Most authors stick with one (or two) genres, but that’s not always the case. Joanna White’s varied career includes several genres and series, and today she’s here to talk about her experiences and what works for her.
Thanks for being here! What do you write? How/why did you pick your genre?
I am the kind of author who writes whatever I’m in the mood for. Most of the time, it’s fantasy, so fantasy is my main genre, but I also write clean romance, action-adventure, historical fiction, Biblical fiction, and I’ve dabbled in a bit of science fiction and military action. The main reason is, again, just because it’s what I’m in the mood for.
What’s the most difficult part of writing your genre? How do you work through those challenges?
That’s a good question. Honestly, writing is a hobby and a passion first, not just a job for me, so most of the time, writing is my way of relaxing and having fun. Sometimes, being creative can be mentally exhausting, but most of the time the difficulty comes from editing it after the book is written. That, and marketing. Trying to get people to buy and read books is so hard for me.
How long does it take you to: write the book? Edit it? Finalize it?
I’m a faster writer than any other author I’ve met. I wrote a million words in 2020 and can write about fifty thousand words in two weeks if I’m able to write a lot every day. Sometimes, I’m tired or lazy or my wrists hurt, but if I push myself, I can write a lot. I can edit pretty quickly—a few weeks to a month or so as well. Depends on how much work the book needs to prepare it for publishing. But my highest word count is about thirty thousand words in eight to ten hours of writing.
If you’ve written multiple books, which was harder: the first book or the following books? Why?
For me, ending a series is way much harder. I have a tendency to not want things to end, so when I wrote the Valiant Series, I first started it around 2012 and finished it in 2017. Even several years later, I am still debating about the ending and trying to revise things and come up with ideas to make it better. I don’t end things very well. Even most of my books end on cliff hangers—that’s how the series was started in the first place; too many cliff hangers, so it all just kept going, haha.
How do you self-edit your manuscript?
Well, I started self-editing because I had to. There was no way I could afford to pay for an editor. It helped that I was a writing competition judge and host for about four years, so I was used to fixing mistakes because I would score writers based on everything from grammar, vocab, sentence structure, to description, action, and dialogue, all the way to the characters acting like they’ve been portrayed to be and no plot holes and stuff like that.
I started having to do that for my own books. For some reason, I miss a lot more when I’m self-editing but when I’m editing other people’s works, I am able to fix just as much as other editors. That’s why I became a freelance editor because I wanted to give people the chance to have an editor they could afford while also giving the same quality as the high-priced ones. But usually, when I’m self-editing, I’ll go through Grammarly on the book once and then read it through and try to catch as much as I can. Sometimes, with some books that are more complicated that need plot or character help, I’ll go through it with my husband because he’s an editor Nazi! I can’t see mistakes within the plot or characters, so that’s when I defer to him. But he also catches mistakes that I don’t see—like sentence structure, which is one of my weaknesses as a writer.
Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and experience with us today! Here’s a bit more about Joanna and her books:
Joanna White is a Christian Author and fangirl. Hunter and Shifter are the first two books in her debut series, called the Valiant Series. In December 2019, one of her short stories was featured in Once Upon A Yuletide, a Christmas fairy tale anthology by Divination Publishing. Dark Magi, a prequel in the Republic Chronicles came out in November 2019. Glimpses of Time and Magic, a historical fantasy anthology, also featured one of her stories.
She graduated from Full Sail University with a BFA in Creative Writing for Entertainment. Ever since she was ten years old, she’s been writing stories and has a deep passion for writing and creating stories, worlds, characters, and plots that readers can immerse themselves in. In 2020, she reached her personal goal of writing a million words in a year. Most of all, Joanna loves God, her family, staying at home, and being a total nerd.
To stay updated and find out more about her novels, where her inspiration comes from, games, giveaways, and more, visit her website at: authorjoannawhite.com.