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27 June 2011

An Interview with Joanne Sher

Your hostess for this clash is Gail Pallotta
Read the excerpts here
Voting for excerpts A and B is now closed. But you can still enter the drawing to win a copy of Missing Mabel or After Anne by leaving comments here or on facebook.

Meet The Author of Excerpt  A                                                

Joanne is the author of Handmaiden to a Princess.    

Hi Joanne, it's great to learn more about you and you're writing. When's your favorite time to write? Any time the house is relatively quiet--which is pretty rare. Seriously, I don't really have a favorite time. Whenever I'm really into it, it's wonderful. I have found that I seem to write best outside, though.

That's interesting. Where do your best ideas come from? I started out my Christian writing at http://www.faithwriters.com/ and brainstorming ideas from the challenge topic has led to all half dozen or so of the book-length story ideas I have. All of my novels in progress and/or on the back burner started out as Writing Challenge entries.

Would you share something about Handmaiden to a Princess that you think readers would like to know? This book started out, like I mentioned above, as a Faith Writers writing challenge entry--750words. Originally, the story was going to be completely centered around Michal--but then someone else put out a successful book on just that Biblical character, and I figured I might need another angle. That's when I remembered how fascinated I'd been by Rivka, her handmainden. The story took off from there, and now Michal is nowhere near as central.

Sounds like it was Rivka's time. Who is your favorite character that you've created? And why? It's Rivka (whose name is changing, in my book, by the way--long story I'm not getting into right now!). She is incredibly complex, and I'm just beginning to see the incredible impact her past had on her present. And she's a bit like me--wondering if it will help me figure out how I tick. Her relationship with each character in my book is different, and I'm learning so much about her.

When writing about settings, do you write from personal experience or research? Both? I absolutely have to use both--especially since my current book is set somewhere I have never been (Israel). Of course, I would LOVE to remedy that--but that's not on the schedule any time soon. Yet, for the garden scene, while some information on flora and fauna native to the region does help, personal experience in gardens certainly contributed.

Do you transport yourself to a paricular place in your mind to describe a setting? If so, how? Because my current book is set in Israel during Bible times, I've found that reading passages from His Word--especially the Old Testament--helps me "be there." Because I know the stories well, even just thinking about them helps. I also use pictures sometimes, though not as often as I likely should. I'm still a work in progress. Music helps sometimes too.

Joanne’s question for readers:  Out of books you've read, what setting would you most like to visit? Why?

Thank you, Joanne. Visit Joanne's Web site here
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Item Reviewed: An Interview with Joanne Sher Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Gail Pallotta