Find a Christian store

Interview with Janice Cantore

Please welcome Janice Canore, former police officer for the Long Beach, California, Police Department. Her many years with the department have given her much fodder for the fiction she creates.

Janice, you have said, “During my time with LBPD I saw good, bad, tragic, and inspiring situations. One lesson that has stayed with me is that bad can happen to anyone. Yet emerging from the bad can also make people stronger and better,” Can you share how you’ve used this lesson in your book(s)?
My main characters usually struggle with something devastating--the end of a marriage, the loss of parents, abuse, etc--and I work hard to show their road to forgiveness and peace as a road walked through faith. It may be bumpy, but faith always pulls people through. I never want it to be preachy; I want it to be real. The process is different for every person, for every hurt, but drawing close to the Lord and not pulling away is what gets people through. It got me through the toughest part of my life. I believe with every fiber of my being that any sorrow in life, no matter how deep, can be overcome with the help of the Holy Spirit and faith in the risen Savior.

How much of your stories mimic actual events you’ve experienced?
Some of the daily routine is what I experienced, the squad meetings, daily patrol, arrests and court appearances. But I’ve not been divorced, nor did I lose my parents to murder. I have sat with victims and transported killers with blood still on them to the jail, I chased people suspected of murder, and I took down confessions, testified in court, wrote many reports, that type of thing.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your writing journey?
A course I took many years ago. It was called a Writing Intensive, and it was held at Lauraine Snelling’s home. It was a week-long course and besides getting great instruction from Lauraine, I met people--writers--who became lifelong friends. I also realized there that writing is a calling for me, not just a hobby. And for years after that week-long class, we would meet once a year as a reunion and brainstorm, support, and reinforce each other’s calling.

Tell us about your main character in, Drawing Fire and what was the most difficult part in writing her story? The most enjoyable?
Abby Hart is a homicide detective in Long Beach Ca. Her parents were murdered when she was six and eventually, she ended up with an aunt who raised her in Oregon. Her parent’s case was never solved and for Abby, it became her mission to solve it. As soon as she was able, she moved back to Long Beach and when old enough became a police officer.

The most difficult part was the internal struggle Abby has with her parent’s cold case. Is it revenge she wants? Or justice? Is there a difference? The struggle needed to be realistic, not hokey.

The most enjoyable was developing the relationship between Abby and Luke. He’s connected to her through the cold case, his uncle died with her parents. The romantic tension was fun to develop.

If you could spend the day with a famous author, whom would you choose? Why?
Francine Rivers or Randy Alcorn. Both of them inspired me to write, Randy’s book Deadline and Francine’s Mark of the Lion series are my favorites and they made me want to write, to try and touch people as I had been touched.

Briefly describe one of your typical writing days.
A typical day starts with devotionals, then dog walks, gym time, breakfast, then writing. Mind you, on the walk and at the gym the story is usually percolating. When I sit down at the computer, I will review what I ended with the day before and hopefully add to it. If I’m stuck, I’ll go back over everything I’ve written and hope that inspires me. Sometimes, being at home is too distracting and I will pack up the laptop and head to a coffee shop. Things to avoid: Facebook, news websites and computer games!

How do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
Well, my worldview is Christian, so it affects every word I put on paper. I know there is a battle against good and evil in the world, I also know that Jesus truly won the battle and we will enjoy a new age in His presence eventually. But now, in my stories, the battle rages on and good eventually defeats evil. I love happy endings.

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?
My background in law enforcement. I think it makes me look at people and situations differently than others do.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
Kayaking, hiking, camping, cross country skiing in the winter, reading, fiction and non-fiction, cross-stitching and spending time with friends and/or my dogs.

What books are on your nightstand right now?
Randy Singer's By Reason of Insanity, Harlen Coben's Stay Close, GK Chesterton's The Everlasting Man, and Future Grace by John Piper.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Writing endings is always the most difficult part of the process for me. Normally, when a story starts to form in my mind, the words flow at first and seem to dry up when it’s time to craft the ending. I may print out a manuscript several times with several different endings before one will fit.

Plotter, Pantser, or Planser?
Pantser, all the way.

Pride and Prejudice or Gone with the Wind? Gone with the Wind
Latte or Cappuccino? Latte
PC or Mac? Mac
Math or English? English
Summer, Spring, Winter, or Fall? Winter
While writing: Music or Silence? Music

Any parting words?
Thanks for the interview! And thanks to ACFW. I think that right now it is the best organization for writers of all levels to connect, to learn and to be encouraged.

Thanks for sharing with us, Janice!

For more great interviews, visit our Author Interview Archives.

ACFW Members, click here to apply for an author interview!

Developed by Camna, LLC

This is a service provided by ACFW, but does not in any way endorse any publisher, author, or work herein.