Author Interview – Janice Spina

Welcome, Welcome everyone! This week we are sitting down with Janice Spina, author of Chasing Mariah, Davey and Derek: Junior Detectives, and so much more!


Let’s get in to it:

What name do you write under? Is this a pseudonym? Do you use more than one name when you write?

My own name – for children’s books – Janice Spina.
For novels that are for 18+ I use J.E. Spina which are my initials.

Tell us about the first time you realized that you were an author or were going to be an author.
I have always wanted to be an author but didn’t realize my dream until after I retired. Official date of publication was July, 2013. Once I made up my mind to complete my first book and publish it I felt a great accomplishment. I couldn’t believe it and had to keep looking up on Amazon to see my book in print. It was very exciting! I did publish a sports’ poem in a local newspaper in 2008. That was my first publication. Each book since has been thrilling to complete and publish.

What genre(s) do you write in, and why?
I write for children, middle-grade detective/fantasy/magic, mystery/thriller, serial killer. As you can see I have an eclectic mix of genres. Writing in different genres keeps me fresh. My goal is to encourage children of all ages to read. By writing for different ages I may do just that.

What genres are your favorites to read? Why?
My favorite reads are mysteries, thrillers, detectives and historical novels. Mysteries fascinate me, detective stories make me think as I try to work out “who dun it!” Historical because it involves some real life which is a nice change from all the fantasy. I do also enjoy fantasy, children’s and middle-grade. It’s nice to read other authors’ work to compare notes and I always learn something along the way. I read as many indie authors’ books as I can to help support fellow authors. On Goodreads I have a goal to read 115 books this year and have already read 89. I will more than make my goal and enjoy every minute of reading these books.

Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: 1 that you wrote and 1 that someone else wrote.
My first book, Louey the Lazy Elephant, is my favorite character. He is sweet and adorable and learns from his mistakes.
I love all the characters in The Clifton Chronicles by Jeffrey Archer. He is the master of creating fascinating and memorable protagonists.

There is a lot of controversy about allowing books to be made into movies (especially when they cut or change large portions of the plot). Would you be willing for your books/stories to become a movie? Why or why not?
Just the thought of one of my books being considered would be very exciting! On the other hand there are a lot of things to consider especially if they do cut out portions of my book and make critical changes. To see them do that to my book would be heartbreaking and I would feel like they were tearing out a part of me. I would hope to have some say in what they do to my story.

How do you handle writer’s block?
Maybe I shouldn’t say this but I have been fortunate not to experience it yet. I write off the cuff and let my characters take me where they want to go. I always come up with a title first and go from there. When I sit at my laptop ideas fly around in my head and I just start typing. It’s almost as if they can’t wait to get onto a sheet of paper.

What inspires you?
My grandchildren have inspired me to write children’s stories and my middle-grade detective series. I thank God for the ability to be inspired and to do what I love to do every day for the rest of my life. Sometimes I find inspiration talking to children and parents during a book signing or while on vacation.

How do you respond when people ask what you do, then make that face if you say “I’m an author”?
That is funny! Yes, people do look at me funny sometimes when I say that I am an author. There are some who are impressed and others who snub their noses at the idea of a writer. I find it comical and don’t let it bother me because I am doing what I love to do every day. One thing that many people say to me is, “I always wanted to be an author.” You could say I am living out their dreams.
I always get that too…I think that everyone has a story in them and only the most creatively brave are able to let it out in a way that will appeal to others.
Finally, tell us where to go to find you 
I am on many social links as listed below.


Barnes & Noble:

Cold Coffee Press:



Moms Choice Awards the Lonely Lamb won Silver Medal here)

Trailer of Louey the Lazy Elephant:
Hunting Mariah Trailer:

Thank you, Elizabeth, for this wonderful opportunity to share my books with you and your readers. I enjoyed this interview and spending time with you.

Thank you Janice for allowing us this small insight into you and your work! It’s been fun!


Remember, if you are an author, illustrator, photographer, agent, or publisher and would like to be featured in your own interview, leave me a message and we’ll get you set up!

Share the Love Extravaganza

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In honor of my tiny Monkey’s day of birth celebration (She’s 3 today!!!!) I am doing my annual Share the Love give away. Today (Sunday, August 23, 2015) through Wednesday (August 26, 2015) ALL of my available e-books are either on deep rebate with the Kindle Countdown Deal (Dragon on My Neck is .99 cents until FRIDAY guys!) or FREE (that’s everything else…5/6 of my e-books. Free. Right Now.)

What does this mean for you? Well…it means you get good books at great prices. How can you beat FREE?

If you spend the buck to download Dragon on My Neck and download the other two Stone Dragon Saga books for free, that means you’ve just spent .33 cents per book instead of $4 per book. If you download all 6 books, The Stone Dragon Saga three AND the three Short Story Supposition compilations, that means you’ve just gotten 6 books for approximately .17 cents a book.

Yeah that’s right, I just did the math. BOOM. I feel very proud of myself right now…and yes that is just a little sad. 

Still not quite sure if you want to go to all that effort just for a few free pages? Well answer these for me. Yes or No will do:

  1. Do you enjoy fantasy stories?
  2. Do you enjoy adventure?
  3. Do you enjoy a mystery?
  4. Are you fond of dragons and/or fairies?
  5. Do like a sassy lead?
  6. Do you enjoy a smart baddie?
  7. Are you busy but love to read?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, there is a story in one of my books that you will love. I don’t know which question you answered yes to and I’m even sassier than my amazing characters (they told me to call them that….) so I’ll leave it up to you to discover. But I promise you, there’s something in there for you. I know, because I wrote it just for you…

And to sweeten the deal for you, or just so I can walk down Nostalgia Lane, here are a few pictures from 3 years ago. Each of these pictures of a weird little bald headed gnome are from the first week of her life. Don’t worry, she finally grew some hair in over this past 6 months or so.

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Big brother watching over the Monkey. He used to nudge the swing when it slowed down until I came to wind it back up. Now he just lays around and waits for her to feed him.

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Coming Soon…

There are a lot of fun things going on in the Tyree Tomes world right now! Three of the most exciting (to me anyway) are the new line of quizzes and lesson ideas to go along with the Stone Dragon Saga books, Leonard’s Wildlife Picture Book Series (name still a work in progress!), and the Little Monster’s Story (also a name WIP).

If you’ve been reading this blog for very long, you’ve probably heard about both of those first two items. I am very proud of my dragons and their story, and I am incredibly excited for Leonard and his friends to join our bunch. However, the Little Monster has been under wraps for the most part. Want to know a secret? I didn’t write it! I will be making sense of the story, setting it up in book form, and presenting to you very soon…but the real author behind this adorable early (EARLY) childhood picture book is my daughter.

That’s right, my one month from being 3 year old Monkey has written her first book. She started telling the story as a bedtime story to her baby dolls. At first, I didn’t pay much attention since she makes up cute stories and scenarios all the time. However, this was different because, after the third night in a row of the exact same wording to the story, I realized that this story was one of THOSE. You know, one of those stories/poems/art pieces that you find doodled all over the edges of your notepads or menus until you just write it out and complete the silly thing. So that’s what we’re doing. Her goal has been to ‘be like Mama and Papa‘ and write and ‘Be like Gaga’ and draw/illustrate. You will see her story and her illustrations in the next few weeks (Hopefully the Good Lord allows us to get it done so quickly!).

That’s most of what’s new in the Tyree Tomes world.

Can’t Miss CONTEST

In case you  missed this “Can’t Miss Contest”, when I posted Thursday, here are the details:

1) Go Grab Dragon on My Neck from the free Kindle downloads section…it will be available today (July 11, 2015) and tomorrow (July 12, 2015).

2) Come back to to WordPress and comment on my post Free Dragons! 2 Days Only! that you got your copy (I will check numbers! Please don’t cheat me guys!) If you already have a copy, let me know that as well!

3) OPTIONAL: Share this post (or the other) on your own blog/facebook/twitter/etc. and then comment telling me that you did.

4) ALSO OPTIONAL: Have your readers and friends comment saying they downloaded theirs because of YOUR post/reccomendation.

5) Remember THIS IS A CONTEST…every pingback or social media post gets you an extra entry into the drawing. Winner chooses the Elizabeth S. Tyree book of their choice and I will personalize and autograph one to send to them! If we reach 50 comments, the prize ups to TWO BOOKS! For every 25 comments after that, the prize ups by 1 book…culminating with the possibility of receiving a complete set of my current titles, all signed and personalized for the winner (or whoever they wish me to sign it to).

So get to sharing! I can’t wait to hear from you ALL…May the LUCK OF DRAGONS be on your side!

Free Dragons! 2 Days Only!

I’m doing a quick 2 day give away of Dragon on My Neck beginning tomorrow (Saturday July 11th) and ending Sunday(July 12th). What does this mean for you?

Well, it means that you can have your very own e-book copy of the novel that started it all! My baby, the first novel I finished edits on and chose to send out to the world, the book that started me out as an indie author AND as a YA series author. As if that wasn’t enough…I am offering a very special prize.

If you download my book and then POST A COMMENT on here stating that you did so, you will be placed in the running for a personalized autographed copy of one of my books (your choice!). If you already downloaded your copy in a previous give away or (gasp!) purchased it, please make that comment as well.

Here’s the twist…If you re-blog this post you get an (extra) entry into the drawing. If someone downloads and comments on here that they got the book because of your re-blog or post, you get an extra entry into the drawing.

Basically, the more you share and get the word out there, the more likely you are to win a physical copy of one of my books!

If we reach 50 different comments (different people commenting) I will up this giveaway to 2 books. Every 25 differentiating comments after that will add a book to the mix. That means if we reach 175 different people who then comment on here that they have downloaded Dragon on My Neck the drawing winner will receive a complete, physical, set of my published works: personalized and autographed to your specifications!

What are you waiting for??? Let’s get the word out so you can win some free books!!

Free Fell Short

I have a very serious and earnest question to ask you today:

Are Short Stories completely out of vogue now??

I ask because of the horribly discouraging give away I hosted this past weekend. All 3 of my currently available short story books were free in their e-book format, Over the course of 3 days, with 3 books waiting to be snatched up, I gave away 6 books and all of them were in the US. They were most likely even given to people I know personally.

So why the drop off? Not even the very first give away I hosted had such a poor turnout.

Do any of you have hints, tips, tricks, or nicely worded admonitions for me? i would appreciate anything that can help me understand this issue! (For the record, Dr. Tyree has been having this issue recently as well!)