Joanna Campbell Slan is a USA Today bestselling author of three mystery series. Her essays appear in five of the New York Times bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul books. RT Reviews has called her one of mystery’s “rising stars.” Joanna’s non-fiction has been endorsed by Toastmasters International, her first novel was shortlisted for the Agatha Award, and her historical fiction has won the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence. Joanna writes two contemporary mystery series (the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series and the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series) and one historical mystery series (the Jane Eyre Chronicles).
What inspires you to write?
Writing is how I process life and the world around me. It's a natural extension of who I am. When I hear an interesting tidbit or a person's story, I mentally file that away and let it percolate. These small nudges from the Universe are the seeds of stories and books to come.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am a pantsy-plotter. I switch back and forth from notes to outlines, from outlines to character sketches, from character sketches to writing scenes, and from scenes to printing out the story, cutting, and pasting it back together. I believe that creativity by its nature is messy, and my job is to whip it into some semblance of order.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I like to use my twilight time, those moments between sleeping and wakefulness, to visualize my characters and listen in on them. They talk to each other and to me. Other times, I will act out what is happening on the page so that I can get the gestures and dialogue down correctly.
Who are your favorite authors?
Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre), Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca), and recently Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South).
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My publishing journey began with an invitation to submit personal essays to the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. From there, I was invited to write a textbook for Simon and Schuster. Next I self-published a book of essays. (This was when self-publishing involved contracting with a printer.) Next, I sold a series to Midnight Ink. Along the way, I learned a lot about publishing. I became dissatisfied with the lack of control and input that traditional publishing offers authors. I decided to go back to self-publishing; I found the process had changed dramatically in ways that worked well for me.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I believe that there has never been a better time to be a reader or a writer. Traditional publishing is out of touch with much of the reading public. Conversely, today’s self-published authors are more in touch with readers than ever. We (self-published authors) are in direct communication with our audience, and therefore, we are able to produce books that are more satisfying for our fans. There is a plethora of excellent books available for under $5 from self-published authors. If you are a dedicated reader, why spend $35 for a book that you’ll read in two days? That’s silly. Of course, we’ll still buy from our “old” favorites, but we’ll also try new names in our search for good reading material. In conclusion, discoverability is the biggest challenge for readers and authors today! Traditional publishers have done little to address this, but self-published authors are constantly seeking new ways to connect with our readers. Ways such as this!
What genres do you write?
non-fiction, self-help, how to (crafts), mystery, women's fiction, historical fiction
What formats are your books in?
eBook, Print, Audiobook
Joanna Campbell Slan Home Page Link
Follow Joanna Campbell Slan On Amazon
Author’s Social Media Links
All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.