Monday, November 14, 2011

The TV and newspaper called it a special kind of luck. Television Interview

My oldest daughter had her baby in Fort Worth on 11/11/11, after 11 weeks of bedrest, in room 111. The baby boy is the 11th great-grandchild of my father-in-law. I was proud of my daughter as I watched her interview on television and my husband and I are tickled that Nehemiah arrived with such a splash. It had been a hard pregnancy, since he tried to be born at 25 weeks. But now we have a healthy baby boy!

We know as Christians that luck had nothing to do with it. Someone teased that he would grow up to be a gambler, since he was 7lbs and 7 oz., something about 7 come 11. I don't know about gambling terms, but was curious about the spiritual significance of the number 11.  Pretty serious stuff.

Disorder, judgement, and the idea of the 11th hour. It's hard to think of those things, gazing at this little pink nose, tiny fingers and tiny toes. One can't help but wonder if the generation being born are truly arriving in the "eleventh hour." Could this generation of children, who call on the name of the Lord, be the last ones to rise up and prophesy judgement before Jesus returns for his Church? Probably. Most likely. My spirit tells me this all the time, that the escalating disorder in the world is spiraling down to the intervention of Christ.

 Maybe my grandson will be a prophet, or an accountant, teacher, musician, or who knows what. His name means "comforted by Yahweh". Perhaps he'll be a leader/wall builder like the biblical Nehemiah. I don't know many things about our Nehemiah's future, but what I do know is that he has been born into a Christian home. He will be raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The spiritual significance of his birthday will manifest itself in whatever way that God has ordained, and we will pray for him as he grows up.

Welcome, Nehemiah Asa James Nix:)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Interview with Janice Thompson, author of Hello Hollywood


1. Hello Hollywood is book two in the Backstage Pass series. Should readers pick up a copy of Stars Collide first?

Hello Hollywood can be read alone. However, the story’s heroine (Athena) is introduced in Stars Collide. So, if you want to get to know her (and the backstory about the sitcom) it would help to read Stars Collide first. This would also give the reader insight into the characters of Kat, Scott and Lenora. Good news! Stars Collide is currently free in e-book form. Check it out at amazon and/or Barnes and Noble

2. How much of your screenwriting experience did you draw from to create the character of Athena?

Whether I’m writing a screenplay, a stage play or a novel, the process is much the same. I always see the story in my head, much like a movie! It’s great fun to translate what I see to the page. What bliss! I should add that my time in L.A. (writing the movie Liar’s Moon) was such a blast! That experience played heavily into my decision to write the “Backstage Pass” series.

3. You actually lived in L.A. and worked in the movie business for a while. Can you tell us about your time there?

If I close my eyes, I can flash back to a kinder, gentler era. No, not the fifties. Not even the sixties. My "kinder/gentler" era took place in the late 70s, when my father decided to move our family from the Houston area to Los Angeles.
Yep, it's true. I lived in L.A. when I was eighteen. Why? Because my father had illusions of grandeur. Like gazillions who had walked the road before (and after) him, he wanted to get in the movie business. Unlike most, my father actually had connections - writers, directors and so forth. He was also filled with ideas. So, off we went, traveling from Houston to L.A.
I still remember the home we rented--a two-story, five-bedroom house in Bel-Air West (directly off of Mulholland) with a fabulous pool and hot tub in the back yard. The area behind our home was a canyon (one that actually caught on fire)!
While writing "Liar's Moon" (the movie that would go on to be filmed starring Matt Dillon and Cindy Fisher), I worked at Tele-Credit (a check verification company on Avenue of the Stars in L.A.). I also (of course!) spent time at Malibu Beach. (What eighteen-year-old wouldn't?) My favorite thing to do, however, was to drive through Hollywood Hills. Oh, how I loved looking at those houses!
Jump ahead from 1977 to 2010:
I came up with the idea to write Hello Hollywood (book two in the Backstage Pass series). The goal? To relive my time in Los Angeles and to pay tribute to my dad. Over the next several weeks I'll be sharing more details about my time in L.A. (as well as a host of other things related to the book). I hope you'll enjoy this journey with me. In the meantime, click the link below to purchase a copy of Hello Hollywood for yourself! (By the way, the cover below is the original cover. It has been changed, due to a copyright issue. Look for a blog entry in a few days about the dog on the cover!)

4. Tell us about your fascination with sitcoms.

"Hello. My name is Janice and I grew up addicted to sitcoms."
Oh, how I loved 'em as a kid! Side-splitting laughs, crazy characterization, a rollicking good time. Who could ask for more? Why, I could hardly wait to get home from school to watch some of my favorites.
Here are the ones at the top of my list: 
  • My Three Sons
  • Leave it to Beaver
  • I Love Lucy
  • Mary Tyler Moore
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show
  • The Brady Bunch
  • The Courtship of Eddie's Father
  • Family Affair
  • Newhart
  • The Flying Nun

On and On I Could Go!
So, what captivated me? Why did I spend countless hours watching these television shows? Simple. They placed quirky characters into exaggerated situations...situations that caused those characters to squirm!
Many people ask why I write comedy. The reasons are many, but near the top of the list is this one: I love putting quirky characters into sticky situations. What fun! And that's exactly what I did in Hello Hollywood,

5. I hear there’s a funny story about the dog on the cover of Hello Hollywood. Could you tell us a little more about that?
When I set out to write Hello Hollywood I hadn't given thought to adding a dog. A phone call from my awesome editor changed my mind in a hurry. Her opening line: "Hey, what do you think about adding a dog to the story?" was met with a resounding "Yes!" on my end. (I'm a dog lover, after all.) Because the story is about a Greek family it only made sense to add a Greek dog. With the help of my awesome friend (and dog-sitter) Heather Tipton, the "Greek Domestic Dog" breed was chosen. Little did I know what havoc this decision would wreak with it came time to shoot the cover of the book!
I found out in the fall of 2010 that the photographer was having trouble locating a Greek Domestic dog and might have to go with another breed. Bummer, right? Wrong! While browsing the Internet, he happened to locate just the right dog--a Greek Domestic dog named Gus who'd been rescued from a shelter about an hour outside of D.C. Ironically, the photographer happened to be going to D.C. for Thanksgiving. (Go God!)
Gus sat for the cover (and did a fine job, I might add). Then, just a couple weeks ago (right after the book's release) I received a note from a newspaper reporter in Virginia, wanting to do a story about Gus and his big "break" as a cover model. What fun! The reporter put me in touch with Gus's owners and we exchanged emails. I'm indebted to Gus and his owners! In fact, I decided to put together a little gift package for my canine friend. It was sent (along with a photo of my two dachshunds, Sasha and Copper) just this week. A thousand thanks, Gus!

6. I’ve noticed that most of your books have a comedic flair. Why do you write comedy?
From the time I was a little girl, I was the happy-go-lucky sort. Giggly. Goofy. My mom always called me a ham because of my overly-dramatic style. Not that I minded. Oh no. Drama was my thing. And performing comedy on the stage was the thing that made me happiest. Then I grew up. . .and life happened. Unfortunately, some of the events of my grown-up life weren’t funny. In fact, they were pretty tragic. Still, through my faith and my innate desire to keep on keepin’ on, I managed to keep my smile intact much of the time.
When I began to think about writing books for a living about fourteen years ago, I decided to take the humorous approach because I believe that “laughter doeth good, like a medicine.” In many ways it’s just he “ointment” we need to get through a rough time. Not only do these humorous stories transport readers, they lift my spirits, as well. And frankly, I’ve needed my spirits lifted. The next time you pick up a book that I've written, I hope you see my sense of humor shining through. I've particularly enjoyed adding humorous elements to my first person stories
7. Athena comes from a large, wacky Greek family and there are certain stereotypes associated with that; are you Greek or do you come from a big family? 

I am not Greek, but I do have a large family (and chaos ensues whenever we’re all together). Our family is of Scottish heritage. We are the “Hanna clan” (with our roots trailing all the way back to Sorbie Castle in Scotland). When we all get together, there are nineteen and eleven small children (average age three). You can imagine what fun that is! Like every family, we have our “wacky” characters. Some in the Hanna clan would argue that I’m the wackiest of all. I’m definitely one of the few who has talking characters in her head.  

8. Fans of My Big Fat Greek Wedding may see some similarities with Hello, Hollywood! Was this intentional?
I’d just finished promoting my (very Italian) “Weddings by Bella” series when I started writing the “Backstage Pass” series, so some of the ethnic eccentricities in those books translated well to Athena’s story. I tried my best to shy away from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, (because I didn’t want to copy-cat). That said, it is one of my favorite movies, so I suppose some of the flavor rubbed off. Years ago I had a good friend whose family owned a Greek restaurant. I used much of what I learned from her in the sandwich shop scenes. Hope the readers are hungry for Greek food after reading!

9. There’s a scene in which Athena pokes fun, tongue-in-cheek, at the general perception of the Romance genre; how does Hello, Hollywood! fit into that genre?

Hello Hollywood is definitely a romance, but fits more into the romantic comedy genre than the general romance category. Most general romances are written in third-person (he said/she said). Hello Hollywood is more like the chick-lit novels of the past—written in first person and seen only through the eyes of the heroine. This provides further insight into your earlier question about why so little attention is paid to Athena’s physical attributes. Because this story is only from her POV (point of view) the “eye of the camera” (as it were) focuses only on what she sees/hears/feels, etc.

10. I’ve noticed several reviews of the book online. Can you share a few of those reviews with our readers?
Here's what a few people are saying:
"This fun entry in Thompson's comic Hollywood series (after Stars Collide) features humor, romance, and breezy dialog. Those who enjoy Rene Gutteridge's "Occupational Hazards" novels for their quirky humor and characters will appreciate this new series." – Library Journal
"Romance, drama, fun--Hello, Hollywood! has it all."--Jenny B. Jones, award-winning author of Save the Date and A Charmed Life series
"Thoroughly delightful! A blend of contemporary life and romance with nostalgic snapshots of Hollywood's golden age. Thompson writes with warmth and humor, creating a world we can all escape to for a little while."--Rachel Hauck, bestselling and award-winning author of Dining with Joy
Comedic timing is an art form, and Janice Thompson is a master. Her romantic comedies keep getting better and better. I laughed all the way through Hello, Hollywood! The story is reminiscent of the old Hollywood sitcoms - the days of I Love Lucy and Dick Van Dyke. If you like to laugh--and who doesn't?--treat yourself to a rollicking good read. Novel Rocket and I give it 5 stars. A must read! - Ane Mulligan, Sr. Editor of Novel Rocket
For those that remember the old Dick Van Dyke Show from back when sitcoms were in black and white (you can catch reruns of the show even now) you will enjoy how the writing team our heroine belongs to uses that show, about a similar comedy writing team, as role models. It made me want to flip on the television and find some of those reruns. - Reviewer Pam Meyers
Hello, Hollywood! is a fun easy read, and I really loved the Zeus, the Greek Domestic dog. They are quite a fascinating breed, and as an animal and dog person myself, I had to look up a bit more about them. All the characters were strong. Family, friends, God and solving problems were integral parts in this book. Overall I just liked it, it was fun, well written, fast paced, and sweet. I liked the ending screen play as well.  - Reviewer Carol Keen

11. How can my readers learn more about you and your books?
Blog: I would love to have readers follow my blog, where I’m currently blogging on Hello Hollywood.
Facebook: JaniceHannaThompson

It Is Finished - Thanks

Thank you, Randy, for wisely keeping your mouth shut when I freaked completely out the first time you mentioned the word "homeschool"...and thanks for thinking I could do it, for your undying, unconditional love and support (and foot rubs). Your godly example sets a standard for us, and we love you. I'm grateful to you for so much - mere words cannot express. P. S. I love you:)

My fellow homeschool moms: East Texas -  Janice Pearson, Cathy Pearson, Susie Rutledge, Billie Jordan, Beverly Burchett, the ladies at New Covenant Fellowship, Michele Theriac, Tana Stapp... and West Texas - Susann Hall, Susie Lacy, Angie Craig, Tanya Shuttleworth and family member Susan Quattrini: What can I say? I love you guys. Thanks for all the encouragement, listening ears, wonderful ideas, and such good times through tears (mine), tantrums (mine too), and sigh, it was something, wasn't it?

 All the Days and Baileys: We appreciate your love and support all these years. The affirmation of Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins is so important to homeschool families, and you all were great cheerleaders! We love you!

Two special ladies who were always there for us: Miriam Atchley and Brenda Roden.  You both served us unselfishly and with such love and support.  We love you.

Thanks to Andi Martin for providing learning and performing opportunities at the Fort, encouragement and hugs.

I'm sure I'm leaving out someone. This thank you post is by no means comprehensive.  There is no way I could mention all the people who touched our lives in a positive and/or sandpaper way - all serving to shape us into what God wants us to be. May God richly bless you.

And last, but most important:

Father, you always keep your promises. You said you'd never leave me or forsake me and you didn't (Heb. 13), You said they'd get what they need for Your purpose and will for them, and they have (Romans 8:28). You helped me soar on the good days (obedience, understanding, "thank You for teaching me to read, Mommy") and helped me endure and persevere on the bad days (not going there, but thank You for the infallible Word of God) (and chocolate and foot rubs). What I first felt reluctant, even resentful, to do, I now feel unworthy to have been allowed to do.  Thank You for the greatest privilege of my life so far; the most stretching, worthwhile, thing I've ever done, and the most rewarding.  Thank You for using my failures to show me how much I need You, and how faithful You are.

Soli Gloria Deo! and ONWARD!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It is Finished - 4

Those Were the Days

Jessica and Armando Ontiveros

Natalie and Sarah
Now?  Now Randy and I very much enjoy that our position of authority has morphed into a position of influence on our adult children.  Now we benefit from the hard choices we made early on.  Our children all serve the Lord, their churches, and their communities.  It is a blessing to see them make choices that reflect the values that we poured into them.  Have they always made the right choices?  No, certainly not, but to watch them fall upon the foundation of their faith when faced with troubles, whether external or self-imposed, is a great comfort and joy to a parent.  The spouses that they have brought into our family are awesome, godly people.

Rachel, Anna, Elijah, Wayne, and Noah Nix

       Grandchildren!  What a reward.  Could there be higher compliment that my daughters are homeschooling their own children?   I hope that the joys are multiplied and that the struggles are lessened.
Micah and Liliana Ontiveros

Micah Stegasaurus

Elijah Nix Kinder Graduation

Natalie, Sarah, Emily, Nathan, and Jessica at Paisano Baptist Encampment

Noah Benjamin Levi Nix

Jeffrey and Emily Brantley

Natalie, Sarah, Emily, Randy, Jessica and Armando, Me, Nathan, Elijah, Wayne, Rachel

Princess Anna Nix

And many, many heartfelt thanks to....

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It is Finished - 3

....and then the amazing joys:  reading God's Word together, reading the classics together, watching my children grow into their spiritual gifts and callings, dramatizing history, ministering to and serving our community together, cooking and sharing, performing music, making messy science experiments, learning to be flexible and available, writing stories, poems, letters, and just generally learning every day TOGETHER! 

(We don't talk about math.  Math is the reason I use Miss Clairol - dark brown.  But by the grace of God and a tutor here and there, we got through it.)

Our homeschool was not just an 8:00 to 3:30 event, five days a week.  It was a 24/7 lifestyle.  Everything was a learning opportunity.  Dad has a wreck and breaks his leg?  Anatomy.  Rental house gets sold out from under us (again)? Contracts and Agreements.  Babysitting for a friend for a week? Child Development.  The possibilities and opportunities were endless.  One of the benefits of that is that my children are life long learners, even as adults.  It pleases me to see them continue to learn and grow...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It is Finished - 2

I have to admit that I loved it most of the time.  We actually had a lot of fun accept when we, uh, weren't having fun.  It's not for the faint of heart, let me tell you.  Sometimes we had to adopt the attitude 'tho' hell should bar the way!" (Rachel's favorite line from 'The Highwayman', a poem she memorized; thowing her fist up the same way Anne does when she recites it at the White Sands concert in Anne of Green Gables.)

"Tho Hell Should Bar the Way!!"

In other words, we were going to get it done no matter what.  And we did.

I always had a plan, but you know what they say (or what Burns said); the best laid plans...well, let's just say that it didn't always work out the way I wanted it to.  But early on, the Lord spoke to my heart very clearly...

"They will get what they need for what I have for them to do."  So I barreled through, not comparing our school to public school, or even other home schools.  That promise has come true in every case, and I am so grateful.

So pressing on through criticism, lack of finances for curriculum (thank heaven for the world wide web), a quiver getting full, extreme 'you had to be there or you wouldn't believe it' external pressures, full time ministry, a large piano student studio, moving eight times, a million miles to music, etc., lessons (have homeschooler, will travel)...

Monday, October 3, 2011

It is Finished

I really never thought this day would come.  No, seriously, there was no end in sight.  My next five posts will feature a few thoughts on the end of an era in the House of Day.

The day Randy first mentioned 'homeschooling' to me is indelibly seared into my brain.  We were engaged and were returning from a date one night when he began to wax philosophical and prophetic about our future life together.  When he said, "And we will homeschool our children..." I scooted very far over to the passenger side door and considered jumping out. No, really.

"What?!?" I said, none too gently.  I think he was surprised at my reaction.  I began to wonder what kind of crazy man I had gotten myself engaged to.  How was I going to get out of this?  The invitations were already in the mail.  He very wisely refrained from saying anything else about it.

A ton of prayer and a few Bill Gothard seminars later, I finally felt the call.  O.K, I'll do it.  It's a good thing that faith and obedience don't include knowing the details sometimes because, well, jumping off a cliff might look better. 

So when the time came, we began.  My friends in Kirbyville will remember the little red apples taped to those giant windows in our house on Main Street...

Five Ways to Combat Monday Blues

Even people who love their jobs have a hard time with Mondays. Sometimes we just do too much on our days off.  Monday slaps us in the face-we are not ready because we haven't had any down time. This is what I've tried lately in order to chillax on my day off.

1. Make a list of your normal 'day off' chores. Divide them up between the work days. Instead of doing all my laundry on my day off, I do part on Tuesday morning, and part on Thursday morning. It keeps us going. It's worth getting up a little earlier in order to have the free time on my day off.

2. Make Monday morning as easy as possible.  Gather every thing you need to get out of the house in one place, decide what you (and the children) will wear the night before.  Fix lunches, etc. ahead of time. Stress free mornings set the stage for a much more pleasant day.

3. Block off a part of your day off as 'unscheduled'. Yes, schedule to be unscheduled.  Do whatever you want during that time, or do nothing.

4. Renew your spirit in worship and fellowship. Don't hit your work week with an empty vessel. Fuel your spirit with the love of Christ and you will overflow on your family and others.

5.  Be grateful you have a job. So many don't in these hard times. Smile! "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thess. 5:18

What can you add to these suggestions to have a great start to the week?

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Kindness of Strangers

My car broke down this summer about halfway between two towns in west Texas.  I was about 150 miles from home. Seemed to me like the battery was maybe dead, but what do I know from cars, right?  So I prayed, and stuck my phone out the window to try and absorb some sattelite.  I put on the hazards because I was halfway in the left lane.  An hour passed.  No one stopped.  Finally, God zapped my phone and I had one bar.  I got hubby and blurted where I was and then it went dead again.  He headed out immediately.  I knew he would.

I will spare you the details of the car problems (boring) but it was QUITE AN ORDEAL getting it back home. I'll save that for a marriage post someday, lol.

A white surburban pulled up and a man got out and asked me if I was all right. He and his family, the only ones who stopped after cars whizzed past me for over an hour, were planning a funeral. A car accident took the lives of all the members of a young family related to these people. Yet, they stopped. They went out of their way to see that I was taken care of.  They drove me to Mertzon for a new battery and the man put  it on for me. It didn't work still, so they drove me to Barnhart to wait for my husband. This took well over an hour.

Just as the car broke down, I had been listening to Duane Sherriff CD's God's Economy. He had just made the statement that "our wealth is not measured by what we have, but by what we give." I think God wanted to illustrate this to me in a very real way. 

They wouldn't let me pay them for the gas they expended on helping me. You know how expensive gas was this summer.The grieving family gave time, energy, and money they didn't have and couldn't spare to help a stranger.  They did let me pray for them.  When we finally got home late that night, I gave them a call to let them know we made it and told them I'd pray for them during the funeral the next day.

Have you had experiences where you benefitted from the sacrificial gifts of others?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Plenty of Time

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

It has been said "If the devil can't make you bad, he'll make you busy." I have always been busy; homeschooled six children, thriving ministry, now six grandchildren and a full time job - not to mention home businesses, friends know what I mean.

As a Christian, it's a given that we are to order our steps according to God's will for our lives.  My struggle lately has been stressing over how quickly time is passing.  I sometimes feel my age and the rapid spiral this world is taking toward the second coming of Christ. Will I get it all done?

That kind of stress is not the "peace that passes all understanding" that we are supposed to have.  I realize as I pray about these things today, that there is plenty of time as long as I am walking in the will of God. If I have wasted time, then I should repent and order my steps anew.  He is not going to take me out of this world until I have fulfilled my purpose; my days are numbered and safe in His hand. Whether I have five minutes, five years, or 50 years remaining, I am safe in the palm of His hand and my plans will succeed if my plans are commited to Him.  I have plenty of time!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why I Write.

The Highest

Matthew 5:14a (NIV) You are the light of the world.

The word ‘inspiration’ always makes me take a slow, deep breath. My eyes close and a smile warms my face. The word always reminds me of the reason I became a writer.

I am a great fan of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series. The third novel, Anne of the Island, finds Anne and her young adult friends facing life’s challenges. Ruby Gillis is a chum who had never given any thought but to her day to day pleasures. Unhappily, Ruby is now dying of consumption. Anne pays her a visit and finds Ruby terrified of death. Ruby’s “soul clung, in blind helplessness, to the only things she knew and loved”. Anne left that meeting a different young woman. I was changed as I read Montgomery’s prose of Anne’s thoughts: “The little things of life, sweet and excellent in their place, must not be the things lived for; the highest must be sought and followed; the life of heaven must be begun here on earth.”

That sentence first inspired me to “the highest” and reinforced my faith. Second, I was consumed with the desire to write in a way that would make people aspire the way I did at that moment. The notion began as a desire and has blossomed over the years into a full blown passion and calling. I will never forget it. Over time I have reread and highlighted many such inspirations in Montgomery’s work as well as many of the Masters and Christian authors. The Word of God is my greatest inspiration.

Keeping that goal in my heart and mind has gotten me over many a writer’s block. I just close my eyes and remember that moment and then ask the Father to help me take my readers to that place of inspiration; the highest.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Road Trip

We took a road trip this weekend to celebrate our grandaughter's first birthday.  Don't you love to just get out of town for a spell?  It's great to get a break from the daily routine, visit loved ones who live far away, and feast our eyes on some new scenery.  This trip went smooth as silk and we had a wonderful time.

It's not always like that, is it?  Some road trips are fraught with car trouble, getting lost, or unhappy destinations due to funerals or illness.  Either way, a road trip is a picture of our life's journey.  Sometimes happy and free from care, other times trouble comes around every bend in the road and we seem to lose our way.

Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6).  Well, if that's not a road map, I don't know what is.   He doesn't promise us a life free of problems, but he does promise direction through faith in him. 

Jesus also said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10)  We are promised an abundant life!  Sometimes we can't see or can't feel that we are living an abundant life when we are in the midst of cares and concerns.  We are encouraged through the Word that we can "Cast all your cares on him for he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7). 

On our journey, whether good times or bad, we can trust the Savior to care for us and give us direction.  We can look ahead, cast our daily cares on him, and look down the road for new life.  Have a wonderful day.  Jody

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I'm a sucker for an acronym.  Don't you just love a handle that you can remember when you need it?  Here's one I needed for this fact of life: drama.

We all have it.  Or course, we don't start it (ahem), but we sure bob in the wake of it when someone else does.  It can be pretty disconcerting and disrupting, discouraging and stressful.

So I was thinking about it and the Father blessed me with a handle.  Hope it helps you, too.

D = Do your best to calm the waters.  What's the best way to do that?  Stay out of it and don't talk about it. "Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down." (Proverbs 26:20) and "Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own." (Provergs 26:17)  If the drama directly involves you, then add:

R = Rest in your position: your biblically based, Holy Spirit led, prayed up position.  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3: 5-6) You may find in your praying that you have played a part in the drama, the cause of the trouble.  If so then add:

A = Acknowledge your wrong.  Confess, repent, ask forgiveness and make restitution if need be.  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."(1 John 1:9).  If that doesn't diffuse the situation, then add:

M = Maintain your peace.  Don't let the drama be yours, mine, and ours.  If folks persist in living in upheaval, then let it be theirs. "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." (Isaiah 26:3)  In any case, add:

A = Always forgive.  Whether they ask for it or not, always walk in an attitude of forgiveness.  Matthew 6:14: "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you."
 Remember, however: "Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm." Proverbs 13:20. (Birds of a feather...uh huh.)

Every theatrical production starts the same way.  Someone creates it.  Don't let it be you. "...make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business..." (1 Thess. 4:11) Now there's a novel idea!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm published!

 Check out my article in the summer issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. 

Turn On The Light

Monday, June 6, 2011

Love Finds You in Camelot Tennessee

This faith-based romantic comedy is a delight. The heroine of this story is full of quirky ideas to save Camelot, and then comes up with a doozy of an idea that will involve the whole town. The serious, yet lovable Amy is able to get grown men to don tights!
Janice Hanna did a great job of pulling me into this story and making me care about how it turned out. The characters are strong and engaging. Love is in the air in predictable ways, but also in unexpected, hilarious ways! This book is a great read, full of heart-warming, small-town living, and the ups and downs of musical theater. The end is satisfying and I was left with a smile on my face.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Interview with Janice Hanna Thompson

~Tell us a little about yourself. [Or give your “author bio”]
Award-winning author Janice Thompson also writes under the pseudonym Janice Hanna. She got her start in the industry writing screenplays and musical comedies for the stage. Janice has published nearly seventy books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children’s books and more. In addition, she enjoys editing, ghost-writing, public speaking, and mentoring young writers. Janice formerly served as Vice-President of CAN (Christian Authors Network) and was named the 2008 Mentor of the year for ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).  She was thrilled to be named the 2010 Barbour/Heartsong Author of the Year, with three books on the top ten list for that house. Janice is active in her local writing group, where she regularly teaches on the craft of writing. Her online writing courses have been helpful to many who want to earn a living with their writing. Janice is passionate about her faith and does all she can to share the joy of the Lord with others, which is why she particularly enjoys writing. She lives in Spring, Texas, where she leads a rich life with her family, a host of writing friends, and two mischievous dachshunds. She does her best to keep the Lord at the center of it all. You can find out more about Janice at or

~How do you handle disasters/BIG problems? Do you have a funny or interesting story showcasing how you handle them?
I try to laugh my way through every situation. It doesn’t always happen, but I try. When I went through a particularly difficult season several years ago (multiple deaths in the family, all in a row) I found myself turning to Robin Jones Gunn’s light-hearted books. There’s something about comedy (or light-hearted stories) that really lifts my spirits.

Is there something about you that readers might be surprised to learn?
I bake wedding cakes on the side. It’s true! I’m not the best decorator in the world, but I can bake a mean cake. Here’s a picture of one I did for my best friend, Kathleen Y’Barbo.

~What is one book that you recently read and would recommend to your readers?
I loved One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Her beautiful literary style blew me away, but the content of the book is really what sealed the deal. The book is a personal expose on living life with an attitude of gratitude, no matter what you’re going through.

~What is your favorite time of day to write?
I write all day long, but my best time of day is in the late hours of the night. I’m a night owl, so this just seems to work best for me.

~If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be? Also, how would you rate the romance in your books?
Hmm. I’ve been told my writing is a bit like Lisa Wingate’s. I think it could also be compared to Kristin Billerbeck and/or Robin Jones Gunn. I write light-hearted romance that’s definitely G rated!

~What are you working on now or going to write next?
I’m writing Love Finds You in Daisy Oklahoma, while marketing Love Finds You in Camelot, Tennessee, (which just released).

Which book are you offering as a free giveaway at this time?
I’m excited to give away a copy of Love Finds You in Camelot, Tennessee.

~Book’s back cover blurb please-
Steve Garrison is the newly elected mayor of the tiny town of Camelot, Tennessee. When his childhood friend Amy Hart comes up with a plan to revive the town’s economy, he jumps onboard. The townspeople will perform the musical “Camelot” in the city’s park, drawing in nightly crowds. While excitement is high, talent is lacking. Amy casts several of the parts but is stumped when it comes to the role of King Arthur. In desperation, she turns to Steve. Will he pull the sword from the stone and save the day? Steve reluctantly agrees—on one condition. In exchange for his willingness to wear tights, Amy must play the role of Guinevere. And when a handsome newcomer cast as Lancelot takes an interest in Amy, the stage is set for a little tension—and perhaps love.

~What research did you have to do for this book?
I went to college in East Tennessee, so I was pretty familiar with the Knoxville area. The story is close to my heart, because I performed in the musical “Camelot” while in college (less than two hours away from the area where this story takes place).

~Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie? 
I would choose Reese Witherspoon for Amy and Hugh Jackman for Steve.

~Is there anything you would like to add, or tell your readers?
I love writing romantic comedies and I love musical theater, so combining both of these elements in Love Finds You in Camelot Tennessee was such a blast. The story was especially dear to me since I attended college in Tennessee.

~How can readers get in contact with you?

Follow Janice at:
Writing Courses Website:

One more question: I see that you teach online writing courses. Can you tell my readers a little more about that, in case any of them want to become writers? 
Thanks for asking. I love to share about my writing courses. Your readers can check out my "Becoming a Successful Freelancer Writer" course here: My courses were created with one goal in mind – To help freelance writers hone their craft and learn how to make money with their writing. These unique courses will help you succeed as a freelance writer. In addition to writing professionals, our teachers also include marketing, public relations, and business professionals who are ready to help you learn how to organize your writing business, promote yourself, build your brand, and sell more books. New courses are being added to our website every month. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive library of courses, resources, and other learning materials that will help freelance writers succeed.