Joanna Wylde is the secret identity of an international library spy who has travelled the world in search of exactly the right book to read. Despite her endless efforts, she’s still seeking the Ultimate Story — a story so powerful, so incredible that time itself stops while it’s being read, kittens spontaneously spring forth from rainbows, and unicorns bow their heads in praise. Joanna’s hobbies include manatee wrestling (six time north Idaho champion), arguing about the pros/cons of the Oxford comma and refusing to accept that Chicago style should trump AP.
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1. How and when did you get started as a writer?
I've been writing my entire life, but I got my first writing job at the college newspaper. I've worked as a journalist, a grant writer, a communications consultant, ghosting writing, etc. I love writing fiction the most, at least so far ;)
2. How do you usually find your ideas?
I have no idea. I've always done a lot of daydreaming, and my favorite time to think about plots is early in the morning, when I'm sort of halfway between being asleep and being awake. I know that's where I solve most of my plot issues, etc.
3. Where do you write from? (home, office etc.)
I usually write at home in my living room. I also write on the deck, down in my office and sometimes I go to coffee shops. When I'm really on a deadline, I'll sometimes rent a hotel room so I can totally focus on my work.
4. How long does it take you to write a book?
The longest it's ever taken was six months, and the shortest was 39 days.
5. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I don't know that I have a schedule. I have two kids and I'm really active in their lives, so writing is often something that happens in the cracks, rather than on a regular schedule. I do most of my work while they're at school or later in the evenings.
6. Do you have any suggestions to help become a better writer? If so, what are they?
I think the most important thing you can do is write. Write a lot. They say the first million words are practice and I totally believe that. I also think it's important to read books about writing and work with critique partners, but way too many people seem to be so caught up in studying writing that they forget to write. It's truly the only way you'll get better and build your craft ;)
7. Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
Hmmm... that's tough. How's this -- I was deported from South Korea, once upon a time.
8. What is your greatest weakness?
Sometimes I have a lot of trouble focusing and staying on track with the actual writing. There's so much to do that isn't writing, from answering emails to social media to business crap. Sometimes that takes over and I don't have time to write, which is very dangerous.
9. What is your greatest strength?
I've been a professional writer for twenty years, but only four of those were spent on fiction. I've learned that there are a hundred different ways to earn your keep with your keyboard. A writing career changes all the time, but it never needs to end so long as you're flexible and willing to work.
10. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Write romance novels :) True story.