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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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Patty Wysong said... Monday, 27 June, 2011

Joanne, it was so fun seeing you here! =]

Shellie said... Monday, 27 June, 2011

Hi Joanne,

Good luck with your clash:D. As for a setting visit...I'd love to visit many of the places mentioned in Biblical times, but I think medieval England would be interesting too. At least the medieval England many authors have depicted:). Thanks for the wonderful interview and clash, ladies!

Joanne Sher said... Monday, 27 June, 2011

Medieval England WOULD be wonderful, Shellie! (and it's fun to see YOU TOO, Patty LOL) And, of course, the biblical sites (ONE day!). But wouldn't a time machine make it even MORE fun? Sure would make research easier, eh? ;)

Michelle Massaro said... Monday, 27 June, 2011

Hi, Joanne-- great interview! I'd love to visit Israel, let's go together, ok? =)

Joanne Sher said... Monday, 27 June, 2011

Hehe - can you pack me in your suitcase, Michelle?

I actually had a couple opportunities to go when I was young, but there was too much fear of violence and such over there at the time. Wish my grandma hadn't been such a chicken ;).

My husband has actually been (lucky guy!!). That and the Grand Canyon are my dream trips. Guessing the latter will come before the former - but that's okay.

April Gardner said... Monday, 27 June, 2011

Hi Joanne!
I had the opportunity to go once as well, but violence erupted (go figure, right?) and canceled our plans. It's just as well. We'll all visit Jerusalem one day. The new one! We should go ahead and set up a coffee date, right gals? ;-)
Shellie, I'm with ya on medieval England. Trish Goyer wrote a series set during Spain's Civil War. I grew up there, and think it would be fascinating to be a fly on the wall during that time.

Shellie said... Monday, 27 June, 2011

Love it April, count me in for coffee in the new Jerusalem:). Ooh, Joanne, the Grand Canyon is on my bucket list too. Hope you get there!

Elaine Marie Cooper said... Tuesday, 28 June, 2011

You ladies are so brave! I HAVE visited the Grand Canyon, but my fear of heights gave me such a panic I could not enjoy the view. I guess I'll look at a postcard! ;-) Joanne, your book sounds awesome. Let us know when it's out so we can all enjoy it! My dream place to visit? Probably northern England where the James' Herriott books are set. Love his stories!

Joanne Sher said... Tuesday, 28 June, 2011

I think we need a COTT tour of Israel. And the Grand Canyon. AND England.

And I love James Herriot's books too, Elaine. Haven't read them in quite a while. Such "warm your heart" reads!

Patty Wysong said... Wednesday, 29 June, 2011

A COTT tour of Israel? Can I tag along? =] ah hem, the correct answer there would be yes. ;) And the Grand Canyon. Definitely want to go there! =]

Lisa Lickel said... Wednesday, 29 June, 2011

Hey, Joanne!!!
out of the settings so far, just for awhile, I'd like to go with Michelle Griep to 5th century Norway. Just for a while, then come home for a nice shower.

April Gardner said... Wednesday, 29 June, 2011

Hear, hear, Lisa. But only if Alarik is there. Such a hottie. Hehe!

Shellie said... Thursday, 30 June, 2011

Does this mean COTT is starting a Travel and Tour company? Count me in:D. Can't think of a better way to get to 5th C Norway, England, the Grand Canyon, and Israel!

(wonder what COTT would stand for then...)

Joanne Sher said... Thursday, 30 June, 2011

All I know, Shellie, is that the C would definitely stand for "Crazy." ;)

Julie Arduini said... Thursday, 30 June, 2011

I love knowing YOU were part of the Clash. Enjoyed your interview. Continued blessings to you.

April Gardner said... Thursday, 30 June, 2011

Shellie and Julie, thanks for stopping by! A Travel and Tour company sounds fantastic. I say we start at the Grand Canyon. Elaine, I'll hold your hand. ;-) I've been wondering who this James Herriot is. What can you tell me about his work?

Elaine Marie Cooper said... Thursday, 30 June, 2011

OH! Where do I begin??! One of my FAV authors!! James Herriott (his pen name) was a country vet in Yorkshire, England starting in the 1930's. He has written many books about his animal patients as well as the fascinating people from Yorkshire. His descriptions of people and places, as well as his sensitive portrayals of heartwarming situations, are unequalled in almost any other books that I have read. And the humor runs rampant as well! His first book was "All Creatures Great and Small." You've probably heard that title. Obviously, I am a fan! ;-)

And as far as the Grand Canyon...you'll have to put a blindfold on me, April! LOL

Joanne Sher said... Thursday, 30 June, 2011

The Herriot books are wonderful, April. I know he's written at least four about being a country vet. Four were named after the hymn- "All Things Bright And Beautiful," "All Creatures Great And Small," "All Things Wise and Wonderful," and "The Lord God Made Them All" are the four I've read (and have in my home). Just delightful reading.

And I'm SO there for the Grand Canyon.

April Gardner said... Friday, 01 July, 2011

Oh, yes. I've heard of his books! I assumed they were children's, but I guess I was wrong? Even if they are written for adults, I'm wondering if they'd be appropriate for my 9yo. He just finished The Hobbit, so his reading level is kinda up there. Do you recommend them for him?

Joanne Sher said... Friday, 01 July, 2011

I think he would love them, April. I just checked the Accelerated Reader site (not sure if you're familiar, but they have "reading levels" for quite a few books), and the four I mentioned are rated at the sixth grade reading level - and so is The Hobbit. I'm guessing he'd be fine.

April Gardner said... Friday, 01 July, 2011

Excellent. We're getting him a Kindle for Christmas/b-day (his b-day is 26 Dec, poor kid). Shhh! ;-)
So I've been making a list of books to add to it. These sound perfect. Thanks!!

Item Reviewed: An Interview with Joanne Sher Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Gail Pallotta