Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the three hundred and eightieth, is of multi-genre novelist JoAnn Smith Ainsworth. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
When JoAnn Smith Ainsworth carried wood as a pre-teen so her Great Aunt Martha could stoke up the iron stove to prepare dinner, she wasn’t thinking, “I could use this in a novel someday.” Yet, the skills she learned from her horse-and-buggy ancestors translate into backdrops for her historical romance and paranormal thriller novels.
Believing it’s never too late to create your dream, she resurrected a desire to write as a senior citizen. Her debut medieval romantic suspense novels, MATILDA’S SONG (ISBN: 978-1-60504-195-7) and OUT OF THE DARK (ISBN: 978-1-60504-277-0), received 4 stars from RT Book Reviews.
JoAnn’s two historical western romances released from Whiskey Creek Press: POLITE ENEMIES (Book 1)(ebook ISBN: 978-1-61160-636-2; paper: 978-1-61160-590-7) and THE FARMER AND THE WOOD NYMPH (Book 2)(ebook ISBN: 978-1-61160-660-7; paper: 978-1-61160-898-4).
EXPECT TROUBLE. a paranormal thriller (print ISBN: 978-1-61009-074-2, ebook ISBN 978-1-61009-517-4) released from Oak Tree Press. JoAnn was a child in WWII and her memories of those times add realistic poignancy to the novel.
Ms. Ainsworth is represented by Agent Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency.
Among her achievements are Chief Clerk of a U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee, database administrator for an international law firm and a three-and-a-half month trip alone around the world.
She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley with a double major in English and Social Science. She has her Masters in Teaching English and ESL from Fairleigh Dickinson University and her M.B.A. studies from Pepperdine University.
She’s most proud of becoming an author as a senior citizen. She was 75 when EXPECT TROUBLE released.
To learn more, visit http://www.joannsmithainsworth.com. Visit Twitter @JoAnnAinsworth and @JoAnnParanormal or Facebook to learn about her author life. Check out her paranormal writings and WWII memories on Facebook’s “JoAnn Smith Ainsworth Fan Page”.
And now from the author herself:
I’m an example of never giving up on your dream. I’m a senior citizen who plans to write novels for the next 15-20 years.
When I decided I wanted to use my education to become an author to supplement my social security and keep me active and alive after retiring as a database administrator, I had a ten-year plan. My employer unexpectedly went out of business in 2003 in the aftermath of the dot.com bust. I suddenly found myself without a job and in early retirement. I could have decided that my world had fallen apart and why bother, but I stuck to my dream and accelerated my writing process.
Uncannily, it ended up being the ten years of writing that I envisioned. I sold OUT OF THE DARK and MATILDA’S SONG at age 68 to Samhain Publishing, Ltd. At age 75, I released two western romances and one paranormal thriller. I’m writing my sixth novel, which is a sequel to the paranormal thriller.
I write in historical settings. I choose my setting/time period first. I ask myself: What story problem can arise because of this time and place? Then I ask what type of character(s) is best suited to resolve the story question? From there I create at least five major crises the character(s) must face. Those crisis points are the story plot. As you can see, the plot comes last.
The decision on where to start the novel is crucial to the novel’s success. Capturing a reader’s attention with the first words on the page requires refining the thoughts by choosing or eliminating possibilities. It takes a significant amount of decision making to begin a novel. Our choices affect everything that follows.
I’m a structured person–a plotter. Before I ever write a word of the novel, I do my research, have my main characters fleshed out, my story question, theme, tag line and pitch sentence written, and the whole novel outlined in Excel so I know the purpose of each scene and how it carries the story forward. I tried the intuitive approach when I wrote my first novel and it just didn’t work for me.
I try to do my research first, but as I write there is always a need for more research. I write in eight+ week timelines so my historical settings are more important than the history of the period. Clothing, housing and food take up most of my research time.
My daily routine is to wake early in the morning, do a half hour exercise, write for 3-4 hours on my laptop in my p.j.’s, then rest a bit before showering and going downstairs for lunch. In the afternoon, I check my email, return phone calls, and handle household and marketing needs. The only time my routine slips is the weeks before and after a book release. Then everything flip flops. Marketing and ‘taking care of business’ take priority. I squeeze writing in when I have the energy.
I write a book a year to a year and a half. During that time, I expect to have three months when family, holidays, vacations, and marketing take up most of my time.
How do I handle deadlines? I’ve never waited to the last minute to do anything. I like having the time to carefully review what I do before submitting it.
My writing process revolves around my critique partners. I keep working on a novel until they are satisfied it’s ready to go into the public.
You can find more about JoAnn and her writing via…
- Twitter @JoAnnAinsworth or @JoAnnParanormal or Facebook’s JoAnn Smith Ainsworth Fan Page.
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=joann+smith+ainsworth
- Contact her at JoAnnParanormal@gmail.com.
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=JoAnn+Smith+Ainsworth&x=15&y=17
- Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/out-of-the-dark-joann-smith-ainsworth/1100392416?ean=9781605042770&itm=1&usri=9781605042770
- Independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/indie-bookstore-finder
- EXPECT TROUBLE from Oak Tree Press. Back Cover text: Opening herself to ridicule by revealing she’s clairvoyant is the last thing U.S. WAVE Livvy Delacourt wants, but when Uncle Sam needs her skill to track Nazi spies, she jumps in with both feet. Join this emotional journey through paranormal realms of fast-paced suspense and supernatural battles as U.S. Navy psychics pit themselves against their Nazi counterparts.
- Expect Trouble is intense, fast moving and filled with twists and turns and just when you think you have it figured out, there is more sabotage, espionage and conspiracies. You can’t just read one chapter and put the book down. This one will keep you reading. A terrific romantic thriller. ………….. April Knight, Author
- If you like the British series The Bletchley Circle, you will enjoy this book! ………….. Patricia Simpson, Author
- Ainsworth’s brisk pace and engaging characters make Expect Trouble a thoroughly enjoyable read. ………….. Carolina Montague, Author
- Immediately addictive. ………….. Joseph Stegner, Poet
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