Tuesday, August 23, 2011

As soon as she stepped aboard the S. S. Ticonderoga, she fell in love with it.

It's not  about the Titanic, but you won't want to miss this interview about JoAnn and her journey to publishing this new book of hers.

JoAnn Carter lives in Vermont with her wonderful husband of 18 years, four children and Ginger, the best dog in the world. She enjoys being with her family & friends, writing, reading, and cooking.
In the past JoAnn has worked as a Licensed Practical Nurse, an apple orchard guide, as a substitute teacher, and a home schooling mom. She is available for speaking engagements to book clubs, reader groups, library groups, women's ministry events, school events and church retreats.
SDC: Welcome, JoAnn. Let's start with this. How do you start your days with inspiration?
JC: After a good breakfast and getting the family settled, I love to start my day in the Word and with prayer. I don't think greater inspiration can be found anywhere else but at the foot of the cross. This year for the first time I'm reading the Message. I was hesitant at first since this is a paraphrase of the Bible rather than a version. However, I've grown to love the freshness of reading passages in current, everyday language. (I need to be honest though-- I keep my NIV close by and usually read the passage I'm studying in both.)
SDC:  After you tell us about your newest book, please let us know what kind of response you hope to receive from readers who have not yet come to know the Lord, or who will be influenced greatly by one of your books? 
JC: I'd love to tell you a bit about the journey of writing this story. If I've learned anything through writing it's that like in life, you never know what (or who) God will use. A few years ago, Glenn's family came up for a visit and we went to the Shelburne museum for the first time. As soon as I stepped aboard the S. S. Ticonderoga, I fell in love with it. One fact totally captured my imagination. In 1923, the first female stewardess was hired. It didn't take long for seeds to be planted for this book, The Floating Palace. (Book One of a three part series.)
Fast forward a few months...
Our family was invited to dinner at a family in our church. I don't even think host realizes what a blessing this was for me. We went downstairs to see his "toys" when a box caught my eye. He said someone in the family had given it to him, it was a treasure chest of information about... can you guess? Yup, the Ticonderoga and 1923. He let me take this box home and I was able to look through headlines of newspapers and such. That box was like an energy drink for my story. It helped me get a clearer picture of the life and times.
Guess what else I discovered about 1923? A member of our church was born this year. When I first started asking her questions about what she might know of this time period, I didn't realize this was the year of her birth. Isn't it just like God to give us sweet surprises like that? In honor of Betti, I used a derivative of her name, Ellie Dunkling. Betti is such a remarkable woman and tremendous role model for me. Although her life experiences varied greatly from the main charter in The Floating Palace, they both share the same spunk. With Betti's help, the rest of the cast was set in motion as I asked her what names were popular in Vermont when she was a girl. After our visit, I sat down with the list and chose the names according to the role they played in the story. It's a special memory for me and I enjoyed working with her on this project.
God's hand has guiding this story since the very beginning. I'm praying that He would continue to do so to accomplish His great purposes... in my life and in the lives of others.
Here's the blurb: ELLIE DUNKLING’S life long dream has been to work on one of Lake Champlain’s steamboat, the Ticonderoga. There’s only one problem. Men, not women, are hired to work on ships. Ellie, however is determined to change that. After all, it is 1923 and far from the dark-ages.

Captain PHILIP LAWHORN is a man’s man. When Champlain Transportation Inc. informs him a woman has been hired to work on his ship as stewardess, he’s anything but pleased. First, he doesn’t appreciate the fact someone’s hired on his twenty-eight-member crew without his knowledge. Secondly, how is he supposed to handle this company mandated—sure to be—disaster?
SDC: How did you find your publisher?
JC: This is a fun question. Let me grab my blog entry for that day...
It's been about a year and a half (or more) of submitting many things and receiving lots of rejection slips... so in late Aug. I went back through a list of possible publishers to bug--ah, I mean submit to. :) Then along comes a random e-mail from a dear friend mentioning a publisher I had on that list, Desert Breeze Publishing.
Fast forward a month.
Rejection letter for The Floating Palace rec'd 10/2/10 from one publisher - Query sent to Desert Breeze Pub. 10/2/10 for this historical series. That same day I get an e-mail stating not to expect to hear back until July 2010.
GULP! Looks like another possible dead-end. 10/5/10 an e-mail arrives... they like the series! UNBELIEVABLE! I can't wait to see what God will do next. I can only sit in this roller-coaster seat and enjoy the ride.
SDC: That was great fun, hearing your detailed journey to Desert Breeze. A great publishing company; I can verify too! What has sustained you recently on your down days with writing?
JC This isn't something I'm real proud of but recently it's holding a contract with a deadline. Although I love to write, sometimes it gets pushed to the back burner. A contract makes sure that doesn’t happen.
SKC:  And yet, many of us cannot deny, it still does. (Maybe I should just speak for myself.) What do you believe is the KEY to writing a good book?
JC I think flexibility is key. I'm a person who loves a "PLAN." However, if God gives me other thoughts or a different direction for the plot it's key that I go with it. Why? For each book I write, I pray that God would lead the right readers to it so their faith can be encouraged. I don't know what these folks are going though, but He does. My job is just to listen.
SKC:  A listening ear is half the battle. So how do you schedule your time?
JC One day at a time. J We are a family of six with three teenagers, one pre-teen, who are all involved in sports. This year we will be home schooling our 7th grader, and there are many things, we as a family, are involved in. So, my schedule isn't firm by any means. Each day looks a bit different, yet other than Sunday, I try to write for at least an hour, then squeeze in publicity and e-mail whenever I can.
Thankfully, there are some days where I have a larger chunk of time that I can devote to my WIP's.
SKC:  Publicity, promotions, e-mails, all take a great deal of time, don't they? After you finish your present project what plans do you have?
JC Hmm. Another great question. I try to hold writing loosely in my hand...  meaning that I want to be willing to give up writing if that was what God had asked of me. (Much like the theme of this story of surrendering our dreams to Him.) After Book Two: Mercies in Disguise (February 2012) and Book Three: Shifting Sands (September 2012) are written and released, I'm hoping the Lord will direct me to what He wants me to do next.
SDC:  What question would you like one of our viewers to answer to help me select the winner of your exciting new book?
JC What dream(s) do you have that you need (or have already) surrendered to God?
SDC: Woo! That's quite a question to ponder! Thanks. While we wait for responses, please let the readers know where we can reach you and where we can find your books!
JC  I'd love to! You can find me by visiting my little space on the internet at http://home.comcast.net/~jo.glenncarter/site 
My stories are available at Amazon.com, B&N, the publishing company's web-site, as well as a few other book retailers.
*Teacher’s Plans White Rose Publishing
*Sweet Rest White Rose Publishing
*By the Book White Rose Publishing
*Smuggler of the Heart White Rose Publishing
*Daniella - Inspirational Romance, White Rose Publishing
*Paradox Desert Breeze Publishing
*The Floating Palace- Desert Breeze Publishing
Thanks for hosting me on your blog. It's an honor to be here with you and your friends today.



  1. Delightful interview, JoAnn and Shirley. Your road to publiscation with Desert Breeze is so like mine.

    I have downloaded The Floating Palace and can't wait to start reading it.


  2. Great post, ladies, and JoANn, congrats again on the release of The Floating Palace. Can't wait to read it! God bless you.

  3. Toni & Marianne,
    Thanks for stopping by and for your encouraging words!

  4. I can't wait to read this book too! Put me down. I would love to read such an interesting sounding story. Janice Ian

  5. The dream of reading/reviewing books--whether I should continue or if He has other plans for my life. I LOVE to read/review and blog!

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  6. Janice & Linda,
    Thanks so much for leaving a comment. It's always nice to meet new folks~

  7. I really enjoyed this interview and love the story behind your series. It's a God-thing for sure, and I look forward to digging in to the world early in the last century.

  8. That's an interesting period in history. I'd like to read The Floating Palace.


  9. Thanks everyone for stopping by! Shirley has drawn a winner. Congrats, Loree. I'll be sending it over to your in-box. :)