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 integral...to 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: http://janiceathompson.com/blog/ (front page). Readers can always join my VIP bookclub and get the locked in price of $11 (no shipping) by contacting me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!