Friday, April 16, 2010
FEATURED AUTHOR: Janice Jones
My name is Janice Jones. I was born July 6, 1966 in Detroit, Michigan. I lived in the great state of Michigan until August, 2007, when I moved to Phoenix, Arizona. I am the mother of two sons, Jerrick & Derrick Parker, and grandmother to Jevon Jerrick Parker.
My author credits include Still Standing which is my own autographical spiritual testimonial; His Woman; His Wife; His Widow, my first novel and From Sinner to Saint, my second novel. I am currently working on my third novel, which is a sequel to His Woman; His Wife; His Widow.
I am a member of First Institutional Baptist where Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr. is our senior pastor. I am also employed at my church as the Assistant to the Director of Operations. In addition to working full time, writing full time and raising my youngest son, I am also in training to become a licensed minister of the Gospel.
How did you start out your writing career?
My writing career starting long before I realized that I wanted a career in writing. I used to write poetry, but simply for release. I would also write letters to my friends and family whenever I became upset with them. Instead of having a back and forth verbal argument, I would sit down and pen them a letter. This way, I would get my point across without interruption. Though the letters would sometimes be unkind in nature, the receipients would always comment on well they were written, stating that they oft times took on the life of a short story. I am an avid reader. My favorite novel is The Coldest Winter Ever, by Sistah Souljah. Shortly after reading that book, I heard God speak to me and say, "write His Woman His Wife His Widow". Like I said I had no intentions of ever really writing a novel, but in obedience to God, I began utilizing the gift he blessed me with and my writing career began.
What was your most difficult scene to write?
It's hard to answer that question without giving away too much of the stories. In His Woman His Wife His Widow, the hardest scenes to write were the emotional scenes between Lindsay and Shyanne, the best friends. I would cry as I wrote them. Even now I cry when I go back and read them. LOL. In From Sinner to Saint, I guess it would be the scenes where Antonyo really delved into his own emotions. Since this book is written with a male as the lead character, I really had to trust God to be able to give me the words and emotions from a male perspective.
Have you had a "Wow" moment since you have been an author? What made it a "Wow" moment for you?
I have had several "WOW" moments since His Woman His Wife His Widow has come out. I have to say though that the biggest moments come when I am reading the reviews of my books. The readers are so kind and you can sense that they are very honest in giving their opinions. Thus far I have yet to see a review with less than a 4-star rating. Praise the Lord.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
Well I have two novels out now, but the answer is the same with both. It is my goal, my purpose to show the redeeming power of Christ love and sacrifice for us. I want to utilize entertaining and inspiring stories and scenarios to show that no matter how bad you yourself or others may think you are, God loves you despite. You are never too far gone for Jesus to rescue you.
What’s playing on your CD while you’re writing?
I have a playlist that I composed called writing music. It is an ecclectic mix of smooth jazz and r&b music; all male artist. This music helps me to relax and focus while writing. Music is another passion of mine. When I hear a great song it inspires me in so many ways. The artist on my playlist are Kenny G, Babyface, Stevie Wonder, Doobie Brothers, Kenny Rogers and others.
If you had the opportunity to talk with three writers, who would you choose and why?
Victoria Christopher Murray. She loves God and is grounded enough to keep her stories from sounded preachy or too goodie-goodie. She writes about true saints who are sinners that are saved by grace. Beverly Jenkins. This is the author who introduced me to the African American romance novel. I love history and her historical pieces which date back to just after the ending of slavery are fabulous. They offer great romance without the filth, a rich cultural heritage and storylines that weave families together and create other great stories without them actually becoming sequels. Awesome. The third would be Carl Weber. Although he is the publisher behind the Urban Christian imprint, I have not had a chance to ever sit and talk with him about his novels. They are so action packed and drama-filled, I just want to know where he comes up with some of the stuff he writes. There are also a few characters that I would like to meet in person and have a "conversation" with as well. LOL. These three authors can pin a book with 26 pages and put one letter of the alphabet on each page and I would buy it. They are the greatest.
What movie had the greatest impact on you as a kid? Why?
A Piece Of The Action with Bill Cosby & Sidney Poitier. There is no deep reasoning behind why this movie impacted me as a kid. I just remember that I enjoyed tremendously. It was one of the 1st movies my parents allowed me to go and see without them. It was just me, my brother and one of my best friends. I guess I felt pretty grown up getting to go to the movies without my parents. LOL
If you could be on a Reality TV show, which one would it be and why?
It would be the Keisha Cole show. That was one of the most realistic reality shows I have ever seen. I could feel the true pain and kind of relate to the disfunction of those situations. I would want to be there to offer more comfort and share with them in their faith in God. I would want to have a one on one conversation with Frankie and hopefully help her to understand how hard it was/is for her children to be openly forgiving toward her.
If you could visit any place in the world where would you travel to?
Jamaica. I have not yet had the opportunity to visit. It looks to be one of the most beautifully romantic places in the world.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
I guess I want them to understand that even though we love what we do as writers, it is not easy. It is not as easy as it seems to put together the words that create the paragraphs that create the chapters that create the books that you all enjoy reading. There are some days that we actually HATE writing. LOL.
What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?
The best advice came from a fellow author and child hood friend. She told me that the process of having your manuscripts reviewed is very subjective. Whether or not your manuscript is chosen for publication is based on who is assigned to read it. So you really can't take rejection personally. I honestly can't think of any bad advice I have been given.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Do - outline your stories before you begin penning your work. Don't - choose too many characters. It is very difficult to keep them all straight in the story.
What is something readers would be surprised you do?
I don't know. I mean, I don't think I do anything that others may not do. I will say this. It took me several writes and re-writes to get His Woman His Wife His Widow completed. Since its publication, I have read it all the way through twice. EACH and EVERYTIME I have read certain sections, I cry as if I have never seen them before.
Our theme for this month is GETTING THE CALL. Did you receive the call from the editor? What was the experience like?
I did receive the call from Joylynn Jossel, editor of Urban Christian Books. It was two days after Christmas, 2007. I had complete faith that I would eventually be signed to a publishing deal, but finally getting the call was extremely exciting. I submitted my manuscript to Urban Christian books in late November. My agent told me that if they were going to get a call from any publisher, it would be sometime after the new year. I was completely surprised and overjoyed when Joylynn called to tell me they wanted to sign me to a two-book deal.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
My next book will be the sequel of His Woman His Wife His Widow. When I completed the novel initially I thought I was done with it and its characters. However, those who have read it insist I need to tell them what happened next. The sequel with continue with Lindsay and most of the characters from the 1st novel. While His Woman His Wife His Widow took place over a 13-year period, the sequel will span only about a year in time.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. My website is http://janicejonesliteraryworks.com
The website is still under construction. Please be patient with me. I also have a Facebook page and a Facebook fan page: fans of Janice Jones Literary Works.
From Sinner to Saint
Antonyo Ian Demonté Simms treats women as casually as most people treat their socks, changing them frequently. With the help of his aunt LaTrece, his mother’s irresponsible twin sister, Antonyo learns how to use his good looks and charisma to win the hearts—and treasures—of a vast array of female companions. Each of these women thinks that she may just be the one who can turn this hot hunk into a husband, but Antonyo has no intention of changing his womanizing ways.
The only woman Antonyo can’t get over on is his no-nonsense mother, LaTrina. After struggling as a single teen mother, she has worked hard to change her life and be a good example for her son. She attempts every day to stir into her son all the right ingredients to turn him into a man.
LaTrina gives her life to Christ, and as she grows in her relationship with God, she does all in her power to convince Antonyo to do the same thing. Antonyo is impressed with the new person his mother is becoming, but he’s certain that his life is fine exactly the way it is.
Can a mother’s love and God’s all-encompassing power, grace, and mercy change a young man from sinner to saint before Satan drags him into the pits of hell?
His Woman; His Wife His Widow
One woman, three lives . . .
His Woman: Sixteen-year-old Lindsay Westbrook meets the fine and intelligent Shaun, and she knows instantly that he’s the love of her life. There’s just one problem—Lindsay is a devout Christian, and Shaun is a drug dealer.
His Wife: Defying her mother and holding only loosely to her faith, Lindsay marries Shaun. From the start, their union is plagued with baby momma drama, infidelity, and betrayal.
His Widow: Lindsay decides it’s time to end the struggle between her commitment to God and her love for Shaun. She’s ready to walk in the way of the Lord once again. But after all these years, is her faith still strong enough?
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