I'm thrilled to have my good friend, Janice Thompson, back with a new series. Welcome, Janice. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
I tend to write about people who like to “fix” things (and people). Lately, I find that I also write about people who handle their insecurities through humor.
Humor is good. What other books of yours are coming out soon?
Besides Stars Collide, I have quite a few other recent/upcoming releases: Jersey Sweets (Three love stories set in New Jersey – from Barbour Publishing), Love Finds You in Camelot Tennessee (A quirky, fun story about the town of Camelot putting on the musical Camelot – from Summerside/Guideposts), The Perfect Match (A cozy mystery – from Barbour Publishing). All of these books will release between now and March.
If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
I would have to say Kathleen Y’Barbo. She and I have been the very best of friends for years, but she recently married and moved away from the Houston to Tulsa, Oklahoma. I miss her terribly. She’s coming in town for my birthday (January 6th) and I can hardly wait!
I know how close the two of you are. I'm sure you're really missing her. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
I think I’d like to meet Ben Franklin. Maybe some of his wit would rub off on me! He was quite an inventor, too, so it would be fun to hang out with him for a day and watch his creativity at work!
How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
There’s really only one way to view a rejection: God is sparing you from publishing a book at the wrong house. I had something rather traumatic happen a few years back. I’d submitted a book to a publishing house I’d worked with before. When the book was rejected, I was devastated. Less than a year later, that book was picked up by another publishing house and went on to become my best-selling novel (selling almost double the copies of any other book at the previous house). If I’d gotten my way, the sales would’ve been much lower, for sure. So, patience is a virtue!
I learned that lesson this year, too. I had a series rejected early in the year and was very disappointed. Later in the year a much larger publisher bought the series. I'm looking forward to working with this company for a while. Tell us about the featured book.
Her future's so bright, she's gotta wear shades
Kat Jennings and Scott Murphy don't just play two people who are secretly in love on a television sitcom--they are actually head over heels for each other in real life. When the lines between reality and TV land blur, they hope they can keep their relationship under wraps. But when Kat's grandmother, an eccentric star from Hollywood's golden age, mistakes their on-screen wedding proposal for the real deal, things begin to spiral out of control. Will their secret be front-page news in the tabloids? And can their budding romance survive the onslaught of paparazzi, wedding preparations, and misinformed family members?
From the soundstage to a Beverly Hills mansion to the gleaming Pacific Ocean, Stars Collide takes you on a roller-coaster tour of Hollywood, packing both comedic punch and tender emotion.
"Stars Collide is a fun-filled romp into Tinseltown with all its quirks and characters. I hope you enjoy this romantic getaway as much as I did."--Kristin Billerbeck, bestselling author of Perfectly Dateless and What a Girl Wants
"A sweet, funny, fun look at Hollywood behind the scenes, from a talented author. Janice Thompson knows her characters inside and out."--Lisa Wingate, bestselling author of Larkspur Cove and Beyond Summer
Sounds like just the book I want to read. Please give us the first page.
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
“You want me to kiss him . . . where?” I stared at my director, hoping I’d somehow misunderstood his last-minute change to the script.
A look of exasperation crossed his face. “On the lips, of course. This is a family show, Kat. Remember?”
“Of course.” I nodded and fought to keep my breathing even as I rephrased my question. “I mean, where in the scene? Beginning, middle, or end? What’s my cue?”
“Oh.” A look of relief passed over Mark Wilson’s face as he sank into his director’s chair. “At the very end of the scene. Right after Jack says, ‘This has been a long time coming, Angie.’ At that point I want the two of you to kiss. On the lips. In a passionate but family-friendly way. PG, not PG-13.”
“Ah.” My gaze darted across the crowded studio to Scott Murphy, my love interest in the sitcom Stars Collide. He raked his fingers through that gorgeous, dark, wavy hair of his and flashed an encouraging smile. Apparently the idea of kissing me on camera hadn’t startled him. Why should I let it make me nervous? We’d both known for months this moment would come. And now that it had arrived, there would be no turning back. Kissing him—whether it happened at the beginning, middle, or end of the scene—was something the viewers had anticipated for three seasons. Ironically, I’d spent almost as long waiting, hoping, and praying for it myself.
Over the past two seasons, my off-screen friendship with Scott had morphed into something more, and I knew he felt the same. Still, we’d danced around each other for months, neither of us willing to open up and share our hearts. And now that the opportunity had finally presented itself, I felt like slinking back to my dressing room and diving under the makeup table. Would anyone notice if the show’s leading lady skipped out on the scene?
“Kiss him, Kat! Kiss him!” The voices of the youngest cast members rang out, and my cheeks grew warm as I realized the sitcom’s children had a vested interest in this too. They’d worked for two full seasons to push the characters of Jack and Angie together, after all. A kiss seemed inevitable, even to them.
Only now, it just seemed impossible. How could I kiss Scott, passionately or otherwise, with my heart in my throat? And how—I gulped in air as I thought about it—how could I kiss him when my feelings offstage were as strong as those my character Angie faced when the cameras were rolling?
My heart did that crazy junior high flip-flop thing, and for a moment I thought I might faint. Squeezing my eyes shut, I invited the opportunity. If I hit the floor, we could probably avoid filming the scene altogether.
Nope. No such luck. After a few seconds of feigning dizziness, I realized I was as steady on my feet as ever. Opening my eyes, I contemplated my options. Now what?
From across the studio, Scott smiled again, offering me a glimmer of hope. Was that a “come hither” look in his eyes? Mm-hmm. A sense of peace flooded over me and I whispered a prayer of thanksgiving.
I can do this. I can do this. With the eyes of the masses watching, I took my place on the set, ready to begin filming.
Scott continued to tease me with a smile. Oh yes, this certainly made things easier. His baby blues stared deep down into my soul, giving me the courage I needed.
At this point, everything began to move in slow motion.
I heard the director yell, “Action!”
Managed to speak my opening lines, then listened for Scott’s impassioned response.
Watched as the cameras overhead swung near for the big moment.
Felt my heart race when Scott—as the character of Jack—took a step in my direction.
Heard him whisper those magic words: “This has been a long time coming, Angie.”
Sensed the studio audience members holding their breath.
Closed my eyes in anticipation.
Then, just as Scott swept me into his arms for that magical moment we’d all been waiting for . . . the power went out.
Studio B faded to black.
I love it, Janice. I can hardly wait for the book to get here. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I have two websites – one to promote my writing, another to promote my online courses.
My writing site (with all information related to books): http://www.janicehannathompson.com/
My online courses (for those interested in writing): http://www.freelancewritingcourses.com/
And, dear readers, those writing courses are dynamite, too.
Thank you, Janice, for the fun interview.
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