Monday, May 24, 2010

Interview with Joanna Aislinn

Joanna Aislinn is the author of enchanting romances that will touch your heart. She's here to talk about her new release with The Wild Rose Press. Let's give her a warm welcome.

She'll be stopping by to answer questions. She'd love to hear from you.

Tell us a little about yourself:

I am a wife, mother and (almost) full-time school-based related services provider who loves to read. I’ve always loved crafts—part of which drew me to my day job’s curriculum—and came to realize writing is simply an extension of that. I consider it art, using words to create color, and images, evoke sensations, reactions, etc.

No Matter Why is your current release with The Wild Rose Press. Tell us a little about the story.

Vicky Reed, my wonderful editor described the story this way: “No Matter Why is about two people who grow to love each other, and over the course of their story realize that faith and trust aren't just words, but the building blocks of an enduring relationship.”

No Matter Why tells the story of Carrie Norwell, a twenty-one year-old nearly orphaned five-years prior to the tale’s opening. She’s withdrawn and cut-off by choice yet craving the love and camaraderie only a family can bring. Then she meets outgoing, confident and amazingly optimistic Billy Jay Eldridge. Almost immediately drawn to Carrie he sets out to know her better, unaware that his noble—yet dangerous—career aspirations are his greatest drawback to giving Ms. Norwell what she wants and needs most.

What inspired you to write the tale?

My first encounter with a newly-published author who encouraged her audience to write “a hero I could love” and “a heroine I’d root for.” I’d already started experimenting by then (i.e., had written a whole chapter, lol) and realized I had the skills to start putting down the story circling the inner parts of my head for too many years!

Carrie Norwell’s brothers were murdered and she loses her father, how does she deal with the tragic loss?

She shuts down and avoids close contact with anyone other than the aunt (her mother’s twin) who stepped in ten years’ earlier to help raise Carrie and her brothers after their mother died of an aneurism.

What is the hero and heroine’s first impression of each other? Where do they meet?

Carrie and Billy Jay meet on her first day at PharmSmart, the Target-type store where he is an assistant manager and assigned to ‘showing her the ropes.’ Unconsciously, he probably took note of her but is so preoccupied with his pressing job duties and job dissatisfaction that it doesn’t register until she’s on site for a few weeks. She definitely notices his All-American good looks—she is human after all ;)—but ignores, avoids and/or stuffs whatever feelings she might have experienced.

What do you find most rewarding about writing?

Love when a scene comes together, whether in first draft or during the revision tweaks that hopefully make it that much better. I also love when a reader tells me she was ‘there’.

What are your current projects and works in progress?

A third book in this series will be determined, to a degree, by how I wind up marketing the sequel, No Matter What. I believe I’ll completely rewrite what was originally intended to be third in the saga as a stand-alone. (Loved No Matter What’s ending to much to mess with it, lol.)

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Don’t wait until you have a contract to build your web presence. Promote yourself and get out there as soon as possible!

Also—and I struggle with this, especially lately—consider the feedback you receive on your work no matter who the source. If it’s an editor who’s kind enough to give you something to work with, consider that she probably knows the market better. NO ONE, however, has my story vision. Decide what you’re willing to change and what you feel strongly about. Then figure out how all that fits into who you are as a writer and a person.

Tell the readers where they can find you:

My website, my blog, and other writers’ blogs, such as yours, Karen! (My stops are listed at for anyone interested enough to track me J.)

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?

It’s always nice to know someone stopped by, preferably by leaving a comment (makes me feel like I’m reaching SOMEONE out in cyberspace) or an e-mail, Facebook message, etc. I’d love to know what someone would like to see (i.e., scenes you wish I’d written or would like me to write). And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE feedback from readers—period.

Blurb and Excerpt:

Trust and stability became empty words the day motherless, sixteen-year-old Carrie Norwell came home to find her brothers murdered. Within moments, her father arrived and his heart gave out at the scene. Five years later, is it any wonder the walls with which she’s barricaded her heart are virtually impenetrable to anyone looking to get close and offer what she wants more than anything? The security only a loving family can give? Or someone with whom to build her own?

Billy Jay Eldridge wants to offer exactly that to the right girl. He’s two years out of college, managing a store at the assistant level and on his way up PharmSmart’s chain of command but toys daily with the idea of a major career move that promises to make nobler use of his God-given talents. Then shy, quiet Carrie joins his crew. Intrigued and charmed by the girl’s haunted eyes and withdrawn ways he sets out to know her better, clueless that his life’s calling will be the biggest setback to getting her to accept from him what she wants and needs most.

Carrie couldn’t drive home fast enough. She shifted into park and was barely through the door when the phone rang. She hadn’t noticed her aunt’s car in the driveway. Carrie quickly spread her saturated coat across the hooks and ran for the nearest handset. “Hello?”

”You’re out of breath. I should have waited another five minutes.”

“Who…?” Carrie recognized Billy Jay’s voice. The guy was resourceful. “Why are you calling me?”

“Just wanted to say hi. Talk a little. You know, get to know each other.”

“Didn’t you say I had time to think?”

“Thirty minutes wasn’t enough?” He gave her no time to answer. “Don’t shake your head like that. It might fall off.”

She stopped short. Billy Jay had already shown up at work. Why wouldn’t he stop by her home?

He kept talking. “Could you imagine all that wavy hair and those big green eyes of yours sticking out of the ground without the rest of you attached?”

She found her bearings. “You’re crazy.”

“Only about you, Angel-girl.”

The sweet words warmed Carrie. “Will you not call me that, please?” She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. “Better yet, don’t call me.”

“Obviously, I’m past that point.”

Obviously, Carrie was getting nowhere. She remembered Jessica’s comment about Monica. “Since you insist on talking, explain how you excuse this behavior to your girlfriend.” Carrie’s hands shook, but she kept her voice steady.

“What girlfriend?”

Behind gritted teeth Carrie stifled a not so nice response. Had Billy Jay been there in person, she might have mustered just enough nerve to reach up, grab his oversized shoulders and give him a good hard shake. “Would Monica approve of you following another girl around and calling her at home?”

“Monica?” Billy Jay’s surprise sounded genuine. “What makes you think I’d even look at someone other than the girl I’m dating?”

Carrie struck a nerve. His persistence had already dug through her last one. “What else am I supposed to think? You were with her at the diner.”

A short silence prefaced Billy Jay’s whistle. “Amazing. Jess kept something to herself.”

His unexpected change in attitude threw Carrie off guard. “What are you talking about?”

“I broke things off with Monica the next day. I’m free to pursue any girl I choose.”

Carrie chewed her inner lip. “Lucky you. Choose somebody else.”


Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you for sharing today and wish you much success with your book.

I'm curious, how do you pronounce your last name? Is it like the Irish
Ash lin?

Autumn Jordon said... Best Blogger Tips

Congrats on the new release, Joanna. I love the cover. Carrie sounds very scarred. It will be interesting to see how Billy will help her become whole again.

2009 Golden Heart Finalist

joanna aislinn said... Best Blogger Tips

Good morning all! Thanks so much, Karen, for having me! Love how different blogspots help bring out different aspects of an author!

Autumn, on the off-chance you read my story one day, I'd love to know how YOU feel the story plays out!

I'll be checking in later today--sometime late afternoon or early evening--the workday calls!

Hope everyone's day is great and I look forward to catching up!

edwinascsrhnds said... Best Blogger Tips

Great interview Ladies! I have had to good fortune to read "No Matter Why." The story is sweet, tender and touching. Joanna has a talent for grabbing deep emotions!
Thank you for the comment to aspiring writers to maintain their artistic vision throughout the editing process. I'm unpubbed and don't have professional factors toying with my stories but I know from many sources how diffiucult editing and rewriting can be.
So thnak you for the sound advice to stick to your original vision!

P.L. Parker said... Best Blogger Tips

Good morning ladies - great blurb and congratulations. Hope your sales soar.

By the way, love Monday's hero

Debra St. John said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Joanna and Karen,

Waving Hello!

I can't wait to read my copy of "No Matter Why" that I just won!

Cate Masters said... Best Blogger Tips

Great interview, Joanna and Karen. Loved the blurb too. Best of luck with No Matter Why.

Susan Macatee said... Best Blogger Tips

Great excerpt, Joanna! This sounds like a wonderful story!
Best of luck with it!

joanna aislinn said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi everyone,

It's been a busy day so far! My kitchen floor-laying process is FINALLY(!) underway--that means I got to come home to the smell of natural glass filling my house and a hubby who's not feeling well. Translation: quick trip to Lowe's to cap the gaspipe as instructed by my plumber! Then frozen food into broiler oven for quick dinner for kids who are off to gymnastics...whew! At least I can check the blog and rest a minute :)

Edwina, you are so sweet to say such kind things about NMWhy! And glad you found my mental meanderings helpful re: story vision.

Thanks, PL! Hope those sales soar too!

Hi Debra!! (Wave, wave!) Thanks for being such a great blog-trooper w/me! And Susan and Cate, thanks to both of you, too. May good fortune follow us all on this wonderful journey we get to share!


joanna aislinn said... Best Blogger Tips

And thanks to all of you who read and don't necessarily post. I know you're out there; it means so so much!

joanna aislinn said... Best Blogger Tips

Special note to Edwina--assuming you see this, please e-mail me at


joanna aislinn said... Best Blogger Tips

Karen, I just noticed your question re: Aislinn. Funny, but I don't know the correct pronounciation--I've always said it as if it was written

As linn.

I may be wrong but I like it that way :)

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

The name is pretty either way. I actually used the name in Lost in the Mist of Time for my heroine's first name.

Leigh D'Ansey said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Joanna!
You are so cool - already having a sequel in process.

Your advice about writers keeping faith with their own vision is very wise - soak up all the advice but be true to yourself.

joanna aislinn said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks, Leigh, for stopping by. I wish I had more sequels in progress! I admire those folks who have tons of ideas in their heads!

joanna aislinn said... Best Blogger Tips

I first came across the name in Kathleen Woodiwiss' THE WOLF AND THE DOVE; Aislinn (of Saxony?) wound up lady of the house Wulfgar of Normandy plundered. Always loved it.

Then, 23 years ago, Bono (of U2) named his daughter the same. I would have named my daughter too, had I had one. (Just boys and noise for me, lol.)

Lastly, stopped in a store on the way to PA several years ago; the cashier's name was...AISLYNN (first time I'd met anyone by that name). Of course I asked her about it. Aislynn's answer? "I don't know. My mom got it out of some book (and of course I answered with her): The Wolf and the Dove!"