Friday, January 15, 2010

Janice Hanna Thompson ~ Interview + Giveaway!

Today author Janice Thompson is telling us about her new book, Allegheny Hopes. She has offered an autographed copy of her book to one lucky commenter. She will also be stopping by throughout the week to answer your questions! So if you have anything you want to ask her, you can include it in your comment for entering the contest. If you are only leaving a question in the comment and not entering the giveaway please say so.

Welcome, Janice! Tell us a little about yourself.
Where do I begin? Do I tell you about the little girl who dreamed of one day acting and singing on the stage? Do I bore you with the details of my first book, which I wrote in sixth grade? Do I share my heart about the various trials I’ve been through in my adult life, which gave me plenty of fodder for the books I now write? Nah. Instead of all of that, I’ll just tell you that I’m a girl on a journey. . .each day moving one step closer to the Lord. I write because He’s called me to write. I infuse humor in my stories—as much as possible—because I know that a merry heart “doeth good like a medicine.” I live each day to the fullest, despite any obstacles, and thank God for every blessing, including the most wonderful one, of late. . .my awesome, godly children and grandchildren.

How long have you been writing? How many books do you have published?
I started writing in sixth grade, as mentioned above. My first book was published in 1999 and released in 2000. Since then I’ve written fifty-four novels and/or non-fiction books.

If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be?Also, how would you rate the romance in your books?
My books are similar to those by authors like Sandra Bricker, Kristin Billerbeck and Ray Blackston. I suppose they would fall somewhere between G and PG. :)

In your own words tell us a little about Allegheny Hopes.
In 2005, while on a road trip with my mom, I conceived the idea for my “red, white and blue” books” – three books set in Pennsylvania, each having a redemption theme. I knew that I wanted the stories to be about people with a “past” – people wanting a fresh start. “Red Like Crimson” was published first. It’s set in Philadelphia in the fall (and is a true redemption story). “White as Snow” came next. It’s set in Pittsburgh in the winter (and is a football story). The final book is titled “Out of the Blue.” It’s the story of a young woman running away from the Amish lifestyle. That book is set (primarily) in Paradise, Pennsylvania. All three of these stories were put together in one book, which is titled “Allegheny Hopes.”


Watch as God takes the mistakes from yesterday and uses them to bridge the path to love for three Pennsylvania couples. Adrianne and Chris were in love in college, but an unexpected pregnancy made Adrianne run without telling Chris why. Brianna’s and Brady’s interests couldn’t be more different, and just the talk of football could make Brianna close her heart forever. Katie and Karl were expected to marry and settle in the Amish community, but Katie’s desire for a different life could make her misjudge Karl’s ability to love her completely. Among rolling Pennsylvania hills, three women’s mistakes from the past may block the road to love. Can Adrianne reveal her secret? Can Brianna forgive her father? Can Katie find her place to call home? Will they each allow God to move them forward while learning from yesterday?

What made you want to write this story?
I’ve always had a heart for people who need/want a fresh start. Also, I knew that people think of Pennsylvania as the birthplace of freedom (and that freedom theme comes naturally for people who’ve been set free from the bondages of the past).

What research did you have to do for this book?
My sister lives in Pennsylvania, so I went for a visit with this book in mind. I flew into Philly, a place I’ve been many times before. On our trek through the historical sites, I gathered the information I needed for the first book. We drove out to Paradise (about an hour and a half from my sister’s house) and spent a day in the Amish country. I’d been there before, but this time I visited as a writer, taking careful notes and pictures. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to visit Pittsburgh. In addition to studying the areas, I had a huge task ahead of me for “Out of the Blue” – an Amish story. I needed to get it right, so I contacted a professor in Florida who grew up in an Amish household. He patiently answered every question for me.

What are you working on now or going to write next?
I’m currently writing a book titled “Love Me Tender” – which is one of the kick-off books in the new Summerside “When I Fall in Love” line. The story is set in 1957 in a soda shop in Laguna Beach California. It’s a sweet 50s love story with a true Southern California/Hollywood theme.

How can readers get in contact with you?
I can be reached online at I’m also on facebook. Folks would need to look for Janice Hanna Thompson. If anyone is interested in emailing me, I can be reached at

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading one of the best books I’ve read in ages: “Never Say Never” by Lisa Wingate. I don’t want to give away too much, but let’s just say I “connect” with this story because it touches on several areas/issues in my own life. Beautifully done!

Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
I bake wedding cakes. In fact, I baked one back in March of ’09 that toppled. Not a happy memory. Thankfully, I had a gracious bride. One other thing people might not know is that I have an autoimmune disease called psoriatic arthritis, (a cousin to rheumatoid arthritis). The pain is unbearable at times, especially when I’m going through a flare. Every day is a struggle. Sometimes, garnering the strength to write is tough.

If you could be any animal, which would you choose? Why?
I happen to be the owner (slave) of two miniature dachshunds, Sasha and Copper. I would gladly switch places with either one of them on any given day. They’re spoiled rotten. Their meals are prepared for them, their tummies are tickled regularly, they sleep under the covers on the bed with their master (slave) and they are forgiven for every shoe they chew up. In short, they live a charmed life.

TV show, and/or movie?
I’ve worked for years as a drama director, so it probably won’t come as a big surprise that I’m drawn to shows like “American Idol,” “America’s Got Talent,” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” There’s just something about the arts that gets me excited. I also love the Food Network (too many shows to list) and several shows on HGTV.
Place to go on vacation?
Italy. Need I say more?

Book this year or month? Why?
As I mentioned above, this book by Lisa Wingate is blow-you-away good. Honestly, after reading the first two pages, I told my best friend that I could never write another book again, because anything I wrote would be rubbish in comparison to what I was reading in Lisa’s book. Thankfully, my friend had the good sense to tell me not to quit writing.

What is/was this book’s release date?
This book released in November of ‘09
*USA residents only, please*

Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of Allegheny Hopes!
To enter:

*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win).

*Please specify that you want to be included in the contest!

*If you want an extra entry, become one of my followers.

*The comment is mandatory. (Please, say in the comment if you are a follower!! It makes my job easier when you do.) You will not be entered unless you leave a comment. If you are already a follower, and then you leave a comment, you will still get two entries in the contest.

*The contest will run from today (Jan. 15) until 10:30 CST on Thursday (Jan. 21). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner on Friday the 22th, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.

Good luck! Thanks for visiting.


Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Pick me LOL! I JUST found out about the White as SNow book from my local small town SW PA newspaper in the teeny tiny section that mentioned books that were published about SW PA! I saw Janice Thompson and was like, "Hey I know that name!" and sure enough I looked it up on Amazon and there she was LOL! THEN when I saw that the book was about football I was super excited since I LOVE LOVE LOVE Steelers football! It's a shame that Janice didn't get to visit Pittsburgh though when she visited my state :-( Maybe next time!

Okay sorry my comment was sooo long but I would love to be entered to win this PA anthology!

I'm an old follower too!

Great interview!!!

xoxo~ Renee

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this one...please enter me. Thanks!!
And I love your blog....very interesting. Am follower.

Linda said...

Yes, I do want to be entered. Thank you. I was able to find, also, Duty to Die from a previous interview. Sounds ominous in today's light (or should I say darkness).

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

rubynreba said...

Please enter me. Looks good!

I am a follower.

Merry said...

I love Janice's books, so please include me for Allegheny Hopes. Thanks!

I'm a follower.


Anonymous said...

would love to read this book...thanks for the opportunity.


Hull.Margaret said...

Please enter me in the contest. I love Pa. stories, perhaps becuase my very best friend is from there.

Hull.Margaret said...

Please enter me in the contest. I follow you blog.

Edna said...

please enter me into the contest.


justpeachy36 said...

I would like to be included in the giveaway.

I am a follower.

Janice Thompson said...

Hi everyone! I just wanted to pop in and say "Hello!" Thanks for your interest in my books. I'm always tickled to talk to readers. These three stories are different from my comedies (more traditional romance), but I really love them. And they're all very different from each other, so if you win the book, you'll be getting three very different stories in one book. I've got plenty of extra copies on-hand, if you don't win. Just let me know. Blessings on you all this wonderful weekend!

Casey said...

I LOVED the first two books in the Weddings by Bella series. Seriously, you have not experienced funny fiction, until you have read those!

Would love to win this set, it looks great! I am a follower.


Virginia C said...

Hi Janice & Carman! Thanks for a great giveaway! "Allegheney Hopes" sounds like a wonderful anthology with unique characters and compelling story lines. I am so looking forward to "Love Me Tender" : )

Please enter my name in the drawing. I am a follower.

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Hope said...

Please enter me, this sounds like a great book! I'm a follower too :)

mindy said...

this sounds wonderful i would love to be entered thanks minsthins at optonline dot net

scottsgal said...

I enjoyed the interview and would love to be entered.
My springer spaniels live the life of luxury like yours as well!
msboatgal at

The Unsell Family said...

This title sounds wonderful! I would love to win a copy- please enter me.

Janice- I am sorry to hear that you suffer with arthritis. I was diagnosed in 2003 with Fibromyalgia and know all too well how hard it can be to function while dealing with chronic pain. Thank you for blessing us with your talent! Your upcoming book set in the 50's in southern CA sounds incredible! I look forward to it. I grew up in southern California. ;-)

~Jen Unsell

The Unsell Family said...

I forgot to mention that I am a follower of this blog.
~Jen Unsell

Abi said...

Oh, I'd love to be included in this giveaway. Thanks

I'm a follower.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

SuperMom said...

My goal is to read all novels by Janice... I feel in love with her writing after reading the first Weddings by Bella book: Fools Rush In!

Please enter me.

ladyverlina AT yahoo DOT com

I'm a follower!

Lacey said...

this book sounds very interesting!! I am excited to read it please enter me!! I am a follower



Mara said...

Your book looks wonderful, I would love to read it. Please enter me into your contest I am always looking for new authors to read!
Thank you,
Mara Mittelman

Janice Thompson said...

I'm tickled pink at your comments. The stories in Allegheny Hopes aren't really "funny" (like my newer books) but I believe they're great stories with lovely "happily ever after" endings. That's what I'm all about, you know: "Love, Laughter and Happily Ever Afters!" (hehe!)

Nickolay said...

I like the Happily Ever after ending stories. This book looks fantastic. Thanks for the chance


Audra E. said...

sounds great! I'd love to read it. I'm a follower as well.


Lindsey B. said...

This book looks really great! please enter me for the give-away. Thanks so much! :)
i believe you already have my email ;) haha.

Heather O'Donnell said...

I would love to read this.
heatherinaz at gmail dot com

The Bookworm said...

This sounds like a terrific read - please enter me in the giveaway! :)

Sarah G

Charity said...

Please enter me:) Would love to read this book!!

Charity said...

I am also a follower!!

Anonymous said...

Carman, I just came upon your blog, and I am so impressed with it at your young age! I would love to be included in this giveaway. Thanks!