Wednesday, October 29, 2008

E-Courses for Freelance Writers

An Interview with Janice Thompson

By Debbie Roome



We have a guest with us this week. Janice Thompson is a gifted author with over thirty books to her name. I asked her to tell us about the amazing selection of e-courses she offers through one of her websites. These courses are divided into six different groups: Fiction Writing, Non-Fiction, Professional, Creativity, The Christian Writer and Home School Package. Each group is further divided into individual topics, each offering a wealth of information. The price is great too. You can purchase one of these courses for as little as $10.

I know from experience that even a little professional training and advice can boost confidence, increase skill levels and open doors of opportunity. Read Janice’s interview and then pop over to her websites and see what she has on offer.


1) Tell us something about your journey to becoming a writer.

I started writing books in the 6th grade! (Seriously. . .I loved the Bobbsey Twins books, and when I ran out, I decided to write one of my own.) In high school I wrote a skit for a school production. Then, during my freshman year in college, I wrote a screenplay that was later produced in movie form. I started writing novels professionally in the late 90's and am thrilled to have over thirty books (fiction and non-fiction) now published, as well as 50+ magazine articles.

2) What type of writing do you do?

I write across the genres. I love inspirational romance, but also love comedy, so many of my books have a comedic flare. I've also written historical romances, cozy mysteries, chick-lit, juvenile fiction and non-fiction books (devotions and teaching books). On top of this, I've written multiple musical comedies for the stage. (My history is in theater.)

3) How did you learn to write?

I'm an avid reader, so much of what I learned came from osmosis. That said. . .I'm a firm believer in learning the craft. I can't say enough about writing conferences. I've been attending Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference (in northern California) since 1996. I'm also a long-standing member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and attend/teach at their yearly conference.

4) What is the ultimate aim of your writing?

To glorify the Lord with the gifts He has given me and to tell compelling stories that will touch the hearts of my readers.

5) I see you offer a wide range of e-courses. What gave you the idea to write these?

I have a company called Writers GPS .Through that site I offer editing, e-courses and much, much more. I believe in stirring up the gifts, so anything I can do to help other authors, I love to do! I was prompted to write these courses in 2005 when my friends Eileen Key and Heather Tipton linked arms with me to start a writing-related service.

6) How long did it take you to set them all up?

I wrote the first fifteen courses in about a month's time (back in 2005). The rest have come in spurts. The more I learn about a particular subject, the more I have to share with others! (And trust me, I'm still on a learning curve, despite the publication of 30+ books!)

7) Tell us what is contained in a typical e-course.

I tried to choose really specific topics for my course. For example, two of the primary problems I see when editing manuscripts are 1). Passive Voice ("telling" when the author should be "showing") AND 2). POV issues (head-hopping). My course on POV gives very specific instructions for how to know if you've shifted POV's. It also uses examples to illustrate. I'm particularly thrilled to share specific information regarding sub-genres (cozies, for instance). There are some really specific rules for sub-genres and these courses help the reader understand those rules. . .and apply them.

8) What kind of feedback have you had from people who have done an e-course?

I have some amazing clients and many of them have offered comments/endorsements of my courses. Most would tell you that they like my easy-going, conversational style. And I'm tickled to say that many have vastly improved their writing after letting me mentor them (either through my courses or editing services).

9) How do we choose an e-course that meets our needs?

That will depend on your genre, primarily. I have a full set of courses for fiction authors and another for non-fiction authors. I also have courses for those interested in learning the "business" of writing. I'm particularly proud of my courses for homeschoolers. (I homeschooled my four daughters, so those courses are tried and true.)

10) What word of encouragement do you have for those just starting out in their writing careers?

Write what the Lord gives you and don't be discouraged. Learn the craft, but don't ever let the "teaching" of others supersede what the Lord is telling you.

Learn more about Janice and her books at Janice Thompson.





Debbie Roome works as a freelance writer from her home in New Zealand. Read some of her work at Suite 101 and Faithwriters.






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3 comments:

Audra Marie said...

I enjoyed this interview and look forward to checking out her ecourses. :)

aBookworm said...

I like her words of encouragement. It's not easy to write, but words like these give you the courage to continue.

callmeabookworm at gmail dot com

Brenda Nixon said...

Informative, entertaining interview. Janice and I are facebook friends.