|Joanne Bischof, Author of THOUGH MY HEART IS TORN
I’m so thrilled to have Joanne on my blog again! If you missed our interview on her first novel, Be Still My Soul, it’s right here: http://heatherdaygilbert.blogspot.com/2012/09/appalachian-romance-author-joanne.html. I have to say, I have so much fun interviewing Joanne!
Joanne’s love stories are set in the Appalachians–a place near and dear to my heart. I’ve started her second novel, Though my Heart is Torn, and I will tell you I’m on the edge of my seat for things to work out the way they’re supposed to!
Here’s a little bio on Joanne:
Married to her first sweetheart, Joanne lives in the mountains of Southern California where she keeps busy making messes with their home schooled children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, writing, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life.
I will add that Joanne is extremely creative and just re-organized stuff in her kitchen, all pioneer-style! Here’s her blogpost on that: http://www.joannebischof.com/my-new-pioneer-inspired-pantry-before-and-after/.
Now, let’s chat!
HG: Joanne, great to have you on my blog again. You’re one of my favorite people to interview! Fellow homeschooling momma, writer, Appalachian-loving gal—we have lots in common. I also enjoy your Pinterest boards. Do you think up your characters first, then hunt down pictures of them, or vice versa? I like having those visuals, too.
JB: Ooh, good question! I almost always think of the character first, then stay on the lookout for a picture of a real person who portrays all the elements I had imagined. It’s a fun hunt, and sometimes takes a little while, but when I find that right image, it’s very exciting.
HG: One thing I love about BE STILL MY SOUL is that I’m able to recommend it to friends and they invariably wind up loving it. I would wager that part of what sets your books apart is that the main character, Gideon, isn’t entirely lovable through much of the first novel. And yet we’re rooting for his and Lonnie’s marriage. In THOUGH MY HEART IS TORN, I have a feeling things aren’t all smooth-sailing for them yet?
JB: I am so glad that you can find yourself rooting for Gideon and that you’ve recommended the book to friends! Gideon truly is an un-loveable character throughout a good portion of BE STILL MY SOUL. In essence, he’s a womanizer and sweet Lonnie happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time with him—landing them both in a shotgun wedding. Gideon grows and matures throughout the first book, but he still has some lessons to learn. I think that’s how we are as Christians. We don’t instantly become a Christian, then have everything figure out and behave like saints. There are times in THOUGH MY HEART IS TORN that Gideon will still battle anger over the new circumstance he finds himself in. At times he’ll resort to some old ways of thinking, as opposed to looking toward Christ and “what could be”. It’s going to be a tough lesson for him, but one that I’m excited to share with you in the next two books.
HG: I think another massive draw of your books is that the main characters are married. I love realistic love stories between MARRIED couples. What are some marriage themes that THOUGH MY HEART IS TORN delves into? I know Lonnie and Gideon also have a child in your latest novel, right? So that makes things interesting.
JB: I confess, writing a romance about a married couple was a ton of fun (Click to Tweet!). Not because there was this honeymoon type love, but because I got to tell the story of a husband and wife falling in love under unique circumstances—an unwanted wedding. Gideon had no regard for Lonnie when they married, and it was such a joy to get to tell the love story that unfolded in BE STILL MY SOUL. As the readers step into the first pages of THOUGH MY HEART IS TORN, the sadness that surrounded Lonnie and Gideon’s early marriage, is but a memory. However, a twist that happens early on reveals a secret of Gideon’s past that threatens the foundation they stand on. I’m a romantic at heart and while Lonnie and Gideon will face an uphill battle with these new revelations, their love is one that could never be severed (Click to Tweet!). Though their paths may take different directions, they’ll still weather the storm together.
HG: Is your third book already written, or are you in the process of writing now? How long does it take you to get a book written (rough draft)? If you’re able to tell me, are you thinking of beginning a new series after your CADENCE OF GRACE series?
JB: The third book is written. It’s on my editor’s desk right now and she’ll go through it and send it back to me with all her edit ideas. She’s a fantastic editor and I always view each book as a collaboration so I’m eager for her suggestions on how to make the story shine. I am working on a new project right now. It’s a historical romance series set in Appalachia—my favorite thing to write about! I just recently turned in my proposal, so now it’s time to sit back and see if it’s something my publisher would like to pick up. As always, surrounding it all in lots of prayer for joy and peace with whatever the Lord’s will is for it.
HG: Finally, when are you going to travel to the Appalachians? Because you know you’re welcome to hang out with me in the mountains of West Virginia, girl! Thanks for stopping in today!
JB: I would love to! I want to see the beautiful views from your house. And to hear that fantastic accent of yours that we get to enjoy in your vlogs!
Thank you so much for having me. This is a real treat!
AND, here’s a little more about Though My Heart is Torn:
Gideon O’Riley has two wives—but he doesn’t know it.
“Git on up!”
The horse scaled the steep slope. The clop, clop of his shod hooves and the creaking of leather were the only sounds to be heard. They scaled the hill and the land leveled out into a broad, flat valley. Gideon glanced around. Nothing but open land for miles. He pulled his hat off and used it to shove his hair back before settling it into place. He moved the mount along a stand of trees, the road beneath him unfamiliar. Untested.
And the urge to run hit him like a blow to the chest.
His eyelids nearly fluttered closed. A handful of days and he could be at the Bennett’s door. Lonnie’s familiar form in his arms. Her scent. Her tears. His hand gripped the reins tighter when a burn threatened to clamp his throat shut. His son.
Gideon gently tapped his worn-out boots into Abel’s side, and the horse broke into a trot. A tumble of clouds shifted in front of the sun. The air cooled. He tugged his coat tighter, the oilcloth smooth in his fingers. Moments passed as light danced with shadow before the sun broke free. It hit Gideon’s face in a burst of warmth, and he tilted his chin up, wishing he could ride toward it.
Ride toward it and never stop.
Not until he reached his bride. And in her hands he could place the tattered remains of his heart. For she was the only one who could mend it.
****Thank you all for joining us today! Have you read any of Joanne’s books? Do you have any questions for Joanne?****