Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! I’m always excited when I have a friend as my guest, and this week I have Janice Cantore joining me. Janice and I are on the Romantic Suspense A-Team together, have endorsed each others’ books, and have met in person. I’m so excited she’s here with me this week! I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win a paperback from her!
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I was born and raised in Southern California. I always wanted to write but never felt I had anything much to say. In college I majored in biological science, then physical education, and when I found myself a college grad with two degrees and no idea what to do with my life, I applied to be a police officer. The choice was not as random as it sounds. I have always liked helping people, especially people who are victims of unfairness or injustice. Nothing makes my blood boil more than people victimizing or taking advantage of the innocent. Most police work is arriving on scene after a crime or an accident as first responder. That first contact with a victim is an important place to be compassionate and caring while at the same time collecting the most information possible in order to solve the crime/arrest a suspect. And I loved the part where we got to arrest the bad guys!!
Long Beach California is a diverse city and a great place to work. My years there and the people I worked with hold a special place in my heart. After I retired I realized that I had lots to say and lots to write about and that began my writing career. During my time with LBPD I saw good, bad, tragic, and inspiring situations. One lesson that has stayed with me is that bad can happen to anyone. Yet emerging from the bad can also make people stronger and better. We serve a good God who is able to guide us through any tragedy or loss. I hope my stories inspire you as much as they entice you to turn the page and find out what happens next.
Tell us about your recent release: As a police officer in Table Rock, Oregon, Leah Radcliff puts her life on the line to help others every day. But at home, Leah’s battling her own personal nightmare: Brad, her abusive husband, a fellow officer, celebrated hero, and beloved son of a powerful prominent family. Brad’s violent outbursts and suspicious activities have left Leah physically and emotionally scarred, until one desperate action to put a stop to his abuse results in deadly consequences.
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes, I would. While I’ve always wanted to write, Christian fiction became my focus because of my favorite aunt. She was a voracious reader but would not pick up the Bible. I started my first book with her in mind, trying to get the Gospel into a suspense story that my aunt would enjoy. Sadly, she passed away before my first book was published. But my focus remains putting the message of hope in every book in a way that is not preachy but will help lead people to Christ.
What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? Reading a good book by a great author or reading a good book on the writing craft. Going back to the basics always helps.
What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I remember writing horse stories when I was a kid, so I’ve always wanted to write. For a long time, I didn’t think I had anything to say. Becoming a police officer opened a whole new world to me. It was the Rodney King riots that really re-sparked the desire to write. It was a watershed moment in my life, and I truly wanted to tell the story, to communicate to people the feelings I had when embroiled in that battle. My first attempts fell very flat. But going to conferences, meeting other writers, and learning the craft of writing helped shape the first novel I had published, Accused. While it was not about the riots, it still grew from my experiences as an officer. In every book I write, there is a seed of something I experienced while working in uniform.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Learn how to take criticism well. Don’t give up. Learn your craft.
Do you talk out plot lines with others, and if so, who? I have a good friend Helen. I will talk to her, ask if she thinks that where I’m going will work. Sometimes she’ll read drafts for me. I think of her as an average reader, so her input is important. I also talk to my agent, Wendy, she’s the business side of things so her input impacts my writing in a different way.
Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I am a pantser, meaning I write by the seat of my pants. I don’t outline, I just sit down and start the story and watch where it goes. Usually all I have in mind are two characters and a crime. Sometimes this is frustrating, and it can lead to lots of revisions, but it is the way I work.
Find Janice online:
Janice is giving away a paperback of Breach of Honor! I read this book – you want to win, friends! Here’s all the ways you can enter to win!