Interview with JoAnn Smith Ainsworth
JoAnn Smith Ainsworth
Thank you for this opportunity to share something of myself as a person and as an author with your readers.
Where are you from? Hometown Woman or have you "migrated"?
I migrated west to attend the University of California, Berkeley. My first two years of college were at George Washington University in D.C. I finished my last two years at UC-Berkeley. I graduated with a double major, B.A. in English and Social Science. I went on to earn an M.A.T. in English/ESL from Fairleigh Dickinson University and my M.B.A. studies from Pepperdine University.
Children? Pets? Day job?
My son is a tugboat pilot in Alaskan waters. No pets because I'm allergic. My day job is author.
I love vegetables and apples. While I write, I nibble raw veggies and apple slices.
Name a few of your favorite things.
I enjoy going to the symphony, watching a beautiful sunset and romantic comedies.
Something silly you have done.
I was born without a silly bone in my body. I came out of the womb serious. Despite that, I enjoy life immensely. I love to laugh. I seek out TV shows and movies that are humorous.
Tell us your latest news?
My agent is actively marketing my three-book paranormal suspense series where, during World War II, the U.S. Navy hires five psychics to search out Nazi spies on the East Coast.
I'm currently writing book two of the paranormal suspense series. In it, a black arts magician spies for the Nazis. The heroine and the magician battle psychically to control the direction of the war.
Easiest thing about writing?
I like editing best. I feel like a sculptor chipping away excess to get to the story’s core. The fun part is when inspiration takes over. I read it back and can’t believe I was the one who wrote it. That makes me smile…a lot.
Hardest thing about writing?
Starting from a blank page.
What brought you to the typewriter/keyboard---that inspired you to write your first book?
My original goal was financial, but writing quickly turned into a passion.I am a senior citizen starting a second career to supplement Social Security. Having my education in English started me looking at writing. Little did I know how difficult it is to write a novel and how much I had to learn to be good at it. My first four years were spent in online classes and rewriting MATILDA’S SONG. After that I got the hang of it and can generally produce a book a year. Online classes continue, however, because of my strong desire to improve my craft. Even if I never sell another book, I will continue writing because the creative adventure brings great joy.
Do you have a favorite writing style?
In my past, my writing style was more lyrical with much description like in MATILDA’S SONG. I’ve adjusted my style for today’s e-book market. To make the novel easy to read on a screen, I intentionally write in shorter sentences, paragraphs and scenes. I plan in lots of white space to make the text easier on the eye.These days, I feel a lot like a poet. I must find that one word that takes the place of several words, but will distill the essence needed to push the action forward. It’s a challenge.
Do you come up with your own titles?
I come up with my own titles, but not until well into the first draft. The title evolves from words in the novel itself. A publisher gets last say, but so far my titles have been kept.
Any life experiences tangled in the storylines?
Life experiences are not specifically written into my novels, but I constantly draw from them on an intuitive level.
What books do you have on your favorites shelf?
Reading is part of the business plan these days. Much of my reading is to study authors with expertise in specific areas, such as dialogue or suspense. Recently, I’ve been reading books by friends to see if their writing styles and subjects fit with mine for marketing purposes. I post these books on Goodreads and LibraryThing.
I enjoy the Dresden Files novels by Jim Butcher. I'm hoping the paranormal suspense manuscript I'm working on now will have the flavor of these stories.
What book are you reading now?
I'm currently reading The Year of the Rat by Lucille Bellucci. She’s a sister writer in the California Writers Club-Berkeley Branch. It’s an engrossing story of the tribulations of Chinese citizens and foreigners as the Communists took over Shanghai.
Any new authors who have caught your interest?
The Accidental Activist by Alon Shalev, also a CWC-BB author, caught my interest. It is a courtroom drama where environmentalists take on a mega-sized oil company.
Where do you think you will be 5 years from now?
Five years from now, I hope to be well-established in my series.
What would you like to say to your readers?
Enjoy our books. We authors go to great lengths to give you a pleasant read.
JoAnn Smith Ainsworth is the author of medieval romantic suspense and historical paranormal suspense novelsVisit JoAnn’s web page www.joannsmithainsworth.com