Monday, August 22, 2016
Guest Blogger: JoAnne Keltner
* Please tell us about your latest book.
My latest book, Goth Girl Virgin Queen, is about seventeen-year-old (Jackie) who denies her psychic abilities because of her Russian Orthodox upbringing and the lie she told after having her first psychic experience in church. Jackie carries a lot of guilt because of this lie and the events it caused, and she hides from the community in her Goth attire. When her fickle friend Trish, jealous over Jackie’s relationship with their friend Jason, invites a demon with her QUIJA board to help her win Jason’s love, the demon causes Jackie to be persecuted for this lie. To protect herself and Jason, Jackie is forced to learn to use her psychic ability. Of course, she has a lot of guilt to deal with in order to reach her full potential.
* How do we find out about you and your books?
You can learn more about me and my books at www.JoAnneKeltner.com.
* Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
Sadly, it takes me too long! At least, it took me several years to write and polish Obsession and Goth Girl Virgin Queen. I attribute that time to being more of a “by seat of my pants writer” rather than a plotter—in other words, I wrote these books from my heart first and then went back and reshaped them, focusing on plot and character development. Not that a writer can’t write from the heart if they are a plotter, it’s just that I can’t. With the book I’m working on now, I’m trying a combined method of “pansting” and plotting, which is working out pretty well for me: I’m feeling the passion as I write, yet I’m guided by a rough outline that I developed after a long bout of free writing. So hopefully, this next one won’t take me as long.
* Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I try to stick to a schedule by beginning in the morning with a little journal writing and then following it with a few hours of work on my novel. This typically works out well for me Mondays through Thursdays. Fridays, however, I spend grocery shopping and cleaning, and I’m typically too tired to write afterwards. But on Saturdays and Sundays in the afternoon, I can usually find time to return to the novel writing.
* What are your favorite things to do?
o Gardening. I plant a spring/summer and a fall/winter garden. I’ve been living in North Carolina for three years now and am amazed at how long I can keep a winter garden going and how long the growing season is in general. My husband and I have picked cabbage and kale well into December. By March, we’re ready to plant our spring/summer garden.
o Cooking and baking, especially with anything that comes from the garden or from the pecan tree in the yard.
o Binge watching shows from HBO, AMC, and such. I find that I’d rather watch a series than a movie because I can spend a longer time with the characters and watch them evolve. Of course, after the last episode, I’m feeling the pain of having to part ways with them and vow to someday watch the series again from beginning to end.
o Listening to foreign language learning recordings (Spanish, Polish, Russian) while I cook. I realized, not too long ago, that I probably like hearing foreign language in the kitchen because my Great Aunt Helen, who practically raised me, always listened to her Polish radio station while we cooked.
o Sitting down with a cup of coffee and reading a good book.
* Where do your ideas come from?
All of my story ideas so far have come from my dreams.
* Which comes first, the story, the characters, or the setting?
Because I get my story ideas from my dreams, I would say imagery comes first for me, which consists of setting and mood and then character to which the events are happening. It’s the imagery and setting that inspire me.