Jen: This week we welcome Joselyn Vaughn to Book Talk. Joselyn, will you please share a short bio with us?
Joselyn: I grew up on a family farm in West Michigan and have always loved the charm and closeness of small towns. After getting married, my husband and I tried out the big city for a while and decided the pace just wasn’t for us. We moved to a small town and live there with our children and two beagles.
Before I became a stay at home mom, I worked as a librarian which kept me in close proximity to books. My favorite part of my job was buying books for the library. I got to read about all these great books coming out and pick ones that I knew our patrons would like. I miss having other people’s money to spend on books. The library’s budget was much bigger than mine.
I have always enjoyed reading and writing. I would check out stacks of books from my local library and finish them way before my mother was ready to make a return trip. I like that magic that reading brings to you. A whole other world that you can explore without having to go anywhere.
After being passed over for a junior partnership and getting relegated to a branch office in the middle of nowhere, Leslie Knotts vows that she won’t let budget cuts, corporate upheaval or meddlesome ladies distract her from turning the branch around and showing she has the savvy for the upper echelons of the company.
Organizing and advertising his new construction business has been harder than Mark Schultz expected. Having his Aunt Minnie and her friends from the Ladies Night Out group throwing women in his path isn’t helping matters.
When his aunt’s outrageous schemes spell trouble, Leslie and Mark team up to outsmart the Ladies. Mark introduces Leslie to his friends and she discovers genuine friendships as well as a love with Mark like she has never known. When a competing company offers her the big city partnership she has always dreamed of, will Leslie risk her future as a top executive to stay where her heart has found a home?
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Joselyn: I have probably written on and off most of my life. Unfortunately most of the time, it has been papers for school. I haven’t had a chance to pursue fiction until the last few years and it’s a lot more fun than writing research papers. LOL.
The call from Avalon really surprised me. I was in the middle of changing my daughter’s diaper when the phone rang. I looked down at her and decided I probably couldn’t get her cleaned in time to get the phone, so I just let the machine get it. That ended up being great because I could listen to the message over and over and over.
Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
Joselyn: Sweet, comforting, subtly humorous (Sorry, that’s four. Lol.)
Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
Joselyn: My first draft is very much go with the flow. I handwrite it and scribble things out and jump around in the story. I try to write it as quickly as possible just to get the story out on paper. After that I revise it and start to fill in holes I missed. About half-way through my second draft, I start forming an outline, so I can keep track of the dates and details important to the story – like whether Judi’s car is running during this scene or not. Then I just have to fill in the pieces that are missing which is easier to do when you have limited time to write. I can look at my outline and know exactly what I need to work on.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Joselyn: Right now finding time and energy is the most challenging. I have small children who require my attention during the day, so I am too exhausted to think after they go to bed. I really have to work at carving out time to write.
The easiest thing for me is dropping into the world in my novel. I can see and feel the characters and the landscape as if I was living among them. I do have to remember to incorporate the details I see into the story. So often, they are so obvious to me I forget they aren’t as familiar to the reader.
Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Joselyn: I like finishing the story and having all the threads come together. In the manuscript I am working on, I keep finding events and conversations that need to happen, but I forgot them in the first draft. Finding them and having them fill out the story is really an epiphany.
Jen: Do you become attached to your characters and have a hard time letting them go, or are you happy that their story is told and you can move on?
Joselyn: I am happy to let my main characters move on. I want them to go and live happily ever after. The secondary characters, the Library Ladies, keep bugging me, though. They are busybodies and want to get involved in everything I’m doing. They keep telling me stories I have to write. They are making my ‘to do’ list really long. LOL.
Jen: Is there a genre that you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from and why?
Joselyn: I have too many romance ideas right now to try something else. (Those darn Library Ladies!) I can see myself writing more women’s fiction at some point, but I don’t have any ideas for that right now. As for genres I’d avoid, I’m really intimidated by mystery and thriller stories. Getting all those clues in and making it believable seems like such an impossible task, I’m not sure I could pull it off. Maybe after more practice, who knows. I don’t see myself writing anything paranormal or time travel. I’m not attracted to reading them, so I don’t think I could write something appealing to paranormal fans. I have problems with the paradoxical aspects of time travel, so it would sprain my brain to try to write one. As much as I love the show Lost, the time travel aspects are giving me fits.
Jen: What five authors or people, from the past or present, have been important to you as an author? What question or comment have you always wanted to say to them?
Joselyn: Only five? I can come up with a top three for sure, but after that it gets hard to choose. L.M. Montgomery. I loved the Anne of Avonlea series and Emily series. I can’t wait to read them with my daughter. Anne’s imagination was always inspiring to me and Gilbert is so darn cute.
Jane Austen. I didn’t really enjoy her books until I found the humor in them. Now I read them and laugh out loud. “Perhaps, Mr. Collins has a cousin” is one of my favorite lines. I would love to know how she revised her manuscripts, especially after having to do all the manuscripts long hand. I’d also like to know what she thinks about the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies book.
Julia Quinn. She’s one of my favorite romance authors. I love the dialogue in her books. Her characters are witty and snappy and the conversations just roll along. I again find myself laughing throughout the books.
I think everything I read encourages me or inspires me in some way. Either by being so good I’m envious and want to try harder or so much fun to read that I can’t wait to get out my pen and paper and create my own story. Authors I’ve enjoyed recently: W.S. Gager, Tanya Eby, Carrie Bebris, Philippa Gregory, Sophie Kinsella, Erin McCarthy…
Jen: Do you do anything special to celebrate a sale, new contract, or release?
Joselyn: Since this is my first book, I haven’t established any traditions yet. With the sale of CEOs Don’t Cry, I was too shocked to really do anything special – except not cook that night. I think I was having a bad case of morning sickness on the day it was released, so I didn’t do anything special that day either. I am going to have to do something special when the next one sells. I shouldn’t let these exciting occasions slip by like that.
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Joselyn: Free time? What’s that? LOL. I spend a lot of time with my children. It is so fun to see them learn new things and do new stuff. Recently my daughter figured out how to put her shoes on by herself. She will put one on and then clap and cheer. It’s pretty cute.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Joselyn: I am continuing to write, tackling a manuscript at a time. I have one completed that doesn’t really involve the Library Ladies that I hope to sell soon. I am currently working on a story involving the origin of the Library Ladies matchmaking schemes. They are so much fun to work with!
Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Joselyn: My website is http://joselynvaughn.com. I also have a FaceBook page and frequent the Writers Chatroom chats.
Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Joselyn: What entices you to pick up a book and start reading? The cover image? The blurb on the back?
Jen: Joselyn is giving away a copy of CEOs Don’t Cry to one lucky commenter. To enter the drawing, leave a comment or question for Joselyn. Then you must either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to email@example.com. The winner of the contest will be chosen on Sunday, Oct 25.