Recently, I started writing and posting things on Medium. Since being there, I have met some really cool people – one of whom is Jan Cox. We’re in a Bible study together on Facebook. It’s specifically for artists, writers, and other creative types, so come join us if you’re interested.
But, for now, let’s let Jan talk to us about her books.
How would you describe your book to someone who has not yet read it?
My children’s books deal with encouraging children to seek God in all facets of their lives. Tadeo Turtle shows how each of us is special and made just as we are. The Kingdom of Thrim shows what happens when we take our eyes off God and onto worldly pursuits.
And I wrote a Bible study that helps those who are looking for purpose in their lives to find a newness of life. It is based on Timothy. It has excerpts from Ed Hird’s book, Battle for the Soul of Canada.
If Oprah invited you onto her show to talk about your book, what would the theme of the show be?
The theme would be how God needs to be the centre of our lives. He is our Creator, Redeemer and Friend. If we listen to Him, He speaks and inspires and helps us create. If we fall away He will accept us back, but it’s at a peril when we stay away too long.
How did you get the idea for the book?
Tadeo Turtle was first named Leroy the Turtle. The poem came to me during my journaling time. I usually read a scripture every day, and talk to God. This particular day I just started to write. I couldn’t believe it when I read it over. It sounded good. As a rhyming poem it connects with children. I asked my hubby – he agreed that it sounded good. That began my publishing journey. Tadeo Turtle won The Word Awards for best children’s book in 2013.
The Kingdom of Thrim is my second children’s book. Once again I was journaling in my notebook. I had been thinking about Pinocchio – not sure why. The character’s name was Nopetto at first but later changed to Yoj (which is joy backwards). I had been painting for about 4 years at this time. I love colour and shapes. I had also made a couple of ceramic dolls. Always fascinated with dolls since a childhood, I decided that the main character was a doll maker. After that, the words flowed and the story was birthed. Colour plays a big part in this second book.
Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
To keep writing. I realized that my fingers need to write or type at least once a day. My thoughts have to come out on paper. I even do “morning pages” often as I need to get all these thoughts out to clear my thinking.
Considering a book from the first word you write to the moment you see it on a bookstore shelf, what’s your favorite part of the process? What’s your least favorite?
My favourite part is the inspiration and writing. And painting the pictures. My least favourite is finding out how to publish and market my books.
What genre have you not yet written but really want to try?
I have published a lot of non-fiction on my blog posts, and I feel a call to do short books for busy moms so they can be in the word with ease but feel God’s presence each day.
What book are you reading right now?
I have been reading an excellent series by Sharon Garlough Brown. Her first book Sensible Shoes caught my attention. A friend had read it. I learned a lot about people, their faith and their growth in community.
What’s up next for you?
That’s a great question. I have too many ideas, but certainly keeping connected in my Facebook Group and leading men and women to putting God first in their lives. I have a few book ideas mulling around and one children’s book written but not painted.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Yes, like the Little Engine That Could, never give up. If God has called you to write – or paint, or garden, or teach, or whatever, do it with your whole heart. Never say “I can’t,” because God can.
Is there anything specific you want to say to your readers?
I love to connect and pray for artists and writers. If you are struggling and need prayer, please connect with me. Join me on Artists and Writers Grow Through God’s Word. If you want to add art into your life, take my free email Bible Art Course and find out how to study God’s word and paint it too.
About Janis Cox
Janis started writing in her journal as a way to learn more about her faith. She is an award-winning author/illustrator of Tadeo Turtle and The Kingdom of Thrim. She podcasts on Hope Stream Radio. Her talk show Growing Through God’s Word can be heard each Tuesday.
She is a member of Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, Canada. Her art is showcased in the Rails End Gallery at Haliburton. She is a member of the gallery and the Arts Council for Haliburton Highlands. Janis lives in Haliburton with her husband and her dog, Snowball. She is also a snowbird who travels to Arizona in the winter.
You can view her Medium posts here.