Sunday, April 5, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Joanna Campbell Slan


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hi, Joanna.  Welcome to The Gal.  I hope you are having a wonderful Easter.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Joanna Campbell Slan:
I'm a national bestselling and award-winning author who loves to walk the beach and think up stories.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things most people don't know about you?

Joanna Campbell Slan:
1) I'd rather have caramel than chocolate.  2) I used to draw paper dolls' clothes when I was young.  3) My middle name is Ward.  4) I'm allergic to horses.  5) I have traveled to Japan, Korea, China, Hungary, Romania, Spain,  Italy, France, Germany, Austria, England, Wales, Scotland, Australia, Egypt, Mexico, St. Martin, St. Lucia, Aruba, Belize, and Canada.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Joanna Campbell Slan:
Dick and Jane

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

Joanna Campbell Slan:
The Serpent Pool by Martin Edwards

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Joanna Campbell Slan:
The public library was a magical place for me.  I read constantly as a kid.  I began writing as soon as I could form the words.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Joanna Campbell Slan:
I love my house.  It faces the ocean, so I can hear it as I work.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Joanna Campbell Slan:
I have to have something to drink, usually tea or coffee.  That's about it, except that I like silence.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Joanna Campbell Slan:
Everywhere and everything.  I like to eavesdrop.  I read voraciously.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?

Joanna Campbell Slan:
Jane Eyre and A Tree Grown in Brooklyn.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Joanna Campbell Slan:
The whole process can be a challenge.  Sometimes things flow, sometimes they don't.  Also, I still have trouble understanding why anyone would kill someone.  I struggle with that.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

Joanna Campbell Slan:
First of all, the characters have to be appealing, or the reader won't care. Second, the writer has to make me feel something or I won't continue reading.  And last of all, I like to learn something new.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Joanna Campbell Slan:
Kiki Lowenstein and Skye Blue are a lot like me.  Ruth in The Glassblower's Wife is like me in that people underestimate her.  That also happens to me.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Why did you pick your particular genre?  

Joanna Campbell Slan:
Mysteries about justice being done.  We all want fairness in this world, and mysteries offer fair play.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Joanna Campbell Slan:
My readers say that they love my characters.  That they feel uplifted at the end of my books.  That's my goal.  I want to appeal to people's best selves.  This particular story, The Glassblower's Wife, reminds people that nothing is impossible.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Joanna Campbell Slan:
More books!  I love what I do!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Thanks for stopping by, Joanna.  It's been great having you.  
            One more thing before you go: Where can we find you?

Joanna Campbell Slan:
They can email my assistant, Sally, here, visit my website here, or come join the conversation on my Facebook page.


About the book:
When Jewish glassmakers and their families flee the powerful Doge of Venice, the cost of their freedom is three hundred and fifty-seven mirrors - the creation of the magnificent Hall of Mirrors in Versailles.  But the Doge sends assassins to pick off the artists, one by one.  Can Ruth Telfin, the mute wife of the head glassmaker, save her people?  This is a 12,000-word short story.

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