JoAnn Durgin has published over 20 novels and several series, and she is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the beloved Lewis Legacy Series.
JoAnn writes contemporary Christian romance full-time and lives with her family in southern Indiana. Writing Christian fiction is her passion, and she loves nothing more than sharing the hope to be found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!
We had the privilege of chatting to her to get some advice for all the book lovers and future authors!
What inspires you to write such amazing books and series?
Thank you so much! I give the credit and glory with a truly grateful heart to the Lord. He gives me the inspiration to write the stories I do. Not once have I suffered from that dreaded “writer’s block”!
Without fail in my books, I try to present realistic stories of individuals—from all different backgrounds—who strive to serve the Lord. Many are wounded, hurting, or misguided, and they’re all trying to work their way through life and love situations. All have sinned in one way or another and fallen short, the same as with all of us.
I’ve found a good “mix” of elements in my writing that works and which readers have thankfully embraced—humour, witty banter, lively writing that digs deep into the thoughts of my main characters, realistic but clean, God-honouring romance, biblically-based Scriptural principles, and often an element of adventure and/or mystery.
What advice would you give to anyone who is interested in becoming an author?
I have three points of so-called ‘wisdom’ for those wanting to write, especially Christian fiction:
- Every time you sit down to write, pray first. Give everything to the Lord and ask Him to guide your thoughts and give you inspiration. Be faithful to Him, and He will always return the ‘favor’ in his great mercy.
- Whenever you can, write something. Even if it’s rubbish, keep going. Something beautiful will eventually emerge. Don’t worry about trying to write a bestselling book or a book with a unique concept that will dazzle others. Do you know how many people say they have a novel in them but never take the necessary steps? Be one of the few who follows through—grit, determination, and persistence does pay off in the long run.
- Build a group of supporters and personal cheerleaders, especially among other authors. Seek out writer’s groups for advice, encouragement, and for networking and critique purposes can be invaluable for an author. Having prayer support from family members and dear friends is also invaluable.
Your books don’t necessarily fit ‘within the box’ of traditional publishing but we would love to have the confidence you have to step out and do what no-one else is doing. Do you have any tips for those of us who struggle with approval?
I was told by a big-name author, “No one wants to read about a group of mission-minded Christians.” Guess again! It took a while for Awakening to catch on, but once it did, it was off and running. Without fail, I follow the Lord’s leading, and He’s always opened the ‘right’ doors of His choosing in His time, not mine.
God loves you just as you are. Remember that. I’m short, blonde, and weigh more than I’d like. That doesn’t mean I can’t write books that impact people. That doesn’t mean I’m anything less in the eyes of the Creator. He created you, and who you are is beautiful, inside and out. Keep your focus on Him, and serving Him with honour and grace. There’s nothing more gorgeous than a woman who glows with the joy of the Lord who understands her worth in Christ.
That’s great advice! Where can we find more of your amazing books and how can we keep in touch with you?
Thank you! The majority of my books are now exclusive to Amazon and the majority are in the Kindle Unlimited Borrowing Program. Readers can contact via my website and on my Author JoAnn Durgin page on Facebook