A Carol Award and two-time Christy Award-finalist, Joanne Bischof writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. She was honored to receive the SDCWG Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon Writer’s conference. Her 2014 novella This Quiet Sky broke precedent as the first self-released title to final for the Christy Awards. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children. Watch for her 2016 Victorian novel, The Lady and the Lionheart coming this summer!
Welcome to the blog, Joanne. I’m so honored to have you here today. Congratulations on your latest release, To Get to You. And also for your upcoming novel, The Lady and The Lionheart. Both books look amazing!
Thank you so much for having me!
What comes to mind is a trip that our family took last Thanksgiving up to Tahoe, NV. We all piled into the car and were going to stay in a tiny cabin right on the lake to have a quiet Thanksgiving with just the five of us. Something we’ve never done! It’s an absolute gorgeous drive so I soaked in the scenery like a sponge and the kids had a blast. We stopped by places like Schat’s Bakery for giant gingerbread men cookies and listened to My Side of the Mountain the whole way. The story made that trip extra special because we were all entranced. One of the reasons why I had the characters in To Get to You listen to the very same one! This was also the trip where I had my author photos taken by a dear friend. People always tell me I look so happy in those photos and now you all know why!
Oh, I love that. What a special time for your family. 🙂
Which character from your upcoming circus novel are you most excited for readers to meet?
Definitely Charlie Lionheart. He’s easily one of the most complex characters I’ve ever written. He’s the hero of the story, an old-world Gypsy, a lion tamer, and the only parent to a baby girl. Each of his traits blend together in a way that really unites his personality. And it all sort of harkens back to his childhood and the fact that he grew up in the company of lions. Napping with them, wrestling with them…even just talking to them.
As a boy they were his friends and heroes and as a man, his lions are now his brothers. He treats them with the utmost respect, but must also face them with a complete lack of fear. Because of this kind of conditioning, he’s very good with living things—seeing a person’s nature and needs. This makes him the perfect fit for the heroine, Ella, who’s sort of a lost and hurting soul. He approaches her with the same humility that he would his lions and it brings trust, security and even playfulness back into her life.
I can’t wait to meet them both! 😉 Which is easier for you to write – historical or contemporary? Can you tell us why?
Ooh, I’m going to say contemporary. Only because the research is so much easier. Most details are a google search away and half of the details I needed for my contemporary novel I could find on Youtube or by asking my husband or another source. With historical, it’s about finding the facts that are true to the era which often means digging through historical—and sometimes difficult to find—resources. I love both and it’s been fun to get to mix it up and write in both timeframes.
Can you share with us a special endorsement for one of your books? One of your favorites?
So hard to choose because each one is meaningful but if one comes to mind, it would probably be this one – “A tender story, told with loving care, My Hope Is Found takes many a twist and turn, as Lonnie must choose between two good men. Her struggle is genuine, and the outcome remains deliciously uncertain until the joy-filled ending.” —Liz Curtis Higgs, New York Times best-selling author of Mine Is the Night
Liz’s historical novels were some of my absolute favorite and she’s been one of my writing heroes from the start. Having her endorsement on that book was a real pinch-me moment.
Wow! That’s awesome! I read on your website that you also offer manuscript critique services. That is so cool! What do you enjoy most about this part of your job?
I do! I absolutely love it because it allows me to completely shift gears. When I edit, I’m no longer the creator, but I’m the reader. The responder. I get to react to the story in a way that allows me to infuse encouragement and ideas into a manuscript. And it’s really fun to work with writers in a way that brings them one step farther down their writing journey. It’s a real joy to be a part of.
Thank you so much for joining us today, Joanne! Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
2016 is slated to be a fun and busy year. I’m teaching at the Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s conference in the spring and have several books in the works, including The Lady and the Lionheart and the second book to the Wild Air series, A Boy and Wild Horses. There are a few other historical stories in the works, including a novel that I’m working on with Sigmund Brouwer—all projects that I’m really excited about and ultimately, hope will be a blessing to readers.
That’s wonderful! I’m so excited to read them. 🙂 Have a blessed spring!
Joanne has graciously offered a copy of The Lady and the Lionheart to one lucky reader! Enter below and it could be YOU!
Thanks for entering! Contest ends April 12, 2016. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!