I have another wonderful guest for you today… Author, Janice Spina! I am so excited to be hosting this fabulous lady and sharing her story with you! I have no doubt you’ll love what she has to say. So, as always, enjoy…
I am honored, Marlena, to be here today to do a guest post on your blog. Thank you for having me.
Let me introduce myself. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, author, reader, book reviewer, copy editor, and blogger. I write under Janice Spina for children and YA and under J.E. Spina for novels for 18+.
As long as I can remember I loved to write. I began this love at the age of nine in the form of poetry and greeting cards. My mother enjoyed receiving my homemade cards for her birthday and Mother’s Day. Her encouragement was all I needed as my poem collection grew. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of these original poems. They were lost when we moved.
My writing was put on hold for years until I had children of my own. I wrote a fairy tale for my son and daughter which has yet to be published. I hope to publish it one day. I continued to write more poems and rhymes for greeting cards for friends and family over those years while working and raising my children. Always in the back of my mind was the dream to one day publish my poems and short story.
My chance came in 2008 when I noticed a contest in the local paper to become the #1 Red Sox Fan of the day. I sent in a poem I had written about one of the players on the team and was chosen to be the #1 Red Sox Fan. I had finally published one of my poems! I was so excited and began writing even more poems.
After reading the book, The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne, I was inspired to write children’s stories and began sending them to publishers and agents. After tens of rejections, I became disheartened that my dream would never become a reality until I met an artist while on vacation in Aruba in 2012. She was kind enough to take me under her wing by giving me helpful tips how to begin my venture in publishing. I followed her advice and set up a blog, website, FB page, signed up for Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Pinterest, and looked into Createspace for indie publishing. It was the best thing I could have done and I am grateful to Ara for all her help getting me on the right track.
My dream became a reality when, after being retired for a few years, at the young age of 65 I published my first two books in 2013, four more in 2014, four in 2015, four in 2016 and one so far in 2017. I have a total of fifteen books, eight are young children’s books, four for YA/MG and two novels for 18+ and my newest book, a short story collection dedicated to a friend who passed this year from breast cancer. I am currently working on a children’s book, book 5 of my YA series, and plan to write a sequel to a novel and begin a mystery series for girls.
My books have won five awards, three Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards, one Reader’s Favorite Book Award and a Mom’s Choice Award.
I have continued to write and keep up with all the social media which is quite a job in itself. I have added many more online and promotional sites since I first began this journey. It’s a daunting task to do everything as an indie author but it is also rewarding when one can see the results of one’s efforts and say, ‘I did it all myself.’ With the help and unending support of my talented husband, John, I have achieved more than I ever thought possible. He is my illustrator, cover creator and content editor. He doesn’t like to take credit for much but I couldn’t do all this without him.
Along my journey to publishing I have met some wonderful people on social media who have helped me by answering my numerous questions about publishing, promoted my books, invited me on their blogs and continue to support me in many ways. I am proud to call them my friends. They have my undying gratitude and support also. They are too numerous to mention, but they know who they are.
Anyone can realize their dream if they just believe in themselves and never stop working to achieve it. Don’t ever let others discourage you. I didn’t give up after all those rejections. They made me question my abilities but I got right back up and kept writing. I think my writing improved and will continue to improve with more practice at my craft. We never stop learning and we are never too old to learn something new.
Each year I give myself a goal of how many books I will write and publish. Also, how many books I will read and review. This year my goal is to publish five books and read and review 100 books. It seems like a difficult road ahead but I believe I try harder to meet these goals if I raise the bar.
My logo is Jemsbooks for all ages. My motto is Reading Gives You Wings to Fly. My goal is to encourage all ages to read. If parents read to their children every day they would help cultivate a love of reading in the next generation.
I have plenty more stories running around in my head and I plan to keep on writing as long as I physically can. There will be more goals to meet and more online sites to peruse.
It has been a pleasure to share my journey in writing and publishing with you and your readers. I would love to connect with readers on my links below.
Here are my links to social media and where to purchase my books.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Please help me support Janice with likes, shares and comments. And don’t forget to check out her books!
Until next time………Happy Reading & Reviewing!