Janice Thompson has been a occasional guest on my blog for as long as I've had one, and I always love having her here. We go way back as friends who share a love of writing and a love of theater. It's always a special pleasure to share her with you, dear readers.
Welcome, Janice. Let’s do some fun questions first. What song most closely resembles your life?
“If I Were a Rich Man” from Fiddler on the Roof. Okay, okay ... on a serious note, I’d probably have to go with “Amazing Love, How Can it Be?” by Chris Tomlin. It really has become my life-song, reminding me that God’s love supersedes every sin, every flaw. I’m so crazy about this song that I’ve told my daughters to play it at my funeral. Not that I’m planning on going anytime soon, mind you. Still, that should tell you how much I love the song!
Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?
Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to him who is able
to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that
is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ
Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” It’s amazing to
think that God can do FAR above what we ask or think. When I grab hold of that,
I realize that what I’m asking isn’t big enough ... grand enough. He’s a BIG God,
and my requests are never too much for Him to handle.
What is the one thing you wish you could go back and change in your life?
I wish I could go back to the point where I grew bitter against my father after he divorced my mom. I wasted so many years that I wish I could make up. . .but can’t. He passed away in 2006 and I miss him terribly. Thank goodness, our last several years together were really good ones. I’ve learned that bitterness and unforgiveness are highly overrated and get in the way of God’s best for us.
I so totally understand. For some reason, many of my books have threads about dealing with bitterness and unforgiveness. What is the most important characteristic for a good friend to have?
I think a sense of humor goes a long way. It keeps offenses from rising up. It also helps when you’re going through a rough patch emotionally or physically. I have a great BFF (Kay Malone). With just a look, she can send me from tears to laughter. (Or vice-versa, actually, but the tears are usually a result of laughing too hard.) There is no dollar amount you can place on a great sense of humor. It’s a gift.
What extracurricular activities did you participate in when you were in school?
Theater! I was always involved in drama productions and in music/choir. In fact, I won our school’s “Best Thespian” title during my senior year. (Try explaining THAT to your kids. “You were your school’s best what, Mom?”) From the time I was a little girl my mother called me a “Ham.” Overly-dramatic was (and is) my style. These days I direct at a local Christian theater, so the drama queen still resides within. She can usually be coaxed out with an offer to direct.
What is your favorite movie of all times?
I’m nuts about The Sound of Music. Truly! Was there ever a more romantic love scene than that gazebo scene? Lovely! When I was sixteen I played the role of Brigetta in our school’s production of this awesome show. Ironically, Brigetta is the one who can’t be bothered meeting the new governess because she’s busy reading a book. Prophetic, perhaps? J
I love The Sound of Music too, but I've always been crazy about Gone With The Wind. Tell us about why you wrote this book.
I received a note from my agent, asking if I would be interested in writing a book about the Titanic. I’d just come out of a theater rehearsal and was in a pretty jovial mood. I wrote back, “Only if there’s a song and dance number involved!” He (my agent) responded, “No, we’ll have to play this one straight.” Now, most who know me know that I’m a comedic author. I don’t drown people. Well, except for that one novel about the Galveston hurricane of 1900. I drowned 6000 people in that book. Didn’t think I had it in me to do it again. After getting my agent’s note I prayed about it, and (miracle of miracles!) came up with a chapter that I really loved. He sent it off to several publishers and I got the word at the ACFW conference that Summerside/Guideposts wanted to purchase the story for their brand new American Tapestries line. What a blessing!
I love that cover. It so fits the story. Please give us the first page of the book.
Tuesday, March 26th, 1912,
Tessa Bowen’s dingy gray skirt tangled around her legs as she reached to grab hold of the feisty sow. “Easy now, Countess.” She held on tight to the noisy porker’s ear, guiding her back into the pen and then slamming the gate shut. With the back of her hand Tessa brushed the loose hairs from around her face and scolded herself for not paying closer attention to the rambunctious animal.
She glanced about, heaviness gripping her heart as she noticed the upturned crate in the corner of the straw-lined shed. The naughty Countess seemed determined to break free from her confines these days. Tessa could certainly understand that. Empathize, even. Still, how would the piglets ever get adequate nutrition if their mama continued to fuss her way out of the farrowing crates? And how could Tessa’s family continue to raise pigs to their proper slaughtering weight with the stalls in such a state of disarray? No doubt this would infuriate Papa. He would have her head when he saw the mess. Tessa’s knees ached, just thinking of the penance she would have to do.
She busied herself, tending to the piglets and making sure none had been harmed in the old sow’s tirade. With the exception of a bit of mud, they appeared to be in tolerable shape. Tessa reached for the runt and held it as one might cradle a babe, listening to his tiny grunts and squeals. His nearness brought her some degree of comfort, as always. Still, he did not appear to be in a cuddling mood this morning, as was evidenced by the squirming and kicking.
“I understand,” she whispered as she ran her fingertip over the piglet’s head and down his back. “It’s not much of a life, is it?”
No, indeed, it was not, whether one lived in the stall or the broken-down house nearby. Tessa did her best not to sigh aloud as she rose and placed the little porker back amongst the others in the litter. He let out another grunt. She felt like doing the same.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love to connect with my readers! They can find me in the following places:
Facebook: Janice Hanna Thompson
Thank you, Janice, for giving my readers another peek into your life. I know they'll love this book as much as I do.
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