Today I’d like to welcome Author and Blogger extraordinaire – Janice Spina.
Thank you, Chris, for giving me this opportunity to share my book with your readers. This is a great idea and you are one very clever ape not to expect me to be pulled up the tree to your main ‘Branch’ Office.
Well, I realised that there’s no ladylike way of getting you up there (smiles)
I’m so happy to share a little about myself and my writing with you. Just don’t stand too close as we talk, ok? There is something – exotically – strange about your breath.
(mumble, mumble, Durian fruit, mumble, mumble)
Cough, cough, ahhhem, mumble, mumble (peers at questionnaire, adjusts glasses, takes them off and hands them to JoJo, takes the pair JoJo is wearing, puts THEM on, AH That’s better).
How long have you been writing Janice?
I have always loved writing. I started when I was about eight or nine years’ old writing poetry and greeting cards for my mom’s birthday or Mother’s Day. Thereafter I wrote tons of poetry which I never saved. In high school I was on the newspaper as a writer of poetry, Guess Who, which was a column of silly little poems about fellow students.
I really got serious about writing after reading an inspirational book titled, The Secret. It stirred the creative side of my brain and I wrote tons of poetry and children’s stories. I even wrote four novels which are in need of editing and completion.
When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
Well, like I said in the previous question, I have always loved writing. After I wrote all the children’s stories I decided right then and there to try to get them published. I say try because that is what I did for five years. I tirelessly sent out query letters to lots of publishers, agents and companies trying to catch their attention but to no avail. I finally gave up this year and decided to self-publish. It seemed like a waste of time and energy to pursue these traditional publishers.
Apart from writing, do you work elsewhere?
No, Chris, I am fortunate to be retired so I can dedicate my whole day to writing and blogging, social media, etc. I love every minute of it.
I have also set up a service to do copy editing for other writers and authors. I have two clients I am working with now and possibly more coming. I need to know when to say no though since I have a lot on my plate at times. I enjoy helping others and have edited a lot of authors’ books non gratis since I informed them about some errors in their books without being solicited to do so.
I find I do a better job with other writer’s work than I do editing my own. It all comes down to a fresh eye when I read other’s work. My own work I know so well that it becomes too comfortable to change but I am working hard on that and making a lot of changes.
It can be very tiring and I just don’t know when to quit. My husband has to remind me that it is time to eat. Without his prompting I would probably forget to eat and be very skinny, which isn’t entirely too bad. Being an ape you know what I mean.
(Glances into the nearby mirror and puffs apely tummy out with pride – “YEP, I’m STILL a fine figure of an ape”)
What have you published so far?
I am happy to introduce the adorable character of my book, Louey the Lazy Elephant. He is quite a sweet little elephant. The story is about Louey who is a lazy elephant who oversleeps one day to find the herd nowhere in sight. I think this story teaches children that it does not pay to be lazy but it does pay to be polite and helpful to people in your day to day life. People will in turn help you too.
Sounds like an elephant I know, what other stories have you written?
I don’t like to share my books if they are not copyrighted and published. But one book that is copyrighted and is currently being worked on is Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon. He is a cute little guy who gets into all kind of trouble one night when he goes out on his own to forage. This story teaches children to keep their noses out of other peoples’ business and try to stay out of trouble and always obey your mother. Mother knows best.
I have also written novels of the following genres: murder mystery/suspense, romance/spiritual, YA fantasy, and historical fiction. I plan to edit and complete each one of these books and eventually publish them. I have a lot of work ahead.
WOW, that IS busy, who is your illustrator?
My husband is a first time illustrator and illustrated Louey. He is actively working on Ricky now. He has also recently completed the book cover for a murder mystery novel I wrote many years ago. I think he has done a tremendous job and will continue to work very hard to please me. I am tough about what I want for illustrations. I just keep reminding him that we are splitting the royalties, such as they are!
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Are you serious? I am 65 now and in ten years will be 75. But, wait a minute, there is longevity in my family. My grandmother lived to be 100 years and five months. I hope I have her genes because I have a lot of writing to do and so little time to do it in. I know she would be surprised to see me writing at this age. She didn’t even know that I could write.
What else do you like to do in your spare time?
I like listening to music and singing. I was part of a choral group, Sweet Adeline’s, for five or six months back a few or more years ago. Now I sing while I wash dishes or along with the radio or on my karaoke machine when my grandkids let me. I have four grandkids who all love to sing and entertain. I am very proud of them and love spending time with them.
I also love spending time with my wonderful and supportive husband. We go to movies once a week and out to breakfast or lunch or dinner once or twice a week. It is nice to be retired so we can go early like the other retirees and beat the crowds at dinner and the movies. There are some perks to being old.
(Thinks, what’s with this OLD business, I’m 63 and for Humans, Janice and her Husband look pretty good to me)
Please share your links to your blog and website and where to purchase your book?
Anyone interested in purchasing my book can go to:
I can be reached at the following social media links:
Well, that’s all the questions I have Janice, Thank you for agreeing to visit with me and putting up with young JoJo jumping around and taking so many photographs of you.
Oh, he was ok, but it is a little unusual to see a hairy photographer hanging upside down and swinging back and forth while taking the photographs.
Anyway, thank you, Chris, for having me on your blog today. I have enjoyed visiting with you and your readers and it is always a pleasure to spend time with you. I didn’t mind your scent as much this time. You must be growing on me. I am relieved that you didn’t do that thing about picking lint off my clothes though. It was getting annoying.
Oh yes. LINT picking. Yes.
I’m afraid it’s a bit of a habit we have here in the jungle (smiles kindly and refuses to mention anything about fleas, or the centipede that has just gone into Janices purse).
9 thoughts on “Guest Author Janice Spina”
Great interview. Loved the answers. A unique way of doing a blog interview that was very entertaining.
Very funny and informative. Loved it. Heat interview and very good answers.
Chris and Janice, thank you for a great interview. It continues to amaze me that there are so many wonderful writers out there; it’s Chris’s good work that we get to know at least some of them. I feel very close to Janice both because of the time when she started writing and because of her reaction at the “in ten years’ time” question.
All the best to you both!
What a busy writer! Very cool that her husband is the illustrator too. Good interview, Chris!
Thanks, Chris, for another great interview. Although I follow Janice’s blog, you brought out even more information about here her.
Janice – you are one busy and multi-talented writer – love your enthusiasm.
Best to you both!
Hi Valerie, Janice did all the hard work, believe me 🙂
Loved this Chris! You have such a funny sense of humor. You did a great job. I can’t thank you enough for your kindness and support.
About the old part, I really don’t feel old at all, unless I remember my age and the aches and pains I get at times. I can still hula hoop for 30 minutes or more without stopping so I guess I am not really old yet! LOL. Best wishes, my ape friend!
Oh, by the way, I envision you about 35 by the way you write-young at heart!
LOL Glad you liked my little snippets – regarding Hula Hooping, I wouldn’t be able to move fast enough to stop it dropping to the ground LOL
I am genuinely 63, but can out-walk most people half my age, so I guess I am still young (at heart anyway)
Good luck Janice – and remember me when your next book comes out, so I can promote it on my blog 🙂
Thank you so much. You really are a wonderful person! I appreciate your support and kindness. Working on another children’s book and a novel. I will definitely let you know.
You are the best!