Author Joanna White
Author of The Valiant Series, her first published work.
You can order her books here.
You can see her website here.
1. What inspires you?
Oh, lot’s of things! Music, especially instrumental music. Anything with a violin or a piano, sometimes a guitar if it’s pretty - even though I play guitar, I’m picky about the music that inspires me to write. Most of the time I love epic soundtracks that are instrumental. Kingdom of Heaven, The Last of the Mohicans, The Patriot, Lord of the Rings, Titanic, and Braveheart are some of my favorite soundtracks and they’re ones I’ve listened to over and over again while I’m writing. Sometimes being outside in nature, especially now that I live out in the country, inspires me. For reasons I don’t understand, nighttime in the woods and especially if it’s snowing really inspires me for scenes. Other movies and TV shows inspire me on occasion. But what inspires me to write the most is literally God.
2. Do you have any unusual creative habits?
Mmmm. Wow this is a difficult question. I have actually never really thought about this before… I mean, sometimes I play out the scenes in my head and it helps me think of them. I don’t always do that though. I know my husband and I usually talk about ideas. Like he’ll throw out an idea, I’ll take it and tweak it out how I like, then he’ll add more to it and so on until boom, we’ve got a book outlined.
3. What are you working on now?
Ooh, well, to be completely honest, I’ve been so busy with Hunter’s launch and the blog tour, that I haven’t actually been working on anything. I finished a book just before this all started, so since I was in between projects, I never started another book. I have several different ideas I would LOVE to write and turn into a book, so I’m slowly building all of those and trying to figure out which one to start. I literally have four really epic ideas and I’m so torn and can’t choose between them at all.
4. How do you select the names of your characters?
Haha, okay, this is the fun part. If I’m writing a modern drama, I’ll spend hours upon hours Googling names until I find the right ones. It’s the same if I’m doing anything Japanese related or historical fiction. Literally, hours on one name. Fantasy books are really super fun and easy because I literally just type out random letters, then delete some and add some until I come up with a name that sounds cool. I especially did that in Hunter a lot.
5. What was your hardest scene to write?
In Hunter, probably the hardest scene to write was either of the reveal scenes, which of course, I can’t tell you what’s revealed in either of them because they’re both epic moments and it would really ruin the feels. It literally shattered my heart do to either of them but it had to be done.
Now, if we’re talking in terms of any of my stories, well, that’s a toughie. I’m a bit evil to my characters, so there have been a lot of deaths and terrible, absolutely utterly terrible things I’ve done that has been very difficult, especially later in the Valiant Series after Hunter. I still cringe to think about some of them. Every. Time.
6. Are there any scenes or plot choices you regret writing?
Eh, I don’t think so. If I don’t want to write it, I literally won’t write it. So after I’m done, most of the time, I love what I wrote and I don’t think it’s something I’ve ever regretted because I’m always so passionate about what I write. I do kind of regret my Dragon Empire Series, which is free to read on wattpad.com. After I finished the Valiant Series, I didn’t know what to do with my life, so I tried out a new series and at first, it was so hard to move on with different characters after spending seven years of my life and seventeen books with characters I loved and knew better than anything. I also didn’t draw my inspiration from God for the Dragon Empire Series as much as I should have, so it’s a bit darker and I just don’t like how the plotlines and things with it turned out, so I plan to rewrite it all sometime. That’s another one of the ideas I’ve been tossing around and thinking about working on.
7. Do you miss any of the characters you’ve killed off?
Yes. All of them. And no, I can’t tell you who. But just know in the Valiant Series, I promise you: I MISS THEM ALL. (That’s a lot of characters, by the way. I tend to kill off too many sometimes).
8. If you could go to the past or future, where would you stay and why?
Japan. 1860’s. Because I love samurai and even though this is the time period when they would end, I would literally have to meet the Shinsengumi. I’d love it. Well, maybe not because it was a really bloody time and I may love reading it in books, but reality is a whole separate ordeal. If I’m being completely honest, I would love to go back to the Native American times, specifically Lakota Sioux in the early 1800’s. I have always loved Native Americans and I would have loved to live back when they thrived in the old ways.
9. If you could have been born in a different country, which would it be? Why?
Japan! I love their language and culture and more than that I’m obsessed with their history.
10. As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
Well, when I was a kid, I spent most of my time in my imagination. So I honestly didn’t really think about growing up until I was actually growing up. In middle school, I thought about it, but not a whole lot so it wasn’t until high school that I actually started to seriously consider it. I mean, the only thing I knew when I was a really little kid, other than the stories I played out with my toys and the other worlds I lived in was that it would be cool to be a paleontologist. As I grew older, that shifted to me wanting to become an archaeologist in high school. I researched colleges and shifted my degree a bit and eventually tried it and got too homesick. So I came back home and settled for a wonderful online degree and writing since it was something I was so passionate about.