Friday, May 14, 2010

Chocolate Roses by Joan Sowards

Don't you just love that title? I'm all about chocolate.

From the back cover:

Janie Rose Whitaker's world revolved around her chocolate shop until Roger Wentworth and his young daughter moved into the apartment across from Janie's. Anyone would think Roger fit the mold of the "perfect" guy, but soon Janie discovers secrets that could keep them apart forever. Though she resists getting involved in Roger's complicated life, they are drawn further into a bittersweet relationship.

You will laugh, cry, and crave chocolate as you read this LDS parody of the classic novel Jane Eyre.

Doesn't that sound like a fun book? Joan stopped by my blog for an interview.
Joan, when did you start to write and how long did it take you get published?

I have been writing over fifteen years. I felt prompted to sit down and write what a particular ancestor would say if I had the chance to interview her. She didn't want to give me much information, didn't trust me, and from that I wrote a short story that grew into a novel. Through that experience I discovered that I loved to write!

Kerry Blair lived in my ward back then. She'd edit my chapters and I tried to learn the rules behind her changes. I learned a lot from her. She realized she could do a lot better than I was doing, so she wrote her own first novel and sent it to Covenant. They accepted it within two weeks.

How did you break into publishing?

I admit it was luck. I was in the right place at the right time. Kathy Jenkins of Covenant Com. suggested I send Walnut Springs Press my novel We Have Seen His Star--so I did. I pestered editor Linda Prince every few months asking if she had read it. After the eighth month, she asked if I had an LDS romance and that she needed one right away. I sent Haunts Haven and she liked it!

What inspired you to write romance?

I think every story needs romance, if not just a touch of it.

What genre or sub-genre do you write? Why did you choose this genre?

I write LDS romance. Haunts Haven is a paranormal mystery romance, Chocolate Roses is pure romance with a Jane Eyre parallel. I haven't been able to get away from the LDS genre. I guess because it is so ingrained in me.

What are you working on now?

I'm writing a story about a recent ASU college grad who takes a journalist job in a seaside village in Oregon. It has a touch of the paranormal, and I love the characters.

What has surprised you about being a published author?

Before being published, everything I did had an eternal perspective: taking care of my family which included cooking and cleaning, etc., my relationship with my husband, my calling. Even writing novels and music was developing talents and I felt the Spirit affirming that was what I should be doing. As soon as Haunts Haven hit the stores and I was expected to promote it and myself. I felt uncomfortable with that because it didn't easily fit into the eternal perspective that gave me comfort. I'm still not comfortable about the promotion.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

I'm a family history addict. I love to sew aprons to give as gifts. I write music ( that I give as a service. My adorable grandchildren take a lot of my time, and I love being with my husband.

What advice would you give aspiring writers today?

Don't give up. Be ready for when you are "in the right place at the right time." Learn the craft of writing and be open for critiquing. There's a lot to be learned from other writers.

Thank you for the Interview, Joan. I loved learning more about you and your books.

Thank you! My blog is As all bloggers know, there is joy in getting comments!


Joan Sowards said...

Thank you, Rebecca, for the interview. I hope you enjoy Chocolate Roses!

Rebecca Irvine said...

Great interview. This book looks really good-and you are right about the title!