Tumbleweed Heights Tour ~ Interview and Review ~ Joan Bird

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Joan Bird, author of the contemporary romance novel, Tumbleweed Heights (Boroughs Publishing Group), as she virtually tours the blogosphere February 6 – March 23 2012 on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!  Stop by for a bit and chat with Joan !!
FBL ♥: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
As long as I can remember I was writing songs, poems and stories. It started, to the best of my recollection, with my first stubby pencil and those fabulously fat dotted-lined sheets of paper in the first grade. When I was ten I submitted a poem to the local paper and it was published. 

FBL ♥: What inspired you to write your first book?
I really have no idea. I can say, unequivocally, that until I had a writing group, I had no true commitment to the process, as in "finishing" a book. I had five partial books, two half-books and one practically whole book when our writing group began. It took the insight and dedicated constructive criticism of my first two writing group members and two-plus years of weekly meetings with my stalwart critique partner for me to find my way to "the end" of several books.

FBL ♥: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Letting go of the extra stuff. The emotions that slip into the pages of any writer's manuscript are their own personal experiences. That imagery, those paragraphs in which one lets loose something that has long haunted them finds its way onto the page, yet it seems much of this is simply not necessary to move the story forward. The slicing and dicing, exquisitely painful at times, saves the day. It moves the story along and makes for better reading. The "outtakes" files are stories in themselves. Hey, we should put that in a book...

FBL ♥: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Oh my gosh. Boy did I learn, mostly about myself. I reached inside of my own heart and faced things I've long left to nightmares and dreams. I knew why I was writing; I thought I knew, anyway, but the reasons for writing changed each time I slipped on the shoes of my characters. Wow. What a difference it makes to be someone else, for a paragraph, a page, a chapter. No wonder I majored in drama. To be anyone but whom I thought I was. And that's the best part about the writing. I found out more about me than I'd been willing to see.

FBL ♥: I have read where authors can have a love hate relationship with their characters, has this ever happened to you?  Will you tell us more about that.
For me, that doesn’t apply. I have no hate for any of my characters, even the "bad guys." There's a part of me in each and everyone of my characters. Maybe that's the secret, letting the worse parts of me be the villain, the best parts of me step up to the plate as the hero and my softer side and stronger side come together as the heroine. And my greatest weakness, my heart, my courage, come through in the dogs in my books. There's no one I've written yet that I didn't love some part of; it gave me more depth to be inside the best of the best and the worst of the worst.

FBL ♥: What are you working on now? 
I have one finished MS, which is in final editing, that's a historical set in Sacramento, California in the late 1860's during the gold rush and afterward. There’s an orphanage in Nevada City, cattle ranches in Quincy, the secretary to a governor, all historical connections to California at its peak of adventure that envelopes all sides of my family, including my beloved grandmother and a disowned Aunt who married an Orangeman from Belfast. There’s espionage and bad guys and secrets and greed and love.Above all love.

In the end, it was love and faith that brought me to where I am today, and that's in the history of my insanely brave ancestors, including Welch coal miners. This book is the first in a series of historical novelsset in California, specifically Sacramento on the verge of and post statehood, gold rush, the transcontinental railroad and an influx of unbridled wealth.

Thank you, Kat for asking me to share my love of writing and thoughts. I look forward to answering any questions your readers may have. 

Moving to Briarwood, Colorado had not been in Gilly Casey’s original life plan. Sure, she’d dreamed of owning a horse ranch, but as kind of a part-time gig, in Topanga Canyon maybe. But the best laid plans of this high-powered L.A. attorney turn to dust when more than her bar card is threatened. Fleeing to a life she had never imagined quickly becomes a cat and mouse game just to stay alive.

Luke Hudson’s road to Briarwood was no less bumpy. Hiding from his own demons, he’s no longer able to float below the radar when he recognizes the feisty Miz Casey is in more trouble than she’ll admit. Donning the hero mantle years after he’d shed that skin, Luke realizes that rescuing Gilly might just save him, too.

With so many secrets between them, does love stand a chance? When the past trains its loaded gun on them, truth may not be enough to safeguard Gilly and Luke.

I was looking forward to reading this book, it had a lot of the elements that I look for in a good book.  As I started to read it I felt disconnected from the start and I just couldn’t get into the storyline.  There were some areas which I would have like to see the story played out more, build up the intrigue or suspense to keep my interest. For me, it need more substance, more of a background of the past and building it up to the present.
Although this may not have been my cup of tea, I did like the chemistry that was brewing between the characters. 
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

My Rating:
Joan Bird has been telling stories for years. In her first incarnation she was a singer/song writer with a rock band (yes, her Fender guitars are awesome), then she started writing books, mostly for herself. 

Joan’s storytelling is legendary amongst her family and friends. For years she’s been including short stories with her holiday greetings each December and for years her friends and family have been encouraging her to write a book. Little did they know she had a storehouse of novels just waiting to be read by more than just her mailing list. 

A couple of years ago she began working on polishing the stories she had already written, which sparked new ideas that led to writing more novels. Tumbleweed Heights is her first published book, but there are more on the way and she can’t wait for you to read them. 

Her latest book is the contemporary romance, Tumbleweed Heights.  


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Very nice interview ! it's always very interesting to read each writer's own perspective about their experience and have a glimpse of who they are !

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