Books have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My parents read to me as a baby, and as soon as I learned I started reading on my own—every book, every paper, and every sign I found. I was the kind of kid who pulled out grammar books in the summer and wrote research papers "for fun." (No joke.)
When I was around eight years old, I finished my first story: a short one, about a monkey and a gorilla (you can read it here if you really want to). I added clip art photos, my mom had it bound into a "real" book (okay, she stapled it together), and I showed it off to everyone I knew.
My dream was to be a published author. As with most of my dreams, I had a well-thought-out plan. I would write Christian romance and would submit it to a local Christian publisher that specialized in that genre.
As, thanks to NaNoWriMo, I neared the end of my first complete novel, I learned that "my" publisher had changed their policy: No outside submissions would be accepted.
When my plans are changed by outside forces, I reevaluate them entirely. Although I could have chosen a new publisher, instead I began to research whether traditional publishing was the route I still wanted.
For a variety of reasons (freedom of creativity, larger royalty share, unlimited print run), I chose to self publish via CreateSpace. I learned to format, used my graphic art hobby to create the cover, and published within the year.
For me, the "I'm a published author" moment didn't happen. I expected it to when I hit "submit" on CreateSpace. I expected it when my first copy arrived. I expected it when I pushed the book out into the world, and then when I had my first sale, and then when I had my first fan mail. The realization didn't hit all at once. But, at some point, it was there.
Now, I've published three novels and two short stories, and I have several more in progress. All my novels and short stories (with the exception of Life is Crumbly) are within the same "world" and share many of the same characters.
After journeying the publishing landscape alone, I began my editing and publishing business, Rivershore Books, in 2012. My ultimate goal is to continue the publishing aspect but also create a physical location: a bookstore and coffee shop; an inspirational haven for my fellow authors.
So many steps led to where I am now, and I truly feel it's what Papa (my affectionate name for God) wants me to be doing. My goal is to honor Him in my writing and encourage other authors to do the same with their own.
I would like to open the floor now for questions. Feel Free to ask Jansina any questions you might have about writing, her writing, her writing process, her publishing company, or anything else you can think about. She'll be around sometime today to answer them!