Saturday, September 22, 2012

How about a little chat with JOANN!

JoAnn Carter lives in Vermont with her wonderful husband of 19 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 and as a substitute teacher. She is available for speaking engagements to book clubs, reader groups, library groups, women's ministry events, school events and church retreats. To contact her, please write

Want to write a series? Read what JoAnn has to say...and be sure to leave a comment below to get your name on the list to win a copy of her brand new book!

by JoAnn Carter
Shirley, thanks for having me over to your wonderful blog for a visit. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while. And… to all you readers, welcome! I’m thrilled and honored that you’ve taken the time to stop by for a little chat.
Shirley has invited me to talk about the inspiration behind the ROARIN’ TWENTIES SERIES. I love that idea because perhaps you are someone who would like to try your hand at writing but you’re not quite sure where to start.
Lean a bit closer and, writer to writer, I’ll tell you something strange. There are times when inspiration comes from the most mundane task or when you’re least expecting it. It’s this tiny spark that you may not think much of at first, but there it stays, sometimes hidden in the recess of your mind for a while before it blossoms into something special. Beware… don’t be on the lookout for any grandiose thoughts. In fact, honestly, it may not start at much. This type of inspiration is like that little, tiny grain of Faith – only the size of mustard seed – but as Scripture tell us ~ it can move mountains.
Wow! How fun is that?! So, I want to encourage you today, if there’s a thought or idea that God keeps bringing to mind, don’t brush it away. Why not explore it? Ask some “what if” questions, then jot down different case scenarios of what could happen if you were to start a plot. Who knows, it will be the musings for that book which is inside of you.
That’s pretty much what happened with this series for me. My husband’s family was up for a visit and we were doing some fun touristy things in Vermont with them. Mind you, the idea of finding a subject to write about wasn’t even in my thoughts—I was only trying to be a good hostess. Anyway, off we went to visit the Shelburne Museum where a beautiful steamboat, the Ticonderoga, had been restored and on display. As soon as I stepped into this boat, I fell in love with it. While we walked around I read and soaked up every sign there was expounding on her the history. That's when one fact totally captured my imagination—my mustard seed. In 1923, the first female stewardess was hired. It didn't take long for those “what if questions” which I mentioned above, to start rolling around in my mind.
The concept for THE FLOATING PALACE was born. That tiny seed didn’t stop there though. It has carried this series through all the way to the Pine Barren’s of New Jersey. You see, I fell in love with the 1920’s. History came to life for me like never before as I studied the time period and the folks who lived in them. In my research, I came across the fact that T.B was a huge issue in this era. Wouldn’t you know -- in the township that I grew up in as a child/young adult, Pemberton Township, New Jersey, housed a Sanatorium, Fairview.
I’d rather think it was providence. Book Two: Mercies in Disguise, is set right there in the heart of the Pine Barrens.
To wrap up this trilogy, I was visiting my folks, who still live in the Pine Barrens. They invited me to go to the annual blueberry festival held at Whitesbog in Browns Mills, NJ. I drove down the windy, dirt road that led there, took one look at the restored village building, and my heart sped up. I felt as if I were right there, looking through Dede, the main character’s eyes. That was it – mustard seed 3 -- the perfect place for the last book, Shifting Sands.
Hey, do me a favor okay? If you are a newbie to this writing stuff and have a thought or a seed and that grows into a story, let me know. I’d love to hear about it!
--It’s my pleasure to introduce to you The Roarin’ Twenties Series~
·        The Floating Palace
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?
·         Mercies in Disguise
Abigail Madison finally finds a man who captures her affections – Ticonderoga's steamboat pilot, Stanley Fisher. But will the tender shoots of love have a chance bloom after a serious illness strikes and threatens their happiness?

Abigail Madison, a gentle quiet spirit, has always dreamed of a life away from her mother’s controlling ways. Even more than that, she’s dreamed of finding someone with whom she could share her life with. However, her shyness is often taken as aloofness and no marital prospects were anywhere to be found. What was to become of her hopes?
Stanley Fisher, the Steamboat pilot of the Ticonderoga, was drafted and fought in World War I. The experiences he lived though on the battlefield left him wounded -- but not in a way that the naked eye could see. Yet, when he meets Abigail, he yearns for a love like his best friend and Captain of the Ti, Philip found in Ellie. However, with his recurring nightmares from war, what does he have to offer to this special woman?
·         And finally, Shifting Sands, this week’s release…
Dede White is going to shut down the Fairview sanatorium, no matter what. Her beloved aunt died because of doctors like James Riley and she’s not going to let him trifle with any more lives. But -- James Riley isn’t what she thinks. Unfortunately, Dede doesn’t figure this out until she’s done her best to shut his sanatorium down. She might not be able to repair the damage she’s done, and even if she is, will he be able to love her back.
Purchase Links:
Desert Breeze Publishing:'-Twenties-Book/Detail.bok
 As well as other e-book retailers
 Question for book drawing~
Have you been inspired to write something lately? What has been your “mustard seed”?


  1. Thanks for having me here today, Shirley!

  2. I liked the excerpt. I have your first book. Looking forward to getting this one too.
    Janice Ian

  3. Joann, I want to second - act honestly in writing and don't push away any idea God keeps brining to mind.

    Shirley, also want to say this is a visually beautiful blog.

  4. Nice post, Joan. Right now I have a great story outlined, but I'm a little stuck with a transition in the middle of chapter one. Oofda!! Already!! But thanks for the encouraging words, because it reminds me that God will provide the ideas I need for the transition in this opening, and that He'll get the momentum going that I need. Blessings~

  5. Shirley Kiger ConnollySeptember 24, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Thanks to Nike. And am enjoying having you here, JoAnn. For your question, sometimes that inspiration takes a while to come to fruition. I like the way you called it "mustard seed"

  6. Janice,

    It's so good to hear that you enjoyed THE FLOATING PALACE! Thanks for stopping by to say hi. :)

  7. Nike,
    I agree, Shirley has a lovely little place here on the net!

  8. Naomi,

    I'll be praying that you find you way through this little "middle valley" in your plot.

    I really enjoyed THE GREEN VEIL and the sencond and third story in that series sounds great too.

    Happy writing!

  9. Shirley,

    Yes, time is often needed -- yet hard to grant when your impatient for an idea. :) (At least that's how it sometimes feels to me.)