About Joan Carney:
A transplant from the concrete sidewalks of New York City to the sunny beaches of Southern California, Ms. Carney enjoys writing stories about women who are strong—whether by nature or circumstance—and the men who love and respect them for who they are. Things that make her happy are rainy days (too much sun is a bore), writing the perfect first line, family get-togethers, reading books that grab her heart, and finding new connections in her genealogy research. Bold coffee and dark chocolate fuel the artistic fire inspired by her family, friends, and psycho, lizard hunting cat.
What inspires you to write?
The window in my office faces a serene lake with ducks and seagulls squawking in the distance. When I’m stuck for the perfect word or phrase, I gaze out at the light sparkling on the water and allow the alpha brain waves to flow. If that doesn’t work, I do the opposite and munch on chips, crackers, anything chocolate or high in carbs to stimulate my creativity. The calories are balanced out with long walks around the lake or, if I’ve been especially brilliant, I reward myself with a couple hours trolling the department store racks.
Tell us about your writing process.
My first draft was a complete “seat of my pants” effort. With a firm grasp of the beginning and the end, I let the middle develop and grow on its own. I threw challenges and adventures at the characters, watching them weather every storm. By allowing my imagination to run wild though, I wound up having to slash a third of the story. My mistake taught me that planning form and structure ahead of time is a huge stress saver. You live, you learn. The one good thing that came of that error was a deeper connection to and understanding of my characters.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
We have a back and forth discussion through the whole writing process. Constructing the characters is by far my favorite part. To make them believable and relatable, I make a sketch of each one’s personal life, dreams, successes, failures, family ties, etc. I try to imbue them with a few of the traits displayed by my own acquaintances. Knowing how they will react to each other and to what I have in store for them helps me develop the story.
What advice would you give other writers?
Jot down every idea for a story that comes into your head so you don’t forget it. Your list will be invaluable when you come up dry or just need inspiration.</p>
<p>I wrote my first draft entirely by the seat of my pants and wound up having to slash off about a third of the manuscript. From this experience I can tell you to outline as much of the book as you can. It’s worth taking the time up front to ensure a well-developed and structured book in the end. Once the outline is complete and weak points and any areas where the pace lags are defined, the story practically writes itself.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’m a control freak. I did not want to give up control over the content or distribution of the book, so I decided to self-publish. But that’s a double edged sword. While I have control, I also have the responsibility of marketing and promotion which is very time consuming.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
At the last conference I went to, the consensus was that self-publishing was fast becoming the way to go. There were also many authors there who published some of their work traditionally and some themselves. I find it very encouraging for the independent publishers
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Romance, Time Travel, Historical, Contemporary
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.