About Joan

At age six, I wrote my first poem and in fourth grade, I bound my first collection of stories, plays and poems. I consider any conflict, large or small, as a potential story. Because most of my books are based on true incidents, my characters such as in On Viney’s Mountain are gathered from historical records. Other times, family stories inspire a book, like in The Secret of the Red Shoes. I also love to name characters after my friends, as a way to honor them. While I try and write an hour almost every day, working on our organic blueberry farm with my husband, John, tending and preserving a large garden, making goat cheese and other homestead duties absorb much of my time. In the evenings, I play Scottish fiddle tunes on my folk harp, work on quilts and read, preferably with a cat on my lap. For many years, I have tutored or served as a mentor for students in our local elementary school. Read More >

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While working on one of my lectures for writing conference, I came across this quote. "Each scene must move the plot forward and develop character. Doing one or the other isn’t good enough. A scene must accomplish both. For new writers, this is a big challenge. Many of my students have wonderful characters they want to write about. It’s the plot that gives them fits. But plot is the bones of the story. Characters are the flesh. Plot answers the question, what happens next. In popular fiction, this is the payout to the reader who is dying to know–what happens next." Carolyn HainesW ... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago  ·  

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Joan’s podcasts have been featured on WMUK and Michigan Public Radio.