Today I am interviewing Joan Sowards--one of my favorite LDS authors! Joan has written:
My favorite was The Star Prophecy which is an historical fiction story taken from The Book of Mormon which is so cool!!! Joan is a fellow American Night Writer's Association member (ANWA) and that is how we met.
Valerie: Thank you for giving us your time today, Joan. We would love to know more about you and how you feel about writing and being an author.
Why should we read The Star Prophecy?
Joan: The Star Prophecy-a Book of Mormon Adventure is a fun twist on the “search for the Christ Child.” Enoch, a young Nephite, has a life-long dream to sail to Jerusalem, the land of his forefathers. When he hears Samuel the Lamanite preach of the birth of Christ,Enoch knows it is time for his voyage. He invites a few friends and they set sail. They witness the day the sun sets but is light all night, and see the Star and follow it to Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Valerie: I love that story!! I'm hoping for a part 2. Now when did you first start writing and why?
Joan: After a feeble fourth grade attempt at writing a Nancy Drew wannabe, I wrote lyrics, short stories, and poetry throughout my life. When I became interested in family history, I wrote fictional account of an ancestor. From that I learned that I loved writing the longer tales.
Valerie: I think many authors discover they love to write as they grow from teen years into adults. Okay--How do you find the determination to continue to write?
Joan: Since I love it more than chocolate (and I do love chocolate!) it isn’t hard. There is a lot of joy in crafting a story. I’d rather be writing than watching TV (which can take up a lot of creative time.)
Valerie: Most definitely. I don't watch much TV myself because it sucks so much time out of writing. Now, how do you come up with ideas for your books?
Joan: I attended an ANWA conference class taught by Jennie Grossman. She handed out newspaper articles to prompt writing ideas. I received an article on haunted inns of southern Arizona, thus inspired Haunts Haven. My daughter brought home from Institute class the idea for The Star Prophecy, and I always wanted to write an LDS Jane Eyre—resulting in Chocolate Roses.
Valerie: Wow--I love hearing about the origins of book ideas. It's amazing where authors get their ideas. Did you have a mentor?
Joan: Kerry Blair. She has helped so many authors on the road to publication, but I have the claim that she mentored me before she wrote her first novel.
Valerie: Wow--that is interesting. I didn't know that. What do you love about writing?
Joan: Everything! I love crafting a story and seeing it blossom, working the subplots and developing the characters. Being part of the writing community (such as ANWA and LDStorymakers) is inspiring.
Valerie: Fiction is tougher for me so I can appreciate what you are saying. What do you dislike about writing?
Joan: For sure, it’s promoting my own novels. Though I have a publisher, times have changed and authors have to do their own promoting. Tooting my own horn is a bit out of my comfort zone.
Valerie: Yes--that is very challenging especially when you are not used to marketing. What are your writing habits?
Joan: My sister and I walk early in the morning and then I write until family life takes over. I’ve found, due to health issues, writing in a recliner is best —no fancy office or desk.
Valerie: That sounds comfortable. What do you do when you don't write?
Joan: Genealogy, compose music, and joust with the grandchildren. I am also amazed at how much time social media takes out of our day. I’m also proud to be a cub scout leader.
Valerie: Hey--I'm a den leader too. Well thank you so much, Joan for sharing your life as a writer. Hopefully we will see another one of your books in the works soon.
Find Joan Sowards books on Amazon:
Here is her blog: http://joansowards.blogspot.com