Janice’s career as a writer began in elementary school when she insisted upon creating stories with her spelling words rather than simple sentences.
"Really, just using the word in a sentence was boring ... "
Her fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Finkel, proclaimed Janice would grow up to be a writer – a prophecy Janice blithely ignored as she went on to work as a camp counselor, computer programmer, and with her Masters in Public Health, directed The California Center for Childhood Injury Prevention.
For over fifteen years, Janice worked at the national, state and local level to prevent child and adolescent injuries.
But in 2000, the prophecy could no longer be denied - Janice joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators called "SCBWI" for short.
"Actually what happened, was I was volunteering in a first grade class. One of the students was having trouble understanding money, so I did what I always do ... I made up a story. A silly story really about a family of coins and the sister "Dime" who was older and smarter than her younger brother "Nickel" even if "Nickel" was bigger." (Hint - it was the ridges that made all the difference. Check it out. Both quarters and dimes have ridges - nickels and pennies don't.)"
Years later, Janice has written a number of books for children. She's taken that Masters degree in Public Health and her knowledge of science and medicine and used them to translate the latest in scientific research and put it into the hands of young people.
"I had great fun reading the old scientific journals of the 1920s when researching the discovery of Insulin. They were more like letters between doctors describing the symptoms of their patients and arguing about what is the best cure rather than today's heavily researched and referenced medical journals."
As Janice describes her book Insulin, she says, "the book talks about insulin, diabetes and the potential for a cure, but at its heart it’s a good story about the strange twists of scientific discovery.”
Janice writes fiction too. One of the first things she published when she decided to become a writer was a poem.
"Poems are very special. They are the very essence of a story with all the extra words removed. Hard to write, but they can be very funny and very powerful."
Right now Janice is revising a science fiction novel she worte with her son, Kevin.
"Yes, writers are ALWAYS revising their stories."
And working on new story based on ideas from her son, Alex and her daughter, Alisa.
Janice warns, "Be very, very careful around a children's writer, they are likely to take something that happens to you and blow it up into a story you may not even recognize."
"Really - that's the fun of being a writer - you can follow your curiousity and write nonfiction, or let your imagination run wild and create fiction .... so why on Earth did I wait so long to get started?"