Welcome, Joni, to the Plotting Princesses!
How did you get from your day job to writing romance? I change documents on my computer. Sometimes I break for a cup of tea and a snack.
What are your three favorite books of all time? The Bible, To Kill A Mockingbird, and La Morte D’Arthur (Sir Thomas Mallory’s translation).
Morning, afternoon, or evening person? I am an evening person forced into daytime work. Like a mole dragged into daylight, I stumble around blinking for a while until I get my bearings. Caffeine helps.
Music--with or without? What kind? If able to listen to music while writing, I prefer lively music without words to suit the mood of the novel. For my novel of a young woman from Brazil pursuing her parents’ murderer over seven years—Al Dimeola and Santana worked best.
First or third POV? I write my first draft in first person, present tense and change it to third person, past tense in revisions. First person present tense anchors me in the sensual experience and the point-of-view character’s perspective on events.
How's tricks? Do you juggle multiple projects? My day job is editing fiction and non-fiction for two small publishers and a select few authors for print and e-book publication. In lulls between these projects, I write. I also teach a month-long online workshop called “Crafting Memorable Dialogue” for SavvyAuthors and various chapters of Romance Writers of America. October is my outlining month and November is Nanowrimo to hammer out the first 50,000 words toward a first draft of my next novel.
What's harder: beginning, middle, or the end? The middle is the biggest challenge for me because I write the beginning and ending first. Call me a plotter.
Revisions: Love 'em or hate 'em? I love revisions because they sharpen my vision of the novel. My critique pals in the Kiss of Death Chapter of Romance Writers of America make the revision process faster because they point and laugh at my bloopers then kindly suggest how to fix them. They can take it as well as they dish it out.
How did you come up with that title? For Evil to Succeed comes from a paraphrase of Edmund Burke’s writing, “All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.” My novel is about the kind of people who risk their lives to stop evil. Unredeemed is the story of a man who causes another man’s death and spends years feeling unredeemed in God’s eyes. It also refers to the man who died. Phobos Manned Mission is a 90,000-word science fiction story of a manned mission to Mars via the large moon of Mars—Phobos.
Best advice anybody ever gave you? If it bores you to write it, it will bore the reader to read it. Write about what wakes you up at night, what makes you excited to get on paper.
Fill in this blank: My ideal fictional hero would think me gorgeous no matter… How clumsy I am.
What's your favorite dessert? Chocolate lava cake. I will share the recipe with anyone who asks for it through my website. A kind chef shared it with me and it is shockingly easy to make.
Do you write at home or someplace else? After years of working in a newsroom, then with a small child at home, I can write anywhere. Noise doesn’t bother me. Since my child moved to college, I write at the library, coffee shops, outside on the back porch, you name it. Writing at home can be hazardous because of the call of household chores—like siren song luring me off course.
What's your favorite type of hero/heroine and why? Strong heroines appeal to me because they defy stereotype and inspire women to raise their expectations and goals. I deplore literature, movies and plays that depict women as helpless creatures in need of rescue, or victims wallowing in self-pity. Women hold themselves back by trying to please others and by putting their own goals last. Strong heroines rock!
Excerpt from Phobos: Manned Mission:
On December 7, 1986, Dr. Dmitri Rykov ached for a few hours of sleep before facing the media. On this his first field assignment, he had spent the flight from El Segundo, California, studying engineering specifications and memorizing vital information. He clipped his CORDS ID badge on his jacket pocket, grabbed his small duffle bag and climbed down steep metal stairs to the tarmac. With his ears still ringing from the flight, Dmitri decelerated at last on solid ground. He took in a deep breath of humid air that smelled like melting tar. Palm fronds flapped in the breeze.
“Welcome to Tyndall, sir,” said a young soldier wearing a Canadian Forces uniform.
Disoriented, Dmitri kept his questions to himself. “Thank you.”
“This way, sir.” The soldier pointed his open hand toward a hangar door flanked by two armed soldiers.
Dmitri kept pace with the soldier. “Do you like living in New Orleans?”
“New Orleans is two-hundred forty nautical miles due west, sir.”
“Then where am I?”
“This is Florida, sir.”
Of course, the soldier could neither confirm nor deny the plans he was not privy to. Dmitri was quite irritated. Why had he been deceived? When he reached the doors of the hangar, an armed soldier took his bag. The guards patted him down and searched his overnight bag before they slid one creaking mammoth metal door sideways far enough to create a man-size opening.
Find Joni at:
Find Joni's books at:
Phobos: Manned Mission Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007QO8JRE
For Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, PDF, RTF and Palm Doc: http://www.smashwords.com/b/136861