Friday, November 30, 2012

Fabulous Friday Feature: Janice Hanna Thompson

Today I welcome my friend, an accomplished authoress who is giving, gracious, and gifted with humor: Janice Hanna Thompson. 

I met Janice through ACFW. She showed her fun spirit right away. I asked her to share her writing journey with us this weekend. You may be surprised how God has paved her life with a passion for story.

Enter to win an autographed copy of Janice's book, Queen of the Waves, see below.

A Passion for Story

Some writers nudge their way onto the publication scene with a lovely resume in hand, one that includes a degree in English or Literature. Others experience a “lucky break,” an amazing opportunity that propels them through the publication door, bells clanging and whistles blowing.  

Most writers press their noses to the grindstone—grunting and grappling their way to publication, one sour rejection after another. Then, there are those who come out of the womb writing—child prodigies, who pour out their heartfelt stories onto the pages of their elementary school notebooks, destined to become one-day-stars. As the years progress, they morph into the very thing they were destined to be all along—writers.

I suppose you could say there’s a little of each of these in me.  I was born with a passion for both story and performance and always saw myself as having a great call on my life. 

As a child, I instinctively knew how to entertain folks with my antics and my exaggeration. From the time I could offer a curtsy or a bow (anticipating that others would applaud my efforts) my mother labeled me a “ham.” She wasn’t far off in her description. I ended up going into theater, starting as an actress and eventually directing.

One thing served as the glue in all of my endeavors: story.

Story fueled me as a youngster while I persistently scoured the shelves at our local library for something I hadn’t already read. Story intoxicated me as I picked up the pen and crafted my first novel in sixth grade. Story propelled me as I took on roles in high school plays, pouring heart and soul into each performance.

Story lit a fire in me during my college years and pacified me when I had to leave school after my sophomore year. Story nipped at my heels in my early twenties when my father asked me to help him pen a screenplay—Liar’s Moon—which was eventually made into a movie. Story made a playwright out of me in my middle years, when the arts academy where I taught needed performance materials.

Story—specifically, Christian fiction—grabbed hold of my heart, twisting and turning, when I neared my empty nest years. At this time, I truly “felt the call” to publish my first novel. It took years to accomplish this feat, but God eventually opened a door. From that day until now, I’ve been blessed to publish over eighty books for the Christian market—mostly light-hearted romances, loaded with humorous elements. 

I’m probably best known for my quirky Weddings by Bella series, but I’ve also been given the opportunity to write stories like my latest—Queen of the Waves—an intense drama set aboard the Titanic. Though I’m a comedian at heart, I enjoy writing the serious stuff too, because it challenges me as a writer and offers me the opportunity to further develop my skills.

No matter what I write—comedy, drama, devotions, plays or skits—I will remain a storyteller at heart. Writing for the Christian market is perfect for me, because I have the opportunity to incorporate the greatest story ever told into each of my tales. And hasn’t story always been the tool that God has used to touch the hearts of His people?

Consider. . .The Prodigal Son. The Lost Coin. The 99 Sheep. All stories, told by the Master Storyteller, intended to teach, to nudge, to uplift, and to provoke. I pray that my stories will compel people to search out the Ultimate Author and to read His bestseller. (Talk about a great book!)

These days, as I look back on the stories I’ve published, the plays I’ve written, the articles I’ve penned, I see them all as a whole—part of a bigger story. My story. My legacy. Something I leave behind, not just for my children and grandchildren, but my readers, as well. I hope they see a little of my story in every novel, in every character, in every setting.

Beyond that, however, I pray they see the very real story of a God who loves them so much that He was willing to split heaven wide open to send the ultimate hero into this world to rescue, redeem and revive.

So, what comes next for me? Where will the pages of my own story take me? I will continue to market Queen of the Waves while writing more comedies! My Weddings by Bella series has done so well with readers that I’ve been asked to do a spin-off series (Weddings by Design). The first book, Picture Perfect, releases in January. I’m biting my nails in anticipation. 

In short, I will cherish every moment, pen in hand, ready for whatever tales—fun, serious, or otherwise—the Lord lays on my heart. 

So, what about you? What’s your story? I pray it’s one filled with joy, peace, and blessing. . .and lots of laughter.

Connect with Janice:
Facebook: Janice Hanna Thompson
Twitter: booksbyjanice
Online writing courses:

To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Janice's book Queen of the Waves, become a follower if you aren't already (see the upper right corner of this blog to join). And leave a comment. Include your email address (username (at) yahoo (dot) com) The winner will be selected by a third party,, and will be announced on next week. U.S. residents only. 

Thank you Janice for joining us this weekend!

Reader: Pretend you are dressed in an elegant garment, suitable for first class, what would you have seen, heard, tasted, smelled, said?


Lisa Nelson said...

Thank you for the giveaway!!! I am a new follower.
Lisa Nelson

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thank you for stopping by, Lisa and for becoming a follower. You will be entered in the book giveaway.

Ashley Vazquez said...

I'd love to add this to my collection! Thanks for the giveaway! :)


Unknown said...

Thanks for the opportunity to win this book! The Weddings By Bella series was fantastic, and I have been looking forward to reading more of Janice's books!


Stephanie said...

I really look forward to reading this book. I enjoy studying and learning about the Titanic. There aren't very many fiction books written during this time, so I am excited to see this one coming out.

Thank you for sharing this glimpse into Janice's life. Thank you for offering this giveaway.


Anonymous said...

New follower. Thanks for the giveaway and thanks for the introduction of Janice.

Cynthia Quiroga


Mary Vee Writer said...

Thank you for visiting with Janice. We enjoyed your comp[any and have signed you up for the book drawing.

Kara said...

New follower! Found my way over and would love to win this one. Great interview! I absolutely loved the Weddings by Bella series. :)


Mary Vee Writer said...

Thank you for joining us, Kara. Janice's interview was indeed great. Glad you enjoyed it. You have been entered in the book drawing.