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Friday, November 27, 2009

How She Did It - Joan Hohl, Romance Author


Hello Fellow Writers!

I hope everyone had as lovely a Thanksgiving yesterday as I had with my family! I finished reading through my manuscript and making small changes. Today I'm going to put those changes in the computer and also write a new opening scene that I think will provide more of an insight into my heroine's daily life before she meets the hero.

I also just finished reading a Silhouette Desire category romance entitled "In the Arms of the Rancher", by Joan Hohl. It was very fun read. Imaging my surprise when I learned that this very sexy story was written by a woman who, according to the dates she gives in her bio, must be at least 70 years old now! One of the nice things about writing is you don't have to retire!

From eHarlequin.com, here is an article that explains how Joan Hohl got her start in writing. I think it's absolutely amazing that she was possibly the very first romance writer to write using the hero's point of view in addition to the heroine's POV.

For as long as she can remember, Joan Hohl has always wanted to be a writer. Her mother said Joan had her head in the clouds, always daydreaming. The only thing was, Joan's daydreams had plots!
Thinking herself audacious for even considering joining the ranks of her heroes — the authors — she never put her ideas, or dreams, into words, never made notes or wrote anything down. She worked at several jobs — nothing remotely close to a career — some sales clerking, but primarily factory work, because that paid better.
Then when she turned 40, Joan experienced a definite turning point in her life. Deciding that at her advanced age she could handle rejection, had nothing to lose and by some miracle, possibly much to gain if only in self satisfaction, she quit her job. With no employment, but her decision firm, she sat down at her kitchen table with pencils and a spiral notebook and let her imagination take wing.
Joan achieved her impossible dream three years, and many rejections, after she began writing. Her first book sale was to Vivian Stephens at Dell Publishing. A few weeks later she received a call from an editor at Leisure Books, with an offer for a manuscript she had previously submitted to other houses…and believed was dead-in-the-publishing-waters, so to speak. The second sale was the first one to be published, in 1979. Her first ten books were written longhand at her kitchen table. As she wasn't a typist, she paid one to transcribe her handwritten manuscripts before biting the bullet and going to the typewriter herself to hunt and pick her way through future stories.
Some years later, Joan sold a formally rejected, completed manuscript to Silhouette Books…and found a home. She is considered by many in the business a trailblazer in sensuous romance writing, and having been one of the first, if not the first, author to write male point of view in category romance novels.
Many of her books are set in her beloved Pennsylvania, by an ocean, any ocean, but usually along the South Jersey coast or the West, with its mythic Western heroes.
Now, a few years… ahem — past 40, after 60 some books (she now no longer keeps exact count), Joan is still writing two to three books a year, although she laughingly tells everyone she is semiretired!
Joan has been married forever to her husband, Marv. They have two beautiful daughters, Lori and Amy, and two grandchildren, Erica and Cammeron.
Joan has one question: Does she have a career yet?

Um, I'd say yes, most definitely! Today I'm going to write that new opening scene and get my manuscript in good enough shape to allow my writer's group to take a look at it. I'm also considering adding another little element for comedic relief that will involve going back through and weaving it into place. That might also happen today.

One thing I will not be doing is leaving the house and braving the Black Friday parking lots. Too crazy for me.

Wish me luck, and good luck to you too!
Yours Truly,
Shoshanna Evers

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