Welcome to Writers4Higher
This issue, Writers4Higher features
Hi, JoElle. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!
If there is such a thing as reincarnation, then I was a gypsy in all my former lives. I love to wander. I love not having a plan and just taking each day as it happens. To me life is an amazing gift and shouldn’t be wasted. Each day is a promise of adventure, knowledge, and making a difference. Each day is about really seeing the world and living, not just going the motions and existing without awareness.
One of my favorite quotes is from the movie “Tuck Everlasting” (based on the book). Angus Tuck tells Winnie Foster, “Do not fear death, but rather the unlived life. You don't have to live forever. You just have to live.”
My life hasn’t been perfect. I’ve experienced pain, disappointment, poverty, and other unhappy events. But I am thankful that somewhere my family had healthy resiliency and emotional intelligence genes and that they were passed on to me; as well as a dab of storytelling genes.
In school I was told I was a good writer, but I didn’t really know what to do with it. I wrote my assignments and received A’s. I competed in Journalism writing events and won awards. But that was about it. I didn’t keep a diary. I didn’t like writing about me. I liked making up stories and writing about other people.
Shortly after I graduated high school I proposed to my boyfriend and we were married. We are still together. I’ve had a happy married life and my husband and I raised a wonderful son. It was during the time I homeschooled him that I began to think about my writing. I was telling my kid that he could live his dream of being a firefighter (and he did become a firefighter), and that’s when I realized I didn’t want to reach my last day and regret never having written a book.
I began to write. I wrote stories for the local newspaper. I became a writer and regional editor for our homeschool newsletter. I became a staff writer for a bilingual area newspaper. And soonafter that began working on my first manuscript.
While my newspaper and newsletter articles are non-fiction and cover items of community interests, my novels are fantasy, romance, and adventure. My published novels are a four book young adult fantasy series. The manuscripts I am currently working on are fantasy/paranormal romance. I’ve always loved fairy tales and I consider my stories as modern day fairy tales. They take place in the world of today, however the characters are elves, dragons, fairies, witches, and humans too. The stories are mostly fun and filled with adventure. I avoid too much drama. There is enough of that in real life. I like my characters to have a sense of honor and a sense of humor.
My inspiration comes from everywhere. I was driving through the Deschutes National Forest on a clear night with a full moon. The forest looked absolutely magical and that combined with an early childhood memory and I had the inspiration for my first novel ….and that evolved into the four books. Nature inspires a lot of the scenes in my books. My characters are not any particular people I know. But I have had characters inspired from people watching. People are fascinating.
2. Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?
I don’t really think about this. I love that I’ve written not one book, but several. I knew that I had it in me and I feel a huge sense of accomplishment in what I’ve already done. Though my series has not been a commercial success, I feel successful in that the reviews I have received have all been positive. I feel honored that people have read my stories and liked them. Do I hope to be able to quit my “day job” and write full time? Sure. Would I like my audience to be bigger? Of course. I have stories inside my head pushing me to let them out and get them on paper. I do see myself writing until there are no more stories … and that won’t be anytime soon. I have four manuscripts in various stages of completion and three or four more stories waiting inside my head. Oh wait! And many of my series reviewers have said they could see Dreamer’s Forest as a movie. I was told that as they read it, it felt like a movie. I need to look into making that happen.
3. How do you use your talents/time to help others?
I volunteered as regional editor for California Homeschool News for three years. Our family raised a guide dog puppy for a guide dog school and I wrote of the experience in our city newspaper. Actually most of my non-fiction pieces are on community topics. I’d like to do more in the way of volunteering, however between work, school (I will finally get a degree this spring), and family I keep pretty busy. I do try to find gentle ways of helping others (and being kind to animals and the planet) each and every day. I truly believe if you send out good energy it makes a positive difference in the lives of others.
JoElle's Books: A Bridge in the Forest, A Promise in the Forest,
A Secret in the Forest, and Moonlight in the Forest
Would you like to find JoElle?
Check out the links to this talented author:
JoElle on Facebook
Fiction with a Southern Twist