Today in the first of my Touchstone Thursday interviews, I’m pleased to introduce you to the wonderful, Jo-Anna Walker!
Jo-Anna is from a small city in Ontario, Canada— born and raised. She just started taking up writing in 2013 and loves it! She absolutely loves her characters and cannot wait to share their stories with the world. She’s currently working at a call center which allows her the time to write. She also crochets as a hobby and if it wasn’t for the 9-5 job, she wouldn’t get half the projects done that she’s been lucky to finish.
Jo-Anna is going to be self-publishing her books—first one comes out this summer!
Without further ado, let’s get to that interview!
First off, thanks for coming! I’m pleased to have you here today. Let’s start with something easy. What’s your favorite color? Why is it your favorite color?
Hmm….my favorite color. I don’t think I have just one. I do have favorite colors for different clothing items though. Like sweaters, I love beige and grey. Tank tops, white. Jeans, blue (any shade)…and so on. Lol! I’m easy to please really. But if I had to choose one, I’ll say white.
What’s your favorite food?
Chocolate chip cookies. *drool*
Haha! I understand that one—I’m eating some right now…for breakfast. Yes, I am eating them with milk. And speaking of drinks, what’s your favorite drink (alcoholic or otherwise)?
Alcoholic drink – beer & non-alcoholic drink – water
Do you have any odd, strange, unusual or outright bizarre habits? Please note, with this blogger, bizarre is a stamp of approval, not reproach. Haha!
Now you got me thinking…um…well I don’t know if it’s a habit or OCD but whenever I lock the door before going to bed, I check it like 10 billion times. Maybe I’m a tad paranoid. Lol! Also, when I grab the paper towel out of the towel dispenser thingy at work, I have to grab 3 sheets. Apparently my hands are really huge. They’re not by the way.
Hah! Okay Jo-Anna, we believe you. So, where are you from? Do you still live there?
I am from London, Ontario in Canada and yes, I still live there.
Oh, a Canuck! I had an ex that was Canadian. He was very into the zodiac. Do you believe in zodiac signs and horoscopes? Either way, what’s your sign?
Not really but I like to read my horoscope every so often just for fun. I’m a Virgo.
Okay, so you don’t start thinking this is a dating profile, let’s move onto the writing questions. (PS: I do the blind dates blog on Wacky Wednesdays… Just kidding!) Has the zodiac influenced your writing at all? Hey, it is writing related!
Hmm…not really. If it has, I haven’t noticed. Lol!
How has your journey in publishing been? Anything you would or wouldn’t do again?
Unfortunately I’m not published as of yet but I’ll be self-publishing. I’m looking at a release date of August 1st, 2013.
You’ll get there. Trust me, you don’t come this far and give up. I haven’t and I’ve been trying to get published for 12 years now! (I was ten why I thought you could query a publisher with an idea and two chapters… Scholastic was kind in their rejection.)What are you working on right now? Can you tell us about it?
I’m working on the second book to my Shattered series and I’m working on a New Adult serial. I just got the cover for the first part. I’m very excited to share these stories with everyone.
They sound great! So, I’m curious, are you a pantser or a plotter?
I’m new to the writing world but I’m learning very quickly that I’m definitely a pantser. I’ve tried the whole plotting thing but my characters keep changing their mind and want to do things their way so I decided to let them have it and just go with the flow.
Your characters talk to you?! YAY! Now you KNOW you’re a writer. All of my mentors have told me that their characters talk to them—mine talk to me as well! I think that’s when you’re really a writer. Haha. So, who is your favorite author?
It depends on the genre but I’d say my all-time favorite who I’ve traveled 9 hours to see, is JR Ward. I just LOVE her!
Is she author who inspired you to start writing? If not, what/who inspired you to start writing? Were your roots such as where you’re from or your family what inspired you to write?
Well I’d say two people inspired me. Last year my aunt told me I should write a story since I love reading so much. I didn’t agree at the time but then I started thinking about it and eventually these people showed up in my head and wanted me to write about them. As I got through their story, more people showed up and that’s how I got the idea for my serial. Now I have an excuse for all of these voices in my head. Lol! My other inspiration is my bestie who is an author as well. She’s getting ready to release the first book to her crime romance series. She’s been very supportive through my journey and without her, I probably would have given up already.
I know that feeling! If not for my critique partners and readers, I might have given up a while ago too. On that though, just how long have you been writing?
I just started actually writing this year so I’m very new and still learning the ropes but I’m having fun.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? If you don’t remember that, when was the first time you introduced yourself as a writer and to whom?
I don’t remember when I first considered myself a writer. I tried keeping my writing thing a secret but that didn’t last very long. I was and still am very excited about this new adventure and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.
See, you were meant to be on my blog. Voyager of Worlds is just the place for people embarking on adventures! What is the hardest part about writing for you?
Details. I can see everything in my head like a movie but getting it on paper, is difficult for me.
Try getting in there and feeling your scenes out as I described in this week’s Touchdown Tuesday blog. It helps. Your characters will love it too! Do you have a favorite character from your books? If so, who, what, when, where and why?
Lol! Well…I have a character who likes to think he’s my favorite but I really don’t know. My book isn’t published yet so I can’t give too much away but lets just say, Sebastian Chelios in Break Me (Shattered #1) is totally swoon worthy.
Ooh! We’ll discuss him next time. *wink* How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written one book and two serial novelettes. Working on the second book and third novelette now. Almost done those, which is very exciting for me.
Woot! You’re almost done. Do you have anything that your readers would be shocked to know about?
Shocked? Hmm…not really. I’m an open book really. Not shy anymore like I used to be. Since being with my hubby, he’s helped me open up and come into my own so if you ask me a question, I’ll be honest in my answer. But lets see…I love pigs. They’re my favorite animal. That’s not really a shockworthy answer. Oh! But I do love dressing up for Halloween and shocking others. The creepier the costume the better! Just wait until you see my costume for this coming Halloween.
Oh cool! Halloween is my *FAVORITE* holiday. Curtailing off holy-days, how has religion influenced your writing? If your novel is set in a fantasy world are there multiple religions there or just one? Is it pagan or monotheistic? If your novel is set in the real world is there a point where a character in your latest or newest novel reaches out for help from a deity?
This is a very good question. My stories are set in the real world but there isn’t really a character who reaches out to a deity except for Jesse in my serial. She asks God why certain things have happened to her. It’s heartbreaking and it would happen in real life, that’s why I implemented it.
That’s a great idea! It’ll also resonate with a ton of people. Now, I have to know, how do you keep your writing different from all the other novels in your genre(s)?
I just write what I see in my head. So far it’s been different but you’ll find that a lot of stories have some similarities. It happens. Even as a reader, I’ve noticed that but it’s never too big that it makes it unenjoyable (is that a word?). That’s probably not a really good answer but that’s the best I could come up with.
Haha! You’re a hoot. So, Jo-Anna, do you write under any other names or in any other genres besides the novel you’re working on?
Nope, just under Jo-Anna Walker as of right now. I’m playing around with a story that might require a pen name but who knows if this story will even see the light of day.
Lastly, what advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Well, as a new writer myself, I don’t know what advice to give yet (ask me again in a couple of years) but if I had to give an answer, I’d say, just write. Write what you feel, see and worry about fixing the mistakes later. Just write. And don’t hold back when it comes to your characters. Even if what they do upsets you or makes you cringe in disgust…just write.
And now a sneak peek at what’s up next for Jo-Anna! Here’s the cover of her first novel and its blurb!
Running is always easier.
Tori McLeod moved to the big city to get away from her mother—and her past. Her new routine is destroyed when she meets a mysterious stranger who won’t take no for an answer. Sebastian intrigues her, but his eyes hold secrets she would rather avoid.
Sebastian Chelios, a hard-as-nails enforcer, is a new-in-town loner. He has to have her. Control her. Possess her. But he can’t—won’t—lose control, even though Tori’s innocence fascinates him. The last thing he’s going to do is love her, even after he gets her in his bed.
Losing control is dangerous, especially when someone from Sebastian’s past covets Tori, putting more than just her heart in danger.
Can Sebastian protect Tori from Jose’s sadistic obsession? If he gets his hands on her, will she make it out in one piece?
*Shivers* Gooseflesh just raised on my skin. Sounds like a great read, huh? Thanks for stopping by Jo-Anna and being my guinea pig!
If you’d like to connect with Jo-Anna, you can find her on these websites.
As a reminder, I am offering to critique the first ten pages of your work. Make sure to leave a comment though! Everybody who leaves a comment will get their names put into a hat at the end of the month. The more posts you comment on, the more times your name will be put into the hat!