Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Guest Blog & Giveaway ~ “Mission Accomplished!” By Janis Thornton Author of Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies

Janis Thornton, Author of  Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies
has stopped by the blog today!

Get ready to read: 

Mission Accomplished!

Recently, I started sorting through stacks of papers that I’ve been piling up around my house for years. Last night, I stumbled across the souvenir book given out at my high school class’s 30-year reunion. Each member of the class received a list of questions to answer, and one of them was, “What is your goal for the next 30 years?” I was stunned by my answer: “I want to be a published novelist, and perhaps the next Mary Higgins Clark.”

Fast-forward 18 years. As for the first part of that goal, I don’t think Mary Higgins Clark has anything to worry about. But regarding the second part—getting published—I’m happy to report, mission accomplished! 

As I dug deeper into the stacks of papers, I started piling up a new one, made up of a lot of writing pieces that I’d forgotten about. They dated back to my first writing class in 1988 and included my first short stories. I was surprised. Although they were better than I expected, they made me realize how much my writing has evolved from the poems I wrote as a child, on to the short stories written twenty-five years ago, and forward to personal essays, a novella, two novels, and now this … a blog. 

I had almost forgotten how long I’d been writing for my own amusement, none of it going anywhere outside my writers’ group. Rarely, had I submitted a piece for possible publication. 

One of my writing instructors required each of his students to submit a short story to a magazine. He was clear that the point of the exercise was to introduce us to the process and get our first taste of rejection. I sent my piece out to two magazines … one sent it back with a note from the editor: “I don’t get it.” But the other, an online publication, bought it. The payment was my choice of $10 or a hard copy of the magazine. (I took the magazine.) I looked at what I had done, and it felt good. I was published!

Over the years, I attended many writers’ conferences, where I made pitches to a few agents. A few asked me to send them 10 pages of my story. None wrote back asking for more. Finally, late last year, I decided it was silly for my mystery about a small-town newspaper editor-turned-sleuth to spend one more day sitting idly on my hard drive and collecting dust. So I whipped it out and started polishing. I set my goal: I would submit it to as many publishers as it took to sell it. If I couldn’t find a taker by the end of 2014, I would publish it myself. No one was more surprised than I was, when PageSpring, the very first publisher I sent it to, wrote back offering me a contract.

That was in early April, and the six months since then have been perhaps the most exciting of my life. After PageSpring welcomed me into its family, they took my story—scrubbed it, sanded and burnished it until it sparkled. Working with them has been an awesome experience and one I hope to duplicate many more times as I continue my journey as a writer.

I’ve loved the process, and I hope you have as much fun reading Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies as I’ve had getting it into your hands. If you are inclined, please let me know what you think of it. You can reach me via my website at

Thanks for this opportunity to tell you a bit about myself and my experiences as a writer.

Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies
(An Elmwood Confidential Cozy Mystery Book 1)

Publisher: Cup of Tea Books, An Imprint of PageSpring Publishing

Publish Date: October 15, 2014)
E-Book File Size: 3659 KB

Print Length: 286 pages

About Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies:

When it comes to murder, forget the butler . . . it’s the housekeeper who knows where the bodies are buried.

Small-town newspaper editor Crystal Cropper never takes “no” for an answer, hates to be called a “senior citizen,” and uses the power of her pen to expose corruption in her small town.

Cleaning lady Gertie has a knack for sweeping skeletons out of closets—which makes her one of Crystal’s best informants. But Gertie’s latest hot tip has landed her in a coma, courtesy of an unknown assailant.

Now Crystal must follow the trail of dirt and gossip right to the doorsteps of several prominent local families to solve a decade-old murder and the disappearance of a young boy . . .

* * *

About Janis:

Janis Thornton is a freelance writer, personal historian, and award-winning journalist. She is the author of two local history books, Images of America: Tipton County and Images of America: Frankfort. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Indiana Writers Center, Association of Personal Historians, and the Midwest Writers Workshop Planning Committee. She lives in a small, Indiana town not unlike Elmwood. Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies is her debut novel.

Find Janis Online:

Amazon author page:



Amy M. Reade said...

Hi, Janis,

I think your story sounds great, and many congratulations on having achieved your goal! I am a recently-published author and I lived in Bloomington, IN, for three years, so it seems we have a couple things in common! Just wanted to say hi and that I'm definitely adding your book to my TBR list!

Sapphyria said...

Hi Amy,

I'm happy you stopped by to chat! Congratulations on your new release :)


Beautiful Disaster said...

I'm looking forward to reading this book. It sounds like an exciting read.

Sapphyria said...

I can't wait to read it either :)

DogsMom said...

Happy Release Day!

bn100 said...

Looks interesting