Rebecca Price Janney
Why I Started Writing:
While I’ve always loved to read, and I wrote poetry, songs, and some stories as a girl, I didn’t originally dream of becoming an author. Actually, I wanted to be an astronaut! My oldest cousin was involved in the space program, and I watched every rocket launch I could. I even knew the names of all the astronauts. That dream, however, died when I started discussing high school and future plans with a counselor in the eighth grade. I realized during that conversation I didn’t have “the right stuff”—I’m mildly claustrophobic, get sick on amusement park rides, and am not especially sturdy. However, she pointed out I did have “the write stuff”—I got good grades in writing and knew how to tell a story. To test her theory, I entered a few local writing contests and won them all. At the age of fourteen, I started writing for the school paper and also landed a gig covering my school for a big city youth tabloid. By the following year, I was covering the Philadelphia Phillies for my local weekly. In college and graduate school, I continued writing for newspapers and magazines, and then I began having books published.
Authors Who Have Influenced Me:
When I was a girl, I loved all the Nancy Drew books, which were written by various authors, and I adored Charles Schulz of “Peanuts” fame, but I also enjoyed biographies of famous people written by a lot of different people. As a teenager and young adult, I loved Catherine Marshall and C.S. Lewis. The authors having the most influence on my life and writing now include Jan Karon, Peggy Noonan, and David McCullough.
Books I Have Written:
I wrote my first book in high school, but it wasn’t until many years later I actually had one published—my Heather Reed Mystery Series—“Nancy Drew for the 90s!” Eight books later, I wrote The Impossible Dreamers Series for Multnomah. I started writing exclusively about Americana after that for an adult audience, including Great Women in American History, Great Stories in American History, Great Letters in American History, Harriet Tubman, Great Events in American History, Who Goes There?: A Cultural History of Heaven and Hell, and Then Comes Marriage?: A Cultural History of the American Family. I’m deeply devoted to my Easton Series with Elk Lake Publishing, Inc., including Easton at the Crossroads, which won the Golden Scroll Historical Novel of the Year for 2019. My newest series with Elk Lake, the Morning in America Series, is about revivals that have happened in American history. The first book, Morning Glory, takes place during the First Great Awakening in 1737 and won second place in the Golden Scroll competition for Best Historical Novel of 2019.
What I'm Working On Now:
My newest book, Sweet, Sweet Spirit: One Woman’s Spiritual Journey to the Asbury College Revival, is about an event that happened fifty years ago this year and is still as relevant and inspiring today as it was then. Back in 1970 America was a mess—then God showed up!
I’m also working with Elk Lake on bringing out the fourth book in the Easton Series late this spring or early summer.