Welcome, Janet Simcic and Readers!
This week we’re visiting with Janet Simcic, a freelance writer from Southern California who misses fiercely the East Coast (the snow and all). She claims as her personal motto: If it’s not fun, don’t bother.
Speaking of fun, Janet travels extensively in Italy, which is where she sets her stories. Also, Janet’s articles appear in numerous magazines, as well as the Orange County Register.
*In addition, Janet is offering a print copy of The Man at the Rialto Bridge to one person who joins our chat below.*
**Congratulations to Ann Ellsion, winner of Janet’s fab novel, The Man at the Rialto Bridge!**
Janet Simcic Before Publishing
First of all, I was reared as an only child in a minister’s home. Because I was their first, my grandparents adored me. Likewise, my parents provided a stress-free life in the wonderful ‘50’s of Happy Days.
Then, I found my “wild child” in college, my first time away from home. However, I earned a degree in English and history and taught gifted children. Later, I owned my own secretarial service and helped my husband run a large successful construction business.
Most importantly, I married and had two children who have given me 15 beautiful grandchildren.
A Curve Ball for Janet
When I turned 50, life threw me a curve ball. I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. The tumor was smaller than the head on a nail. Nevertheless, it had traveled all over. After a year of chemo and a double mastectomy, my oncologist told me I could no longer take hormones. He said to learn a language or a new skill or take math courses. (The math made me break out in hives. I’ve never balanced my check book. But that’s another story.)
Because my grandfather was the light of my life, I chose genealogy and traced his Italian roots. (Click to Tweet!)
Also, I learned Italian and am now fluent and love to travel to Italy.
Janet Simcic’s Road to All Things Italian
On one occasion, a group of women and I rented a villa on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Subsequently, I decided I should trade in my journalism skills for novel skills.
Similarly,, my extensive travel to Italy and love of the culture and language prompted me to write a non-fiction book: An American Chick’s Guide to Italy. As a result, I consult with travelers who are going to Italy for the first time.
Janet’s Debut Experience
My first novel, The Man at the Caffe Farnese, takes place in Rome. I dedicated it to my oncologist. After sending it out many times, I snatched a New York agent who loved the book. BUT India was in at the time. So he asked me to change the location of the story to India, and we “broke up.”
Then I researched small publishing houses and did a combo small house/Create Space marriage… and the rest is history. Finally, I built a website, marketed myself, made my platform everything Italian. Consequently, I had a successful launch. The sequel, The Man at the Spanish Steps, released in September 2016.
My latest, The Man at the Rialto Bridge, takes place on a Mediterranean cruise, beginning and ending in Italy.
What’s Janet Simcic Up To When Not Writing?
First, I play an active role in the lives of my 15 grandchildren. In addition, I serve as recording secretary of the California Writers Club and frequently appear at book clubs where I share my adventures, books, writing, and knowledge of Italy with reader fans. Finally, I direct a critique group and am active in my church.
Also, I’m an avid reader. My favorite authors are Nicholas Sparks, Daniel Silva, and Brad Thor, but I read new authors and enjoy the classics. Above all, my favorite is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. In fact, one year I taught its beauty and lessons to gifted students.
Encouragement and Advice from Janet Simcic
Getting an agent these days is tough. Seemingly, you must be famous, have a drug problem, be a TV star, etc. As a result, I decided to brand myself as an Italy expert in concert with my The Man at … novels and write the non-fiction .book on Italy. Turns out, this has been a smart move. Now I sell my books to book clubs and speak publicly anywhere and at anytime. Also, I consult on Italy travel, and have built myself a nice fan base.
Significantly, women’s issues are woven into my stories—dealing with breast cancer, family dynamics, alcoholism, forgiveness, and restoration.
If you love to write, don’t stop. There are many ways to publish now. However, unless your name is John Grisham or others on his scale, the publishing houses no longer promote. Therefore, authors must market themselves.
Not surprisingly, it’s a lot of work. But I do it for the love of writing and Italy. For example, I just returned from a three-week villa trip to Rome and Florence. Now I’m midway through a new book with fresh insight.
Like me, everyone has a story. WRITE IT!
How to Find Janet Simcic and Her Books
The Man at the Spanish Steps (sequel)
The Man at the Villa La Fonte (Coming in 2018)
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Lord, You declare Your glory in the heavens and in heavenly locations on Earth—like Italy. Janet has walked through personal valleys of fear and pain. But through her You’ve shown how such valleys can be transformed into mountaintops of joy and peace. Therefore, we pray You’ll keep Janet’s body free of cancer and use her to show the beauty of Your creation and the joy of living the life You’ve ordained for her. May we all learn the same.
~ For Jesus’ sake