Monday, November 28, 2011

Giveaway and Author Interview: Second Time Around

Welcome back to Writing for Christ JoAnn Durgin, I am excited to have you here for a second time. J
Thank you for hosting me again on your fantastic blog, Casey. I’m thrilled to be here today!
What has changed in your writing life since you were last here?
Second Time Around, the follow-up to Awakening (November 2010) in The Lewis Legacy Series, released in early September. I’ve done a few book signings and loved meeting and greeting readers, been asked to speak at a few functions, joined a new writer’s group and was even called “The Famous Authoress” at a church luncheon recently (to be fair, I grew up in that church and my mom still goes there – and, yes, I still had to pay for my own lunch). Oh, it’s so hard to be humble. I’m kidding, of course. Seriously, I feel as though I’ve gained a certain amount of respect in some circles now that I’m published. I’ve gone from comments like “Oh, that’s the girl who wants to be a writer,” to “She’s had two books published and another on the way! Isn’t that wonderful?” It’s an odd thing how one published book can legitimize your writing in some respects, but two books somehow makes it official that the first one wasn’t some weird fluke. One thing that hasn’t changed? I still don’t have an agent. All in God’s timing. I’m learning to take it all in stride. I still work a full-time job, and squeeze in time to write whenever I can (and wish I could do it more). I write for the Master, and He’s the One who gives me the inspiration for my books. I hope never to let Him down by what I write or my actions, and I pray He’ll continue to open the doors of His choosing at the “right” time.
What recent read stood out to you as truly spectacular?
Being a romance writer, I currently prefer to read books in my genre. I’m very impressed with the CBA authors, and there are some incredible books out there, both contemporary and historical. With that said, I don’t feel comfortable naming one book and singling out one author to the exclusion of others when there are truly so many well-written and life-impacting books out there on the market today. So, in order to be politically correct and truthful at the same time, I’m going to say The Holy Bible. I read it every day, and it’s the one book above all others that has profoundly impacted my life and gives me inspiration, encouragement, and hope─not to mention all the elements for a great read.
Do you have favorite authors?
Since you might cyber slap me if I start naming the authors of the books of the Bible, I’ll acquiesce and say that I enjoy books (in no particular order) by Tamera Alexander, Karen Witemeyer, Julie Lessman, Mary Connealy, Denise Hunter, Rachel Hauck and Susan May Warren. As a girl, I adored books by Louisa May Alcott and Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew – although I believe “Carolyn” wasn’t one person but a committee). I primarily read Christian fiction now, but years ago, I loved the mysteries of Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. I’ve enjoyed many of the classics (and not because I was forced to read them in high school and college), but also snored through some of them. Mark Twain is one of the all-time greats, and I dare say he’s my favorite American author in terms of his hysterically funny (and sometimes biting) wit, sarcasm and irony.
What do you find the most enjoyable part of writing or connecting with readers?
There’s nothing more gratifying than getting a message through your website or a Facebook message from a “fan.” That’s pretty cool. Something awesome happened at the aforementioned (can you tell I’m a paralegal?) church luncheon, in part because it was one of those unexpected, incredibly sweet moments. I was at the book signing table and a woman came over and said, “Hi, JoAnn. I was your high school high school typing teacher.” She told me her name and whipped off her sunglasses (why is it my former teachers look happier and younger than ever now? It can’t be because I’m getting older, but that they’re retired and get more rest and relaxation─that must be it). I smiled and waved my hand at the books on the table and said, “Thank you. As you can see, I haven’t stopped typing since.” What was so gratifying─besides the fact that she read my first book and wanted to buy the second─was what she told me. She’d asked the students all those years ago to type a paragraph about a special Thanksgiving memory. She said, “I always remembered you because you wrote the most beautiful paragraph, so I wasn’t surprised at all you became a writer.” Those types of moments, and comments from random people I don’t know well or have never met (as well as friends, co-workers and family) complimenting me on my characters or books mean so very much. I treasure every single one. I’ve been very blessed.
What do you find the most ideal atmosphere for writing? Do you ever get those surroundings? J
The ideal atmosphere is hard to imagine, and you work with what you have at your disposal. In my case, it’s a computer desk in the corner of our bedroom. Usually the TV is on (which I prefer as long as it’s not a ballgame with crowd noise─says the girl who read The Iliad and The Odyssey in a snack bar with a juke box blaring and pinball machines pinging).  I love listening to music, too, and headphones are great when I can leave them on for five minutes uninterrupted. A cup of something sitting beside me is a must (hot or cold, depending on the time and the day of the week). This is the norm when I sit down to write: the dog comes seeking affection, and it’s not long after that one of our three kids or my husband come seeking food, laundry or yes, some affection. Rest assured, they’re not overly needy, just our version of normal. So, although it’s perhaps not the ideal writing situation, it works. And that’s just fine with me!
Okay, something fun for those writers out there: In what point of your writing career did you surprise yourself by writing the most words ever in the shortest amount of time?
I’m not sure if that question is also intended for me, but I actually wrote Awakening in less than two weeks. Then put it aside for over a decade to raise my children. Then I picked it up and added about 6,000 words and actually sold it to the first entity that looked at it. So, aspiring writers, it can happen! I wrote Second Time Around about three years ago, and it took a couple of months. When I write a book, I have a burning passion to get it down on paper. The edits take much, much longer. It’s an evolving process, but a fascinating one.
Thanks for being here again! It has been a joy and we wish the very best with your novels.
Thanks so much for having me back, Casey. Twin Hearts, the third installment of the series, comes out in the early Spring, so I’d better book now to be back again in a few months! In the meantime, happy reading and happy writing, and may God bless each and every one of you! Matthew 5:16


Readers, here is your chance to enter to win JoAnn's book!

Please leave an email adddress! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.

For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.


Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on December 9th.

39 comments:

  1. I so enjoyed JoAnn's interview. I love that she is writing for the Master! Authors can be such inspirations to all believer's. JoAnn is a new author to me and I can't wait to read her books. I must get my hands on Awakening! Second Time Around is going to be a good read I just know it.

    Tamera Alexander, Karen Witemeyer, Julie Lessman, Mary Connealy, Denise Hunter, Rachel Hauck and Susan May Warren are some of my favorite authors too. Of course, being an avid reader I have many more on my list.

    Thanks for this interview and a chance to win a copy of, Second Time Around.

    God Bless,
    Judy B
    sweetpea.judy[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am a follower.

    Judy B
    sweetpea.judy[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am a subscriber.


    Judy B
    sweetpea.judy[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  4. I don't know about all of you, but I'm having a hard time getting my motor charged this morning. Back to work...but I've so enjoyed the long Thanksgiving weekend, and hope you did, too. Judy, I sincerely appreciate your comments, and thank you so much for stopping by Casey's blog. Now, for my morning coffee to truly "awaken" me. Blessings, all!

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  5. Good morning, Casey and JoAnn!
    Confession: I took one typing class. One. And almost flunked out of Journalism 101 because of it! LOL.
    Like JoAnn, I like to listen to music when I write. (We should trade playlists!)
    JoAnn is one of the most encouraging writers I know -- friendly and willing to share jelly beans with others.
    ;o)

    beth@bethvogt.com

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  6. What a great interview.

    Blessings
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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  7. I'm a subscriber

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm a follower

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think it's interesting to read what their atmosphere is when they're writing. Not what we would imagine.

    Doreen
    priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

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  10. Enjoyed the interview. Would love to read this book. What a beautiful cover, too!
    lgm52@hotmail.com

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  11. I'm a follower
    lgm52@hotmail.com

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  12. email subscriber
    lgm52@hotmail.com

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  13. Hey, Case and JoAnn, GREAT interview!!!

    But, JoAnn ... TWO WEEKS???? You wrote Awakening in TWO WEEKS??? HOLY COW, I probably only had the first paragraph of A Passion Most Pure done in that time span!! ;) And that's all the more remarkable considering how much I loved the book, so you go, girl!!

    Don't include me in the draw, Case, as I am already blessed to have a brand-new signed copy of Second Time Around gracing my TBR, so I am hoping for a relaxed holiday read somewhere in the next month, God willing ...

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  14. I'm a follower and a subscriber I think... I know I'm a follower... ;)

    JoAnn - it was so lovely to meet you at conference! I LOVE this cover! And would love to win the book :D.

    Do you have to read the first one first?

    Back to work... Cuz I can't write one in two weeks... at least not so far ;).

    carolmoncado at gmail dot com

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  15. Sounds like a great book, would love to win it.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
    wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am a GFC follower.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
    wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am a subscriber.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
    wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love blog interviews for the chance to interact with so many great people! Beth (sending cyber jelly beans your way) and Julie, I love you both and am honored and so blessed by your friendship. Julie, please note that even though I wrote Awakening quickly, it took more than a decade to get it published (because I put it aside to raise those kiddos). LOL...all in His timing, of course. Waving to Carol - the feeling's mutual. You don't have to read Awakening first, but I think it helps (only $5.99 on Kindle and Nook, hint hint). Both my books are long but a quick read, I like to think (and so I've heard). Thanks to ALL for stopping by today and leaving these encouraging comments! Blessings.

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  19. I would love to be entered to win this. I loved the interview and she reads a lot of my favorite authors as well !!

    thanks for this

    mrslippo@hotmail.com

    Julie Lippo

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  20. Enjoyed the interview. I always love hearing about the atmosphere authors write in. When I write I have to have background noise. :)

    Would love to be entered to win a copy of Second Time Around. Thank you for the chance.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  21. I am a GFC follower.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am also an email subscriber.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh, what lovely interview :) Thanks so much Casey and Joann.
    crazi.swans @ gmail dot com

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  24. One of the reasons I love Christian fiction is the beautiful heart attitudes of those writing for God and how it flows into what they write. Lovely interview. Please include me, thanks!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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  25. I'm a follower.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm a subscriber.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks for the lovely comments, everyone. Trust me when I tell you how much each and every one of you mean to those of us who write for His glory. Keep reading, and we'll keep writing! Blessings always.

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  28. Would love to win!

    frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  29. Subscriber

    frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Follower.

    frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Interesting interview! Thank you for the chance to win this book. Please enter me in this giveaway!

    Yecenia@optonline.net

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  32. I am a follower!

    Yecenia@optonline.net

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  33. Wow writing a book in two weeks...that is awesome. And thanks for the wonderful and interesting interview ladies!
    Would love to have this book to read.
    Blessings.....Joy
    ibjoy1953{at]yahoo[dot]com

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  34. Great interview!
    I love Awakening and would love to win and read Second Time Around.
    JoAnn is a fantasctic writer.
    Thank you for the chance.
    Wendy
    wdesirees[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I am a follower
    Wendy
    wdesirees[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I am a subscriber.
    Wendy
    wdesirees[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  37. This looks like a wonderful book! Please enter me! :)
    ~Marissa

    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I have not read this author before but after your lovely interview and the fact that I like the title to this one I would like to be in your drawing.
    thanks for sharing
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

    I am a follower too...

    ReplyDelete
  39. I am a subscriber, follower--I see my window with the brown hearts hanging down!, e-mail recipient, and reader!
    Pick me, pick me! [I sound like an over-achiever!]
    I just received Mary Connealy's Out of Control in the mail today!
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for stopping by, I love to hear from those who traffic my blog! Have a wonderful day. :)

FTC Rules

According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

 
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