Author Interview: JoHannah Reardon

Author Name: JoHannah Reardon    

Book Title: Journey to Omwana – A Christian Novel

Book Price: $2.99 as an e-book

Where is your book available? Anywhere e-books are sold: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Borders, Diesel, Sony, i-Tunes

How would you describe your book? An intense romance set in the remote jungles of Venezuela. This novel deals with the serious side of our commitment to God and to the person we choose to marry.

Do you have a favorite character? Yes, I love Jake’s mom. She’s this crusty character who has pioneered a mission under extremely difficult circumstances and is now battling a life-threatening disease. I love her tenacious way of tackling any difficulty. When I wrote it, I wished I could be mentored by someone like her.

What gave you a passion for writing Christian Romance novels? I wanted to write the kind of novels I’d like to read. I love wholesome romances, and they are so hard to find. So I had to write one to get what I was looking for.

Where do you get your ideas from? At the time I wrote this novel, our church had a partnership with a church in Venezuela, so I was learning a lot about the culture. I also read this amazing book about missionaries who pioneered a Christian mission in the jungles there. It made me think a lot about the challenges and rewards of such a venture, which led to this book. But, of course, every story is more interesting if it centers around a romance!

How has your experience been with self-publishing? It has been great! I sent my novels out from time to time and they would get a lot of interest, but would never make it through the final stage of approval. I always felt one editor liked them and one didn’t, and the one who didn’t had more seniority. I’d asked people in my writers group and friends to read my novels, and they liked them a lot, so I knew they had merit. I was sure there was an audience for my books. I just needed to find them. And with e-publishing, the initial cost is quite low, which is what I needed.

Do you have any advice for up and coming authors? Join a writers group and take their comments and critiques seriously. Develop a tough skin and keep trying to improve your writing. If you can’t get the attention of a publisher, consider self-publishing an e-book. It’s much lower cost than hard copies and easier to market.


What is the best compliment you have received? When I was writing Journey to Omwana, a woman visited our writer’s group who was a published author and in full-time Christian work. I read a sample chapter and she absolutely loved it. It validated that I was on the right track.

How do you feel events in your life have impacted your writing style? I became a Christian in my teens and really grew in my faith during my college years. When I graduated, I worked for Christian non-profit organizations, so my life was about serious, sacrificial discipleship. That has made my novels an interesting mixture. I live and write so much serious stuff, that my novels have been a wonderful way to combine what I’ve learned with the absolute joy of just writing for fun. It’s been one of the best things God has allowed me to do.
 

Author Bio: JoHannah is the managing editor of ChristianBibleStudies.com, an online Christianity Today Bible study site where more than 100,000 leaders, students, and teachers come to learn and apply God’s Word. Besides co-writing and editing nearly 1,000 Bible studies, JoHannah has written seven novels, a children’s devotional, ghostwritten two books, written content for the Couples’ Devotional Bible, and contributed to two separate Bible study series published by Standard and Thomas Nelson. She has been published in several magazines and on numerous websites.  She is also a contributing editor for Kyria.com, an online site for women who want to go deeper in the Lord. JoHannah is a pastor’s wife, the mother of three, and a grandmother—all three her favorite roles in life, even though she’s crazy about her work.  

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