Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Authorsday - Joanna Aislinn

Today my special guest is Joanna Aislinn. It's always special to me when I can feature someone I've known for awhile and someone who is part of my writer's group: Liberty State Fiction Writers.

Thanks so much for having me today, Chris! Loved your questions!

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved to read. I’ve also reworked favorite TV shows in my head from early on in my childhood, always with some kind of hero/heroine storyline. I kept that to myself for many, many years. As my exposure to other writers grew, I learned this was a fairly common thing. I also happened on a book signing at my local library. Once the author mentioned writing ‘a hero I could love’ and ‘a heroine I could root for,’ I started thinking, ‘I can do that.’ I had one chapter in a desktop publisher at the time and took off from there.

How long have you been writing?
End of 2003.

How did you pick the genre you write in?
I’ve always loved the ‘happily ever after’ so romance it had to be J

Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?
Pantster: not always a good thing. I have a rough idea of a story’s beginning and end but often vague thoughts how to get there. Most of the scenes between major inciting incidents come as I write. I also go back often to embellish (or sometimes delete) a scene, especially once I start hearing the dialogue between the characters resonating in my mind’s ear.

What do you know now that you are published that you didn’t know pre-published that you wish you knew?
How important promo is and the amount of work and time it takes! Didn’t know I’d have to create, maintain and update web pages and a blogsite either (which, in retrospect, I should have considered doing before being published, when I had more time, lol. Now it clutters my brain for getting that next wip underway!)

What was the best writing advice someone gave you?
‘Write what you know’ was a great springboard and gave me the confidence to go ahead with more of an everyday setting rather than try to create characters whose worlds I know nothing about personally. My editor reinforced that with some wonderful comments about the ‘real people’ she felt she met in NO MATTER WHY. There’s a special place in my heart too, for of the contest judge who told me to ‘go forth and publish.’ (Wish I knew her name. Without her, I might not be here blogging with you today, Chris!)

What do you consider your strengths in terms of your writing?
Dialogue, subtext and getting the reader ‘there’ with my characters.

What do you consider your weakness and what strategies do you use to overcome it?
Making sure my timelines work is an ongoing challenge. Once the first draft is done, I pick a focal point (i.e., birth of a child) and work the story backward and forward so that everything around it makes sense. Once that’s established I use seasons and seasonal holidays as markers and to give the reader a sense of time passing. I also tend to leave out a lot of sensory details during first draft, so I’ll try to stay focused and dedicate a round of revision to just that.

What would you like to learn to do that you haven’t?
As difficult as learning steps and footwork is, I’d love to ballroom dance and take regular tennis lessons. I’d also love some more formal voice training (as in singing).

What did you enjoy most about writing this--or any--book?
I love how a story leads me. I’m every bit the reader as the writer as a scene then a story comes together. Can’t tell you how many times my characters surprise me, how they handle the situations I throw at them in ways I never expected. I also love that moment when ‘magic’ takes place, which is probably when a scene hits its climax /turning point or when I’ve happened on the perfect place to end it.

Author Bio:
Joanna Aislinn is an avid reader whose writing roots stretch back to her early teenage days. Life got in the way until ten years ago, when the story playing out in her head insisted she put it down on virtual paper. She's been writing and honing her craft ever since. No Matter Why (The Wild Rose Press), Joanna's debut novel is now available in print and electronic versions! At present, she’s busy revising its sequel, learning all she can about promo, building her web presence and finding time to work a day job and manage a home along with everything else!

Book Blurb:
Five years after finding her brothers murdered, trust and stability are empty words to Carrie Norwell. The walls with which she's barricaded her heart are virtually impenetrable to anyone looking to get close and offer the loving family she wants more than anything.

That’s what Billy Jay Eldridge wants to offer the right girl. He’s managing a store but toys daily with dangerous career aspirations. When shy, quiet Carrie joins his crew, he sets out to know her better, clueless that his life’s calling will be the biggest obstacle to getting her to accept from him what she needs most.

Here’s an excerpt:

Order your print copy of NO MATTER WHY at any of the following:

Thanks for stopping by Joanna!


Mona Risk said...

Hi Joanna, congratulations on No Matter Why. I like the blurb. It's interesting to see your writing technique and how you work backword the plot. I do that sometimes. It helps the story flow.

Aimlesswriter said...

Great interview! I can't wait to read No Matter Why.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Joanna,
Great interview. Best of luck with No Matter Why.

Chris Redding said...

Thanks for stopping by Joanna

Joanna Aislinn said...

Thanks to all of you!

Joanna Aislinn said...

Again I thank you, Chris, for having me!

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