Interview with Joanna Blake, author of Hard Road
05 Feb 2019
What can you tell us about your new release, Hard Road?
Shane’s story is one of the most emotional I have ever written. The character was introduced in another book titled Cuffed, and I have always had this story in mind. Hard Road is part of a series of connected characters but can be read as a standalone.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
My mother, who recently passed away, was an avid reader. Murder mysteries, Regency Romance, and everything in between. She even kept a file of all the books she had ever read! She instilled a love of books in me basically from birth.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Oh this is a hard one! I love so many genres. For romance I absolutely love everything from Jo Raven, Jordan Marie, Nicole Snow, Lauren Landish, Bella Lovewins (who I am cowriting an exciting new series with), Willow Winters, Roxie Noir, Sosie Frost, Winter Renshaw, Cora Brent and LJ Shen. When it comes to historical romance no one can beat Judith McNaught. Sadly she hasn’t written one in twenty years! But her contemporary romances are also excellent.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
Oh, so many! Beatrice Small was a tremendous talent and wonderful member of the romance community. I suppose I would ask her why she tortured her characters so much, but then again, so we do we all! She just included a lot of actual torture!
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I love my characters! They are usually ‘born’ without too much wrangling. I just sit down and they are there. I do outline but I’ve never had to ‘invent’ a character. They are just there waiting for me. It’s lovely.
What is a typical day like for you?
I usually brush my teeth and get right into my current work in progress, usually still in my pajamas. I don’t write for long first thing in the morning, but it puts me in the right mindset for the day. Plus I’m usually itching to get back to work and visit with my characters (I get attached!). Then I go downstairs and start my day, with lots of writing and other author related activities. I spend a lot of time in my awesome readers group Blakes Bombshells. I respond to email and do a bit of marketing. I don’t there has been a single day that goes by where I haven’t written in five years, other than when a loved one needed me to be away from my laptop!
What scene in Hard Road was your favorite to write?
The scene where Shane gives in. He’s been fighting the attraction between him and Parker for so long and he just crumbles in the most spectacular and satisfying way.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
Yes! It’s not a quick little saying but it boils down to this: I always see the best in people. My author community and readers are from so many backgrounds and varied life experiences. Some people can come off strong or seem different until you scratch the surface. You never know what someone else is going through unless you ask. I always give people (and books!) the benefit of the doubt and take the time to get to know them. Sure, that hasn’t worked out every single time but for the most part it has allowed people (and stories and characters and projects and parties) into my life who are very different from me in superficial ways, and have taught me so much about life and other human perspectives. I never limit the genres or authors I read for the same reason. It’s all love!
Joanna Blake is the author of the new book Hard Road
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