Conversations Magazine's #BooksYouNeedtoRead Issue

Conversations Magazine's #BooksYouNeedtoRead Issue
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Saturday, October 16, 2021

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Janice Blue Washington

by Cyrus Webb

Janice, Conversations is glad to have you as part of our Author Spotlight series. Congratulations on your first children's book. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

I think I have known for the majority of my life. To put an actual time frame, it would have been in middle school.  I started writing poems about things that were going on in the world.  I gradually started writing short stories and stage plays.  It wasn’t until after retirement, that I decided to make a dream come true and become an author.  So, I put it on my bucket list and that is where we are today.  

That's amazing. When did you decide to write the book PRINCESS ALYSSA’S BIG BIRTHDAY PARTY?

In 2016, Alyssa was playing princess dress-up.  We talked about her being a princess and all the beautiful things she could do as a princess.  We started referring to her as Princess Alyssa and the idea grew from there.  

Our readers can see you with the book with this feature. What was it like for you to hold the finished book in your hands?

I was overcome with gratitude.  I was so thankful to God, because it was a dream come true.  Publishing my first book was on my bucket list, so there was also a sense of accomplishment. 

As you mentioned you have a granddaughter named Alyssa. What did she think of the book?

Actually, Alyssa is the main character, but my other granddaughter’s, Jamya and Airea, are characters in the book also.  They all loved the book and were pleased with the finished product and how they were portrayed in the book.   Jamya said that it was an inspiration for her, and Airea thought it was wonderful.  Alyssa held the book up and said, “I love it!”  

What has been the response from your family and friends about the book?

I have three sons, and they constantly tell me how proud they are of me.  My family and friends are and have always been very supportive.  

You told me, Janice, you have plans for other books featuring Alyssa. What can we expect in the future?

 Princes Alyssa is going to be a series of different adventures for Princess Alyssa with her sisters and friends.  I will also introduce her mother and father in future books.  I am hoping to have the next book by the end of 2021. 

What advice do you have for those out there with a story inside of them?

Never give up and always pursue your dreams.  I have a saying that keeps me motivated, “dreams without actions are just dreams”.   You need to make your dreams come true by doing the necessary work.  We often use our age as an excuse, but as long as you are living, you can make a difference.   Don’t ever give up, God has a plan and purpose for your life.  All you need to do is trust him and get to work.  

Make sure to follow Janice on Facebook at 

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