PM: Jan, I am so thrilled to have you here to day for Coffee with Paula Marie! I need to admit I
may be a little bit of a “girly” fan here, I have been a fan of your books for a long time! The setting
in Savannah series is my favorite, as that city is in my top ten places I have ever visited. I see you
are a graduate of UGA – GO DAWGS! Have you spent a great deal of time there yourself?
Jan Thompson: How about them Dawgs! Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog today. It
thrills me to hear that you have enjoyed my books. Yes, Savannah and Tybee Island are two of my favorite places to visit, even for just a weekend, and I can’t help but write about these coastal towns. Another place I love to visit is St. Simon’s Island, so you can pretty much guess I have at least one series set on that island as well.
PM: If there was a news story about your life, what would the headline say?
Jan Thompson: Oh this feels like an obituary! Haha. But at the end of the day, I pray that I have
fulfilled the calling that God has placed in my life. My heart’s desire is that in everything I do—
whether as a wife or mother or author—will glorify God. It doesn’t mean everything is perfect.
When I trip and fall, God picks me up and puts me on the right track. To God be the glory indeed!
PM: Your characters have such amazing artistic talents; do you have any secret artistic talents as
Jan Thompson: Thank you for noticing that! I don’t want to go too far back in time, but ever since I
was a little girl, I have loved to draw and write. Mostly, I painted still life and whatever came to
My series, Savannah Sweethearts, does reflect a lot of my interest in art. In Ask You Later (A
Savannah Sweethearts Prequel) and Draw You Near (Savannah Sweethearts Book 3), I explored
the world of painting. I also did some wheel pottery, which led to Smile for Me (Vacation
Sweethearts Book 1).
I’m also interested in other fine arts as well, such as photography and music. For example, in Wish
You Joy (Savannah Sweethearts Book 9), I decided to have a photographer as my main character. I
was a bit of an amateur photographer back in the old days. These days, I primarily take pictures of
the countryside and whatever catches my attention.
With music, I’d like to remember the days I took piano lessons. That led to an entire series, Seaside
Chapel, with an orchestra as the backdrop.
PM: What are you reading for fun right now?
Jan Thompson: I would say that when I am writing a book, I spend a lot of time reading non-fiction
than fiction. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s a lot of work. Right now, I’m researching about
medical things for Books 7 and 8 in the Savannah Sweethearts series. No spoilers, so I won’t say
anything more beyond that. Suffice to say that I’m learning all sorts of new things about being sick
and getting well.
When I am not writing, I do read widely, from non-fiction to books outside my own genres. Even
though I don’t write historical fiction anymore (at least it’s on hold), I do like to read historical
romance novels from time to time. I also read mystery novels and thrillers in subgenres that I don’t
Most importantly, I like to read the Bible as a reminder of what matters in the eternal scheme of
things. My son is now in college, so that leaves my husband and me as empty-nesters, with perhaps
a tiny little bit more time to pray for people and seek the Lord.
PM: What is the inspiration behind the church on the riverboat? I love it, so unusual and inventive!
Jan Thompson: I’m glad you mentioned the riverboat church! The beginning of it is in Know You
More (Savannah Sweethearts Book 1). In the book, the church does not want to into debt. When a
riverboat owner offers a free space to hold church services on Sundays, the Riverside Chapel
church leadership can’t pass up the opportunity to save monthly rent.
How did I come up with that idea? I already have a church on the beach in my Seaside Chapel
series (set on St. Simon’s Island, about an hour south of Savannah). It’s the sister church to
Riverside Chapel in the Savannah Sweethearts series. When I was looking for a place to plant the
Savannah church, I didn’t want to repeat what I had done in the related series.
One day, my husband and I were in Savannah, having lunch on River Street and walking about the
waterfront. As I thought about the crowd of people and tourists, I realized that Pastor Diego Flores
(my main character in Book 1) would have thought of nearly the same thing: location, location,
location. And voila! I wanted a church on a riverboat, and I decided to make it happen.
PM: When do you find the time to write? Where is your favorite place to write?
Jan Thompson: Even though I have written and published 16 books, and I am writing my 17th book
to date, I have done all of that part time while staying at home and homeschooling my son. In his
high school years, he attended a college preparatory academy, which freed up a lot of time for me.
Having said that, please look forward to Kiss You Now (Savannah Sweethearts Book 7), Wait for
Me (Vacation Sweethearts Book 3), and Once a Hero (Protector Sweethearts Book 2). Coming
soon in due time!
PM: What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from different ethnic backgrounds?
Jan Thompson: Writing multi-ethnic fiction is easy for me because of the diversity in my own
family and that of my husband’s. If we combine our family trees, our genetic makeup is more
diverse than our biracial marriage. Our son has at least five ethnicities in him: English, Irish,
Native American, Chinese, and Japanese.
When I first started writing, I wanted to create a story world that is more realistic for my son and
the environment he is growing up in. My own church has diverse members, people from all over
the world and ethnic backgrounds. In the end, there is only one human race, and God the maker of
PM: What is your favorite go to snack, midnight or any time?
Jan Thompson: I like fruits and nuts! I am trying to avoid starchy snacks when I am writing
because I often forget how much I am eating, you know?
In the last several months of decluttering our home, I found myself carrying boxes to and from the
garage and basement through the…kitchen! Needless to say, I had to make pit stops for snacks—I
mean, healthy stuff—right?
PM: How can readers keep up with you and your new releases?
Jan Thompson: The best way to keep in touch with me is to sign up for my book news newsletter.
Whenever I have a new release or a special sale, I will notify my mailing list subscribers first. So if
your readers want to be the first to know when my next books are available, please subscribe to my
mailing list at: JanThompson.com/newsletter
For readers who might not have read any of my Savannah Sweethearts books (there are 11 books in
this series, and the last three books will be coming soon), how about a free book to get you started?
Know You More (Savannah Sweethearts Book 1) is free on these book retailers:
GOOGLE PLAY: JanThompson.com/know-googleplay
APPLE iBOOKS: JanThompson.com/know-ibooks
PM: Finally, coffee or tea? Cream, sugar?
Jan Thompson: Tea! No cream, no sugar. I make hot tea and drink it with milk, almost like in those old British colonial days. Nothing like a hot cup of tea and writing or reading a book!
Thank you again, Paula Marie, for this exceptionally wonderful set of interview questions! It’s
been fun! I mentioned some of my series in my answers above, so let me give you some links as
reference points for your readers.
Savannah Sweethearts: JanThompson.com/savannah
Vacation Sweethearts: JanThompson.com/vacation
Protector Sweethearts: JanThompson.com/protector
Seaside Chapel: JanThompson.com/seaside
I write in multiple genres, and other than contemporary Christian romance beach reads and
romantic women’s fiction, I also write Christian romantic suspense, and inspirational romantic
thrillers. I will have a new series coming out in 2019. Stay tuned!
All my published books are on these major retailers below. One caution is that there are multiple
authors with the same name, Jan Thompson, so you might want to check my website at
JanThompson.com (or ask me directly) to be sure you’re really reading my books!
APPLE iBOOKS: JanThompson.com/ibooks
GOOGLE PLAY: JanThompson.com/googleplay