Today I got the chance to chat with the amazing Joanna White about her new book, Princess of Beasts. We had a chat about her new book, her writing habits, and her favourite books.
Hi, Joanna! Thanks for talking with me today. Tell us about your new book release.
Princess of Beasts is about a princess named Sahri who can talk to and heal animals. Her kingdom relies on the Anati migration. When the Anati return, they bring springtime. But the Anati are viciously killed and she decides to sneak away from the palace to save the last three Anati eggs, along with her bodyguard, who hates the royal family. Can they work together to save the Anati eggs? If the eggs perish before they reach the nesting grounds, the entire kingdom will die.
Wow, sounds intruiging. I just bought your book Hunter: A Valiant Novel, so I can’t wait to dive into that. Let’s talk a little about reading. What’s the first book you ever remember reading?
Oh, man. This has been SO long ago, but the Bible was definitely first. Other than that, I think the first book I remember reading is some books about a brother and sister going on different adventures. I think it was called Lighthouse something, but I can’t remember the title. The other books I remembered reading is the Dear America series and the Dragons of Deltora series as well.
The Bible is very important to believers and inspiring, too. What inspired you to start writing?
I was ten, so it was a long time ago. At the time, I just thought about the story of a man who was framed for murder and wanted to write it really bad, so I did. I guess it started off as my friends and I had cool story ideas, so I would write them for us. I ended up writing the kinds of books I wanted to read and that’s still what I do today.
You’re still young, it wasn’t THAT long ago! It’s great you started so young, I guess that’s why you write so well today. So who is your main inspiration? (This can be another writer, a family member or close friend, or even your pet!)
God gives me all my inspiration, but my husband is the second. He can’t write stories, but he’s the kind of person who can just come up with ideas from other books and shows he’s read and watched, combine them all together in these epic story ideas, so he’ll tell them to me, then I’ll add more or take away stuff and we’ll work out ideas together. My sister comes up with a lot of story ideas and my other main inspiration is all the TV shows and movies I watch and the video games I play.
Video games are definitely full of amazing stories and ideas, and it’s so nice your husband inspires you, too. Your faith in God has also helped you which is terrific. So aside from writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I love watching TV shows, movies, and playing video games. I also love making fanmade movies to different songs that match those fandoms. I’ve disappeared from the world playing video games for too long, haha.
Haha, I know exactly how you feel! Tell me about your writing space. I know you have a desk from which you usually do your live streams but I’ll ask anyway; where do you usually write?
On an old table we borrowed from my grandparents that never got returned, haha. It’s really long, so it has plenty of room. I think it’s organized just the way I like, but everyone else in my house thinks it’s super messy.
Are you a morning or night person? What time of day do you prefer to sit and write?
Night! My husband works nights, so we don’t wake up until 1 or 2 pm in the afternoon. Even then, my brain doesn’t think of anything to write until 7 pm in the evening. So, I’ll write from around 7 to 11:30 pm when my husband gets off work and again from around 1 am to 5 am after we eat supper.
A night person! That must be nice, my brain turns to porridge after 7pm. Do you plan out your stories or are you a pantser (making it up as you go along)?
I’ve been both and I still give my characters creative freedom, but I have to outline my books beforehand, so I know what I’m doing.
What’s your favourite book genre? Do you write in that genre?
Fantasy for sure and yes, I do. I also always have to have a bit of romance in it too.
Romance is very sweet. Tell me your top three favourite books of all time.
1. The Bible. 2. Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series (yes, the whole series) and 3. Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith Novelization by Matthew Stover.
Have you ever read a book that changed your life? I’m guessing the Bible?
Yes. The Bible, for sure. It’s God’s living Word and He’s used it to teach me so much and help me grow and get me through the hard parts of my life.
That’s lovely. Who is your favourite book character who you’ve created?
This is such a hard (and unfair) question, haha! In the Valiant series, it’s a huge tie between Jared, Shinji, and Akari. In my Mystics series, it’s definitely Keisuke. Jared because he’s an antagonist bad guy that you can’t help but love. Akari is a really brave female samurai who also believes in Christianity, but she will kill her enemies. Shinji is a samurai who believes in honor and loyalty, but has had to betray people who are dishonorable. Keisuke is a Christian vampire who was turned back in the 1860s and he was a samurai during the Boshin War.
I remember you saying in one of your videos that you had a book on Japanese culture, I’m looking forward to checking out that one! What’s your latest book about?
Right now, I just finished writing a book called Champion of Lies. It was based off the game show called Survivor. A rich elite group of government people are running a gambling ring. People are kidnapped and if they want to win their freedom, they have to play the Game of Lies and risk their lives – and kill others.
Very Hunger Games-esque! OK, something unrelated to writing. If you could go on a date with any celebrity, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I love my husband, so he’s my number one choice! But if I could hang out with any celebrity I would probably choose Ian Summerhalder so I can talk to him about his character from Vampire Diaries named Damon Salvatore. That, or Ozzy Lusth from Survivor!
Of course we’d put our husbands first, it’s all hypothetical 😉 Where can we find out more about you?
You can check out my website at authorjoannawhite.com.
Thank you so much!