Janice Spina, our featured author, and I met on LinkedIn. She and her husband / illustrator, John Spina, have published two books together. (Read John’s interview.) In our interview, Janice talks about grandchildren, rambunctious raccoons, and the Golden Rule.
What was the first thing you ever remember writing?
As a child I used to write cards for my parents. I liked to write in rhyme. Seeing my mother’s joy over receiving these cards encouraged me to keep writing.
What was your inspiration for writing Louey the Lazy Elephant?
Elephants have always been special to me ever since I visited the local zoo as a young child. It touched me that animals like that can care so deeply for their young as a human can. Louey came out of this feeling many years later. My husband and I have many figurines of elephants.
What books did you read to your children?
I read nursery rhymes and ABC and number books to reinforce their learning skills and ready them for school. We spent a lot of time at night reading books before bedtime. I think I enjoyed all this interaction [with] my son and daughter even more than they did.
Jason and Joey, love reading all kinds of books but [their] favorites right now are my book, Louey the Lazy Elephant and my new book, Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon. My little granddaughter, Leah, loves reading a book that I wrote just for her called, The Pink Princess. My oldest grandson, Daniel, loves to read all the latest series of sci-fi fantasies, e.g., Rick Riordan’s books. I have written a YA fantasy which I hope Daniel will one day enjoy.
What’s your favorite children’s book of all time?
Hansel and Gretel is one of my favorites. It did frightened me quite a bit but made me appreciate having parents and always feeling safe in their love.
What’s your next children’s book going to be about?
It is called Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon. Ricky gets into all kinds of trouble when he doesn’t listen to his mother. Children will enjoy it because it is written in rhyme.
What’s your favorite quote that you live by?
Always treat others as you want to be treated, as my mother instilled in me as a young child. When I was a little girl in school, I did what I could to help the children who were bullied. I did this because I was picked on, too, [since I was] very shy and insecure.It made me feel better about myself when I helped others.
Tell us 3 strange and wonderful things about you.
I was legally blind until four years ago when I had cataract surgery of both eyes. I love to sing and dance and was a member of Sweet Adeline’s International for five months. I have always loved animals but am now afraid of dogs since I was nearly attacked by a dog several years ago. It takes me awhile to warm up to a new dog and it to me.
What’s your writing routine? How do you get it done?
I try to write something every day whether it be my blog or work on a new site that I am co-founder of, PiA, Published Indie Authors. I do a lot of author interviews, book reviews, and copy editing of other authors’ books. I have copy edited several books and have a new client who is working on a series of children’s books. I spend endless hours doing all these things much to the chagrin of my husband who patiently waits for me to finish my day so we can relax together. After all, John keeps reminding me that we are retired and shouldn’t be working so hard. I am now doing what I have always wanted to do write and publish. I feel blessed to realize a joy that will take me to the end of my days.
Janice Spina is a retired former administrative secretary in a school system in Massachusetts. Her first book is Louey the Lazy Elephant which has received several five star reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She is also working on more children’s books and editing a novel for publication. Janice lives in New Hampshire with her husband, John, who is her illustrator. Janice’s slogan is: Reading Gives You Wings to Fly!
You can contact Janice in many ways!
Blog Link: http://jemsbooks.wordpress.com/
Website Link: http://jemsbooks.com