I'm happy to welcome Joan Sowards to my blog today. Joan has a new book, The Star Prophecy, that's now available at Amazon.
The Star Prophecy is about Nephite young men who set sail to Jerusalem to find the Christ Child.
Joan says, "When my daughter Kristy gave me the premise for this novel, I felt electrifying tingles come over me, the ideas began to flow and I wrote the first draft in three months--an incredible experience!The main character, whose quest it is to find the infant Messiah, is named Enoch after my nephew, a beautiful, bright child, who passed away at the age of four."
When did you start to write and how long did it take you get published?
I have been writing novels for over fifteen years. A friend invited me to ANWA (The American Night Writers Association.) I've learned so much about writing through ANWA.
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, too. (During that time, she wrote her own first novel and sent it to Covenant. They excepted it within two weeks.) Gotta love her!
How did you break into publishing?
I admit it was luck. I was in the right place at the right time. An editor suggested I send Walnut Springs Press my novel The Star Prophecy--so I did. I pestered editor Linda Prince every few months asking if she had read it. After the eight month, she asked if I had an LDS romance and that she needed one right away. I sent Haunts Haven and she liked it! Chocolate Roses was published next. I was surprised when WSP came back and said they were ready to publish The Star Prophecy since it had been two years since I submitted it.
What inspired you to write romance?
I think every story needs romance, if not just a touch of it.The Star Prophecy is not a romance, but it has just enough to keep me happy.
What genre or sub-genre do you write? Why did you choose this genre?
The Star Prophecy begins its tale in the land of the Nephites. 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 summer journalist job in a seaside village in Oregon. The working title is Clairvoyance. I love the characters.
What has surprised you about being a published author?
As soon as Haunts Haven hit the stores, I was expected to promote it and myself. I've never felt comfortable with that.
What do you like to do when you aren't writing?
I'm a family history addict. I love to sew, and write music (http://joansowards.com) My adorable grandchildren take a lot of my time, and I love being with my husband.
What was the most usual way you came up with a story idea? What made you to think, ‘hey, I could make that into a story?’
My daughter came home from Institute class with the premise for The Star Prophecy. I loved it! It is about Nephite young men setting sail to find the Christ Child.
Several years ago, Jeni Grossman taught a class at an ANWA conference and handed out feature newspaper articles with big photos and told us to ask ourselves "What if…" I got an article about haunted inns of Southern Arizona and asked myself, "What if a young woman inherited one of these inns, not knowing it was haunted?" Haunts Haven blossomed from there.
I wanted to write a modern Jane Eyre tale, and after a lot of thought, I wrote Chocolate Roses.
What is your all time favorite book?
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier lit my fire in my teen years.
And the power round:
Favorite food? Mexican
Favorite dessert? Anything chocolate
Jeans and T-shirt, or designer clothes? Jeans. I believe in dressing up for church.
Guilty pleasure? Ice Cream.
Favorite flower? Roses
Thank you for the interview, Joan. I really enjoyed having you visit and getting to know you better. Good luck with The Star Prophecy.
Visit Joan at http://joansowards.blogspot.com/