Guest Authors

Interview with Author Janice Spina

Web Books

Louey the Lazy Elephant

Louey is a lazy elephant who likes to sleep late.  One day Louey oversleeps and much to his surprise the whole herd has moved on without him.  Read and discover how Louey finds his family and what valuable lesson he learns.

Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon

Ricky is a rambunctious or very active raccoon who likes to wander around to find something new to eat.  One night during his foraging for food Ricky runs into all kinds of trouble.  Will Ricky get home safely? Will he learn his lesson to listen to his mother?

Jerry the Crabby Crayfish

Jerry is a crabby crayfish who all day long wishes he could be a fish.  One day something happens in the fish tank that makes Jerry change his mind.  Read about the valuable lesson Jerry learns.

Check out Janice Spina’s books at: 









PIA Blocj (janice)

author photo

Janice, Keep Calm & Answer These 25 Questions

1. Do you consider yourself a logophile? If so, have you always been? I am sorry but I do not know what a logophile is.  It wasn’t in the dictionary either.

2. What is your favorite color? I love blue, all shades of it.  I find it so peaceful.

3. Where were you born? Where did you grow up? I was born in Massachusetts and grew up there.  I didn’t move out of state until I got married.

4. What is your favorite football team? Since I am from New England I am a big fan of the Patriots.  Love watching them but get very nervous and can’t sit still during each game.  I show a lot of passion, yelling and screaming at them if they mess up.

5. Who is your favorite author? Mary Higgins Clark and Agatha Christie – love them both.  They are completely opposites too.  But I have eclectic taste in genres.

6. What is your favorite book? I have been an avid reader all my life and I can’t say that there is just one book I love.  I love many.  I would have to say anything by my favorite authors, Mary Higgins Clark and Agatha Christie.  I also enjoyed the book, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.  It inspired me and opened up my creative juices a few years ago. As stated in the book, ‘Everything is possible. Nothing is impossible.’

7. What do you do when you are not writing? I read extensively, do book reviews, blog, interview other indie authors, copy edit other author’s books, go to the movies with my husband, crochet and relax with my husband as we watch some of our favorite TV shows. I also babysit two of my grandchildren twice a week and thoroughly enjoy them.  In between I try to get in an exercise routine every other day.

8. Do you have a day job as well? No, I have been retired since 2010 from an administrative secretarial position in a school system.

9. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? Never give up your dreams and keep writing.  It takes determination and persistence to realize your dream to be an author.  You have to want it with all your heart.  Work hard and enjoy the journey for it is a wonderful experience to see your words published and read by others!

10. Is being a writer a curse or a gift? I think of it as a gift from God.  I don’t know where the creativity comes from at times.  It is not to be questioned but just to be embraced and cherished. I am blessed to be able to write and for that I am truly grateful to Him.  It gives me a purpose and a reason for living.

11. Where do you write? I have a small bedroom that we use as a den or office.  I say ‘we’ because my husband is my illustrator and we work together in this small space.  There is a lot of collaboration and creativity flowing during our writing and drawing sessions.  It is wonderful!

12. Do you prefer silence or some noise while you write? I like silence but my husband needs to have the TV going.  He does keep the sound down a little for me so that I can concentrate.  I can work either way but it takes a little more energy to ignore the distractions from the TV screen.

13. What do you typically drink while writing? I have water to quench my writer’s thirst and coffee to pick me up without the caffeine.  The warmth of the coffee is soothing and comforting.

14. What challenges have you had in regards to your writing life? I have been writing since I was nine years old with poetry and greeting cards.  I branched out from there to children’s stories and then novels much later.  Most of my books have been written from back them.  I recently wrote two new children’s stories, one for my granddaughter and another for a little boy I met while on vacation in Aruba.

I know I have not answered your question yet but I wanted to set the stage first.  It was easy for me to just write but the challenges began when I tried to get my work published several years ago.  I found it draining and emotionally exhausting sending out queries and samples or copies of my books to dozens of agents and publishers.  I waited months for answers anxiously checking my daily mail for one scrap of hope from any of them.  I couldn’t do it anymore.  That is when I decided to self-publish.  It is the best thing that I have ever done.  I finally have my work out there for all to see.  I am not famous by a long shot but my name is beginning to spread and I hope one day more people will know who I am and respect my work.

My motto is:  Reading Gives You Wings to Fly!  My goal is to encourage children to read and thus fostering a love of reading that will enable children to eventually lead more fulfilling and rewarding lives.

15. When did you first start and when did you finish your book? As I mentioned above I wrote my books years ago.  The first book I published was not the first book I wrote.  The first book has not been published yet.  I may eventually publish it too.  It was a fairy tale that I wrote for my children when they were young.  I wrote two other stories, after the fairy tale, about two of our pets.  Those are not published yet either.  I have several more books for my dear husband/illustrator to work on.  The poor guy has a lot of work cut out for him.

16. If your book is made into a movie, which actors/actresses do you envision playing the parts? My children’s books are not movie material but my novel, Hunting Mariah, could be.  It is a murder mystery/crime novel about a young woman who loses her memory and has witnessed something horrifying but cannot remember it.  She is haunted by not knowing what it is.  She is being watched by an evil presence from which her life is in danger.

This book is copyrighted but not yet published.  I am working on getting it edited and hope to have it out this year before the spring.

This is funny that you ask me this question.  My husband asks this same question each time I write another novel.  I think Jennifer Lawrence could play the young woman, Mariah.  Her love interest could be played by Zac Efron.  Josh Hutcherson would be great as one of the characters that connect with Mariah.  Kristen Stewart can be one of Mariah’s friends. Nicholas Hoult would be excellent as the evil presence.  Mariah’s parents could be played by Robin Dearden (mother) and James Read (father), Angela Lansbury (grandmother).

I confess that I had to look up actors by age since I do not know too many of the young ones.  It was fun envisioning these actors and actresses playing the roles.   It helped bring my story to life even more.

17. What does your protagonist think of you? Would he/she want to hang out with you? She would think of me as being like her mother since I am so much older, ha ha!  I wrote this story when I was much younger.

18. How do you market your book? What avenues work best? I market all my children’s books on many sites, FB, TW, LinkedIn, Google+, Goodreads, iAuthor, Goodebooks for some examples.  I have made many wonderful friends online while marketing my work and they help me by posting my books on their sites.

I don’t have all the answers to what is best for everyone.  Each person has to find that out for themselves.  I found that the more I peruse other authors’ sites and like them they in turn like mine.  We help one another this way.  I post reviews and interviews on my blog and share my friends’ work that way, of course, alone with my own too.  Word of mouth is still the best way to sell books.

I have done over 100 book reviews on Amazon and this helps to get me noticed.  Recently I have been receiving requests from new authors to read their books and review.  I do as many as I can to help them out.  I am also a copy editor/proofreader and have edited many other authors’ books.  When I find anything that needs to be edited in a book I review, out of courtesy, I contact the author and let them know what I found before reviewing their books.  If I feel there are too many editing issues, I may not review a book.

19. What has been the toughest criticism so far? I have been fortunate so far. There will always be someone who wants to rain on your parade.  I have my umbrella at the ready at all times.  It does hurt just the same if someone finds fault with your work.  An author’s work is their baby, their creation.

I do welcome comments from fans and fellow authors and will share my feelings with them too.

20. What has been the best compliment? I have so many wonderful online friends who have been so kind and supportive.  They have said so many wonderful things about my work.  I have many five-star reviews of my books from fellow authors and others.  I appreciate every one of them.

21. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? My children’s books are purely from my imagination.  My novels sometimes parallel someone I have met or something that has happened in the past.  Most of it is from my creative imagination.  It is fun to make things up and live in a different place for a little while.  That is what writing does to a writer – draws the writer into another world.

22. How did you come up with the title? I love the name Mariah for my novel.  It is musical.  The names of my children’s books Louey the Lazy Elephant, Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon, and Jerry the Crabby Crayfish are just names that went well with the animal, I thought.

23. Will there be a sequel? No sequels at this time for any of my books.  I think I say it all and there is nothing more to say about any of my stories.  I have other ideas for more stories with different animals and characters.

I like to write about different things each time or I feel I will get stale or stuck in a rut.

24. What project are you working on now? Editing my novel, Mariah, and getting it ready for publication.  I also have three other novels that need editing.  Several children’s books are waiting in the wings for my husband’s artistic touch of illustrations.

25. What question did I leave out that you’d like to answer? Wow, I think you certainly covered everything.  I would only add that I want to thank you for asking me to do this interview with all your imaginative questions.  You really made me think hard before I wrote.  I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Please fill in the blank: Keep Calm and _enjoy life._

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  1. Thank you, Kristy, for this wonderful interview. You did a great job posting it all. I appreciate your support and friendship. I had a lot of fun answering your questions too!

    Keep in touch, my friend!
    Thank you again!

  2. Another great interview, Janice. Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished. Of course, I wish you much success in future endeavors as well.

  3. Great job, Kristy.
    Fabulous interview, fabulous interviewee.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading the questions and the answers, which did nothing but increase my fondness for Janice.
    Lovely, lovely.

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