Kev’s Author Interviews Presents:
Janice Spina aka J.E. Spina
Londonderry, NH USA
A Short Bio
I have always loved writing poetry and started at the age of nine then later branched out to children’s stories. I retired from an administrative secretarial position from a school system in Massachusetts in 2010. Once retired I had more time to devote to my writing and started publishing my books in 2012. I now have eight books published (seven children’s books and one novel). I am also a busy blogger, avid reader and reviewer, copy editor and supporter of other authors.
Kev: What is your latest book about?
My middle-grade series, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives, Book 1 – The Case of the Missing Cell Phone
This is book 1 of a series of mysteries and adventures. Davy & Derek Donato are twins who like to play detective. first case is The Case of the Missing Cell Phone. In this book I touch on bullying, kindness to others, family relationships, and importance of friendship.
Kev: Who or what influenced you to write it?
My two middle grandsons, Jason and Joey, who are not twins but two year’s apart, influenced me to write this series. The boys are eight and ten years’ old and love to read mysteries for their age group. My children’s books are now a little young for them so this made me branch out a little.
Kev: Did you do any specialised research for your story?
No special research was done but I had to think a little differently when I wrote it since I usually write in rhyme for younger children. The language is a little different and I wanted to be sure I could reach the middle group of children.
Kev: What challenges did you face while writing the story?
I had to make sure that I did not make the characters too much like my grandsons. They wouldn’t want to see themselves displayed to the public especially if it was not flattery behavior. I did put in some funny things that I think that the boys would find amusing.
Kev: Who is the protagonist?
Davey & Derek are the protagonists.
Kev: What would you say is the protagonist’s greatest weakness or obstacle and why?
Davey and Derek like everyone and do not judge people unfairly. They run into a bully and do not know how to deal with him at first because they are too trusting of others.
Kev: What would you say is the main antagonist’s greatest strength?
The antagonists – there are three – who get into trouble. One of them is a bully and tries to bully everyone to think his way. I don’t think bullying is a strength but a weakness. The bully shows strength when he sees the light and changes his ways.
Kev: Could you provide a short passage from your book to give us a taster?
Hmmm, adventure, huh? What adventure? Is this adventure going to get me into trouble, Derek? Remember what happened when you asked me to help unblock the toilet at your house after you accidently dropped a bar of soap into it? We flooded the whole downstairs with soap suds and your parents were ready to kill both of us. I ran for the hills when your dad got home. Too bad you couldn’t run too!
Kev: When you write, do you write off-the-cuff or do you use some kind of formula?
I usually sit down, write off-the-cuff, and let my fingers do the talking! I always have the title first then build on it. The characters come to life on their own. Sometimes I feel like they possess me and tell me what to do! Scary at times especially when I wrote my thriller! Lol!
Kev: How do you deal with writers-block?
I am fortunate not to have that happen yet. Oops, I better not jinx myself by saying that! I guess it could happen if my fingers get cramped up!
Kev: Preference for writing: Day or Night?
Whenever I have time in my life. I usually write after I get home from babysitting my grandchildren and in between spending time with my husband. He sometimes feels neglected when I spend too much time writing. I do my best to write a little every day whether it is on my blog or part of my books.
Kev: What is your process for editing your work?
I read the story through at completion looking for spelling and grammar. The second time I look for content and fill in more detail. Then comes several more reads and one out loud. It takes sometimes a dozen times before I am happy with it. My husband, who has a doctor of education, reads all my books and gives suggestions which I usually use.
Kev: How do you come up with your book covers?
My husband illustrates all my books and creates my covers. I have to approve or disapprove all material. Lol! He says that I am a tough boss sometimes.
Kev: Do you think the book cover is important?
Yes, it is very important. I think people look at a cover first before even reading the synopsis or blurb.
Kev: Which publishing platform do you prefer and why?
I am an indie author and use Create Space and Amazon for paperbacks Amazon Kindle for e-books.
Kev: Do you face any daunting obstacles during the publishing process?
Nothing earth-shattering has kept us daunted when we publish. However, we do run into some delay when we have to re-download a file but we are getting the hang of publishing to Kindle.
Kev: What methods do you use to promote your work?
I do all my own promoting online through FB, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and my own blog and website. I have been very fortunate and blessed to have met so many wonderful fellow authors online and we help each other by promoting through each other’s websites.
Kev: Do you have any advice for new authors?
Spend time getting to know other authors online and help them promote their books. In turn they will help you too. Liking and responding on other blogs is a good way to spread word about yourself and your work. Be kind to others and it pays back in full to you!
Kev: Which social media platforms do you use the most?
I use Facebook and Twitter the most. Google+ and LinkedIn come second but there are wonderful sites out there e.g., Chris Graham, http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com
a kind and generous person, who promotes indie authors unselfishly. Chris does amazing book covers and trailers too. Here is a link to my book trailer for Hunting Mariah, which was created by Chris Graham.
I also use:
http://store.momschoiceawards.com/index.php?entry_id=3571 (for Lamby the Lonely Lamb won a Silver Medal from Mom’s Choice Awards)
Kev: Is there anything else you would like to add?
I have six other children’s books (PS-Grade 3) and one novel, Hunting Mariah, which is a thriller/mystery for 18+. Here are my links to purchase all my books. I am working on another children’s book which my husband is illustrating. This book will be published over the next few weeks or earlier hopefully. It is a book dedicated to my youngest grandson about a monkey in the zoo. I am also working on Book 2 of Davey & Derek Junior Detectives series.
Here are the purchase links to all my books:
Amazon Author Page: Http://amazon.com/author/janicespina7
Barnes & Noble Author Page: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/janice-spina?store=allproducts&keyword=janice+spina
http://createspace.com/5390264 (Davey & Derek)
Thank you, Kev, for having me on your blog. It was a pleasure to share my book with you and your readers.
JANICE SPINA, EVERYONE!