Here’s a guest post from JoElle Martin, author of A Bridge In The Forest. Check it out.
INTERVIEW WITH JOELLE –
Q - Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
A - I am convinced I was a male elf in a previous life. I always find myself strongly connected to the male protagonist of my stories. Three of my novels were published, but they were released as four books because my first novel was rather long for YA. I’ve just finished my first Fantasy Romance. It is sort of a Harlequin Fairy Tale. I also have three other WIPs.
Q – What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it? What are you working on now?
A – I have just finished writing Julianne’s Wish. It is about finding your true soulmate. The story sort of just popped into my head after I read Plato’s explanation of soul mates in his Symposium.
After I get Julianne’s Wish submitted, I plan to finish Chloe’s Promise. They are both Fantasy Romances. Adult modern day fairy tales. I always work on two or three novels at a time because stories come to me and I start on them while the ideas are fresh. I then set them aside to finish whatever I have going.
Q – What authors or books have influenced you?
A - Every fairy tale and romance I’ve ever read: The Snow Queen, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Peter Pan, Snow White & Rose Red, Rapunzel, etc.
Q – What is the best advice you have ever heard?
A – Be thick skinned and open minded about constructive criticism.
Q – What’s next for you as a writer?
A – Besides writing novels, I also write non-fiction articles on subjects ranging from health and fitness to community concerns. I’ve had these published in newspapers and trade magazines. I’d like to make the time to write more non-fiction. I’ve kind of neglected this side of me lately.
Q – Do you listen to or talk to your characters? How do you interact with your characters while you are writing?
A – Of course. All the time. Very often I become my characters, as I write scenes involving them.
I feel their emotions as I describe them. They laugh, I laugh. They cry, I cry. I talk back and forth in their dialogues. It is almost like I am all the actors in a play, acting out the scenes as the play is being written.
Q – What do you think about the future of book publishing?
A – I spend a lot of time driving, so I am a fan of audio books. However, even though I have kindle on my tablet, I have yet to read a kindle book. I like to turn pages. I like hunting for books on bookstore shelves. And I know I am not alone in this. Computers are changing our lives, but I don’t know that physical books will entirely disappear. Even though we have iTunes, people still play instruments and go to live concerts. Even though electronic keyboards exist, people still play pianos. Even though movies can be downloaded and bought on DVD, people still go to the theater to watch them, people still watch stage performances. I think humans have a need to physical contact with the arts, including physically holding a book.
Fun Facts about the Dreamer’s Forest Series:
The Kingman Family – they are named after the town of Kingman AZ.
Dexy – is named after the band Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Alyssa and Amanda – are named after my nieces. One of them, in the story, studies nursing. One of my nieces actually just finished nursing school.
Rachel Kingman – was named in honor of my son’s German Shepherd Dog, Rachel, who was a guide dog puppy.
Dreamer – was the most difficult character to name. He rejected about five names before he accepted Dreamer. I didn’t find out why until later. His name came to me while listening to the Dream Academy’s song Life in a Northern Town.
A Bridge in the Forest – I sent my sister and nieces a list of 12 names for the title of the first novel. They didn’t like any of them. The title didn’t come to me until the manuscript was nearly finished. It made the titles of the next books, A Secret in the Forest and Moonlight in the Forest, very easy.
The inspiration for the story came to me while I was driving through the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests in Oregon during a full moon.
ABOUT JOELLE –
JoElle was born in the Pacific Northwest. When she was a young girl, she moved with her family to Guadalajara, Mexico. She has since lived in South Texas,Central Texas, the Bay Area of California, and now her home is in Northern Nevada.
Today she spends most of her time wandering the scenic highways of America with her husband and creating new worlds and characters for her novels.
JoElle comes from a large family. With two older brothers and three younger sisters, she enjoyed the middle spot while growing up. (She was the official tattletale – a title none of her siblings ever let her forget). Though she loved playing outside as a child, she was also a bookworm.
Married shortly after graduating high school, she and her husband have been happily married over 30 years. (Which is a big reason JoElle firmly believes in happily ever afters!)
When they are home, JoElle and her husband enjoy visiting their son, daughter in law, and four grandchildren.
Ever since she was a little girl, and wrote her first multi-page story in fourth grade, JoElle knew she wanted to be a writer. She competed in Journalism in high school, winning several awards in feature writing. JoElle writes both fiction and non-fiction. In addition to her novels, she has written a number of feature stories of community interest for local newspapers on subjects such as volunteering, guide dogs, homeschooling, and the Explorer program. She served as a regional editor for a homeschooling newsletter and has had a number of short stories and articles published in print magazines and e-zines.