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Clare writes inspirational romance, usually of a suspenseful nature. Her books are available through her publisher Pelican Book Group and Amazon. She is married with three kids and lives in the UK. She loves watching sci-fi, crime drama, cross stitching, reading and baking.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Interview with JoAnn Carter

This morning (yes its 2am but gone midnight so morning - well here in the UK anyway ;-) ) I have JoAnn Carter on the blog.

I am reviewing two of her books then she took the time to do an interview too :)

Smuggler of the Heart.

Disheartened and tired, Samantha Warren returns to Vermont during the winter break. Her passion for history rekindles after finding an old smuggler's chest hidden in her grandparents' attic. Will she be able to return to New Jersey without her heart being smuggled like the chest once was? Or is it already too late?

Review: From the discovery of the chest to the breathtaking ending, JoAnn Carter draws you into a world of family and memories. Just as the chest has a past, so do Samantha and Tim. A visit home during the holidays, gives Samantha more than she bargained for. Weaving a delightful story with characters that have you rooting for them the whole time, Ms Carter skillfully brings together past, present and future in a story that you won't want to put down.


When Harrison Beckman meets his father’s secretary, Daniella Duncan, she’s shy and self-conscious. Harrison, however, is determined to get to know her better. Before he gets to do that a rival comes along to steal Dani’s heart as quickly and thoroughly as the company’s contracts, which have been disappearing. As the mystery unfolds, Harrison has to fight for the woman he loves, even though this means crossing swords with his father and his determined adversary. Will Harrison be able to find the love that could await them or will it be too late?

Review: Daniella is a woman I can empathise with. Picked on in gym class, unhappy with her size, hates cooked liver and once she’s awake the day has begun no matter how early it is. Tucked away in her tidy office, she does her work and goes home, until she has to cover for a friend in the boardroom and is plunged into a situation out of her depth.. Easy to read, but not so easy to put down, this story from JoAnn Carter keeps your attention through the twists and turns from start to finish. With it’s fair share of smiles, laughs and heart stopping moments this is definitely one to read.

Both of these and her others are avaliable from White Rose Publishing or Amazon.

Hi JoAnn :) First off, could you tell us a little about yourself and how long you've been writing. Do you write everyday? How does each session start? How do you proceed? How, where and why does it end?

I’ve been writing off and on for 14 years. With an active family of six, I don’t have the time to write everyday. Rather, I grab the chance whenever I can. I start by praying that God would guide my thoughts. How I proceed from there has evolved over the years. When I started, I never had a plan—I kind of just went where ever the story took me. While I’ll still do that every now and then for a short story, I discovered that I like having a plan for my plot. It’s much easier to work with—especially when I can’t be invested in the story every day. It helps me stay on track.
My writing sessions stop when I run out of time and something more pressing needs to be taken care of.

CR. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Inspiration comes in many forms for me. I love listening to music, watching people, observing creation.

CR: Is there a story behind Danielle and Smuggler of the Heart? How did the story evolve?

While writing Daniella, I heard the song MIRROR MIRROR by Barlow Girl on the radio. As I listened to the lyrics, it hit me how many women like Dani, (the heroine in DANIELLA) struggles with self-image. So, in this story Dani comes to the realization God loves her the way he made her. I had to be honest and ask myself, "Do I believe that?" It’s easy for me to nod my head while I’m writing this, but it’s another story when I’m standing in one of those dinky changing rooms try to find a bathing suit for the summer! Accepting myself is sometimes is a daily struggle.

The idea of Smuggler of the Heart came when my husband’s family came up for a visit to Vermont and we visited Smuggler’s Notch. I love the rich history of this amazing spot in the mountains.

CR. What do you do in your spare time? (Assuming you have any ;-) )

Lately it’s been watching baseball. (Three of my sons are on a team.) When I’m not doing that, I read and write reviews for our local Christian Radio station, putter in the garden, and enjoy spending time outside with my family.

CR. What person or experience inspired you to become a writer?

Some people seem to be born with a pen in their hands and have written for as long as they can remember. That’s not the case with me. In fact if my Jr. High teacher’s knew how much I enjoy writing now- well, lets just say I’m sure they would get a kick out of it.
In 1996, my husband (a Youth Pastor) and I discovered we were going to have our first child. I knew as I stopped working as a LPN and transitioned into motherhood, I’d be home alone many nights. It was then, without ever having tackled anything like it, I wrote my first manuscript with the desire to encourage others as I have been.

CR. When you write do you start with a plot outline, a character sketch, how do you begin? How do you stay on course?

Ah, good question. Like I mentioned earlier, if it’s a book that will take me a while to write, I do start with getting to know my characters and plotting an outline. I’ve learned that the more I know about my characters before I ever write a word, the easier it is to tell how they would respond to whatever circumstance they find themselves in.
Writing has been such a learning process for me. I cringe when I think of how I used to agonize over things—simply because I didn’t have the knowledge or tools that I have now. It makes me look forward to the future. How much more will I learn, and how will that help my writing grow stronger?

CR. What made you write Inspirational romance?

I write Inspirational Romance because I want to encourage others in their walk with the Lord.

CR. What genre would you like to explore that you haven’t tried to write in yet? Will you? What would you never see yourself writing?

Since we have four boys, I would like to try to write a book that would interest teenage boys. The problem is we think so differently. :) However, if God gives me an idea on day—I’m going for it.

I could never see myself writing thrillers. When I read something like that, all I want to do is hide under the couch.

CR. Do you have a favorite author or authors? Do you read a lot? Is there an author whose books you pick up just because they are the author?

I do read a lot—especially now that I read books to review for the radio station. This commitment has helped me broaden my scope of reading as well to include a lot more non-fictional titles.
There are so many great author’s out there. I really don’t have a favorite, but I do have a favorite genre, which probably comes as no surprise…Inspirational Romance.

CR. If you were granted three wishes by a genie, what would they be?

Oh, this could be fun. Lets see…The house would be cleaned with the snap of my fingers… (Okay time to get more serious) Our government and country would turn their hearts back to God. And hmm…that my sons would always have a heart for God and the He would be able to do mighty things within their lives that would bring Him honor and glory.

CR. If you could go anywhere to tomorrow, where would you go?

This may sound corny, but it’s true—anywhere with my husband!

CR. If you could see anyone tomorrow (dead or alive), who would it be?

Wow—you would not believe how many answers to this question come to mind. I think ultimately I’d want to see Jesus.

Thanks for having me here, Clare. Many blessings on your own writing!

Thanks JoAnn. Lovely to have you here too. You can visit JoAnn Here


Donna B said...

Wow, great interview ladies, and I loved a number of your answers JoAnn. Not only did you make me say, "Wow", but you made me laugh (hide under the bed???) - write a book for teenage boys - now that's ambitious.

Your interview was just as entertaining (although not as long) as your stories are.

I love your writing!

Delia Latham said...

Wonderful interview! I enjoyed finding out a little more about you, JoAnn. I've only read Daniella, but with that little story as an example of your writing style, I know that I will enjoy reading more JoAnn Carter. (Smuggler of the Heart is waiting on my Kindle for a time I have to read for my own pleasure rather than for a review agreement...)

If you're brave enough to attempt writing for teenage boys, you shouldn't be put off by any thriller! lol

JoAnn said...


Thanks so much for having me here today.

And as for Donna & Delia-- you folks rock. Thanks for you comments & the constant support you show me.

I'm wondering how you would answer the question about what you would like to try to write.

Marianne Evans said...

Great interview, Clare and JoAnn. I love getting to know my fav authors even better.

Hmmm....what would I like to write? I'd like to continue in the Christian Inspy genre, and can only pray that comes to pass. :-)

JoAnn, keep up the great work, and Clare, congrats again on the upcomign release. Blessings, ladies.

Donna B said...

Inspy romantic suspense starring special forces guys is a thought for my future. Not sure how it will go since I'm a real pantser, but I've already started research.