Monday, 23 May 2011

Author Spotlight Week - Q&A with JoAnn Carter

STEPH: I don't know much about Paradox. Can you tell me a little more about it?

JOANN: I'd be honored to... Paradox, an inspirational romance novella (for any age including young adults) was released May 15th through Desert Breeze Publishing. Here's the premise ~ Lilly Holland’s passion is flowers-not people. All she’s ever dreamed of was a peaceful life surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation. The exact opposite of what life is like at the touristy Holland Lodge in the small town of Paradox. So, why does she feel like God is nudging her to go? He, if anyone, should know better than ask this of her.

Ric Walker, Holland Lodge’s grounds keeper, is Lilly’s only link to sanity. His steady presence and strong faith encourages her through this trying situation. However, that sanity is threatened as she realizes her feelings for him are changing into something more, something deeper.

Will Lilly learn that Paradox is more than a town’s name, but rather a divine place where God can reveal His power, bring healing, and love, just when she thinks all hope is gone?

STEPH: How long did it take to write?

JOANN: You know, I'm not sure. This was a fun story that I wrote in between larger projects that had tons of research and such. Paradox was my breath of fresh air. Since there was no pressure and no time frame that I needed to finish it by I never kept track.

STEPH: Did you do a lot of research for the novel?

JOANN: No, not for this story. The only thing I really needed to look into was the protocol for police when they are confronted with finding drugs in a car.

STEPH: Is the setting inspired by a real life town?

JOANN: Yes and no. We live in Vermont, but our extended families are from in New Jersey. Whenever we go back to visit, we drive through a tiny little town in New York, that if you'd blink—you'd miss it—called Paradox. The name always made me wonder about the town's founders and such.

However, the name is the only thing in common that the actual town of Paradox has with the fictional town that Lilly grew up in.

STEPH: Do the flowers Lily works with represent something? A motif or metaphor?

JOANN: Flowers are beautiful, peaceful, comforting. These are all attributes in life that Lilly craves for, yet feel so elusive to her.

STEPH: What is the theme of the novel?

JOANN: Hmm. I think I would say that the main theme is that God couldn't love us more than He already does. (We don't need to work for His love. Yet sometimes we feel like there's something that we have "to do" to earn His favor.)

STEPH: What do you want readers to take away from the novel when they finish it?

JOANN: I hope you don't mind, but I'd rather not answer this question, but rather let each reader discover that for him/herself.

Would it be okay if I shared something that happened while I was preparing for the release of Paradox instead?

I was awoken in the early pre-dawn morning by a bird singing out a beautiful melody. Normally, this would make my heart happy, but then I'd just turn over and try to catch a few more moments of rest. But not on this particular day—this day was extra special. Why? Because crazy as this may sound, this little birdie was lifting it's sweet praises in the midst of a thunderstorm. Amazing!

God used two rather "ordinary" things to create and extraordinary experience for me—God showed me something awesome and real—a perfect picture of peace. Thunderclouds rolled in, lighting flashed across the dark gray sky, and rain teamed down the windowpane yet this bird was secure. In fact, it was more than secure, it was full of joy, willing and wanting to sing.

To me, that was a true, clear, beautiful picture of a Paradox. In the same way, I want to be like that bird and sing His praises through life's storms.

STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?

JOANN: No, unfortunately this is still on my wish-list. For right now, I just use my lap top to read e books.

STEPH: What's the last movie you saw?

JOANN: Let's see... I think it was about a month ago. A few friends and I watched BLIND SIDE. That was the second time I saw it. Great movie! (I was hoping to see Soul Surfer, but I haven't had the chance to yet.)

STEPH: Any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?

JOANN: In keeping with the theme of this story, I'd like to leave these verses with any aspiring writers, Luke 12:27-29 (NCV)
Consider how the lilies grow; they don't work or make clothes for themselves. But I tell you that even Solomon with his riches was not dressed as beautifully as one of these flowers. God clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today but tomorrow is thrown into the fire. So how much more will God clothe you? Don't have so little faith! Don't always think about what you will eat or what you will drink, and don't keep worrying. All the people in the world are trying to get these things, and your Father knows you need them. But seek God's kingdom, and all your other needs will be met as well.

Seek God's will for your writing, cast all your concerns and fears on Him, and ask Him to direct your paths—to the right critique partner, or writing group, or publisher. .


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for having me here today. I'm looking forward to this week and getting to chat with you folks!