Sunday, July 4, 2010

Interview and Giveaway for "It Had to Be You" by Janice Thompson

Most of you who follow Christian Fiction are familiar with the name Janice Thompson. Janice has taught courses on ACFW and she has written several books. Here latest series is Weddings by Bella series. "Fools Rush In", "Swinging on a Star" and the final book "It Had to Be You" have been a big hit. Janice has a natural talent for writing with humor. I know for myself that humor works wonders for stress relief.

I am delighted to have Janice as a guest on my blog and she has graciously offered to give away a copy of "It Had to Be You". Without further ado let's get started with the interview.

1. Janice could you share with us how you came up with the character of Bella?

Ironically, I came up with the character of Laz first. It happened at my sister's house while on vacation. I picked at my computer and randomly type the line, "if Uncle Lazzaro hadn't left the mob, I probably wouldn't have a story to tell." Of course, at that point, I didn't have any idea WHO "Uncle Lazarro" was or why he was bothering me on my vacation! I ended up writing the whole prologue in one sitting and Bella was born! I knew, (since her uncle's name was Lazzaro) she would have to be Italian. That was a given. The rest came purely out of my over active imagination!

2. What prompted you to develop this Weddings by Bella series and how did you decide on the setting, etc.

After I wrote the prologue to that first book, I realized I had a real story on my hands. Because I love the Galveston area so much (refer to my earlier novel, " Hurricane", about the Galveston hurricane of 1900), I decided that would be a great place to set it. Setting the story in Galveston wouldn't require much research either, because I'm in Galveston routinely and know the Island well. As for the Tex-Italian slant, I think that must have risen from a wedding I attended for my good friend, Patti. She's a Texas girl through and through and married into a large Italian family. Funny playing, though, I didn't think about all of that when I started the book. It wasn't until later that I made the connection. Must've been buried deep in my subconscious!

3. Is this going to be the last in the series? I would love to read more, but I know that most of the series now are just three books.

"It Had to Be You" is the last in the series... unless the publisher says I can write one more! I'd love to write a story about Bella and DJ's kids! ( Can you imagine the two of them with a house full of toddlers?) Fun!

4. As an aspiring writer could you give some words of encouragement to those of us who are still learning the craft?

I would say this: "Learn the craft, but don't let what you've learned rob you of your true voice." it's so frustrating to be new at this, isn't it. You get so many mixed messages, and there's so much to learn. But God has planted ideas/voice/creativity deep within you. Don't let well -- meaning teachers talk you out of being you.

5. Thank you so much for those words of encouragement, Janice. I could sure use them right now, as know there are others out there that will benefit from them also. Now, last but not least please tell us about your new course on Freelance Writing. Where can this be purchased?

I have to course is available now, actually, and both can be found at The first, "Becoming a Successful Freelance Writer" debuted in April. That course has two lessons, filled with tips to help writers make money with their writing. (I'm a full time freelancer and had a blast putting together this course! There really is money to be made in writing.) The second course is my "Fiction -- Writing Master." The 10 lessons in that course will give writers (beginning or advanced) the tools they need to write a sellable novel. I truly believe is the most comprehensive online course for fiction writers today.

Both "do-it-yourself" courses are set up the same way, with 10 lessons each. Each lesson offers the following:

Downloadable mp3 file on the lesson
A video of the lesson, using a Power Point slide show, coupled with audio
Downloadable .pdf file of the audio script
Downloadable .pdf corresponding worksheet
Downloadable .pdf bonus feature

I'm so blessed that course participants are excited about what they're learning. The reviews are pouring in and they're so encouraging! I hope that many will take advantage of these two courses. I'm in the process of developing more, but these two are just the thing to get writers started on the road to publication.

Janice, I want to take this time to tell you how much I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your time with us. I wish you the very best with your new endeavors. Keep those books coming - I can always use a laugh or two!

To enter the giveaway for "It Had to Be You" please:

1. Become a follower or be a follower. Be sure and leave an email address for contact purposes. You just might be the winner!

2. Tell me if you've read any of Janice's Weddings by Bella series and if so who was your favorite character. Do you enjoy humor in your books?

3. Go check out Janice's website and read about the Weddings by Bella series.

4. Giveaway ends July 11th, 2010.

Thank you to all of my supporters. You are why I am here!


  1. Sounds like a good book. I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God's blessings too you. Lloyd

  2. I'm new to ACFW and not familiar with Janice or her books, but I plan to change that. I'll start with Fools Rush In. Thanks so much.

  3. I have read the first Bella book and really enjoy Janice's humor. I do so want to read the rest of the books in the series.


  4. Hi Deborah,
    Great interview! Your blog is wonderful as usual!


  5. Great interview Janice and Deborah.
    I have not read any of Janice's Weddings by Bella series but I do love humor in my books.

    I follow via GFC

    Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

  6. I am test out my comments. I've had two comments come through on my email, but are not showing up in the comments section of my blog. If you are one of these people I am sorry and I'm trying to correct the problem. I still have you listed in the contest.
    Deborah M.

  7. I haven't read any of Janice's books, but I love stories with humor. I became a follower, so please enter me in the giveaway! Oh yes, and Carmen sent me! Thank heavens for her or I wouldn't know anything about this. :)

  8. I haven't read any of Janice's books yet, but I've seen such great reviews of the Bella series that I've really been wanting to read it. Please enter me. I'm a follower. (Carmen sent me) :) Thanks!

  9. I'm a follower! Looks like a good book.

  10. 1. I am a follower of your blog! :)
    2. I have read all three books in the Weddings by Bella series. My favourite character is a tie between Bella and DJ! :)
    3. I went to Janice's site :)

    Oh, and I am supposed to say that Carmen sent me! :)
    I'm glad she did as I wouldn't have known this giveaway existed otherwise! :)

    God bless!

  11. I haven't read any of her books yet, but I have heard so much about them!! A lot of my blogging buddies love these books!! Thank you for the chance to win!!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  12. Hey Deborah!! ***waving***

    I haven't read any of Janice's book,yet.
    This one sounds like a great read, so please add my name to the drawing. Thanks!


  13. I haven't read any of Janice's books yet but I do have Swinging on a Star in my TBR pile. Can hardly wait to get to it. I LOVE humor in my books and look forward to Janice's books.

    Cindy W.


  14. I'm a follower of your blog through google friend connect
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  15. I've never read any of Janice's Weddings by Bella series. However, I do love humor in your books? Thanks
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  16. This Bella series sounds wonderful. Thanks for the giveaway.
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  17. Looks like we are getting a good response to Janice's interview. I, also, think the comments are now showing up like they are supposed to. I don't know what happened - but I'm glad it is fixed. Thanks to all for visiting!
    Deborah M.

  18. I haven't read any of her books but this one sounds good. Count me in! thanks!

    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

  19. I just found your blog from bookblogs and so happy I did! I love to find other Christian book reviewers!! Anytime I find them I am quick to follow!

    Hope you can come by and follow me as well!

    Have a blessed weekend and Happy Reading!

  20. I am a follower

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  21. I haven't read any of Janice's books yet. I enjoy reading books that contain humor.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  22. After checking out Janice's Weddings books, I now know what books will be going on to "to buy/ to read" list! They all look great!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  23. I have not read any of Janice's books yet but I LOVE humor in the books I read. Humor can be used to bond the reader to the characters and/or settings of the story.


  24. I would really like to be chosen your lucky winner of It had To Be You.

    I am a new follower. I have not yet read any of Janice's Bella Series books, but I am interested in seeing if the library has Fools Rush In or Swinging On a Star. Booth books sound very good. Love the titles.

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

    terrymac1a at hotmail dot com