writing secular romances?
At the end of the day, and especially at the end of my life, when I stand before God, I want to hold my head high and know I’ve honored Him with my words and not brought shame to His name or my family. Sure, I’ve sinned plenty, just as we all have. That’s part of being human. But the way I see it? I’m leaving a solid legacy for my children in producing clean, uplifting and entertaining stories promoting the love, hope and grace to be found in a personal relationship with the Lord.
What are elements in your books that make them different from other
contemporary Christian romances?
I’ve found a niche that isn’t usually filled in my genre. Namely, my books have a bit of everything. I combine humor, drama, adventure and often a hint of mystery. If a line/scene can make me laugh out loud after I’ve read it over and over again, then I figure at least a few readers will hopefully find it amusing. Ditto the emotional scenes. I love witty banter between the hero and his heroine and employ it as often as possible, depending on their personalities. Especially in my Lewis Legacy Series books, each book can stand alone with a completely different storyline (although it’s certainly advantageous to have read its predecessors).
Purchase link for a specially priced boxed set with the first four books in the Lewis Legacy Series:
In addition to the Lewis Legacy Series, JoAnn Durgin is the author of an Amazon top-selling contemporary Christian romance, Catching Serenity. Her novellas include the Starlight Christmas Trilogy: Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, Starlight, Star Bright, and Sleigh Ride Together with You (November 2014). Another novella, Echoes of Edinburgh, releases in September 2014. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (national, Indiana and Kentucky chapters) as well as the Louisville Christian Writers. JoAnn lives with her family in southern Indiana.
Once upon a time, a sheltered 23-year-old Indiana girl, fresh out of college, went on a date with a Roman man—as in a tall, dark and very handsome man in Rome, Italy. Okay, don’t groan, but he was also the entertainer in the hotel lounge. Even more surprising, my mother was with me and didn’t voice any objections! We tore around Rome one evening at 90 mph and then visited a nightclub with mirrored disco balls and black velvet paintings of dead American film icons. A certain line in the Diane Lane movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, always makes me laugh. Her character meets a gorgeous Roman man and when she asks his name, he says, “Marcello.” She laughs under her breath and says, “Of course, it is.” Give you one guess what my Roman date’s name was? Ah, Marcello. When in Rome…
If you were an animal, what would you like to be?
I absolutely love the gorgeous thoroughbreds raised on the horse farms in the beautiful rolling hills of Kentucky (I live in southern—stress that part—Indiana, not far from many of these farms). They are strong, fast, intelligent and spirited. My favorite is the rich, chestnut brown thoroughbred. As a matter of fact, my upcoming novella, Echoes of Edinburgh (releasing in late September, available for preorder now on Amazon), features a heroine raised on a horse farm. And I make sure she returns to Kentucky from Scotland at the end of the book. Purchase link: http://www.amazon.com/Echoes-Edinburgh-Passport-Romance-Durgin-ebook/dp/B00MRCCTVW
Let me count the ways. Three major factors contributed to the decision. My predecessor at the law firm returned after four years, and that was the first clue it was time for me to make my departure. Honestly, I became increasingly dissatisfied with the work and longed to write as often as possible. Then a windfall of money unexpectedly dropped into our laps…enough to make me think seriously about quitting. Truly, it’s as if the Holy Spirit was nudging me and whispering, “How many more signs do I need to give you that it’s time to take the leap of faith?”
I should have a bumper sticker printed (if one doesn’t already exist) that reads, “I’d rather be writing.” By the end of this year, I’ll have published ten books in the span of four years since my debut novel, Awakening, released (six full-length novels and four novellas). As much as I was able to accomplish while working full-time, I hope to be much more productive with a full-time writing career. I’ve never had writer’s block, and I certainly pray the well doesn’t run dry now!
Can you tell us a little about your latest release, Moonbeams?
Sure thing! The easiest way is to share the “back cover” blurb with you. Here goes:
He represents nothing she ever wanted. And offers everything she needs. She’s everything he needs. And wants nothing from him. When their paths collide, can two people from different worlds dream of a future together? Expect the unexpected.
Mitch Jacobsen’s younger sister, Amy Warnick, has tried to pair him off with her fellow TeamWork Missions volunteer, Cassie, for over a year. Why can’t Amy understand that the harder she pushes, the faster he’ll run? Dating a woman who lives 1,600 miles away—no matter how gorgeous and compassionate—isn’t on his radar.
Cassandra Thorenson wants nothing to do with a man who works with money and contributes to corporate greed. Dating a Wall Street broker—no matter how handsome and funny—is the last thing she needs.
Surely the Almighty must have a better plan.
When these two meet during a TeamWork mini-reunion in Houston over Valentine’s Day weekend, Mitch and Cassie discover they have a lot more in common than they’d ever imagined. Their plan to resist one another quickly derails and then an unexpected event sends them all reeling. Let the sparks and the tempers fly!
Purchase link for Moonbeams:
Hands down, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Atticus is a sigh-worthy hero in every sense of the word. I’m sure my love of Atticus also promoted my adoration of the actor Gregory Peck, who portrayed Atticus in the film version. A widower, Atticus patterned moral strength and deep integrity to his two children, Jem and Scout. As opposed to some of the rough and tough modern day heroes, Atticus was a gentleman who wore three-piece suits, preferred to walk instead of drive, used his mind instead of his fists, and loved to read books, especially with his
children. In his kids, Atticus fostered a sense of empathy, tolerance, respect and fair-mindedness.