By Vanessa Pesa
Janice has been thinking a lot about the transition from nonfiction, with her work on Divine Renovations, to fiction, with her upcoming work, currently with two working titles, The Sun Drifters, and Unleashing the Sun. We had a long conversation about it, and thought we would share it with you readers to give some insight into the process as well!
Long story short: the process was really, really hard. But let’s delve a bit deeper.
In 2012, Janice wrote a memoir, Divine Renovations, which she says was easy for her, because she had all the info, knew the cast of characters and knew the whole story. Remember that Janice has been a journalist for the last 15 years, so she’s accustomed to having all the tools at her fingertips. When you’re interviewing people out in the field you’re gathering all the necessary information needed to write a story, similar to that of a memoir, so the move from journalism to memoir writing was seamless. The story basically flooded out of her in about six months.
Switching to fiction, she found has been much harder, as these simple tools are no longer directly in front of her. What she discovered as she started was she began basing her characters on people she already knew, and then realized she was just writing another memoir!
To counteract this automatic response, Janice would consciously stop and sit back, taking long breaks in her writing to try to develop her characters. Soon enough they would begin to reveal themselves to her, and so started the process of backtracking to remove the already existing people and fleshing out the now developed characters.
All in all, this has been a much longer process compared to the memoir; at this point Janice has spent between a year and a year and a half on The Sun Drifters/Unleashing the Sun. However, the good news is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, as she is finally almost done!
I cannot wait to get started on reading the first draft of this much anticipated break into a new genre!