Have you ever fancied yourself a rather good detective? Solve this conundrum: what’s a sure way to brighten a book blogger’s morning? If your answer involves giving her the opportunity to interview an established author, you’re right on track. Make it a Q&A with Christian Fiction storyteller Janice Cantore, a former LBPD officer, and I’m sure you can deduce that I was elated. While I’ve only just been introduced to Cantore’s works of police/romantic suspense, I truly enjoyed this interview and feel more than hopeful you will too! For clarity, my questions are in italics and Cantore’s responses follow in bold. Let’s jump in!
I ask almost everyone I interview if they would be willing to share how they came to know Christ as their Savior. I love hearing about God’s redemptive work in human hearts! Would you tell us your testimony?
I was raised Catholic but stopped attending church in my teens. In college, a girl in my dorm was with Campus Crusade for Christ, she shared the Gospel with me, and I accepted Christ, but I really had no idea how to be a Christian. Much later, when I was going through a really tough time as a new police officer, I found a church that reminded me of my commitment, and I rededicated my life. It was there the sacrifice of Christ and the resurrection finally sunk in. And it was then that faith truly brought me peace, because faith is trusting God, and trusting God means recognizing that he is in control of all things. His promise of eternal life, and that He works all things out for good, is the most precious promise of all.
The characters in your Line of Duty series address some tragic topics and crimes that are sadly pretty common and relevant today. As a former police officer for the LBPD, did you or do you ever feel overwhelmed by the brokenness in this world? Are there any Bible verses that particularly comfort you?
I remember one night, I responded to a robbery. A man had been shot coming out of the market because he didn’t give up his wallet fast enough. When I got there, paramedics had already taken him away and I stayed with his handicapped wife, holding her hand until her son got there. She was inconsolable, and I remember praying for her. I did feel overwhelmed, because the woman could not take care of herself, and she had just seen her caregiver/husband shot down in front of her. It made me appreciate the power of prayer, because I do believe that the Lord heard me that night and was with her in the coming days. I prayed for people I came across, even when I didn’t know what to pray, because I know the Lord intercedes for us (Romans 8:26-27).
Cold Aim, the third Line of Duty book, is coming out in July. One element of the plot is a 25-year-old murder case, and I’ve noticed cold cases are a common thread in more than a few of your stories. Is there anything besides the inherent mystery that draws you to write about them?
Cold cases have always fascinated me. It’s the justice side; I hate seeing people get away with things. (Of course, I know that they never really do.) I used to watch Cold Case Files (the true life one, not the fiction series) and whenever they would end with the case still not solved, I would be frustrated. Over the years, several of the most heinous crimes have been solved—the Golden State Killer, for example—and I find that very satisfying. I also peruse the FBI site, reading up on the most wanted, and cold cases there. Sometimes asking ‘what if’ sparks the seed for a story, and I can make sure justice is served, if only in fiction.
On a lighthearted note, I read on your blog that you love Science Fiction, à la Star Trek and the old Twilight Zone! I’d love to see more Christian Science/Speculative Fiction published–would you ever consider changing gears and dabbling in a new genre?
I do love Star Trek, and a lot of science fiction (I have a degree in biology), but I could never see myself writing science fiction. It’s too technical, at least the really good stuff is, and writing that way is just not my cup of tea.
Oh well, we can just keep wishing! Thank you so much, Janice, for sharing your time and insights with us here on a page out of her book.