Thursday, May 11, 2023

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Janice Cole Hopkins

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Janice Cole Hopkins

Today's guest is Janice Cole Hopkins who has been writing stories since third grade. She's part of a wonderful series The Matchmaker - Agatha Returns!

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 The Matchmakers series, I knew I wanted to set all eight of my books of this multiple-author project in the same town, and I chose the fictitious town of Pinyon Falls, Texas. This way the reader gets to catch up on how earlier characters are doing as the series progresses.

How do you develop your characters? (e.g. decide on their vocation, names, etc.)?

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. I often research their surnames, choosing names that are known in that area.

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 the hill country of Texas. Then I also had to do research as questions
Pixabay/David Mark

came up. I always check words I’m uncertain of to make sure they were used in my time period, and I check inventions and facts for the same thing.

How are your characters like you? Different? I’m not a lot like any of the characters I’ve written about so far in this series, other than my Christian faith. However, having worked with many people all my adult life, I can relate to all of them.

If your book is part of a series: Did you set out to write a series?

I did set out to write a because these books are part of a multiple-author project, where different authors take part in the series. This has turned out to be one of my most popular series, and I’m glad it will continue through 2025. Here is a list of my books in the series and their publication dates as well as links for the two that have published:

A Match for Marshall, 2-1-23,
A Match for Cord, 5-1-23,
A Match for Silas (the blacksmith), 2-1-24
A Match for Merle (a businessman), 7-1-24
A Match for Milton (the barber) 9-2-24
A Match for Reece (the sheriff) 11-1-24
A Match for Matt (the deputy) 5-1-25
A Match for Marvin (a recluse) 10-1-25

How has your book changed since your first draft?

There haven’t been any major changes in A Match for Cord, the newly published book in the series. Cord was Marshall’s foreman in the first book, A Match for Marshall.

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 55 books I have on Amazon, there’s only one that I can tell you where the idea came from because a friend sparked it.

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.

Why do you write in your particular genre?

I always write Christian fiction or non-fiction (I have 2 non-fiction books so far) because I know God gave me whatever talent I have and called me to write. Therefore, I want to write for His glory.

What is your process for writing? (do you outline, have a special place or time of day you write, etc.) What is your favorite part of the process?

I’m more of a pantster. I make notes as I go about the details I need to remember, but most of my preplanning is done in my head before I begin writing, and I often live with the characters a long time before I write about them. The exception to this is when the book includes mystery. Then I do more paper planning.

I’ll be working on Annette’s Assignment, a book in The Suffrage Spinsters series that will publish on October 16, 2023. I try to always stay 4 - 6 months ahead with my writing, so there’s plenty of time for my editors and for me to get everything done. But I’m always excited to start a new book and unfold all the possibilities.

About A Match for Marshall
Marshall Walker has built his successful ranch over years of hard work. He hasn't had time to seek a wife. But when his brother dies, leaving him the custody of two nieces, he decides now is the time - after all, he's thirty-one years old. So, he contacts a noted matchmaking service to speed the process since the girls are on their way, and he needs a wife as soon as possible.

Callie Jones grew up on a farm and knows the toil it takes to eke out a living. When her parents suggest that she leave home to allow more food and clothing for her eight younger siblings, she decides to become a mail-order bride, but she's determined to marry a man who lives in town. She wants nothing more to do with farms or ranches, but the matchmaker makes a mistake.

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