Awakening. To learn more about JoAnn and her book, read on!
Publisher: Torn Veil Books
Cover blurb: Lexa Clarke signs up for a short-term summer assignment in San Antonio with TeamWork Missions, hoping to make a difference in the world. TeamWork director Sam Lewis has a job to do and can't afford to be distracted by the petite, feisty blonde. But when she tumbles into his arms from the top of a house they’re rebuilding, Sam suspects his life will never be the same. A God-fearing man. A God-seeking woman. A combustible combination.
1. How did this story come to you?
A lot of the people, places and events in Awakening parallel my love story with my husband, Jim. In many ways, I lived this story, and I like to think it makes it more real. The strength of character, unwavering faith and goodness in Sam is based on Jim. And the stubbornness, resourcefulness and resilience in Lexa is based on yours truly.
2. Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Awakening was written more than a decade ago before putting my writing aside to raise our three children. In late 2008, I literally dug it out from under the bed and blew off the dust bunnies, but I only had the last half. Reading it with fresh eyes, I knew this was the story the Lord wanted me to tell. Not only did He give me my story back, but He opened the doors of His choosing in very dramatic ways (read about it on my website). I still haven’t found an agent, but Awakening sold to the first publisher who reviewed it. I am very blessed.
3. Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
(1) I’m related to an oil millionaire as well as a PGA golf champion who won the Master’s and the U.S. Open golf tournaments. (2) I’m a diehard Boston Red Sox fan and can get very loud and boisterous watching them. We were blessed to live in Boston when they won the World Series after 86 long years, and had to go through their biggest rivals, the New York Yankees, to do it. (3) I credit rejection (twice) by one of the best Christian agents out there, criticism from a multi-published, award-winning author who said there wasn’t a market for a book like Awakening, and a layoff from my paralegal job that led to getting my manuscript in the hands of my publisher. Now, I’m on my way in my writing career and have an even better paralegal job. It never ceases to amaze me the miraculous ways in which the Lord works to accomplish His perfect will!
4. What are you working on now and what's next for you?
The next installment in the series is called Second Time Around, and it’s currently under review with Torn Veil Books. The entire series is written, awaiting edits, with a second series right behind it that’s an indirect offshoot from this one. I’ve got a few stand alone novels I wrote years ago I might pick up again, and I started something totally new recently just because I missed the creative process of writing. I’m never idle, and try to do something connected with writing every day.
5. Parting comments?
One of the biggest challenges for a writer is to create characters who become so real they literally jump off the page and into the hearts and minds of readers. If a writer is passionate about their characters, the story shines. The Lord is my co-author, and I’m writing the stories He’s given to me. If you’re a writer, my best advice is to pray and commit your work to the Lord. And then simply write. If you’re a reader, I hope when you pick up my book, you’ll find an involving story featuring a healthy dose of romance with deep emotion and a little adventure thrown into the mix! Thanks for allowing me to share with you today.
6. Where can fans find you on the internet?
I’m on Facebook, and messages can also be sent to me via my website at www.joanndurgin.com. I’d love to hear from you! I regularly blog on Reflections in Hindsight on alternate Wednesdays and Hoosier Ink on the 30th of each month. Blessings!