Thank you JoHannah for sharing all of your amazing books with us! This wraps up the final book in your series of interviews. It has been a pleasure working with you and I look forward to hearing an update on your future success!
Author Name: JoHannah Reardon
Book Title: Ah Ni – A Christian Novel
Book Price: $2.99 as an e-book
Where is your book avaliable? Anywhere e-books are sold: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Borders, Diesel, Sony, i-Tunes
How would you describe your book? A serious Christian romance that deals with the difficulties of deciding to become a Christian if you are Chinese. This book gives people good insight into the life of a person from China.
Do you have a favorite character? Yes, Guo Feng, the Chinese man who constantly reaches out to Ah Ni. He’s just a great guy!
What gave you a passion for writing Christian Romance novels? I couldn’t find romances I liked to read. Most of them were too bawdy, and I couldn’t identify with the main characters because they behaved in a way I never would. So my favorite romance novels were the Jane Austin type. I wanted to created romances that were more like those in tone. However, each of my main characters lives life around their faith. It’s what drives everything they do.
Where do you get your ideas from? This book came from a relationship I had with a Chinese couple who attended a university in our community. My relationship with them helped me write this with confidence. And during the same time period, I traveled to China to teach English.
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.
Are you a “structured” or “let your mind go” kind of writer? I am definitely in the “let your mind go” camp. In some ways I feel my novels write themselves. Sometimes I’m even surprised by how they turn out. That’s half the fun of writing them. I’d kind of like to write mysteries, because I love to read them, but I’m not structured enough to tie in all the details one needs for a mystery. I’m in awe of mystery writers.
How did you create your characters personalities? I couldn’t have written Ah Ni without getting to know some Chinese people fairly well. I also needed to learn a lot about their culture and what it is like for them to be immersed in American culture for the first time. So although the Chinese people in my novels do not represent real people, they borrow heavily from the Chinese people I’ve gotten to know.
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.
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.