they don’t make her job any easier!
Like a Fish Out of Water is the second book in the Mysteries of Martha’s Vineyard series from Guideposts. The sleuth/heroine remains the same in every book. Here’s my story’s synopsis:
After discovering an old sword dating back to World War I in her bedroom, Priscilla must defend the reputation of her great-grandfather against the controversial story behind the ancient weapon. Is this a battle worth fighting, or will Priscilla’s faith in her ancestor be her undoing in the community?
This particular cozy mystery is unique, in that it is set in the present, but the mystery actually took place in the past. I had a lot of fun going back and forth in time to lay out the mystery elements.
Please give us a peek at the first page of the book.
“Ready to head home, boy?” Priscilla Grant glanced over her shoulder at the dog in the back seat of her car. She grinned when Jake’s tail thumped against the leather. “I’d say we’ve had quite enough adventure for one day, wouldn’t you?”
Adventure, indeed. She and Jake had shared a wonderful day exploring
Vineyard, her new home. Though she’d only been on the island a
short time, Priscilla still couldn’t get enough of the breathtaking scenery or
the kind-hearted people. She’d grown to love it here.
Jake seemed to agree. His energetic tail wagged in merry fashion, as if to say, “I’d like to stay put, too.”
“Good boy.” She reached back to pat him on the head and he settled down, ready for the ride home.
Priscilla turned the key in the ignition and then pointed her car toward her cottage at
her thoughts shifting back to the island and its colorful residents. Could she
have landed in a more idyllic spot? To all who dreamed of white picket fences,
American flags waving in the coastal breeze, and a quaint life along the one
hundred and twenty miles of breathtaking seashore, this was the place. One
could scarcely find a fault with Misty Harbor Martha’s Vineyard,
unless the cost of living was factored in. Owning a home on the island could squeeze
the pocketbook, no doubt about that.
Not that Priscilla wanted to fret over finances, not after a day like today, when she’d enjoyed a blissful tour of the island’s historic homes. She would ponder the cost of updates to her cottage later. Right now, basking in the glory of this peaceful, picture-perfect day took priority. And eating a crème horn she’d picked up at the local bakery, of course. The take-home bag sat in her passenger seat. The sugary goodness permeated the air around her even now, but she would have to wait until after dinner to enjoy her treat.
Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Janice, for sharing this book with me and my blog readers. I’m one of your biggest cheerleaders as you are one of mine.
Readers, you can get a copy of this book and others in the series by visiting this site:
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside
(Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: