Thursday, March 23, 2023

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Janice Cole Hopkins

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Janice Cole Hopkins

Welcome Janice Cole Hopkins who is sharing her new release, Simon’s Shame.

What was your inspiration for the story? Most of the time, I don’t know where my inspiration for a story comes from; it just comes. With Simon’s Shame, I suppose a lot of it came from my teaching days, but I can’t be sure. I can’t relate it to actual incidents or actual students.

How do you develop your characters?  I develop the characters early, not long after the general idea comes to me. I live with a while in my head first. My stories are character-driven, so my characters tell their own stories, both in my imagination and on paper. I just go along with what they say.

What sort of research did you do for your story, and was there an exceptionally interesting tidbit you knew you had to include? I did preliminary research on Flagstaff, Arizona and the time period (1887). Then I did more research on specific details as the need arose. An interesting tidbit was that in the 1880s, Flagstaff had more saloons than all its other businesses combined.

How are your characters like you? Different? Simon is very different from me in that he wasn’t able to read or write more than a few words. Reading and writing are a big part of what I do. I’m much more like Caroline in that we’re both teachers.

Did you set out to write a series? I did set out to write a series with Simon’s Shame because it’s part
Flagstaff photo:
Pizabay/Lou Blazquez
of a multiple-author project, where different authors take part in the series. This has turned out to be one of my favorite series of all times, and I will hate to see it come to an end.

Why did you decide to write a series? As soon as I read the description of the series, I knew this was one I needed to do. A hurting hero who becomes a recluse from something in his past fits my writing style. In fact, I’m writing five books in the series. My first one, Mason’s Memories, is already published.

How has your book changed since your first draft? It hasn’t changed a great deal, but I did find myself writing in something (a note that Simon read or wrote, discussing a book he’d read, reading some instructions, etc.) that I would have to edit out because of his problem.

How do you come up with storylines? Again, that’s hard to answer. They usually just come to me, and if I don’t have an idea already, I never agree to write a book. Out of the 54 books I have on Amazon, there’s only one that I can tell you where the idea came from because a friend sparked it.

Pixabay/Joshua M
What draws you to the time period about which you write?
I am a history and English major. I can set my books in any time period and enjoy it. However, most of my books are set in the last half of the 1800s. It’s an easy time for me to write about because I understand it well, and it doesn’t require as much research.

What is your next project? I’m working on the last book in the Hers to Redeem series, Solomon’s Secret, right now. When I finish it, all five of mine will be written:

Mason’s Memories
Simon’s Shame
Boone’s Burden
Inman’s Impersonation
Solomon’s Secret – coming August 1

About Simon's Shame:

Simon Carlson couldn’t learn to read and therefore failed at school. Thanks to his bitter father, most people see him as a simpleton or worse. When a new schoolteacher comes to Flagstaff, she treats him as a normal person, even after she finds out that he can’t read or write. She soon has problems of her own, however. Who could be trying to run her off, and can Simon protect his new friend while still protecting his heart?

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