Welcome to Writing for Christ JoAnn Durgin, it is great to have you here!
*Do you have an interesting fact about yourself the average reader probably doesn’t know?
My son, Matthew, is 16 and diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s brilliant, loving and sweet as can be, but he’s “different.” Thankfully, he doesn’t have emotional issues and others respond to his kind spirit. As parents, my husband and I have instilled in Matthew that he can do anything and be anything with God’s help. When your child is autistic, you become their greatest advocate and champion. I always say autism doesn’t disable, it enables. He’s enriched our lives and taught us more than he knows. When we picked him up at church camp (after his first week ever away from home) this past summer, we saw what others had written on a poster about our son: “An angel in disguise” and “Lives his faith.” Now, tell me, what mother wouldn’t shed some joyful tears over those words?
I’d also encourage anyone who’s interested to visit my website at www.joanndurgin.com for some photos and fun facts to know and tell about my background and life.
*Do you have a favorite genre to read/write?
Contemporary Christian romance has my heart, in terms of both reading and writing. While I adore historical romance, I enjoy reading about the challenges of today’s world and how heroines and heroes handle and/or embrace them. I understand readers want an escape. Other genres fulfill that need for many, but I believe modern stories can also provide the same. That’s where creativity, plotlines and characters come into play, and as an author, I embrace the challenge. It’s the journey of a character that makes a novel so fascinating—working through the steps and finding hope, strength and faith-based resolutions to conflict.
*Do you have a nugget of writing advice that has completely changed how you view writing?
Write from your heart and your passion and don’t ever compare yourself to another writer. The Lord has given each author a unique talent and ability. It’s not a competition. I couldn’t begin to write some of the stories my counterparts write in terms of suspense, for one thing. One element I employ in all my stories is humor, but I have writer friends tell me all the time that they can’t begin to write “funny.” Just as we’re a part of the body of Christ, we’re each called to a different and unique purpose for the good of all.
*5 things you love?
Besides the obvious answers of the Lord, my family, writing and reading, here are five things that readily come to mind:
1. A back or foot rub that lasts more than two minutes.
2. Wrapping a package so exquisitely that the recipient almost doesn’t want to open it. I splurge on quality, heavyweight paper, artificial flowers, ribbon, embellishments—you name it. It’s all in the presentation, dahling. Gifts for wedding and baby showers are my absolute favorites.
3. Quiet but rare evenings where I don’t have to do anything other than relax and read to my heart’s content.
4. The older I’ve gotten, the more I love listening to classical music and orchestral arrangements. I particularly love the violin—it’s hauntingly beautiful and truly stirs my soul. And inspires a lot of storylines and creativity.
5. Traveling, pretty much anywhere. Overnight is best. A hot tub or pool is even better.
*What novel have you recently read that has stood out to you that both teens and adults will find enjoyment in?
Only because I’m a shameless marketer and don’t really like to single out one author over another, I’m going to say my 2012 Christmas novella, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe. Here’s why: it’s clean, pure and lots of fun for all ages. It’s the story of hero firefighter Captain Jake Marston in tiny Starlight, Iowa, and his blossoming romance with his best friend’s sister, pediatric nurse Julia Sinclair. It’s a good lesson for teens about waiting for “the one” of God’s choosing and about how being a hero can mean many different things. This book also has a “senior” romance happening simultaneously to the primary love story, and I love that aspect. It’s a perfect short read (about 140 pages) for cozying up with on a cold December afternoon or evening.
*Places for readers to learn more about you?
Please visit my website at www.joanndurgin.com or on Facebook, including my new Author JoAnn Durgin page.
Thank you for being with us today!
Thank you, Casey. Always a pleasure. Many blessings to all during this most special season of the year!
Readers, here is your chance to enter to win JoAnn's book (and as an added bonus, JoAnn has also offered a copy of her novella Under the Mistletoe to the winner as well)!
Please leave an email address! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.
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 28th
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com
A little bit more about the novel:
What the eyes conceal, the heart reveals. It's early December 2002, and Amy Jacobsen is living the dream: a job she loves with a trendy New York City magazine, a Manhattan walk-up inherited from her grandfather, and a busy social life without the unwanted complication of a steady boyfriend. During dinner one evening with her brother, Mitch, she spies Landon Warnick the next table over. He's influential, successful and one of the youngest magazine publishers in the country--not to mention one of New York's most eligible bachelors. After Mitch wrangles a meeting between the two, Landon wastes little time in asking her to dinner. Amy questions her sanity when they share a cozy carriage ride in Central Park and she comes this close to kissing him. It is the joy and wonder of the Christmas season that's put stars in her eyes or the enigmatic, intelligent, challenging and incredibly handsome man?
The following weekend, she travels to Louisiana to be a bridesmaid in a wedding and a reunion with her friends and fellow volunteers in TeamWork Missions. Headed down the aisle in the wedding, Amy's steps falter. Standing at the front is a groomsman who flew into town only an hour before. . . She does a double take. What's Landon Warnick doing in her world, with her friends? Perhaps more important, why does he suddenly have a Texas drawl and a crescent-shaped scar on his forehead? Sharing a romantic dance at the reception, she casts aside her better judgment and kisses him She's lost her mind and her heart might not be far behind, it seems. Let the adventure begin! Is the Lord showing her the "right" man for her heart or is Amy in way over her head?