Joanna White is a Christian Author and fangirl. Hunter and Shifter are the first two books in her debut series, called the Valiant Series, published by Christian publisher Ambassador International and there are more to come. In December 2019, one of her short stories was featured in Once Upon A Yuletide, a Christmas fairy tale anthology by Divination Publishing. Dark Magi, Book One of the Republic Chronicles came out in November 2019. Glimpses of Time and Magic, a historical fantasy anthology, also featured one of her stories. The Crystal Heist was her most recent release, in August 2020. She graduated from Full Sail University with a BFA in Creative Writing For Entertainment. Ever since she was ten years old, she's been writing stories and has a deep passion for writing and creating stories, worlds, characters, and plots that readers can immerse themselves in. In 2020, she reached her personal goal of writing a million words in a year. Most of all, Joanna loves God, her family, staying at home, and being a total nerd.
Let's talk about the Valiant series. Do you remember the moment the idea tickled your mind and the plot was born?
Not the exact moment, since it’s been too long ago, but I remember that I wanted to write a series just as long and as epic as Star Wars. I wanted a great villain and memorable characters with tons of plot twists, to make a franchise that people could adore as much as Star Wars is adored.
Who is your favorite Star Wars character?
Anakin Skywalker. People criticize him or his actor, Hayden Christensen, but I absolutely LOVE the idea of a Jedi hero who turns evil to save his pregnant wife. I mean, that’s a story that is full of feels—and fangirls like me LOVE feels.
2020 has achieved your goal of writing 1 million words in a year. Impressive! How did you celebrate?
Yes! It’s been an exciting and amazing journey! My husband, mom, sister, and I all went out to eat to celebrate. I also had a party at my house with my family where I went through all 15 books I’d written this year as a part of it and it was nice to talk in detail about the journey and what the challenge was like for me. We also ate dinner at that family gathering too.
What troupes, if any, do you try and stay away from as much as possible?
Hmm. That is an excellent question. I try to avoid being repetitive, but that’s hard because I love similar ideas and reuse them a lot. Like the concept of Anakin Skywalker—a bad guy turned good or a good guy turned bad. So, if I do repeat things, I try to make them different every time. One of the popular troupes these days that I actually hate is female characters who are strong so they’re perfect, even to the point of being better than men. I personally love male characters better and I think you can write strong female characters without making them physically strong or even invulnerable. I also love when a woman relies on a man, so I feel like physically strong or perfect female leads completely take away from that.
What do you think, as a writer, is the most important thing to practice?
If there’s a way to practice not procrastinating, that would be it. Honestly, though, practice writing and being consistent with it. The best thing the million-word challenge taught me was to sit down and write at least once every day. Since I was so used to writing like 4,000 words every single day, now it doesn’t take much to sit down and write a thousand words or so here every day. You can get so much written if you actually just sit down and write at least once every day. Best habit ever.
What has been the hardest part of the writing process in your opinion?
Definitely marketing and getting your books in front of readers. I know my books are exciting and what readers would like to read because I myself am a reader and I write the kind of stories I want to read. The problem either finding those readers and then convincing them to spend money on my stories. Getting my books known is so hard.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
It might be a little dark or sad, but my dad always had a bad temper and he could get pretty verbal when he wanted to. My parents divorced when I was seven or eight-ish years old, so I learned extremely early that words had power and that you could use them to hurt people and tear them down or to encourage them and build them up.
What are you working on now?
A group of people got together and created a series called The Children of Chaos. Each book in the series is written by a different author and all books are self-published by the author who wrote it, but they’re all part of the same series. They have books already published if anyone wants to check them out. Mine aren’t set to release until 2022, but I love getting an early start, so I’m working on one of mine right now called Princess of Beasts. A princess has powers to talk to and heal animals and the last eggs of a race of creatures are in danger. If they die, her kingdom will be destroyed, so she has to find a way to save them, along with a bodyguard whom she loves but isn’t allowed to marry.
Find Joanna and her enjoyable tales at these links:
My website: authorjoannawhite.com/store