Janice is the author of Loving Nate. She has kindly agreed to be interviewed here as part of her blog tour.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Guyana, South America but grew up on the East Coast, of the USA. The time I spent in New Jersey was valuable to me because although I was far from my country to birth, the mixture of the inhabitants was rich in Guyanese and Caribbean culture. At an early age, I learned to appreciate the differences amongst each group. On the other hand, when I moved to Delaware, I immediately noticed a difference in the behaviors and speech of the locals. NJ has a greater mixture of culture than DE; nevertheless, there are distinctive behaviors that I’ve been able to pinpoint.
When I write, I try to pay close attention to such things. I believe that it is important to recognize that not everyone speaks the same. There are unique characteristics that allow readers to identify with each region.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing, the minute that I could understand what writing entailed. I would write poetry to express my thoughts. As a child, I was in love with the idea of love, well before I even experienced love. I used to write poetry just about every single day, when I was in elementary school. I’d also work on little episodes and short stories on a weekly basis, and hand them out.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me is creating memorable characters, whether they have good or bad personalities. I believe in emotions and make every attempt to engage readers in the emotions of the individuals I’ve created. As a matter of fact, to a certain degree, I try to become as close to become these people. In this way, I can truly relate and tell their stories.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read inspirational stories for pleasure. By inspirational, I mean true to life stories about characters conquering fears, making brave choices in life, overcoming adversities and embarking on life-altering journeys. I’m also a sucker for a clearly defined cultural tale, filled with native dialogue.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Funny thing is, I don’t recall reading a tremendous amount of children’s books when I was little. I specifically remember reading Withering Heights by Emily Bronte, well before I could fully comprehend the novel. And so, I dove into this fantastic novel, with a dictionary handy. I would take notes, highlight and make sure that I could understand what was written. I continued this process each summer, until I was able to read straight through without a major hitch. I believe this experience helped me to appreciate literature in a major way.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – I was inspired by the novel. It made me want to find my purpose and pursue my deepest desires and dreams.
2. By the river Piedra I sat down and wept by Paulo Coelho – I’ve read this novel multiple times. It reminds me of the wonderful power of true love.
3. House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday – I love the various scenes, the way that the plot jumps around and the mixture of storytelling with an incorporation of the oral tradition.
4. The Color Purple by Alice Walker – This novel was a remarkable journey, with well-defined characters that I was able to totally love or hate.
5. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway – Hemingway’s writing was colorful, especially the manner in which this novel unfolded.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am a highly motivated person that seeks to tackle every task and learn as much as humanly possible. I love to learn, take on new tasks, and set regular goals. I believed that it was best for me to attempt this journey on my own.