Three-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock turned a passion for writing into a career when imaginary characters kept her awake at night, demanding she tell their stories. The author of over sixty romances in a variety of subgenres, she enjoys writing medieval historicals, contemporary romance and, coming soon, Young Adult books under the pseudonym JK Rock with her writing partner, Karen Rock. A former Golden Heart recipient, Joanne has won numerous awards for her stories. Her work has been reprinted in twenty-six countries and translated into twenty languages. A mom to three teenage sons, Joanne spends her free time cheering on their athletic endeavors and frequently reminding them of the value of reading a good book. She has taught writing, film and fiction at a college level and enjoys sharing her passion for the arts at creative writing workshops, career fairs and with aspiring writers she meets on Twitter.
For more about Joanne, visit her page on Romance Wiki.
Stats at a Glance
- Sun sign: Perfectionist Virgo, married to free-wheeling Aries
- Number of Pets: 1 cat
Duchess in my office
- Number of Siblings: 2
- Number of Kids: 3
- What I've Been Doing Lately: I was lucky to take a roadtrip over Spring Break recently, hitting up our nation's capital on the way to sunny Florida for a few days in the sun. I finished up a Blaze novella while on the road and I had more fun writing with palm trees in the background than staring out at the gray-mud-snow outside my northern home! I hope warm weather finds you soon, too.
- Interests: Wine tasting (affordable vino only), journal-keeping, traveling, astrology, world religions, pscyhology, social history, mystic traditions, Pre-Raphaelite art, the Romance poets, the work of H.D., all things medieval, studies about creativity, personality profiling
Most Recent Read: Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse
Q & A With Joanne
What made you want to be a writer?
I've always enjoyed reading and after spending some time at a variety of jobs, I decided I really wanted to explore my love of books. That led to a Masters degree in English and my decision to write a book of my own. One book led to another and another… it's a great career for someone who enjoys reading and the independence of the job allows me to work from home, which is a great plus.
Do you have a critique group?
I work with a critique partner instead of a group, but she's awesome and we've been together since I was working on book #3 and just had kid #2. Catherine Mann is the award-winning, bestselling suspense author who has helped me stay on track and enthused about writing through over the course of one hundred combined published novels, and through the rejections that came before those exciting first sales. Cathy was the person who convinced me to enter my books in the Golden Heart (the highest award for unpublished authors in the romance genre) after my first book had been panned by judges the first time out. Lo and behold, thanks to her advice, I finalled in the GH my next time and won the award in 2000. I could credit her with a zillion ways she's helped me, but suffice it to say, I'm very grateful for her influence on my work and am even more grateful to have such a fantastic friend. Learn more about our approach to critiquing here.
Any tips for writers who are just starting out?
Please do visit my articles page, especially Getting Started with Your Writing. I've also archived a blog at my MySpace page called "Setting the Story Free" where I've compiled ideas for new writers. It's full of practical, straight forward advice you can put to work for your manuscript. I also enjoy speaking to writers groups, so I'm open to workshop requests! I've taught writing at the college level on and off since before I began writing romance, so the teacher in me enjoys sharing what I've learned.
What are you working on right now?
I'm starting the third book in the Camp Boyfriend series, Camp Forget-Me-Not, with my writing partner and sister-in-law, Karen. We've had a fun year working together and celebrating the milestones of a debut author all over again. We recently received bound review copies of Camp Boyfriend (releases July 2, 2013) and it was an exciting new "first" all over again to hold the book! If you'd like to learn more about my Young Adult books, don't forget to check out the Camp Boyfriend website at http://campboyfriend.net! We'd be delighted if you'd follow us on Tumblr, Pinterest or Like our FB page.