Interview with Janet Thompson, author of 'Dear God, He's Home!


Janet Thompson, founder and director of About His Work Ministries, is the author of 17 books and the recognized author of the “Dear God” book series. Janet developed the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry at Saddleback Church, served as a lay minister for 12 years, and continues to share the blessings of mentoring through her Woman to Woman Mentoring resources, trainings, and speaking events.
Janet and her stay-at-home husband, Dave, have four married children and love being Grammie and Grampa to 11 beautiful grandchildren. After living in California her entire live, Dave’s retirement led Janet and Dave to move to the rural mountains of Idaho. Janet invites you to visit her website and blog at www.womantowomanmentoring.com

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Janet Thompson.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: I was a single mom for 17 years with a career in the business world. When I married my husband, Dave, we blended our families together. Shortly after our marriage, I enrolled in Fuller Theological Seminary and felt God calling me to go into ministry and "Feed My sheep." Soon God began revealing that the sheep were women and the feeding was mentoring.

I obediently founded the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, and later wrote a resource to help other churches start their own mentoring ministry: Woman to Woman Mentoring: How to Start, Grow, and Maintain a Mentoring Ministry. My writing and speaking career was launched. Dear God, He’s Home! is my seventeenth book.


Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: I have a heart for mentoring: Sharing Life’s Experiences and God’s Faithfulness. I look at my own life and realize I can mentor others if I’m willing to be open and vulnerable and share the hard times and how I have made it through with God’s help—I want to encourage other women to do the same.

My first Dear God book was Dear God, They Say It’s Cancer: A Companion Guide for Women on the Breast Cancer Journey. I am a three-time breast cancer survivor and I had the opportunity to write the book I wished I had going through my own journey.

The second in the Dear God series is Dear God, Why Can’t I Have a Baby? A Companion Guide for Couples on the Infertility Journey. I was told I would never have children and my daughter and step-daughter both struggled with infertility, so I wrote a book to mentor the many women struggling to become mothers.

Dear God, He’s Home! A Woman’s Guide to Her Stay-at-Home Man evolved from going through my husband’s layoffs, home office, disability and subsequent retirement, and knowing first-hand how challenging a stay-at-home man can be to a marriage. Regardless of why a husband is home, most wives of stay-at-home men experience similar hardships, struggles, and blessings.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A: In Dear God, He’s Home!, I chronicle the difficulties and joys my husband and I encountered during the various seasons of him being a stay-at-home man: multiple layoffs, illness, disability, and now, retirement. I understand the strain on a marriage of a husband suddenly being home 24/7, regardless of the reason. It was difficult reliving some of those hard times in our marriage, but also rewarding to see how far we’ve come today.

As in all of my books, I offer various perspectives from other women who are willing to share their stories to help others going through something similar. I appreciated their willingness to also share the hard times to help other women know they weren’t alone.


Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it?  Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A: Yes. My publisher, New Hope Publishers, created the press kit for Dear God, He’s Home!, which includes a synopsis of the book and the relevancy to today’s women, an author bio, interview questions, and a list of endorsers and their endorsements. The press kit is available on line at http://tinyurl.com/cjyqs8p.

Readers can also read a book excerpt of at: http://tinyurl.com/dxb4whq

And enjoy a book trailer at https://vimeo.com/61224653

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV?  What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A: Yes, I am a public speaker and I love sharing the message of my books in person and in the media. Dear God, He’s Home! is a new release and the publicists at New Hope Publishers are actively procuring interview opportunities for me.

In the near future, I will be speaking at the following venues:
The Christian Ministries Training Association Convention in Pasadena, California April 19-20.

LifeWay’s You Lead Conference in Eugene, Oregon, April 25-26.

SW Idaho’s Christian Women’s Leadership Conference, Boise, ID May 3-4.

Journey Church, Idaho Falls, ID May 11.


Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is?  If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A: I had an agent for several years, but the majority of my writing career, I have not been represented by an agent. I have been fortunate to forge good working relationships with my various publishers and have not experienced the benefits from having an agent.

However, I would like to venture into Christian fiction, and since that is a new genre for me, I will probably obtain an agent at that time.

For a new writer breaking into the world of publishing, I would recommend an agent but most agents want to see a sampling of writing before taking on a new client.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A: Yes, both the publisher and I have been heavily marketing the book. I compiled a list of 100 influencers who agreed to help publicize the book. The publisher sent these influencers a copy of the book, as well as sending the press kit with a sample book to their medial list.

I also hired Pump Up Your Book to do a month long blog tour and had a professional book trailer made to help readers visualize the audience for the book.

Both the publisher and I have heavily promoted the book on numerous social networking sites.


Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: Absolutely! There are more Dear God books in the works, and I’m currently writing How Good Is God? I Can’t Remember…. I also hope to venture into Christian fiction with a trilogy.
  
Q: Thank you for your interview, Janet.  Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: Visit Janet at:


Purchase Dear God, He’s Home! at all bookstores, online bookstores, Kindle, Nook, and my website:
Barnes and Noble online: http://tinyurl.com/atby72b
http://womantowomanmentoring.com/publications/dear-god-books/#home


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