Janice Spina is the latest of the new friends that I’ve made while blogging. She recently hosted my interview on her blog, and now I’m happy to repay the favour!
Thank you for your interest in being featured on my blog!
Thank you, Nicholas, for inviting me to be on your blog. It is a great pleasure to be here.
Let’s start with the Usual
I have always loved writing since I was a young girl of nine. I was shy and timid and expressed myself through my writing. My first inspiration was my mother’s praise when she read some of my poetry.
Thank God for mothers’ praise! So, what was the first thing you ever wrote?
I first wrote poetry in the form of greeting cards for my mother on her birthday and Mother’s Day. I wrote my first story in my thirties, a fairy tale, for my two children.
But it’s not just poetry that you write, correct?
I have published five children’s books, two in 2013 and three in 2014 and published a sports’ poem in 2008 in a local newspaper.
The titles of my five children’s books are Louey the Lazy Elephant, Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon, Jerry the Crabby Crayfish, Lamby the Lonely Lamby, and Jesse the Precocious Polar Bear.
That’s impressive! Do you spend your whole day writing, or are there any hobbies or interests that you enjoy in your spare time?
I love to crochet animals and little creatures for my grandchildren and afghans and baby items for new family members. I also like to exercise every day trying to stay healthy and it helps to relieve stress. Love going to the movies and lunch or dinner with my husband. Spending some quality time with the grandchildren always recharges me! They are so precious and love me fiercely as I love them.
I love to sing and was in a Sweet Adoline’s Chorus for six months. They did a lot of traveling which I couldn’t do at the time. Still like to sing around the house or if I get to a karaoke bar I just might sing a tune.
I also love to blog, am a copy editor of other authors’ books, book reviewer and avid reader of course. Traveling is something I like to do and have a few more places on my bucket list to visit – Madeira, Greece, and parts of the USA.
I, too, love singing. If you ever do find yourself in Greece, we should try a duet. What are you working on at the moment? Tell us a little about your current project(s).
I am currently preparing my first novel, Hunting Mariah, for publication. Also, I have written two new children’s books that need my husband’s talented touch of illustrations. I plan on publishing the novel and one children’s book this year.
I see that you’re quite the busy bee! Which are your favorite authors and what do you love about them?
I can’t read enough Jeffrey Archer books, Dan Brown, Steven Saylor, and indie authors, Paul G. Day, Mike Wells and Richard C. Hale.
A rather diverse mix. What genres do you read mostly and what are you reading now?
I have very eclectic tastes in reading but my favorite are mysteries, thrillers, adventures, historical and romantic mysteries. I always have two or three books going at the same time.
I am now reading Best Kept Secret by Jeffrey Archer and an indie author’s book, Dragon’s Revenge, book 3 by Kasper Beaumont, and Killer Instinct, by Zoe Sharp.
I love Kasper’s books – she’s incredibly creative and imaginative, isn’t she? Are you an Indie author? If so, do you have any advice for other indie authors?
Yes, I can proudly say, I am an indie author. We indie authors work very hard to do it all but sometimes don’t get the recognition that we so need.
My advice to other indie authors is work hard, edit your work well, promote daily and support other indie authors.
Hear, hear. Are there any sites or writing tools that you find useful and wish to recommend?
I use any sites that help or support indie authors, iAuthor, which allows authors to list their books, my good friend, Chris Graham of The Story Reading Ape Blog, who unselfishly supports all indie authors and provides valuable information and resources for us, and Goodreads where I list my books and reviews, Goodebooks, which is a wonderful site to list your work. I can’t list them all but there are some wonderful sites out there. All you have to do is Google for indie sites.
If any first time indie author wants to connect with me I would be more than happy to assist them in any way I can. I don’t profess to know everything but I am consistently learning.
Thanks for the great list! Chris is a wonderful person, I’m so lucky to have him visit here, too. But how about your own website/blog? What will readers find there?
My website https://jemsbooks.com lists my books, copy editing service, my favorite children’s books’ authors and information on my upcoming books.
On my blog https://jemsbooks.wordpress.com I write about my loves – writing, publishing, book reviews, interviews of authors, and my travels and helpful information for fellow indie authors.
Is it true that your husband designs your covers? Isn’t that tough? What happens if you don’t like one of them?
My husband, John, and I respect one another’s opinions. That is not to say that we don’t argue about different aspects of my words or his illustrations. I give him free license to work out a cover and I am honest about whether I like it or not. Sometimes I like it and he doesn’t. We always manage to come to an agreement on the final product.
Mmm, okay, let’s go with that (with Electra, we fight like crazy over design!) Let’s change the subject. What are the things in your life that you’re most grateful for?
I am most grateful for the love and support of my wonderful husband, my beautiful children and grandchildren and all the lovely friends I have both off and online. I recently received a Silver Award from Mom’s Choice Awards for my children’s book, Lamby the Lonely Lamb, for which I am truly grateful.
That’s wonderful, congratulations! How would you like to be remembered?
I work very hard to do the best that I can do in my life and work and want to be remembered as a loving and caring person who only wanted to be loved and accepted in this world. I hope my books will leave a legacy for my children one day and make them proud to call me their mother. I feel very blessed to be able to do what I do and live my dream of being an author.
A wonderful and inspiring aspiration. Now, for a random question. Which one do you prefer: Elephants or tigers?
I love elephants. My first book published was Louey the Lazy Elephant. We have many figurines of elephants all over our house.
If you had to live over again what would you change in your life?
Boy, there would be a lot of things I would do differently. One would be to have more confidence in myself and publish my books earlier. Sing in the school chorus and don’t worry so much about what other people think. It took me 65 years before I published my first book and really started to believe in myself and have confidence in what I could accomplish. I wasted too many years and should have started earlier realizing what I could do with my life.
Now I am trying to make up for the lost time. I hope to accomplish much more in what is left of my life. I don’t want to waste one minute from now on.
It’s amazing (and more than a little sad) how much time and effort we waste worrying about the opinions of others. Where in the universe would you live if you could travel anywhere?
I love New England, USA. The weather can be trying in the winter but the spring, summer and fall are beautiful. I look forward to the three seasons and keep busy and productive in the winter. The winter makes one appreciate the other seasons more.
I also love Italy which my husband and I visited in May this year. I hope one day to visit your lovely home of Greece.
I hope you do, as then I can come and visit you – New England is one of the places Electra and I would love to visit. I’ve only seen it in movies, but it looks a beautiful place to live! Where can people find you and your books?
My books are available on my Amazon Author page: https://amazon.com/author/janicespina7
You can also find them on:
- https://www.createspace.com/4648709 Jerry the Crabby Crayfish
- https://www.createspace.com/4324983 Louey the Lazy Elephant
- https://www.createspace.com/4424412 Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon
- https://www.createspace.com/4714264 Lamby the Lonely Lamb
- https://www.createspace.com/4766567 Jesse the Precocious Polar Bear
- Trailer by Paul G. Day for Louey the Lazy Elephant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfFNslKKK2s
Thank you so much for the interview, and best of luck with the books! And don’t forget to give us a shout if you ever decide to visit our neck of the woods! 🙂