Jersey girl JoAnn Carter writes some of the sweetest and most inspirational romance e-books to be found on the Web. A perfect blend of great writing skills, wonderful characters, and an appealing contemporary story makes Ms. Carter a must-read author.
JoAnn Carter spent most of her life near the Pine Barrens in New Jersey, where, as a child, she rode her bike, built tree forts with her three best friends, and played kickball. If forced to stay inside, she’d use her imagination and play bank, using leftover carbon paper from her mother’s credit card.
When I asked her what she collects, the first thing that popped into her mind was dust bunnies (not something she’s proud of)—but, on the serious side, she also collects Precious Moments figurines.
In addition to writing, she putters around in her veggie garden while raising her four boys.
What is one of the funniest things that ever happened to her? Well, I’ll let her tell that story: Okay, this is one of those most embarrassing moments… To fix my drooping hair, I put in some curlers and got busy with morning chores. Around noon, I piled our young sons into the van and headed to the grocery store.
While shopping, I seemed to be attracting a lot of attention. I credited it to the cute little boys in my three-seater grocery cart. It wasn’t until I was driving home that I caught my reflection in the rearview mirror. My head was sporting a hot pink “crown!”
Between fits of embarrassed laughter, I asked our oldest son, “Why didn’t you tell Mommy she still had curlers in her hair? Puzzled, our four-year-old responded, “What are curlers?”
She’s passionate about being the best mom she can for her boys. She wants them to know that she loves them, is here for them, and desires the best for them—even if that means being “the bad guy” sometimes. But even more importantly, she passionately prays for them. It’s a yucky world out there some days—especially in the middle school, so she prays that they will place their trust in God and allow Him to be their Rock and Fortress.
Some of her favorite things include her husband, Glenn, their four boys, their dog, Ginger, sunrises and sunsets over the mountains in Vermont, her Bible, music, laughter, and a warm fire on a cold day.
On Writing, In JoAnn Carter’s Own Words
What or who inspires you to write?
I belong to a wonderful local writers’ group. These are fellow crazy authors who work with an awesome attitude of perseverance that encourages and inspires me to continue on.
The other thing that inspires me to write is my personal goal, which is that I would be a blessing to the readers. I pray that the characters’ lives and the lessons they learn throughout the story will strengthen each reader’s faith.
Why did you begin writing?
This is a very interesting question. I would never say it has always been a dream of mine, or that I wrote from the time I was young. In fact, when I was in school, English, as a subject, was never my strength.
However, in my husband’s line of work, he is out many evenings. When we were expecting our first child, I just decided one day that I’d like to try to write a story. I wanted to encourage women, as the books I read at that time were such a personal source of encouragement to me. And that’s how this interesting journey began.
Which author inspires you?
There are so many wonderful, talented authors that have inspired me. Just to name a few, I’d have to say as a young woman, it was Janette Oke. Now I admire authors like Peretti, or Ted Dekker, who have my sons begging for more books—or Thoene who can blend faith and history together to make a beautiful thing.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
I love the challenge of the whole writing process. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve learned and continue to learn—not only about the craft, but life lessons such as patience, perseverance, humility, and so much more.
It’s been an incredible experience and doubly rewarding to grow as both a writer and a person.
Have you experienced writer’s block? And if so, how did you cure it?
This happens to me sometimes when I get overwhelmed with all that needs to be done, which causes a strain in the creative thinking process. When that happens, the best thing is a little R&R to rejuvenate and get refreshed.
When is your next book due out, and what’s it about?
Although I don’t have a book due out, I just sent a project to White Rose Publishing to consider. It’s called Paradox. 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 to 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?
Please read my review of Smuggler of the Heart, then head over to JoAnn Carter’s website to learn more.