This is Josanna Thompson and her smile exudes love! She has always been a passionate story-teller. What she loves is sinking her teeth into learning about history and cultures from long ago. So many stories emerge from research. It is lovable to share those stories with others. Josanna was fortunate enough to marry the love of her life – 26 years of a happy marriage. According to Josanna – it’s been a great life. She has been weaving stories since forever. Her husband gave her a wonderful gift when he encouraged her to pursue writing full time. That’s something that comes easily to her. She was thrilled to have the opportunity to pursue this career. When she is not writing, she enjoys baking, cycling, and traveling, emphasis on traveling. Her husband and her love to travel. They have been fortunate to travel to Europe, Turkey, and the South Pacific.
Yes. Life is good.
I believe this happy love is why you smile so heartily?
Yes, indeed. It’s important to be grateful for the good in your life.
How does one tell a romantic story?
A good story, no matter whether it’s a romance, or any other story begins with good characters. You can have a great plot, but you will lose me if I don’t care about the characters. I’ve always strived to make my characters as human as possible. None of my characters are perfect or saintly. They have strengths and weaknesses. They can rise to meet the challenges, and can get hurt at the same time.
I’ve always had a pet peeve about romances that centers around a man and woman who hate each other when they meet, and then they fall madly in love in the next chapter. Real love takes time to develop. Sometimes the best love begins with friendship. That love grows naturally in the story. Of course, their love needs to be challenged. The characters always find a way to overcome the obstacles the author throws at them.
How does one recognize their soul mate?
Society tells us that people need another to complete them. I learned that love always must begin with you. I didn’t date much during high school and college. In fact, I was the dateless wonder. I yearned to find love. I discovered that it had to begin with yourself. Friends suggested that I write a list of qualities that I wanted in a companion. I did that. I complained to a friend when nothing happened. She told me that I needed to make those qualities my own. I studied those qualities. In time those qualities became a part of me. Something wonderful happened, several things really. First, I felt complete and happy to the point that I no longer needed another to fill that void in my life. Second: I became the companion of my dreams. Third, I started attracting the kinds of people I strove to be. I met my husband a few months later. The rest is history. To anyone looking for love, try this method. You will never be happier.
That’s very, very interesting…you have grown and found love… beautiful!
Let me tell you, that is the best way to find love. My husband, David is my best friend.
Josanna published her first book last year. It’s called A Maidens’ Honor and it centers on the experience of a Scottish woman who was born and raised on a primitive Polynesian island. The story chronicles her journey to the West. If you can imagine being raised in a place that has no money, clothing, not land ownership, etc. Pretty much anything western to her is foreign. Then envision her leaving all that she knows and being thrown into Western society.
The story starts on the Barbary Coast where Sarah’s ship is taken by Barbary Coasts pirates, but the Corsair captain gives protection, and their love grows.
There is also another story that runs parallel to Sarah’s, and it’s the story of the villain, Naa’Il Dhar. Naa’il is the Dey of Algiers, a man who has everything including, wealth, power, wives, slaves, concubines. Drawn to two beautiful American captives, Naa’il tests their loyalty to each other. Little did he know that his game would have devastating consequences… especially for him.
What are you trying to convey to your readers?
Hmm, I try not to be too preachy in my stories. I strive to tell an inspiring story with memorable characters. Many of my stories involve characters who are forced to overcome challenging situations. For example, much of A Maiden’s Honor centers on women living in captivity during the Ottoman Empire. It’s a hard life, but I’d like to think that I succeeded in portraying their strength while living in this difficult situation.
Your most steamy scene in the novel?
I think that would have to be Sarah and Hassan’s wedding night, but it’s very mild though. I’ve always been a firm believer of making the reader use their imagination. It’s a sweet scene. Hassan takes Sarah to their hideout. It’s a secluded beach where his crew has half the beach to their own; Hassan has his own private section. One night Hassan suggests that they marry. Keep in mind that marriages on the Polynesian islands are formed by a simple agreement. Hassan tells Sarah about Western marriages. That night they exchange their vows. It’s a very sweet part in this story.
How do you keep readers glued to your pages?
I always try to end each chapter with a cliffhanger. So far that tactic works well.
My readers don’t know what a cliffhanger is;)
Sorry, a cliffhanger means that something big happens at the very end of the chapter. The reader needs to continue reading to see what happens. For example, Sarah and Hassan’s wedding night ends with bells ringing on his ship, warning him of danger.
Do you flirt with the audience and can you give such an example?
Oh, yeah. I do a lot of that. I created small promotional books containing the first chapter. My websites are also filled with extras. People can read and download the first chapter, read about my research. They can also read interviews with my characters. Each interview contains a section from A Maiden’s Honor. I also give readers the opportunity to ask my characters questions. Check it out:
Are you afraid of fame?
That’s a good question. Yes and no. I hope that I will be successful with my writing. I, like most authors, hope that their stories will become best sellers. I would like to think that I can keep my professional life separate from my private life. We’ll see.
What makes you a good story-teller?
Hmm, that’s a good question. I believe that everyone is born with a special gift. Mine is the story-telling. My stories come to me effortlessly, and they live in my mind until the story has unfolded completely. I’m also very determined in that I keep working through an idea until I feel like it makes sense to me. Then comes the hard part – writing it down. Writing my story in a way that is engaging takes more effort, but I get there.
Tell us about the first draft and editing?
Oh, God yes. I hate writing the first draft. It is a slow and painful work. The editing is much easier for me.
How do you imagine your success?
I’ve always said that our success goes hand in hand with our vision. Carol Burnett is one of my favorite actresses. She had a variety show during the 1970’s. She once said in a talk that she used to see herself as a famous actress when she was a child. She never doubted that she would be successful. Her career unfolded according to her vision. I’ve always had the vision that I would have a successful writing career. Even though my sales don’t reflect my vision, I never allow the current sales affect my vision of success.
Thank you! I wish you the best of luck!
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