Joanna C. Smith, author of Sister Chronicles: Essential Jewels and Devotions for Our Sisters; Available on Amazon
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/joannacsmith
PEN’Ashe Magazine: How long have you been a published author?
Joanna Smith: 12 years; since 2004 when I published my first book, Pipedreams.
PM: Describe your writing process.
JS: I don’t really have a formal process or method to my writing.. I just write when the mood strikes me for as long as I am able to. Sometimes I can write for hours or days (intermittently between my work schedule). Other times, it may take months before I complete a chapter. I also do not do many re-writes. Usually, when I am at the point of actually sitting down at my laptop, I have already played out the scenes in my head several times over. I also have an editor that assists with the final draft to catch typos, etc.
PM: How many books have you published?
JS: 3…(1. Pipedreams 2. Second Kin 3. Sister Chronicles: Essential Jewels and Devotions for Our Sisters, Volume 1).
PM: Are you a full-time Author? If not, what struggles keep you from doing your craft full-time?
JS: I am not a full-time Author – yet. However my dream is to be able to become full-time at some point. Finances are the reason why I cannot devote to writing full-time. Being a young author (young meaning: not in age but in number of years writing or number of books published) is much like being a starving artist such as an undiscovered actor or actress. In the meantime, I have to keep the bills paid with a regular 9-5. That is another reason why I don’t have a format to my writing. I write when I can and as much as I can.
PM: How do you market your work?
JS: In the past, I have reached out to local bookstores and public libraries, newspapers, etc. Now, I market my books primarily through Amazon now – and literary companies like yourself who are willing to feature unknown authors. However, I also use social media via my Facebook page and Goodreads. Word of mouth through previous customers and friends and family also always helps. I am in the process of locating other avenues where I can be featured on email distribution lists, however that comes with a cost.
PM: What can we expect from you in 2016?
JS: In 2016 I plan on releasing my 4th and 5th books which are sequels to previous books: Sister Chronicles Volume 2: More Essential Jewels and Devotions for Our Sisters; and Dream Life, the sequel to Pipedreams.
PM: What advice do you have for up and coming authors?
JS: I would encourage up and coming authors to follow your dreams. Even if it doesn’t pay right away to be a successful author, don’t undermine your God-given talent! Write anyway. The success comes from completing your book – not always in the number of sales you get. I have been writing for 12 years now and self-publishing my own books with my own money. I have yet to make a profitable margin in the money I have had to put out. But I am very proud to say I am an Author with nearly 5 books under my belt – without an agent or publisher to help me. Of course, it always a goal to one day reach in signing on with a mainstream agency – I have not dismissed that altogether – but I am also not dwelling on rejections I have received from major publishers either, which can cause some authors to give up and stop writing. I will always be a writer. No agency can take that away from me.
About the Author: Joanna C. Smith is a Kansas native, but currently resides in Dallas, TX. Her other works include Pipedreams, her first published book in 2004, Second Kin, and Sister Chronicles: Essential Jewels and Devotions for Our Sisters (co-written by long-time friend, Raquel Batson). Joanna is currently working on her fourth and fifth books entitled: Dream Life: the sequel to Pipedreams, and Sister Chronicles, Volume 2: More Essential Jewels and Devotions for Our Sisters, both scheduled to be released in the fall. Joanna works full-time in the legal field and is an advocate for abused and neglected children in protective care.
Joanna C. Smith is a Kansas native, but currently resides in Dallas, TX. Her works include Pipedreams, her first published book in 2004; Second Kin, and Sister Chronicles: Essential Jewels and Devotions for Our Sisters (co-written by long-time friend, Raquel Batson). Joanna works in the legal field and is an advocate for abused and neglected children in protective care. In her spare time, Joanna enjoys writing, reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends. Stay tuned for the sequels to Pipedreams and Sister Chronicles coming Soon! Joanna is currently working on her fourth and fifth books entitled: Dream Life: the Sequel to Pipedreams, and Sister Chronicles, Volume 2: More Essential Jewels and Devotions for Our Sisters. Both books are scheduled to be released in the fall of 2016.