Wednesday, July 10, 2013

JoAnn Durgin {Writer Wednesday}

I am excited to introduce you to JoAnn Durgin as the featured author for today's {Writer Wednesday}. Make sure you say hello in the comments below because JoAnn is doing a GIVEAWAY!  That's right, folks- she has graciously offered to give away on of her books - readers choice! How awesome is that?! So, from today until Monday July 15th I will accept comments on this post to enter you into a drawing to win! Check back on Tuesday July 16th for my announcement of the winner!

A little bit about JoAnn...

JoAnn Durgin is the author of The Lewis Legacy Series (Torn Veil Books) and Meet Me Under the Mistletoe (White Rose Publishers). An estate administration paralegal in a Louisville, Kentucky law firm, JoAnn and her family live in southern Indiana. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Louisville Christian Writers, JoAnn’s prayer is that her contemporary romantic adventures will touch hearts and lives with the redeeming love of Jesus Christ.

How to connect with JoAnn...


Website: www.joanndurgin.com
Goodreads: JoAnn Durgin
Facebook: Author JoAnn Durgin
To purchase her books: on Amazon

Author Interview | JoAnn Durgin


You and Writing
Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...Although each character, each book, is uniquely special and different, my debut novel, Awakening, is the book of my heart. Because it’s loosely based on my love story with my husband, Jim, I believe readers can sense my personal investment. It’s also the first book in The Lewis Legacy Series and features the blossoming romance between Lewis and Clarke (a/k/a Sam and Lexa). Each book features the romance of one or more of the volunteers of TeamWork, a Christian missions organization, with Sam as their beloved “Papa Bear.” Together with Lexa, they mentor their TeamWork members as they navigate life and love. I’m passionate about every single character and hope that makes them so real they practically leap off the page and into the reader’s mind and heart.

What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...My answer to this one is atypical. Let’s start with the easiest. My joke is that I wrote Awakening in two weeks but it took 12 years to publish! It was the last standalone I wrote before putting my writing aside to raise our three children. I firmly believe the Lord honored that obedience and He opened the “right” doors of His choosing and in His perfect timing (you can read the full story on my website; how I lost the second half of Awakening, how the Lord gave it back to me and then He confirmed it was the “one” that I should try to publish first). Awakening sold to the first publisher who asked to see it (based on a short e-mail query with a one-paragraph synopsis).
...Being with a small, independent publisher has many perks; however, I also have to work that much harder to promote my books. We can’t send out reviewer copies, so it’s more difficult to get reviews (vital in making the books more visible). My books aren’t in bookstores, but with the growth of internet bookstores and ebook readers, that’s not a major issue. Unlike many authors, I’m outgoing and social. I’ll talk to anyone, anytime about my books, as my family can attest. But what better project to promote than my own books? The Lord has blessed over and above what I could have expected in terms of my expanding readership and steady sales.


Your Writing
Tell us a little bit about your book.
Daydreams is the fourth book in my series, but it can be read as a standalone. It’s my goal to write these books so readers can pick up any one of them and get swept away in the adventure. This book belongs to Amy Jacobsen, one of the TeamWork girls from the beginning of the series. She’s come into her own and is living the dream—a publishing job she loves in NYC, a fabulous townhome inherited from her famous grandfather, and a busy social life without the complication of a romantic relationship—and then she meets her match in publisher Landon Warnick. The adventure these two share takes the reader from NYC to a TeamWork wedding in Louisiana and then to Texas and back!

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...Forgiving someone who’s wronged us is difficult for so many people. We need to forgive others who’ve wronged us, even if they don’t ask. However, as Christians, if we’ve wronged or sinned against someone, it’s our responsibility to go to that person in humility and ask for their forgiveness. Until we can do that, we’ll never fully experience that peace that passes all understanding and be able to fully open our hearts to someone else.

Writing
Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?

....All my characters are fictional, but as I mentioned, Awakening is loosely based on real events. It’s really more the characters of Sam and Lexa are based on my husband and me. However, Lexa’s grandmother in Awakening is my grandmother, her father is my dad. Certain quirks or experiences of various characters come from my life, and I know a few people who will play a “part” in upcoming books. I think I scare people sometimes when I tell them anything they say or do might show up in a book someday! The premise for Meet Me Under the Mistletoe is also based on a very sweet aspect of my husband’s character.

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...As a Christian author, I want to share the hope to be found in a personal relationship with Christ. I want the reader to enjoy a good story while learning godly principles in a subtle, “non-preachy” way through my characters’ actions and lifestyles. My romances are “outside the box” of the standard formula, but I also think that’s one reason they resonate with readers. They’re entertaining but have solid substance mixed with the lighthearted moments. A balance of both is necessary, I believe. Sure, my hero and heroine fall in love but then face that inevitable roadblock in their relationship. The difference in my books? The couples work through their issues together because that’s how relationships become stronger and a lasting bond is formed.

...A unique aspect of my Lewis Legacy Series is the deep, abiding friendship between the different TeamWork members. They’re not perfect people, by any means, but they try to live godly lives and are always there for each other. One of the values of a series is revisiting the various couples and “growing” their ongoing relationships (and I love bringing the TeamWork kids into the mix, too!).

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share a bit about my books with your readers, Emilie!

Many blessings, friends.

Matthew 5:16

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You're very welcome and thank you so much for joining us here at Thinking Thoughts! I have enjoyed getting to know you through Facebook and am so glad I could feature you here :) I love that you say you've based some of your characters (or traits) on your husband! I think that is absolutely sweet and what better way to give a "real" feeling to your characters! I know some of my friends are afraid they'll end up in my books...but that's the hazard of being the friend of an author ;) I look forward to reading more of your books and can't wait to post my Re:View of Awakening!

P.S. Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win one of JoAnn's fabulous books!