Name: Joanna White
Who is Joanna? A lover of Stars Wars and a fan girl at heart.
Books: Hunter (Valiant #1), Forgotten (Valiant #0.5) and Shifter
Buy: Amazon and Barnes and Nobles
Sometimes great things just happen to fall into your hand. Such as an interview you didn’t know you wanted to do. Meet Joanna White, Christian author of the Valiant series.
Joanna has been an author all her life and wrote her first book at 10 years old. Impressive work that only foreshadowed her career in writing.
When did you learned that language, specifically the written word had some
I don’t know if there was ever one specific moment, really. I used to write as a hobby for fun, but other than a few friends here and there, I was the only one enjoying them, and then it was more fun writing than reading them. It wasn’t until after high school that I learned how important my writing could be, that I could use it to encourage, inspire, and uplift people and give them good, clean books to delve into without worrying about bad things being involved.
Shifter is your third book. How has your mind set and/or writing style evolved since your first book?
Technically, even though Shifter is second in the Valiant Series, I actually wrote a few books before that, ones that became prequels to the series, so it wasn’t my third written. Plus, I had been writing many novels before that, ever since I was ten. My first book, when I was ten, was really good for my age, but it’s cringe-worthy now. My writing has matured a lot (we hope so anyway, haha) and my stories have obviously gotten deeper and filled with more meaning. I started off writing what I called Modern Christian Dramas where God helped a character through a real life issue, but the Valiant Series was my first Christian Fantasy. Ever since then, I started world and race building and I loved it and from there, I decided to try to branch into other genres for experience. Just recently, I wrote a Christian Biblical fiction romance, and Biblical fiction and romance were two genres I had never really written before.
What does success in the book industry look to you? With your definition, are you successful?
I think it has many definitions. First and foremost, success comes from God. As long as I rely on God and use this gift, talent, and passion He gave me for Him, then I’m successful. Second, there’s my dream which is to become a best selling author with a lot of fans who love my books and were inspired and encouraged by them and enjoyed them. I have a few, but I still have a ways to go before I achieve that one. Then there’s the human definition of success which is money—still a ways to go before I hit that one, haha. And lastly, there’s how much I’m actually writing. When I first started the Valiant Series, I was young but I wanted to make an epic franchise like Star Wars only in book form. I didn’t think I could do it. In the end, I wrote a 17 book series and that in itself was a huge accomplishment. If you take into account all the other books I’ve written since I started—55 I believe, according to my last count—then, I’m definitely successful with that definition.
This is a bit of a controversial topic, but do you read your book reviews? If so, how do you handle bad reviews?
Ugh, I read carefully and nervously. I’m always excited for more book reviews because it means someone read my book, but there’s always going to be negative ones. When Hunter, Book One of the Valiant Series was self published, I had a troll come on and rate it a one star. Hunter was the only book this person had reviewed and they had a bunch of one star ratings on a ton of other products. They said it was a piece of crap and not worth reading. Even though I knew it was a spammer/troll, it broke my heart. I think a bad review will always hurt a writer, but you have to learn to take it and appreciate the positive ones or the ones that are sincerely trying to help you improve as a writer.
Finally, other of all the genres, why did you choose to write fantasy?
It’s not as boring as real life, haha. Honestly, I love that you can make anything happen that you want to, and in fantasy in makes sense. Even with sci-fi, you have to come up with all this technical or scientific stuff that I don’t really know or understand, but with fantasy, boom, magical explanation. Even that does have to make sense and fit into its own rules, but most of the times, it’s rules you invent yourself, so it makes it so much easier to understand. I just love making up worlds of my own and that fits better into a fantasy context. I would love sci-fi and I do love the whole traveling the galaxy thing, but I had to invent magical spaceships so I knew how they worked. Which gave me an excuse to build my own galaxy.