A word from Joanne...
A few years ago, I got the idea for the story and it was a whirlwind writing time that produced a finished novel in just four weeks. I've never written a book that quickly (not even close!), But the inspiration for the story came so fast, I typed as quickly as my fingers could move. The Lady and the Lionheart began as a reflection on Beauty and the Beast and along the way, it morphed into an allegory of the Gospel. Writing that book was an adventure through and through and some of the most worshipful writing I've ever done. It was a truly incredible experience and in the years since, God's really helped me shape and polish the novel into what it is today. My prayer is that the book will point to the cross and touch hearts that might need that extra dose of encouragement as told through a tale of grace and sacrifice.
Q & A with Joanne...
Q: What do you consider the hardest part about being a writer?
A: The hardest part is probably balancing it all. As a mom of three kids, all of whom are homeschooled, I find that it's sometimes hard for my brain to be in two places at once. There's the real world: dishes, laundry, scraped knees, adventures at the park… And then there's the pretend world: the lives of my characters and the wondering of how I'm going to pull it together in a finished, enjoyable novel. Sometimes my brain gets a little overloaded. Whenever that happens, some quiet, a little prayer, and extra time spent with my family is always the ticket to reboot and recharge and feel strengthened to balance both sides to my life and brain space. I love getting the chance to be in both worlds, and being an author really has been a dream come true.
Q: What are your thoughts on the publishing industry in general? In relation to self-publishing?
A: The publishing industry is very complex! There are benefits to traditional publishing and also to independent or self-publishing. Each one has complications and also advantages. As an author, I think of myself as a hybrid author — one who writes and publishes through both outlets. I think it's been neat to see how both sides of the process have been more and more in harmony the last few years in the Christian writing community. As more authors branch out in different avenues, it's clear that we're all in it for the same purpose, and the absolute bottom line is God's message being spread and the glory and honor going to him. Regardless of the avenue that it's done, I truly believe He's there to bless the projects that are crafted to bring Him praise. And by that, I don't mean high sales or even notable success — but that the stories will reach the hearts that He's readied and that they'll touch the lives in need of His promises and truths.
Q: What advice do you have for new authors?
A: Take deep breaths and take each step at a time. Remember that there is no arrival point. A book contract will not be the pinnacle of success that it can sometimes seem like. The road is just as rocky on the other side. But that just like with any phase of life, God is there to walk with us through them. He is there in our valleys and there on the mountain tops. By keeping your hand in His, and trusting in the journey as being as much for your growth as for the success of your writing, He will use you in special ways.
Q: That's wonderful advice, for authors and readers alike! What can you tell me about your next project?
A: I'm currently working on a novella that I've been keeping top-secret for about nine months now. Soon, I'll get to leak what that's about and I'm super excited! I think readers are going to be excited too :-)
Q: I can't wait to hear! What are some of the books in your TBR pile?
A: In my TBR pile are Melissa Tagg's Keep Holding On, Dr. Jocelyn Green's Mark of the King, and Laura Frantz's A Moonbow Night. All of those are upcoming releases and I'm so excited for each one.
Q: What is the book you wish you'd written?
A: This is always a fun question. I'd probably have to say The Memoir of Johnny Devine. I read it recently and fell in love with that story. Camille Eide weaves a brilliant tale with a swoon worthy hero — my favorite kind!
Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm sure my readers will enjoy getting the chance to know you a little bit better.
Lion tamer Charlie Lionheart is used to living amid the fame and mystique found under the Big Top. However, he is at a loss when it comes to caring for baby Holland. Nurse Ella Beckley finds herself captivated by the pair and agrees to help care for the sick child. It is against circus policy for Charlie to associate with outsiders, but he finds himself drawn to Ella. Ella’s faith is scarred by her past, and it is difficult for her to open up to Charlie. He wants her heart, but he is unsure of whether or not she will be able to handle the secrets he keeps hidden underneath his costume. Can he help Ella regain her faith and open herself to love?
I’m almost at a loss for what to say about this unique, beautiful, and, at times, heartbreaking Victorian-era tale. It is a wonderful story of love and redemption, and it reflects Christ’s love for us. Parts are a take on Beauty and the Beast, but it goes even deeper than that. The faith element is seamlessly woven throughout. Bischof gives the reader an insider’s look into life under the big top, which provides an interesting backdrop to the story.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
You can enter to win Joanne's Big Top Giveaway by going to the following link on her website...
Amazon link for purchase...
A Carol Award and three-time Christy Award finalist, Joanne Bischof writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the reader's heartstrings. She was honored to receive the SDCWG Novel of the Year Award in 2014, and in 2015, she was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon Writer's conference. That same year, her historical novella, This Quiet Sky, broke precedent as the first self-released title to final for the Christy Awards. To Get to You, her 2015 release, was the second. Joanne's 2016 novel,The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from Romantic Times Bookreviews, among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of southern California with her husband and three children.
You can find her online at: