About the Author
About the Books
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction
Genre: Christian Fiction
Purchase Link: http://amazon.com/author/joanneotto
I’ve seen myself in lots of different roles—as a teacher of English and foreign languages, as an academic language therapist helping dyslexic children learn reading and writing skills, as an enthusiastic singer and piano accompanist, as an avid student of the Bible, as a wife, mother and grandmother. But until recently I hadn’t envisioned myself as the author of a book.
Why do you think it took so long for the idea of writing a book to take hold?
Even though I’ve enjoyed writing and took several excellent writing courses early on, I made the mistake of thinking of writing too much as a personal accomplishment rather than simply enjoying the process of being a channel for the ideas that were coming to me. So when an essay and a short story I’d submitted for publication met with a negative response—or no response at all!—I let myself become discouraged.
There were other reasons as well. I was preoccupied with raising children. More importantly, I hadn’t yet had the life experiences that prepared me to write these books. And from a purely practical standpoint, an independent route to first-time authorship has not been available until relatively recently.
How does it feel to you to be a published author?
A bit like sending the children you’ve loved and nurtured off to school for the first time! My books are my babies, and, like most mothers, I delighted in the early stages of their development. They often surprised me in the amazing process of becoming what they were meant to be.
But the time inevitably came when, if they were to fulfill their purpose, those “babies” had to be released into the big wide world, where others might or might not approve of them. Perhaps the most difficult step I took in launching them was to send them to Kirkus Reviews for an unbiased assessment of their merit. The day I found those reviews in my email was one for celebration. My babies had passed the test with flying colors!
Why have you decided to republish the books five years after they first came out?
So that they can bless a wider audience. It’s been enjoyable getting enthusiastic feedback from friends and acquaintances who’ve read them, but outside my circle of acquaintance, they’ve been reaching relatively few readers. When I heard that LaShawn Dobbs of Divine Purpose Publishing had expressed an interest in them, I felt the door was opening to a divinely provided opportunity to make them accessible to more people.
Are you currently working on another book?
Not at present. My books weren’t written because I wanted to become an author. They both seemed to have a life beyond me. It felt as if I were being demanded to write them—as if my own purpose could not be fulfilled without writing them. Unless another book comes to my thought as a clear imperative, these two may end up being my only book “babies.” Time will tell. But meanwhile I’ve enjoyed writing essays and poetry. Writing is always important to me as a way of processing ideas.