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Welcome Joanna Wayne!!!

Yay! We have Joanna Wayne today. Answering questions about cowboys and writing. Two of my fav topics!

Joanna is a chaptermate who I hardly ever get to visit with – life keeps her busy in Houston. But I did get to catch up with her last month at a chapter retreat in lovely, historic Natchitoches. We had a blast, ate a lot, and talked shop (of course!)

So I asked her a little bit about her writing, characters, etc. Here’ s what she had to say:

You grew up in Louisiana but now live in Texas. How are Texas cowboys differnt from the men you grew up with?
 They are similar in many ways, both sexy and rugged. I do notice that Texas cowboys seem to feel very comfortable in their skins and chosen lifestyle. The wranglers and ranchers have always played an important part in the development and growth of the Lone Star State.  And in Texas, cowboy is not so much a profession as a state of mind. They are hard working, independent, take care of themselves and whoever else may need a helping hand. Many Texans who have never even rode a horse have adopted that philosophy and have cowboy ways and that seductive cowboy attitude.
Why do women love the idea of a cowboy?
 Well, there is the obvious-they are sooo sexy and rugged in those worn jeans, boots and Stetsons. But more than that, it’s the attitude of the cowboy. They take care of their animals. They take care of their women. They’re protective and never hesitate to jump in and do what has to be done. But with all that ruggedness, they are still very sensual and basically loners. They need the love of a good woman to make them complete. In my current series, Special Ops, Texas, my heroes are not only cowboys but former Navy SEALs. With that combination, how could I lose? The heart of a cowboy, the soul of a warrior. 
You have elements of suspense in your love stories….or is it elements of romance in your suspense stories? Which comes first?
In my books, the romance and suspense are equal. In fact they are so intricately woven that one could not exist without the other.
For example, in Bravo, Tango, Cowboy, my Intrigue that is hot off the presses, the heroine’s four-year-old daughter was abducted from the Houston Zoo in broad daylight. When the story opens, she’s been missing for two years. The hero is pressed into service to give the heroine a ride home from a party when her three-year old son falls and hits his head. While there, the hero sees her take a phone call and fall apart when she hears a recorded voice of her daughter saying, “Mommy, help me.” She admits that this is not the first time it has happened. Without hesitation, he say he’ll find her and he is as good as his word. With a SEAL, failure is not an option. The only problem is that he can’t guarantee he’ll find the child alive. But a mother deserves to have closure. The investigation leads them into a bizarre plot and the truth behind the heroine’s dead husband’s past. Yet, it is a very sensual romance (actually downright HOT) and was named a Top Pick for November by Romantic Times.
Do you have a favorite hero from any of your books? Is there a major trait all your heroes share?
 It would be impossible for me to pick a favorite hero as I fall in love with all of them. Okay, so I’m fickle. I like them to have a sense of humor, be undaunted by danger,  and, of course, be a match for my spunky heroines. And it they’re scarred in some way by their past, all the better. Who can resisted a gorgeous, rugged, protective, tormented hero?
What is your top piece of advice to authors seeking publication? Was their one key to succeess that you found?
The second book I wrote was published by Intrigue and I’ve had over forty books published since then. My advice is to open your heart and let your emotions explode as you write the story. Immerse yourself in the book until it takes on a life of it’s own.  Writing is not about rules or grammar, sentence structure, or following some approach that works for someone else. It’s about telling-or rather showing-a story so vividly that the reader feels the emotion of the characters and lives the story with them. And, of course, always fall in love with your hero. If you can’t, how can you possibly expect someone else to?

Thanks so much for being here, Joanna! I really enjoyed reading your book Cowboy to the Core (check out my review from yesterday!) Leave a comment for Joanna and you may get a shot at winning her new book out this month – Bravo Tango, Cowboy.




5 Responses

  1. Hey, Joanna! It’s great getting to see you again! I’m looking forward to reading one of these cowboys of yours.

  2. Hello again, Joanna! I look forward to reading your book. And I LOVED the page you wrote in our continuity story at the retreat. You and Lenora ended it perfectly! LOL!

  3. Hi Joanna,
    I really enjoyed “The Gentleman’s Club,” but haven’t read any of your Texas Cowboy books. I’m looking forward to them.

  4. “And, of course, always fall in love with your hero” <– LOVE that!! 🙂

    Great interview!

  5. It is a good interview. Joanna’ s just so knowledgable about good writing. I tell you, her story just flows.

    Wish I would have done it a different week. I think my timing was off a bit with the holiday.

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