The Scribbler is pleased to have Janice Spina returning to share her thoughts in a 4Q Interview. We have been fortunate to have Janice visit before and share an excerpt from How Far is Heaven.
If you missed it, click here.
Janice is an award-winning author with 20 books ranging from PS-Grade to 18+. She has 11 young children’s books, five middle-grade/preteen/YA books and three novels and a short story collection. Her children’s books are written in rhyme with life lessons. Janice writes under J.E. Spina for her novels. She is a copy editor, blogger, avid reader and reviewer and supporter of her fellow authors.
She has been writing poetry since the age of nine years old. She has always wanted to be an author but didn’t realize her dream until after she retired from an administrative secretarial position in a school system in Massachusetts. She published her first book in 2013 and hasn’t stopped since. When her books started to win awards in 2016 she became more confident and realized that this is what she wanted to continue to do.
She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, John, who is her illustrator and cover creator. Together they plan to continue to create more books for all ages.
Janice loves to hear from readers and welcomes reviews of her books. Her logo is Jemsbooks – books for all ages! Her motto is Reading Gives You Wings to Fly! Soar with Jemsbooks! Her goal is to encourage children of all ages to read.
When she isn’t writing she enjoys crocheting, walking to stay fit, going out to the movies and dinner with her husband and spending time with her grandchildren.
4Q: You have 11 children’s books and 5 mid-grade to your credit. What is it that draws you to writing for this age group which must be difficult?
JS: What draws me to writing books for children and middle-graders is the fact that they make me feel young again. These books are fun to write and bring me back to my childhood. I guess I am a child at heart. It also helps to have five grandchildren who inspire me to write.
4Q: Tell us about your latest work as well as your partner that does the illustrations for you.
JS: When I received requests from a few readers for a series for girls I decided to write one to keep my readers happy. A month ago I began working on the new series which is a spin-off of my Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series Book 5. The two girls who appeared in book 5 will have their own mysteries and adventures in this series. I hope to write the first two books this year.
Now about my other half, I call him the silent partner. John doesn’t want to be in the limelight or take credit for anything. He is a talented illustrator and cover creator besides being a wonderful husband. He has a doctorate in Educational Administration. He was retired from being a Supervising Principal in a K-8 Grammar School in Massachusetts for seven years when I asked him if he would be my illustrator. He already could draw and paint so I figured illustrating should be a piece of cake for him. He was reluctant to take on this new venture but after convincing him that we would save money if he did, he agreed.
It was a learning curve at first for both of us with all the rules and regulations to complete before publishing. He has successfully completed illustrations for 11 children’s books, 5 MG books and covers for all 20 of my books. He is currently working on my first fairy tale which we hope to publish over the summer.
We work well together and seldom argue. He knows who is the boss. Ha! I do have final say about covers but not always on the illustrations. After all, he is the artist here. I’m only the author.
4Q: Please share a childhood anecdote of memory.
JS: I had a happy childhood but nothing exciting to talk about. Some of my happiest times were when my father brought my brother and me to the beach to pick periwinkles. I always loved the ocean, eating all kinds of seafood, the briny smell in the air, the joy of finding my first periwinkles and seeing all the little creatures each time I turned over another rock. It was even more special because I got to spend time with my dad.
4Q: What’s next on your agenda?
JS: I always have another idea going around in my head. Two books sit in the wings that need edits – a YA fantasy series book 1 and a historical novel. There is the early beginnings of a romantic mystery awaiting my attention. I also plan to write book 6 of Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series once I complete books 1 & 2 of the girls’ series.
There is no end to the books I plan to write from all the ideas that keep coming along. When I write all I need is a title and off I go.
Thank you, Allan, for extending this invitation to be a guest today. I had a lovely time sharing a little about myself and my books.
Thank you, Janice, for being our featured guest this week.
For you readers that want to know more about Janice and where to buy her novels, please follow these links:
Amazon Author Page http://Amazon.com/author/janicespina
Barnes & Noble Children’s Books: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Janice+Spina?_requestid=2167923
Barnes & Noble Novels: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/J.E.+Spina?_requestid=2170583