Thursday, February 19, 2009

Author Interview ~ Joanna Lacy

Joanna Lacy has been a Licensed Practical Nurse since 1956, and retired in 2008. She is a wife, a mother of three, grandmother of six, and a great-grandmother of five. Her husband was a pastor from 1961 to 1972, then went into full-time evangelism. While still traveling and preaching around the world, he started writing Western and Historical novels in 1980. He wrote 47 novels for two well-known secular publishers from 1980 to 1990.

He began writing for Multnomah in 1992. He has now written 114 novels. Joanna was hired by the president of Multnomah Publishers in 1997 to be her husband’s coauthor. The have now written 38 novels together. They live in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

Tell us a little about your latest release:

The latest release is entitled OUTLAW MARSHAL. My husband wrote two series for Multnomah about a man called “The Stranger”, whose name is John Brockman. In the series, also, was a nurse named Breanna Baylor. The first series was called JOURNEYS OF THE STRANGER. The second series was called ANGEL OF MERCY.

In the second series, John and Breanna married, and John became Chief United States Marshal of the country’s Western District, with his office in Denver, Colorado. So many fans of the Stranger and Breanna contacted our publisher, asking for another series about them. We are now doing a trilogy in response.

Our latest release is the first book in the trilogy, called RETURN OF THE STRANGER. It is entitled: OUTLAW MARSHAL. Chief Brockman leads an outlaw to the Lord, who had been in prison, and he is so good with a gun that John hires him as one of his deputy U.S. Marshals. A newspaper picks up on it, and calls the man, whose name is Whip Langford, the Outlaw Marshal.

You co-authored this book. Can you explain the process for co-authoring a novel?

We discuss the concept of each book, then my husband writes a synopsis, followed by an outline. I take the outline, and page by page, I write in what I want in every scene. He then writes the manuscript from our combined outline.

Tell us a little about your main character and how you developed him/her:

The main character is Whip Langford, the outlaw who struggles with life choices and ultimately finds his way to becoming a deputy U.S. marshal.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? Least?

Breanna Brockman is a nurse, and I enjoyed most, writing the medical parts of the book. I felt I could pull from my nursing background and bring Breanna’s experiences to life for the readers. There is no least.

What made you start writing?

Because I helped my husband so much with his ten-book series about the nurse, Breanna Baylor, entitled ANGEL OF MERCY, the president of Multnomah Publishers in Sisters, Oregon, asked me to become my husband’s coauthor, and I have written every Multnomah book with him since.

What does your writing space look like?

I write at my kitchen table, and do everything by hand. We do not have a picture of our kitchen.

What would you do with your free time if you weren’t writing?

I am an avid reader, and would read more books.

What's the most difficult part of writing for you (or was when you first started on your novel journey)?

Coming up with new and fresh ideas.

Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

Yes, I put myself into my books and into my characters. Especially with Breanna’s character.

What message do you hope readers gain from your novel?

For readers who do not know the Lord, that they will receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour... and that our Christian readers will learn to walk closer to the Lord.

What are a few of your favorite books (not written by you) and why are they favorites?

The Bible is my favorite book, but some of my favorite novels are SOPHIE’S HEART, which makes me laugh because of her antics, and weep with joy over her salvation. Another is the RED RIVER series, which shows immigrants which come to the United States from Norway, and shows the hardships and the heartaches, the joys and the blessings of a family in a new country.

What do you wish you’d known early in your career that might have saved you some time and/or frustration in writing? In publishing?

I learned about writing and publishing from my husband, who had already been doing it for a number of years. This made it much easier for me.

How much marketing do you do? What have you found that particularly works well for you?

We have our publishers do the marketing for us.

Tell us what we have to look forward to in the future. What new projects are you working on?

My husband sent three new OLD WESTERN trilogy ideas to the president of WaterBrook Multnomah,
but we have not heard back which one they want first.

Do you have any parting words of advice?

Words of advice to Christians: Walk closely to the Lord as He leads you, and wait for His direction in every situation in your life.


Lynn Squire said...

I'm so glad to see the Lacys' book up on Novel Journey. Their books contain strong faith elements that can encourage a Christian to remember whose they are and a non-Christian to find redemption.

Thank you for having them.