Friday, July 15, 2011

Welcome Janice Hanna Thompson (plus a giveaway)

It's pretty obvious we're big fans of books around here, and what better way to end the week than getting an inside peek at a new release? Today, Janice Hanna Thompson, novelist and non-fiction author, is here to tell us about her new historical romance Love Finds You in Groom, Texas, and share a little about her life as a writer.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Love Finds You in Groom, Texas.
Always the groomsman, never the groom...It's 1914 and Jake O'Farrell has gained an unusual reputation among the locals: He's played the roles of groomsman and best man in all four of his older brothers' weddings, but he's never been able to find the woman to capture his heart. And now with the upcoming wedding of his best friend, Jake will become the last single man in the town of Groom.

Anne Denning has made the difficult decision to move with her sisters to Texas, but a train derailment forces them to seek shelter in Groom, near Amarillo. Mrs. O'Farrell, hopeful that Anne will catch her youngest son's eye, invites the girls to stay at her home until the train is repaired and ready to pull out. Anne has no idea of the blissful chaos that lies ahead!

Groom is a wedding-themed book. Why do you write so many stories with a strong wedding theme?
I have four grown daughters - Randi, Megan, Courtney Rae and Courtney Elizabeth. Yes, I really have two daughters named Courtney. (Long story!) All four of my girls got married within four years of each other. We're told to write what we know. I know weddings, trust me! I helped coordinate all four weddings and even worked as a wedding coordinator at my church for a season. I was also tickled to be the "Wedding Planner Examiner" for the city of Houston for a spell. What fun! You'll see me writing about weddings for years to come, so hang on for the ride!

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

In spite of the lead character's tough situation, the story is filled with comedic elements. Anne's two younger sisters are a hoot. So is Maggie (the hero's mother). She's an Irish spitfire! I think readers will appreciate the romance between Anne and Jake. It's filled with all sorts of sweet and comic moments.

Why do you like writing comedies with strong take-aways?
Comedy is a great outlet. We comedians can get away with a lot more than authors who play it straight. Want the reader to walk away with a little nugget of truth? Couch it in something humorous. I've found that light-hearted writing not only suits my personality, it's the perfect vehicle for sharing the gospel.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your heroine?

Because Anne (a one-time socialite from Denver) has dark hair and pale skin, I envision her looking a little bit like the character of Diana Barry in Anne of Green Gables. Diana was played by Schuyler Grant.

Tell us a little about your hero? Is he true hero material?
Jake is a hunka-hunka Texas man! He's a railroad man who loves job, loves his family and loves the heroine. He's got a great sense of humor, which is perfect for this story, because the heroine's little sisters are loaded with antics! Jake has a lot to deal with: he's the town's last single man, which has made him the brunt of many a joke. His older brothers (all married with children) taunt and tease. Jake can never catch a break. Unless he's with Anne, of course. Then he catches far more than a break...he catches the woman of his dreams!

What are you working on now?

I just turned in Love Finds You in Daisy, Oklahoma, a fun historical about a single woman in her late 30's who moves from the Gulf Coast to the landlocked state of Oklahoma to become the director at an orphanage. It's a love story, of course! She falls in love with the town sheriff, who has adopted two of the unruliest boys from the orphanage. I'm currently writing Wedding Belles, the first book in the Belles and Whistles series for Summerside/Guideposts.

What are your favorite things to do (besides writing)?

Honestly? I love hanging out with my grandbabies. They grow up so quickly and I don't want to miss a thing! Maddy is four now. She's the oldest. Avery is three. Peyton is three. Ethan is two. Boston is one and a half and baby Brooke turned one this week. I love them so very much. They keep me young (and give me plenty of fodder for books).

Anything else you want our readers to know?
Yes, I'm very passionate about my faith, which is why I write Christian books. I could no more leave out the faith elements than I could stop eating chocolate. They are my stories and my life. I'm a huge believer in stirring up the gifts that God has placed in side of us, which is what I hope to do through my teaching.

Any suggestions for writers who are trying to get published?

Learn the craft. Take courses. Go to conferences. Do the work. But don't ever let what you've learned rob you of your natural, God-given voice. There's only one you, after all.

Where else can readers find you online?

I love to connect with readers at the following places:

Where can I get the book?
Love Finds You in Groom, Texas can be purchased at any number of online stores, as well as my website: (front page). Readers can always join my VIP bookclub and get the locked in price of $11 (no shipping) by contacting me directly at

Thanks for spending time with me! I had a blast!

Janice Hanna (also published as Janice Thompson) has published more than seventy novels and non-fiction books. She has also published more than fifty magazine articles and several musical comedies for the stage. Janice makes her home in the Houston area near her children and grandchildren.

Also, if you'd like the chance to win Janice's new book, Love Finds You in Groom, Texas, please leave a comment below. Thanks again for joining us today, Janice!


Kav said...

I've recently gotten hooked on the Love Finds You series and now that I've read about Love Finds You in Groom, Texas, it'll be on the top of my shopping list. I'm making a trip to the bookstore tomorrow so hopefully it's out up here in Canada too. Thanks for the great interview! It was a fun read. (and cute grandbabies, Janice!)

Unknown said...

I really enjoy the Love Finds You series. This was looks good. Thanks for offering.

Janice said...

Thanks so much for posting this interview. I hope everyone enjoys Love Finds You in Groom, Texas. Interesting story...the cover on the book has changed! It's no longer the cover you see here. Crazy, right?

Jillian said...

Thanks for the inspiring writers tips, Janice! I would love to hear the story behind two daughters named, Courtney. :)

Joanne Sher said...

I've only read one Janice book, but I absolutely, positively LOVED it. Another is on its way - and I'd be THRILLED if this one came in the mail too! Please enter me.

Great interview, by the way!


Cindy R. Wilson said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, Janice! That is interesting about the cover, I'll have to see if I can hunt up another pic :) Happy to see fans of the Love Finds You series here!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

I absolutely love your humor, and this book looks fantastic! What a hunky guy on the cover! Whew...

Jeanne Takenaka said...

What a fun interview! This book sounds like a fun read. Being a more "straight" writer, I'm going to have to read some of yours and learn how to write more humor more effectively. :) I loved the pictures of your grandbabies, too. They look like characters. Do they get any of that from their grandma, by chance? :)

wetalk2biz(at)q(lower case Q)(dot)com

Pam K. said...

Faith, humor, and romance = great story! This sounds like a very fun book to read; I'd love to win it.
I was wondering why the covers were different. There was one cover on the e-mail blog but another on the website blog. They are both good covers.
Thanks for the interview and giveaway.


Sarah Forgrave said...

Janice, I'm so glad you could join us here at the alley today! I've laughed my way through your books and can't wait to read more. :)

Pepper said...

SOOOOOO glad to have you here. This new book sounds positively delightful! Can't wait to get my hands on it.

I love writing humor - or trying to write humor. You have such a gift at it. Any hints on how to write it well?
(And Yes AlleyCats that is a shameless request to help with my upcoming post on Monday :-))

Cindy R. Wilson said...

I haven't had a chance to read many books with humor in them, so this one also strikes my fancy :) I'd love to hear ideas on how to write humor well, too!

Faith said...

Looks like a great book! I love western romances. Humor is always a plus. Please enter me. crazi.swans at gmail dot com

Debra E. Marvin said...

I 'know' Janice mostly through her facebook posts and she always makes me smile. Janice, you strike me as a happy person and your joy shines through in all you do.

I really enjoyed the interview!

Linda Farmer Harris said...

Just stepping over to the finished side of our only daughter's wedding, I am looking forward to reading Janice's book. It sounds adorable and I bet there's a lot of amusing unexpected happenings. Our Amanda's wedding was planned long-distance from Alaska to a Pennsylvania ski resort so the new in-laws could attend. It was an adventure. I can't wait to see what happened in Groom, Texas.

Faith Hope and Cherrytea said...

thx, Janice, for the writing encouragement and guarding our voice... lots of fun hearing more about you as a person and author!
infuse at live dot ca
you're an amazingly prolific writer and i appreciate any direction you offer! thanks also for your generous giveaway "))

lgm52 said...

love, love, love the book cover..can hardly wait to read this one!

Janice said...

Jillian, my youngest daughter (Courtney Elizabeth) came to live with us just before her 13th birthday. At that time my birth daughter (Courtney Rae) was 16. It was a lot of fun having two Courtneys in the house at the same time, but it did get a little confusing at times! Debra, thank you for your kind words. "Joy" is something I hope I'm known for, (both now and after I'm gone). When people look at the legacy of my life and my writings, I hope they can say, "Wow, she radiated joy!" Jeanne, my grandbabies are very much like me. We've all had our struggles (a couple of the babies, in particular) but we manage to laugh our way through most of them. And speaking of humor, I'm teaching on humor writing at the ACFW conference in September. Hope to see you guys there!

Merry said...

I could use Janice's skills with weddings this summer, a son and a daughter marrying! I love the humor in Janice's books, please add me for LFY in Groom, TX. Thanks!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Patsy said...

I've read several of the Love Finds You Series and they are all great. Would love to read this one as well. I know Janice is a great writer.

Megan said...

I love reading books about weddings and that take place in Texas. This book sounds great!

lovetoread205 [at] gmail [dot] com