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Anita Higman and Janice Thompson - OZARK WEDDINGS - Book Giveaway

Welcome to Anita Higman and Janice Hanna Thompson.
ANITA HIGMAN hopes to give her audience a "Gasp and a Giggle" when they read her mysteries. She's the award-winning author of nineteen books. Anita has a B.A. in speech communication, and she's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Anita enjoys hiking with her family, visiting show caves, and cooking brunch for her friends.
Award-winning author JANICE THOMPSON also writes under the pseudonym Janice Hanna. She got her start in the industry writing screenplays and musical comedies for the stage. Janice has published over fifty books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children’s books and more. In addition, she enjoys editing, ghost-writing, public speaking, and mentoring young writers.

Your Barbour Heartsong 3-in-1 collection is entitled, Ozark Weddings. Tell us a little bit about the three stories.

Anita: All three stories are set in Arkansas—Eureka Springs, Little Rock, and Hot Springs. Larkspur Dreams and Castles in the Air are romantic comedy, while the middle story, The Love Song, is more dramatic in tone.

Janice: Larkspur Dreams is a lighthearted, whimsical tale that will appeal to inspirational romance readers, particularly those with artistic leanings. The Love Song reaches into the depths of the reader’s soul, dealing with the topic of overcoming past hurts. Castles in the Air provides a humorous look at the way we are perceived by others, and teaches us that our prejudices (comical as they might be) often keep us from the very thing God has planned for us.

 Anita, you and Janice co-authored the three stories in Ozark Weddings. How do writers go about co-authoring?


Anita: There are a number of ways to co-author a novel. One writer might do the research and the other writer may actually write the story. Or co-authors may each choose a character and write from that character’s POV. In the three novels, I guess you could say I wrote the body and wings of the stories, and Janice helped to make them fly. She has a gift for critiquing.

Janice: Working with Anita is a breeze because she conceives and fully plots the stories then lets me add my thoughts/tidbits to give them flavor. She is so quirky and fun to work with, and I am very proud of the stories we have co-produced.

Were there times when it was hard to work together?

Anita: Janice is not only talented, but easy to work with. There were a few times in one of the novels that I found myself writing in a way that strayed from the general concept of a Heartsong romance. Janice made some good suggestions, which steered me in the right direction.

Janice: I can honestly say that I’ve never worked with anyone who was so willing to accept critique and/or take suggestions as Anita. She is a precious friend and collaborative partner. I already knew she was talented (even before we began this project) but had no idea how gracious she would be. Since I’ve written for the Heartsong line for years, I was able to “teach her the ropes” (as it were) and she was a ready learner! That’s not to say she hasn’t taught me a thing or two. I’ve learned much from her throughout this process, particularly as it applies to romantic tension. She’s far better at that than I am, and I’m happy to admit it.

Why did you choose to be a writer?

Anita: Ever since I was a little girl, I had this need to express myself in some sort of artistic medium. I’ve tried a number of things: piano, painting, decorating, and acting. But I’ve never been very good at any these endeavors, except writing. I guess really then—writing chose me.

Janice: Like Anita, I’ve always been artistic. As a youngster, I sang, danced and played the piano. I was also very involved in theater as a young person. I’ve been writing since childhood. I wrote my first novella in 6th grade, then went on to write musical comedies for the stage before turning to books in the mid-90’s. Like Anita, I can truly say that I didn’t choose writing; it chose me. Or, perhaps I should say that God chose it for me, as a gift.

When did you have your first success as a writer?

Anita: After several years of writing, I had some gradual success—books for children, books of one-act plays, and nonfiction for women. These successes were enough to keep me going toward my ultimate goal, which was to write novels.

Janice: This may sound a bit silly, but my first real writing “success” happened my senior year in high school, when I was chosen to help write the senior production. I had a blast, and the scene I crafted (a 1930’s/Busby Berkeley-esque “The Show Must Go On” scene) was a huge success. I can’t tell you what fun I had, or how great it felt for people to respond as they did.

Do you have any special methods of getting into the writing zone, such as favorite scents, music, or certain foods?

Anita: In the past I used to go to a French cafĂ©, order coffee and scrambled eggs, and then write a rough chapter. The noise, music, and bustle always energized me creatively. But now I’m more of a homebody, so I sit for long hours in my office, working on my stories.

Janice: An "ideal" writing situation for me would involve somewhere like Starbucks (or otherwise) with a cup of my favorite hot beverage in my hand (to be discussed below). Ironically, when I'm at home, I can't stand having music going. I find it terribly distracting... something about the "beat" drives me nutty. Having the television on is okay, but it's often muted. Crazy, I know. I'm a fanatic about my Diet Dr. Pepper and several flavors of hot tea. I particularly love Earl Grey and Chai Latte, among others. And I'm nuts about hot chocolate in the wintertime. I'm also crazy about my puppies. I have two red mini-dachshunds named Sasha and Copper. They usually settle in next to me on the sofa, Sasha on my right, Copper on my left. When we're all in place (with a cup of tea or a Diet Dr. Pepper on the end table, depending on the season) I'm ready to begin. Of course, I usually have to weed through several emails (clearing a path) before I can actually start writing. Whew! Sounds like quite a process, doesn't it?! It's a wonder I get anything done at all!

What is your best advice for aspiring writers?

Anita: If you feel called to write, don’t let people discourage you. I’m sure they don’t realize the impact of their words, but negative remarks can undermine our courage and joy. Comments similar to: “Maybe you weren’t really meant to be published.” Or, “Are you making any money at this yet?” Perhaps you’ve heard, “Why can’t you write like my favorite author?” Honestly, I could go on and on here. Writing is a great and honorable profession—one that can challenge, inspire, and change people’s lives. If you love words and love arranging them into stories, then don’t let the battering influence of dispiriting comments shatter your dream. Keep pressing on!

Janice: I often say this to young/new writers: Learn the craft, but don’t necessarily write what the publishers/agents/houses tell you to write. Trends change. Stick with the stories God places on your heart and if He intends them to be published, He will find the right publishing house in the right time.

What are your writing plans for the future?

Anita: I’d love to just keep doing what I’m doing. But I think I’d also enjoy writing novels for the young adult market.

Janice: I’m open to whatever God wants (and I really mean that). If He shifts me in a new direction (women’s fiction, for example) I’m following His lead! If He asks me to lay the writing down for a season in order to accomplish a different task, I’m open to that, too.

We’d love for you to visit our websites at www.anitahigman.com and www.janiceathompson.com. If you’re interested in our Heartsong collection, Ozark Weddings, it can be purchased in bookstores or ordered online at www.amazon.com.

Thanks for inviting us to your blog!

Thanks for visiting with us, Anita and Janice, and I look forward to interviewing you all when your next books are released.

To have the possibility to receive a copy of Ozark Weddings: 

  • Leave a comment with your email (name at domain name dot com). 
  • Giveaway closes Sunday, July 25, 2010 at midnight (CST). 
  • Only US postal codes.
  • If you're reading this on Feedburner, Facebook, or Amazon please come to AJHawke.blogspot.com to leave your comment.

11 comments:

Jan Marie said...

I am supposed to be receiving a copy of Anita and Janice's book but I would love the chance to win a copy that I could share with others. Everyone should have the chance to read what these wonderful ladies have written!


janmarien[at]embarqmail[dot]com

Edwina said...

These stories sound delightful. I've not had an opportunity to read any of Anita's work, but I have Janice's so I know these stories will be top-notch.

Please enter me in the drawing.

edwina[dot]cowgill[at]yahoo[dot]com

Memawof2boys said...

I would love to win this and share it with my daughter! Thanks for this wonderful chance.

connieed53 at/aol./com

Janice Thompson said...

Thank you so much for running this interview. I'm so grateful!

Merry said...

Ozarks Weddings sounds fun, just right for a summer "get away" book. Please include me in the drawing, thanks!
worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

Anonymous said...

Thanks to each of you for dropping by!

Have a great new week!

Anita Higman
www.anitahigman.com

Jo said...

I love reading Janice's books. Havenm't read any by Anita yet and would love the chance to get this book. Please enter me in the drawing.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Sandee61 said...

Thank you for the nice interview, I especially enjoyed how they both get ready to write and what they like. All in all, a very good interview and I'd love to be entered in your giveaway for Ozark Weddings. I haven't had the chance to read their work and I enjoy discovering new authors.
Thank you!

Blessings,
Sandee61

Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

Anonymous said...

The stories sound so wonderful. Please enter me in this contest.

Thank you

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Kameko said...

What a wonderful interview! The book sounds wonderful and I would love to be entered in the contest.

Blessings to all ~

Beverly

bgrider2@cox.net
bgrider2[at]cox[dot]net

misskallie2000 said...

Anita and Janice, I really enjoyed your interview. I have not read any of your books but am adding both to my new authors list. I would love to win Ozark Weddings.
I have been avid reader for over 55yrs and just found out there were Christian writers. Love it..

Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

 

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I love the wind in my face, the open sky before me, the romance and flavor of the West, but, most of all, our loving and living God, who created it all. I love how He works out His plans in the realm of human events, which is His Story. I have been blessed with a gift: a compulsion to write Historical and present-day novels set in the American West that demonstrate His power to transform ordinary people into true heroes and heroines. I am just a scribe really. I find the joy of participating in the creation of inspirational fiction indescribable. May our Lord Jesus Christ receive all of the credit and be glorified.

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