Janice Cantore


Posted February 29, 2016 by

Janice Cantore is a retired Long Beach police officer who now writes suspense novels to keep readers engrossed and leave them inspired. Her twenty-two years of experience on the force lend authenticity to her stories. She has penned seven novels: the Pacific Coast Justice series, Visible Threat, Critical Pursuit, Drawing Fire, and Burning Proof the second book in the Cold Case Justice series. She also writes a blog about police work.

This week, she visits with BookTalk reviewer Kelly Bridgewater to discuss her writing journey and her latest release . . . plus we’re giving away TWO of her books! Keep reading for your chance to win!


KELLY: Thank you for visiting BookTalk, Janice! What’s the journey been like for you, from debut author to bestseller?

JANICE: It’s gone by so fast. It’s been fun, nerve-wracking, exciting and a lot of hard work. I still feel like I have a lot to learn. My goal is always to write better books, to keep improving. I feel so blessed to be with Tyndale and working with the people I work with. It has been a wonderful learning experience, not quite what I expected in some ways. Like the time that things take, for example, I’m working on a new proposal but the third book in my just finished series won’t be out until next fall. Burning Proof is not out yet, but it’s already off my radar because I have to keep writing. Not complaining, just saying that I live in a weird hurry up and wait world.

You have seven published novels under your belt now. If you could go back in time and visit that unpublished writer working on Accused, what advice would you give her? And what might you do differently with these stories?

I don’t know that I would change much. I went to conferences (met great people along the way) and worked hard to learn the craft (still working, always learning) and as much as I wanted everything to happen sooner, I realize God’s timing is perfect. Maybe the only thing I would change is, well, I sure wish I had learned how to outline!

From concept to submission, how long does it take you to write a novel? What’s your process?

Well, my first book took years to write, and rewrite, and get rejected, and rewritten again. Now, the contracts usually give me six months or so. I just have to start writing. I usually start with a main character, then a crime, and build from there. During the process I will kill a forest because I print out a lot of copies to edit. I have turned in books where I hate the ending, then Erin my editor at Tyndale, will usually say something that makes a light go on and I change the ending to something we both like a lot better. Endings are always the hardest for me. I will map out my stories on poster boards, but it always changes. Right now I’m working on a story where I’ve made up my own town so I have drawn the town on a poster board. I have to make lists of characters and names, but everything changes so I’m flexible. The crimes are in my head but everything has to be plausible and suspenseful. All that to say sometimes I think that my process is a mess but it works for me.

How have your reading tastes/habits changed since becoming a published writer?

I don’t have as much time to read books outside my genre. I have friends who write historical romance, some supernatural fiction, and I would love to dive into every book they publish, but often I find that I just don’t have the time.

Speaking of stories, some people say that Christian fiction, with its general lack of questionable content (profanity, sex, graphic violence, etc.) is irrelevant or unrealistic compared to life in the 21st Century. What would you say to them? What does Christian fiction mean to you?

I think that they are right in one respect, this world is fallen and questionable content is everywhere so in that way Christian fiction can be unrealistic. But it is not irrelevant and it never will be because the message of the Gospel is never irrelevant. Fiction in general is an escape, at least for me, and Christian fiction provides an escape with hope, and a deeper meaning than stories with gratuitous sex and violence could ever have.

I’m an aspiring writer myself, and I know there are many in our audience who are as well. How did you know God was calling to you write? What advice can you give us hopeful-authors?

My first novel idea came about because I had an aunt who was not a believer, but she was a voracious reader. We both liked suspense novels and she would talk about those books, but never about her salvation. I read a book by Randy Alcorn called Deadline and was so inspired by the message in the book and the story itself, that it made me want to write a book with the gospel message, without being preachy, that my aunt would read. Unfortunately, cancer took her before my book was published, but the desire to keep on writing stayed with me. I can’t not write and I know that there are a lot of people out there like my aunt who will never pick up a Bible, but they will read an exciting, suspenseful novel. Someone once asked a group I was in this question: If you knew that only one person would ever read your book, would you keep writing? I had to answer yes because that one person could be like my aunt and need to read the message in my book. If you are called to write, you can’t not write, no matter what the audience.

Tell us about your latest release, Burning Proof. Was it hard writing this book? What is coming up for these characters/stories?

I usually get my ideas from the newspaper. Characters pop into my head and I do a lot of ‘what if’ games. And every book is easy in some ways and hard in some ways. I really like Luke and Abby and had fun writing them. Some of the other characters in the book were harder, and making sure every loose end is tied up can be a challenge, but I love the process.

Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Janice! In closing, how about a Top 10 Speed Round?

Janice Cantore’s Top 10 Speed Round

1. Name 3 of your favorite authors of all time.

Francine Rivers, Randy Alcorn, Raymond Chandler

2. Name 3 books in your TBR list/pile right now.

  • By Reason of Insanity by Randy Singer
  • Earthbound by Larry Richards
  • Confessions by Saint Augustine

3. Name 1 famous book people might be surprised to learn you’ve never read.

The Shack

4. One novel you could read for the rest of your life and never get bored is…

Too hard to pick one!

5. Print or e-books?


6. What is the oldest book you own?

The Bible

7. Favorite snack/beverage while reading or writing?


8. Craziest place you’ve ever been caught reading or writing?

Confession, I sometimes get plot ideas in church.

9. You’re having a dinner party. Which 5 fictional characters (none of your own!) would you invite?

  • Thomas Lynley
  • Phillip Marlowe
  • Harry Bosch
  • Kinsey Mulhone
  • Tess Monaghan

10. Favorite activity that has absolutely nothing to do with reading or writing or research?

Cross country skiing or kayaking



Leave a comment below to be entered into a drawing for one of TWO Janice Cantore books, Drawing Fire and an advanced-reader copy of Burning Proof!



WINNER: Laura Cynthia Chambers

WINNER: Lourdes Doyle

This giveaway ends Friday, March 4, 2016. Winners will be selected at random and announced on this page on Monay, March 7. It is the responsibility of the winners to contact BookTalk at booktalk@fiction411.com to claim their prizes.

Kelly Bridgewater



    Jeannie Schmidt

    Been waiting for the release of your two latest books. Can’t wait!!!! As always, I can never put your books down once I start.

      Kelly Bridgewater

      I agree, Jeannie. I love how authentic Janice’s stories are. Makes them hard to put down. Thank you for stopping by and good luck!


    You have to love a chance for free books!

    Barb Larson

    Would love to win Janice’s book. Thanks.

    Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Two books! I hope I win…often giveaways I find are for book 2 of a series only. :)

      Kelly Bridgewater

      Laura, thank you for stopping by and entering! You’re right. Most contests would be for her latest, but we teamed with Tyndale to do something special. Good luck!

    Sandy Bernhardt

    I am thankful to find Christian novels that are clean, without all the foul language and explicit sex but yet has suspense. I have read several of Janice’s books and reluctantly had to put them down to do my house work. Looking forward to her latest. Thanks Janice for sticking to your values.

      Kelly Bridgewater

      Yes, Sandy!! I completely agree. If I find an offensive word or a descriptive sex scene in the first chapter, the book goes bye-bye. I enjoy Janice’s books too. Thank you for stopping by and entering the contest. Good luck!

    Carol Alscheff

    I have enjoyed reading other books by Janice jCantore and would really like to win one of her newer books!

      Kelly Bridgewater

      Me too, Carol. Her books are some of my favorite. I hope you enjoy Burning Proof when you get around to reading it! Thanks for stopping by! Good luck in the giveaway.


    Thanks for hosting Janice. I’ve read a few of her books, though not these two, and really enjoyed them.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win!

    Karen Holberton

    Such good books. I really love these.

    Karen Holberton

    Great books. I love the story lines and the suspense.

    Karen Holberton

    Great stories and I really like the charters.

    Rose Blackard

    Can not wait to read your new book, thanks for the chance to win!

      Kelly Bridgewater

      Thanks, Rose! I really appreciate you stopping by and commenting to enter the giveaway for two of Janice Cantore’s latest books! Good luck!

    Lourdes Montes

    Thank you for the giveaway. I can’t wait to read the new one, if its anything like the others its going to be fantastic.

      Kelly Bridgewater

      Thank you, Lourdes. Burning Proof is just as good as the others. Good luck in the giveaway!


    This is great! Janice is a new author to me so I’m thrilled to get to know her through this interview and a chance to win her books! Awesome!

      Kelly Bridgewater

      Thanks, Annie. You won’t be disappointed, as least in my humble opinion. I really enjoy Janice’s books. Good luck!

    Brenda Holman

    I love Janice Cantore book I plan on having 2 copies of each of her books so I can loan them out Thank you

      Kelly Bridgewater

      Thanks, Brenda! I have never thought of having two copies of a book to loan out. I’m always suggesting books, but I don’t like to loan my books out. What if someone gets them dirty or returns it to me in a different condition? Your idea of two books would be neat, so you don’t have to worry about the condition of the second one as much. Good luck!

    Lourdes Doyle

    Janice, so happy for ur success as an author! Back when I knew u, still on the police force, I never new you had this talent brewing in you… but HE did! Congratulations!


    I have not read Janice’s books yet, but I really like the Christian suspense genre so I would love to read these. I liked what Janice said about Christian fiction being a good escape without the gratuitous violence. That is one reason that I like the genre. Thanks so much for the interview and giveaway!!

      Kelly Bridgewater

      Thank you, Loraine. I enjoy the Christian suspense genre too. It is my favorite genre. Good luck in the giveaway!

    miriam sarzotti

    Hi Janice, good to see you have a new book out. I would love to win it! Busy self publishing my own book now through Create Space on Amazon. Final edits, ugh, you understand!
    Mazel Tov on Burning Hope.


    Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting! Good Luck on the giveaway!

    Stella Potts

    Janice is a new Author for me. This was a great interview and I would love to read either of your books. They both sound really good.

      Kelly Bridgewater

      Thanks, Stella for stopping by. I truly enjoyed Janice’s books, and I pray you do too. Good luck in the giveaway!

    Janice Moore

    This giveaway looks so exciting since I have started reading some of your books! Yes, I agree, there is all kinds of inspiration to be found at church!

      Kelly Bridgewater

      Thanks, Janice. I agree with finding inspiration at church. I don’t know how many times on the back of my bulletin you will find notes on the sermon plus, notes on a scene that I think would work in a book. Good luck in the giveaway!


    Great interview. New to me author, would enjoy reading.


    Love Christian suspense, especially by former law enforcement!

    Diane Savoy

    Love your books. Thanks for writing Christian suspense.

Leave a Response