About the Author
Two-time Christy Award-finalist, Joanne Bischof has a deep passion for stories that shine light on God's grace and goodness. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children.
1. How did you get started as an author? What or whom inspired you?
I always knew that I wanted to be a writer and it was about the time that I had read and loved Lauraine Snellings, Red River of the North series, that I knew that I wanted to be a Christian fiction writer. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had my nose in a book and my head in the clouds. Growing up, I was 1 part Jo March, 1 part Beatrix Potter and 1 part Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was always writing, drawing, and living with my imagination in the past.
2. How many books have you written and in what genres?
So far, I’ve written about six full length historical novels and a handful of novellas. I’m also working on my second contemporary novel. Some of these are published and some aren’t, but I find that most often, I’m working on one project or another.
3. What writing projects are you currently working on? What can you tell us about these projects?
I tend to bounce between books these days but right now, I have a historical novel in the works that I’m really excited about and am also working on the second book in the Wild Air series. This one is called A Boy and Wild Horses. This one has a heroine who has stage one cerebral palsy and over the course of the story, the two things she never thought she’d have—that are represented in the title—are part of an adventure that allows her to explore just how strong she is.
4. What does your writing process look like?
I do very little plotting and so I tend to map out ideas in my head, then get busy in Pinterest, creating secret boards that help me get a visual on the characters, setting, and any other details. Then, I simply sit down with a blank word document and get to work. Of course there is a lot of research involved with writing, but I tend to write and research simultaneously, often leaving place holders for things that I need to do some more reading on, then I’ll come back and fill in the gaps, or flesh out more details.
5. Where is your favorite place to write?
I’m a mom of three so my favorite place to write is anywhere where I can curl up and turn on some music. Romantically speaking, my comfy couch with a hot cup of tea on a quiet afternoon, but I often find myself writing when I can squeeze it in. Not too long ago, I did lots of writing in my car while my son had state testing!
6. How important are the names in your novels? How do you choose names for your characters? Do you have any name resources you would suggest?
Surprisingly, it sort of varies. Often times I put a lot of deep thought in coming up with just the right name for a character and other times, I simply pull an idea out of a hat and go with it. Last year, I taught a workshop on writing historical fiction and suggested to the writers there to keep in mind as we name our characters, what kinds of choices their parents would have made. I think as writers, we can easily forget that, since technically we are the ones giving our character life. But when choosing a name through the mindset of that character’s parents including their social status and preferences, it can often shape our ideas a bit differently. Another thing that plays into this is in regards to sibling names. I often try to keep sibling names along a similar thread—as parents often tend to do. Yet if it might have been a quirky set of parents, names that are oddly different is a fun way to go, too!
7. What authors/novels that you enjoy would you recommend?
For historical fiction, some of my absolute favorites are written by Laura Frantz, Lori Benton, Liz Curtis Higgs and Heather Day Gilbert. I love a book that really moves me and has poetic writing. Those deep, nitty gritty stories, I find irresistible.
8. Where is your favorite place to read and why?
I tend to read just about anywhere I land but I find that I often get into the bad habit of being indoors a bit too much. We live in a beautiful spot in the mountains and my husband recently built me a balcony off our bedroom that’s up near the trees. He hung a porch swing, so I try and slip out to sit there and do a little reading, or just enjoy the fresh air and the pine trees.
9. What period of history interests you the most?
I’m super fond of the Victorian era. My Cadence of Grace series, while set in Appalachia was written at the very tail end of the Victorian era. Since then, I’ve worked on several other projects set during this time and from the fashions to the social aspects—it’s one of my absolute favorites to write about.
10. If you could choose someone famous to star in one of your books made to a movie, who would you choose and for which character?
Ooh! Fun! This might be a good one to go all the way back to the beginning to my very first book, Be Still My Soul. I always imagined the hero, Gideon, to be like Liam Hemsowrth and pretty much always had a photo of him around whenever I was writing. Some days my job is harder than others. ;)
11. What inspired the idea for your story To Get to You?
The idea for To Get to You stemmed from a short story that I had written called, “The Balsam Walk”. It’s part of a collection in a 21 day devotional titled 21 Days of Christmas and was so much fun to write! Once I finished the short story, I really wanted to know what would happen to the characters next…and soon, To Get to You was in the works!
12. What other hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
I like to listen to music! I know this is probably a super simple hobby but it’s actually one of my all time favorite things. My dad was a musician so music was always a big part of our lives. Now, whether I’m cleaning house, on a walk, or just reading a book, I almost always have music of some kind on.
Check out my review for
TO GET TO YOU
THIS QUIET SKY (coming soon)
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