Friday, September 18, 2009

JoAnn Arnold Interview

Last year I met JoAnn Arnold on an internet loop. She is one very talented lady who not only writers wonderful uplifting books, but she paints the most amazing pictures. Early last spring when I had a signing in St. George, JoAnn and I had lunch together. We'd never met before, but we hit it off immediately. I have wanted to do an interview with her for my blog for quite some time, but because of internet gremlins innercepting our emails I haven't been able to. However, at long last I can post this interview with my good friend.

Thanks, JoAnn!

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
At first writing was simply an outlet. I wrote roadshow scripts, Children's musicals. YM&YW plays and scripts (my favorite was a musical about Joseph Smith). I became serious after my Meniere's Disease put a stop to being on stage for our community Theatre. (My favorite characters were Peter Pan and Sister Amnesia in "Nunsence".)

Tell us a little bit about your new book.
I think sometimes the greatest descriptions of an author's book comes from those who read it. My latest book, Prince Etcheon and the Secret of the Ancient (a fantasy), came out the end of 2008. Michelle Bell did a review of this book in the Meridian. I hope you don't mind if I use some of her words. "Prince Etcheon is a well-crafted fantasy novel filled with excitement, adventure and magic. From the beginning, as you see young Etcheon lose his beloved Granna, then discover who he really is and what is expected of him, you will find yourself emotionally attached to this story. His destiny has been decided for him and Etcheon nobly and courageously accepts his fate as he is taught by animals (I will add who they are. An eagle, a panther, a horse, 2 Great Danes, a two-headed lamb, and an owl). Wonderful gospel parallels and symbols fill this story with deeper meaning as Etcheon grows in knowledge and stature, embarking on his dangerous journey . . .

Another review by a 12 girl. This book is amazing, fabulous, cool, clever. I highly recommend this book to any people who loves fantasy . . . . Another reason that you should read this is because it is original. It is not copying any book or movie. It comes right out of the author's head . . . Another reason is because it is adventurous and entertaining. The first sentence just draws you in. It holds the readers through the whole book . . .

I do have a manuscript just about ready to send off, however.

Tell us about your other books.
My first book, Miracles for Michael, is a story about a young boy who finds himself alone in the world when a car accident kills his younger brother and leaves his mother lying in a hospital in a coma. Samantha, a woman of wealth hears about Michael and makes arrangements for him to come and live with her. This is a story of the miracles that touch Michael's life and the lives of all who reach out to help him.

Journey of the Promise is a story of a young woman who thinks she is marrying the perfect man only to find out, within less than a year that he is far from perfect. In her confusion, she finds herself in the old section of the mansion they live in, that has been sealed off for over a hundred year. While roaming through the rooms, she find a journal written by her husband's great-great-grandfather. As she studies it, it leads her through hidden rooms and secret caves to fulfill a promise she had made in another time.

Pages From the Past is a patriotic mystery where Betsy's husband dies in what appears to be an accidental death. But when Betsy's Golden Retriever, Dorado digs up John's missing watch just a few feet from where they found his body, Betsy realizes his death was murder, instead. Clues began to present themselves in strange ways and with the help of her family, Betsy uncovers the mystery of John's death as well as learning of John's other life - that of a Secret Patriot. In this book, the constitution is discussed as well as those who signed it.

The Silent Patriots carries on with uncovering Hi-tech secrets through forgotten tools of the past. Betsy's mother brings her daughter into the Silent patriot organization. Betsy finds herself beside Roger Garrett, another Patriot, assisting him in uncovering another secret attempt to take away the freedoms of America and enslave the American people. The book takes the reader through twists and turns to finally find their way back to the path.

What inspires you and motivates you to write the very most?
I think the imagination. There is so much out there that can be a gift to the imagination. I love to read. I usually have three books going at a time. I love to dream up ideas. Like those in Star Trek, I like to go where no man has gone before. Only sometimes it's quite a trip.

Is there an established writer you admire and emulate in your writing? Do you have a writing mentor?
I used to read everything with Mary Higgins Clark's name attached. I enjoy Nicolas Sparks, The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Mostly, I look for a good story without paying attention to who the author is until I finish the last page.

Duane Crowther was my first editor and publisher. His advice to me as I put together a book, remains with me with every manuscript I write, so I suppose I would have to say that he has been my writing mentor.

Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now.
I was born in Price, Utah and lived in Castle Gate, Utah (very small town which is no longer there) until I was about four. My dad worked for Kiewit Construction Co. after that so we moved often when I was growing up. In my mind, that is the best education you can get in learning to get along in this world. Graduated from High School in Huntington, Utah. My husband and I raised our four sons in Orangeville, Utah. (another small town) Brent was a coach for Emery Co. High School, Then the Principal. When he retired, we moved to Santa clara, Utah - beautiful place to live. Though I loved Orangeville, I think my favorite place in where we are living now.

Bring us into your home and set the scene for us when you are writing. what does it look like? On the couch, laptop, desk? Music? Lighting, Handwriting?
I have made myself a little corner (and I do mean little) office in our guest bedroom. There I have a very comfortable office chair, a cheap little white, easy to put together and take apart, desk where my laptop sits. Just to the side of me is a wooden TV tray with everything organized that I might need, just in case. Beneath that is a plastic file box, with lid, where everything is filed neatly just in case I need it again. Behind me is a floor lamp. On the other side of my chair is another plastic container of books and a dictionary, On the antique dresser I keep an I-pod player, and about 6 feet in front of me is the TV, DVD player, Video player. to the left of my chair next to the TV tray is a very nice day bed with a firm mattress. On the next wall there's a large window that brings in lots of light. Sometimes I work on the patio or in the sitting room. Sometimes I have music in the background and sometimes, I even watch TV. (but not often)

Do you watch television or movies? If so, what are your favorites? Do they inspire your writing?
I like NCIS, The Mentalist, Burn Notice, Warehouse 13, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis. (I tape the syfy one and watch them while I eat lunch. That is my break. I love movies. Westerns, Fantasy, Mysteries, Science fiction (especially the new Star Trek) Secret Agent Stuff, and just good good movies like "The Secret Life of Bees or Seabiscuit, etc. Do any of them inspire my writing? I have to think they add fuel to the imagination.

How had being published changed your life?
Oh, wow. With being published comes responsibility not only to write but to promote, worry over and become better with each novel. Would I change it? No. I love to write and I'm grateful to have been given this gift.

Do you have any book signings, tours or special events planned to promote your book that readers might be interest in attending? If so, when and where? Also tell about your blog and website.
You can find my blog at and my website is

Below is some of JoAnn's beautiful art. Check out her website to see more.


  1. It's perfect, Kathi. thank you so much. I couldn't have asked for more. And thank you for adding the painting.

  2. Another Mary Higgins Clark fan! Good for you, I guess I should read one of her books and Miss Arnold's!



Related Posts with Thumbnails