Monday, July 29, 2013

Introducing, Author of Louey the Lazy Elephant, Janice Spina!

Thank you, Deanie, my friend, for having me on your blog.  It is an honor to be here.  I am very excited.  This is my first interview on a blog.
Janice, I’m incredibly proud of all you’ve accomplished and it’s such a thrill for me to have the first interview with my revered friend, who is now an author! Thank you so much for spending time with me today.  
  •  When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

  I have always enjoyed writing.  I started as a young child making up silly poems and cards for my mom on mother’s day, birthday, etc.  I loved the musical sound of rhyming words and also liked to make up stories.  I have always had a wild imagination.   I think it came about from the fact that I was very shy and this was one way I could express myself.     
  • What have you written and in what genre?
         I wrote one fairy tale when my children were young and several other stories for    children five years ago.  I got my creative streak going at that time after reading an inspirational and spiritual book called, The Secret. 
I also have a large book of all kinds of poems including sports’ poems.
I have written novels in multiple genres, murder mystery, YA fantasy, historical fiction, and spiritual/romance/mystery.  All of these stories need editing which I will be doing slowly but surely.  Editing is a slow process and needs to be done with a fresh eye over several days, months, years until I get it the way I want it.  I leave the story I am working on for a little while and then come back to it and do more editing.  I find I am more productive when I return and come up with fresh ideas.
  •    What have you published?
I just published my first children’s book, Louey the Lazy Elephant, which is available on and CreateSpace.   This has been very exhausting doing all the publishing work myself with the support of my husband but I feel I have accomplished a lot that way.  I have definitely learned a lot about the publishing process.

I previously published a sports poem in The Lawrence Eagle Tribune Newspaper, called Mannie No More, back in 2008 about the demise of Mannie Ramirez and the Boston Red Sox.

  •     Who is your illustrator? I am happy to say my husband is my illustrator.  He is very creative in his painting skills and I talked him into doing the first book, Louey.  He has done an outstanding job and has even learned how to use Photo Shop to enhance his drawings.  I am very proud of him and thankful for his support and hard work.  His work will be even more incredible as he learns more about illustrating
  • Are you still working?
    No, thankfully I have been retired for two and a half years now.  Being retired gives me the freedom to pursue my dream of being a full-time writer and author.
    I have thoroughly enjoyed my retirement but find I am busier now with all the work on my books than I was when I had a job as an administrative secretary in a school department.
      What are your plans now that you have published your first book?
    Well, first of all I need to market my book to the public.  Once you publish a book the work doesn’t end there.  It is only the beginning.  My marketing work started seven months ago when I first started blogging. I am active in many sites online and will continue to do more and more marketing to get my book out there. I am also a copy editor and have worked with several other writers and authors to help them get their books ready for publishing. One particular creative and talented author is Paul G. Day. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with him and appreciate his support and friendship. I have a keen eye for errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc. This skill comes from thirty years of editing work for my supervisors in the school department. I have a copy editing service page on my website for anyone who is interested.
  • What has been the hardest thing you have had to do while publishing your book?  
        Two things have been very difficult for me.  One has been working in Createspace where I found I had to know a lot more than I did in order to download my work. I have since learned a lot and hopefully my newfound knowledge will hold true for me when I am ready to publish the next book.

The second more difficult thing I have had to do is learn how to use social media.  At my age it was not something I wanted to do.  I never had any desire to go on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, or link on LinkedIn or even pin on Pinterest!   An artist friend of mine suggested that I do all of the above in order to get myself out there to the public if I ever wanted to publish my work. 

One day I just made up my mind to do it and got on the phone and asked questions about Word press and after many phone calls and tears I started blogging my first post in December 2012.  This whole crazy time my husband thought I was out of my mind to want to do this social media.  Now he sees that it is all worth it.  I think he is proud of me for persevering.   Once I got the blog down pat I moved onto the other sites which were easier than setting up a blog and website.  I have a lot more to learn and could improve on my blog and website but I continue to learn on the job which I don’t mind.    

I am just thankful that I have something to look forward to every day as I check my social media sites and blog.  I have met some wonderful people like my interviewer, Deanie.  She has been such a tremendous influence in my life recently and has given me confidence and enormous support through the publishing process. There are so many talented and creative writers, authors, illustrators, etc. out there that I have met and can now call friends. I thank all of them for their support, too.

I think I have proven that it is never too late to follow your dream to publish your work. I did it at the ripe old age of 65. I will never regret all the work and marketing that it took and have loved every minute of it
Please Share your links and where to purchase your book. 
      My links are as follows:


Purchase Louey, the Lazy Elephant at Amazon and CreateSpace.

  •  Is there anything else you would like to add?Yes.  Most of all I am thankful to God for giving me the ability to write and share my thoughts with others and pray that He will give me much more time to continue to use these skills for the benefit of others.I feel very blessed to have my family and so many wonderful friends and new online friends. I hope to continue to write and share the many stories that are swimming around in my head and encourage children to read and foster a love of reading to pass onto their children.I have a motto on my website and blog:  READING GIVES YOU WINGS TO FLY!  Haven’t all children at one time wanted to fly!Thank you, Deanie, for having me here today.  I enjoyed spending time with you and your readers.   
       You’re most welcome, Janice, I know everyone will adore Louey. You've worked  very hard to create Louey and no one deserves success more than you.

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