Hello Jan! Thank you for giving us time for an interview today. I am looking forward to learning a little more about you and your writing. Can you tell us what genre you write and a little of your writing journey?
Jan says: I write multiethnic Christian fiction that blends inspirational women’s fiction with contemporary Christian romance and romantic suspense. I also write historicals and middle grade fiction once upon a time, but those are on the back burners for now. I have written a devotional for writers, and will do more marketing for that book when I produce the paperback edition. For now, I am focusing on a couple of genres as there are only so many hours in a day.
My current collections are:
Savannah Sweethearts: JanThompson.com/savannah
Vacation Sweethearts: JanThompson.con/vacation
Seaside Chapel: JanThompson.com/seaside
Re: Writing Journey – I’ve been writing since I was 8 years old on an old Olivetti typewriter and also by hand. I would make picture flip books and staple them together. I would write poetry, short stories, stuff like that. However, in college I didn’t major in creative writing, but in Computer Science. In 1996, I started writing thrillers with an eye toward publication. I finished my first novel in 1999, but I became a mother the next year, and spent the next dozen years being a stay-at-home homeschooling mom. My son is in high school now and I still homeschool today, but my son is in a hybrid academy, so they do all the teaching and grading for me. I proctor tests and supervise independent studies, so that frees me up to write more books.
Wow! That’s some writing journey. I know many of your readers are glad you have the time to write. What book are you featuring today and what story can you tell us that has something to do with your book?
Jan says: SMILE FOR ME (http://amzn.to/2ddwKnf) is book 1 in my new travel series, Vacation Sweethearts, which is a spin-off of my Savannah Sweethearts series of 10 books set in the coastal town of Savannah, Georgia, and on the beaches of Tybee Island by the Atlantic Ocean. SMILE FOR ME kicks off a 5-novel collection, and my readers will recognize people from Savannah dropping in every now and then.
This novel was in the Whispers of Love anthology back in the summer, and we made #79 on the USA Today bestselling list. I thank God for that because, to me, it was one more little affirmation that I’m supposed to be writing books. That’s good for me because I have so many books I want to write.
I’ve always wanted to write about the places I’ve been to, and the Bahamas is one of them. We went on a cruise a while ago and had so much fun. I would like to go back there again some day. This is where I put Byron and Tina in SMILE FOR ME. It’s a different novel from the previous series because the entire book is very laid back. No dead bodies, no hostages. Just idyllic sun and beaches on a lazy summer’s day.
I grew up on a tropical island with hibiscus, bougainvillea, and a type of flowering tree called the flame of the forest. Since the Bahamas is tropical, they also have similar flowers there. I wrote about the daily life in the Bahamas, laid back island life in the tropics, the mix of Britishisms and Americanisms in that old British colony. Byron speaks British English, and Tina speaks American English, and never the two shall connect? Read to find out!
Can you give us a short summary or back copy blurb about the book you are featuring today?
Jan says: SMILE FOR ME is set in both Nassau and Savannah, and it’s about a Summer Day Camp where volunteers from American churches would go help out the local Nassau church to run this day camp. Two years ago, Tina went on her first mission trip to Nassau, and it went so badly for her that she was in Byron’s bad books. He found her disorganized, scatterbrained, and that didn’t sit well with him. Tina found him picky and meticulous and didn’t ever want to see him again. But here comes the summer camp, and she can’t bail out now. She’s stuck with him in charge of their team. What’s going on? What does God have in store for them?
You can read the book description, the introduction page, and a sneak preview the first couple of chapters on my website: http://www.janthompson.com/vacation/smile-for-me.html
Book 2 is coming soon, and it’s not set in the Caribbean. REACH FOR ME is set in the mountains somewhere. Stay tuned…
What do you do when you sit down to write? Do you listen to a certain type of music or eat chocolate or exercise? Anything special?
Jan says: Total silence. I have to write without music and noise. It gets hard in the Fall due to football season.
Since I am writing 3 sets collections concurrently, it requires a concentrated focus to get all my books written. Prayerfully, it will all work out, and I will try not to take “working vacations” and have some real vacations instead!
That seems so different from what I do–the old one book at a time for me. You, my friend, are multi-talented! What is something else unique or amusing about yourself or your life that we would like to know?
Jan says: I was going to say that my cat sits on my manuscripts when I try to self-edit them before I send them to my editor, but then I found out that every author with a cat inevitably has a similar experience. So it’s not unique anymore.
So there’s nothing unique that I can think of for myself. However, I want to say that I do serve a unique God! My life verse is John 3:16 and it informs everything I write. I am thankful to be an author, and I pray that God will be glorified in all that I do. All successes can be attributed to God, and all my mistakes are mine.
God truly is our creator and creative genius! Give us a short biography about yourself and tell us how we can contact you (fb, twitter, website).
USA Today bestselling author Jan Thompson writes multiethnic Christian fiction that blends inspirational women’s fiction with sweet and wholesome contemporary Christian romance, romantic suspense, and international thrillers to celebrate the grace of God and hope in Jesus Christ. Jan’s books are for readers who love inspiring stories of faith, family, friends, and yes, happy endings. Always.
She loves to hear from her readers! Connect with her on social media, and join her mailing list to receive book publication news, sales and specials, cover reveals, and exclusive details and content.
Jan’s Mailing List: JanThompson.com/newsletter
Jan’s Books: JanThompson.com/books
Jan’s Official Website: JanThompson.com
*GIVEAWAY!* One free book (either paperback or ebook) of this same title will be given to the winner of a drawing. Anyone who makes a comment on this post on my blog (http://lindarodante.com) or on my facebook page (Linda K. Rodante) will be put in for a drawing. On Monday, following this blog, a winner will be drawn and their name will be given to the author who will contact them and arrange for the book to be sent.
Jan says: I’m in the process of formatting the paperback edition of SMILE FOR ME, so at the moment it’s only available on Amazon (and also in Kindle Unlimited through this year).
Please give us the first chapter of your book:
Here are the first FIVE chapters, courtesy of Amazon previewer. You’ll have to click on the whole thing here (no affiliate account included, just straight up link). It should be viewable on any browser your readers have:
Thank you so much for inviting me to the interview. I appreciate it, and enjoy talking with you today!