I’m excited to interview author Janice Thompson! She got her start in the industry writing screenplays and musical comedies for the stage. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children’s books and more. Janice is passionate about her faith and does all she can to share the joy of the Lord with others, which is why she particularly enjoys writing.
She lives in Spring, Texas, where she leads a rich life with her family, a host of writing friends, and three mischievous dogs. When she’s not busy writing or playing with her nine grandchildren, Janice can be found in the kitchen, baking specialty cakes and cookies for friends and loved ones.
No matter what she’s cooking up—books, cakes, cookies or mischief—she does her best to keep the Lord at the center of it all.
Tell us a little about yourself and what inspired you to write books?
I am the mother of four daughters who were all married within four years of each other. Talk about weddings! Since then, nine grandchildren have joined the family! I’ve always had a heart for kids and have loved working alongside several Houston-area ministries that reach out to children (often in impoverished areas).
I was always involved in theater, writing and directing musical comedies. But I felt led to expand my writing to include books. So, about the time my kiddos starting flying the nest I decided to give it a whirl! I was first inspired to write fictional stories but before long I found that I had a real passion for both fiction and non-fiction projects. I started attending writing conferences in the mid 90s. My first book was published in 2000 and it’s been a whirlwind ever since! I’ve currently published over 150 books and I won’t be stopping anytime soon!
I would suggest (for those interested in writing) that you join a good writing group. I’m a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). We have a Woodlands area chapter that meets once a month. You’ll find information at www.acfw.com.
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I know you have written some wonderful children’s devotionals. Tell us a little about the devotionals you have written, specifically for boys or girls and their age ranges.
I’ve been blessed to write several devotions over the past few years, many for boys and girls (as well as teens and women). Here are some of my favorites:
180 Prayers for Courageous Girls
This is a prayer book for girls that focuses on courage.
The all-powerful God we serve is interested in everything we have to say! . . . This devotional prayer book is a wonderful reminder for the girls in your life to talk to their heavenly Father about whatever is on their mind. Dozens of just-right-sized prayers touch on topics that resonate with readers ages 8 to 12. Topics include: Forgiveness, Friendship, Joy, Serving, The Future, Difficult Times, Thankfulness, Trust, and more. Each prayer is perfectly paired with a relevant scripture selection–a great way for courageous girls to begin or end their day in quiet time with their heavenly Creator.
This is a fun prayer book for boys that focuses on bravery.
The all-powerful God we serve is interested in everything we have to say! . . .
This devotional prayer book is a wonderful reminder for the boys in your life to talk to their heavenly Father about whatever is on their mind. Dozens of just-right-sized prayers touch on topics that resonate with readers ages 8 to 12. Topics include: Forgiveness, Friendship, Joy, Serving, The Future, Difficult Times, Thankfulness, Trust, and more. Each prayer is perfectly paired with a relevant scripture selection–a great way for brave boys to begin or end their day in quiet time with their heavenly Creator.
The Prayer Map Devotional for Girls
This is (by far) my favorite devotional for girls! I highly recommend it for girls 6-12.
Practical and inspiring, The Prayer Map Devotional for Girls will guide them through 28 weeks of devotional readings and prayers plus the creation of weekly prayer maps to help them better focus their daily prayer time. With prayer-related themes like TRUSTING GOD, BEING PERSISTENT IN PRAYER, and EXPERIENCING THE POWER OF PRAYER, your girls will be encouraged to spend regular time in the heavenly Father’s presence and share what’s on their hearts. . .as they build a healthy spiritual habit of continual prayer for life!
Tell us more about your 180 Prayers to Change the World devotional. What inspired you to write this book and how have you seen it impact children.
180 Prayers to Change the World
I was blessed to write this book for Barbour Publishing a few years back and received my author copies just before the pandemic hit. Since then, I passed along multiple copies to an inner-city ministry that gave away books to children during the Covid lockdown. It felt so good to see that message go out. Children are world changers!
Here’s a blurb about the book: This prayer book for the kids in your life will put the amazing power of prayer into perspective as they pray for their friends, their families, their neighborhoods, their schools, their cities, their country, and beyond. Kids ages 8 to 12 will be guided to pray for positive change in the world as they encounter the many ways they can make an impact through their conversations with God. Featured “Be the Change” sections after each prayer will also encourage kids to “act” as they listen for God’s voice and direction for their lives. Have a conversation with God today, and see how He works through you as you listen for His voice and direction in your life.
For parents looking for devotionals for their children, what advice would you give in choosing one that is right for their particular child?
All of the devotionals that I’ve written for Barbour Publishing are themed, whether they’re for children, teens, or adults. A lot of the books I’ve been commissioned to write for them lately have been on the topic of courage. I always subdivide the books into different categories related to the overall theme. To know if a devotional is a good fit for your child, I would say “Check the Table of Contents” because it contains hints about the message(s) you’ll find in each book.
Any other suggestions for encouraging devotional time as a family?
These devotions are meant to be a springboard and to encourage conversation between parents and their kids. Feel free to take the topics and expand on them. The same could be said of the little prayers in the books. They can definitely be a springboard for a longer prayer time.
Here’s a sample from my favorite book, The Prayer Map Devotional for Girls. Take a look at it and see how you could create talking points for the girls in your life.
HEY, CAN WE TALK?
“I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” Mark 11:24 NLT
Have you ever had one of those days when you just needed someone to talk to? Maybe you called your best friend, but she was too busy to chat. Or you tried to connect with your mom, but she was in the middle of fixing dinner or taking your big brother to soccer practice.
It’s not always easy to find someone to listen, but when you do, it feels really good. Whew! You can finally share all that stuff that’s been driving you nuts, the icky stuff you’ve been bottling up inside.
God wants you to know that He’s always there, ready to listen, even when no one else is. Every day He says, “Come sit by Me and share what’s on your heart! Tell Me all the things. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I can take it, I promise.”
You’ve been wondering how to get to know Him more? You’ve been feeling a little guilty over the “I don’t pray enough” thing? It’s actually not complicated. Talk to Him. That’s all He wants.
I’m so glad I can talk to You about anything and everything, Lord! Thank You for always being there for me, no matter what! Amen.
Do you have any other Christian books or devotionals for kids that you are working on or planning to write?
My next book to release is for teen girls. It comes out in early September and is titled The 100-Day Devotional for Teen Girls. It’s for girls 13 and up and covers topics like Popularity, Doubt, the Media, Stress, Self-Image, Priorities, Contentment, and more, teenage girls will be encouraged to grow in their faith and spend regular time in the heavenly Father’s presence. Each devotional reading is complemented by a brief scripture selection and short prayer-starter.
Where can our readers find your devotionals to order or learn more about your other books?
My author website is www.janiceathompson.com
My Amazon author page is: https://www.amazon.com/Janice-Thompson/e/B002KPKBFW?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3&qid=1655957971&sr=8-3
Thank you, Janice, for sharing about your children’s devotional books with us and for encouraging so many children, teens, and families through your writing. I love how you use your gift of writing to bless children in need as well! May the Lord continue to use your books to further His Kingdom and bless your ministry, as you seek to honor Him in all you do!