Happy Birthday to Me


 

The earliest photo I have with Mom

Mom,  my  brothers  and  me

Today is my birthday, so I’m allowed to post about myself.  Life has taken me thousands of miles and blessed me with hundreds of friends, acquaintances, and family along the way. They haven’t all stayed in touch and that is okay. People come in and out of your life for a reason and I accept their time with me as a gift and their absence as a sign our time together has naturally come to an end and we each have different people to meet, to love, to aspire to be.

I usually ask authors questions about themselves and their writing. Today, I’ll ask myself the same questions.  Don’t worry. I will only pick a few.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer and was there a particular inspiration to get started?

I wrote my first short story at the age of ten, but I am not sure now that I really thought through the idea of being a professional writer. That didn’t really happen until fifty-two years later, in 2010, when I realized that I would like to make a profession of the passion I have always loved.  (okay, you can do the math)

Do you have a background in writing or take any special writing courses that helped you along the way?

I have no formal training.  The only college classes I took were for my real estate career. But once I decided to take this seriously, I havent’ been able to stop learning. I read hundred of blogs, endless amount of books, attend every conference and workshop I can.  Since I am the president of my local writer’s group, I often have to fill in when a speaker suddenly backs out. If I am going to get up and teach a workshop, I am going to research until I know everything I can about the subject.

How long did it take you to publish your fist manuscript?

I wrote my first published work in 30 days during a NANOWRIMO challenge in 2010. It took another  two and half years before it was even close to being ready to publish.  I look at it now and know I could do so much better today.

Are you published through a traditional publishing house or Indie published?

I am Indie published through Create Space and as far as self-publishing, you can’t beat it. But, I would love to find a traditional publisher and my desire it to secure one for my current work in progress. It is currently in the editing and re-writing stage.  I hope to complete that within the next six months so I can start sending out queries.

Are you a pantser or a planner?

I am a planner. I write and outline and a timeline. Then I search photo sites like Istock and Photo.com for pictures of my protagonists. If I can see them, it is easier to write about them. I also write a character sketch for each of my main characters. All this said, once I start to write,  things sometimes take a life of their own. When that happens it is like someone else’s fingers are typing, and all I can do is sit back and say “WOW, How did that happen?”

Was there a mistake you made in your writing process you could share with us?

The biggest mistake  I made was publish too soon.  Even with tons of beta readers and an editor, there was more work that needed to be done on that first book.  My second biggest mistake was getting discouraged too fast and self-publishing.  I  hope I have the stamina to keep seeking an agent for as long as it takes next time.

What genre of book do you love? Do you write in that same genre?

I love women’s fiction, stories about women’s journey’s in life.  My favorite writer of all time is Jodi Picoult. I can only hope to write as well as her. Yes, I do write in that same genre.  My books are current events (typically within the last ten years). I get my ideas from watching the news.  Accident is about an alcoholic soccer Mom from the suburbs that causes a fatal car accident. Town Without Mercy’s inspiration came from the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.  My WIP (work is progress) is about international adoption.

Tell us about one of your books in one sentence.

I’ll give you a peek into my current work-in-progress.    Re-homing Pigeon is the story of a Louisiana Cajun woman and an orphaned Russian child that must lose everything, including each other, before they can find what family really means

Can you share a few paragraphs from your book to whet our appetite?   A sneak-peek into the first chapter. of Re-Homing Pigeon.

If it weren’t for the voodoo curse, she would have been a terrific mother. Cecile Lafayette Boudreaux stroked the Gris-Gris amulet around her neck, and then the mound around her middle. We’ll get through this, Junior, don’t worry. Born in the Louisiana bayou, she wasn’t supposed to scare easily. The weatherman had drawn spaghetti lines that snaked through the Gulf of Mexico, all heading straight toward the mouth of the Mississippi. They named her Katrina. The die-hards planned hurricane parties. Fire up the outdoor cooker; them mud bugs were waiting for cayenne pepper, hot sauce and ‘taters. Laissez les bons temps rouler (Let the good times roll.) Mayor Ray Nagin issued a mandatory evacuation. Governor Blanco told anyone refusing to leave to write their names and social security number on their arms in magic marker so they could identify the bodies.

Cecile told herself that she’d be safe in their sturdy home in Saint Bernard Parish. Armand had boarded the house so not a sliver of daylight peeked through the plywood sheets. This wasn’t the first hurricane in her thirty years, and it wouldn’t be the last. No matter the warnings, she couldn’t leave without her husband, who had responsibilities as drilling manager for the Murphy Oil Refinery.

She opened the door and stared at ominous dark clouds and things that had no business being airborne. Thousands of mosquito hawks (dragonflies) flew in a frenzy, forming a gossamer purple and green funnel. It’s coming . . .

Thanks readers, for letting me indulge in a little self-promotion. Where can people buy my books?

                   https://www.createspace.com/4441710
Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to Me

  1. Wow, Joanne, your WIP has me hooked. As one who went through the trials of a first manuscript with you, I understand where you’re coming from. I enjoyed Accident very much. It sticks in my mind. May things run smoother this time around.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s