Thursday, October 31, 2019

Joanna White Interview - Shifter

Photo Content from Joanna White 

Joanna White is a nerd in every sense of the word. From Star Wars to Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and especially Japanese anime such as Fairy Tail, she has spent her life writing books and living in other worlds.

She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment at Full Sail University. The Valiant Series is her first published work, which first started off being updated on a website called Wattpad. It is her precious baby; something she worked on for seven years; a total of 17 novels.

She lives in the countryside of Missouri with her family, where she continues to work on her other upcoming books. Writing has been a passion ever since she was ten when she wrote her first book, Cell 91, which ended up being an entire series all throughout her elementary and middle school years.

Her goal has been and still is to write to inspire people, to give them new worlds to delve into laced with truth. She writes firmly with her beliefs in God, as a way of sharing those beliefs with the world, while keeping her work something everyone can enjoy. More than anything, she wants to use her books and screenplays to help the hurting, mend the broken hearted, and to bring joy to people filled with sorrow.

Ever since she was ten years old, writing has become her entire life outside of her family, God, and being a nerd.


When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
I can’t really pinpoint a specific time. I’ve been writing since I was ten and it was a hobby until I decided to go to college online for writing and when I started to try to make a career out of it. But I would have to say that when I was working on the Valiant Series which ended up with 17 books in it, one time my husband and I were planning the final two books and a revelation came to us that the entire series paralleled with the Bible. We didn’t plan it that way. I knew then that God was with me and wrote the book series with and through me and I realized that He had called me and that writing was more than just a job or a passion—it was a calling.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Everything! Haha, I procrastinate writing all the time! Usually watching YouTube or playing video games or even just browsing the web sometimes is enough to distract me. With my upcoming release in November, Dark Magi, I actually didn’t get distracted too much since I originally wrote it as a host of a writing competition—I played the villain—so the writers were all counting on me to write my side of the story.

Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes?
As a teenager, I read all the time, so I’m sure most of the books I read back then felt life changing, even if they weren’t. Cassandra Clare’s books inspired me with ideas and really got me into fantasy. Star Wars made me a fangirl and it gave me a chance to dream big—of creating an epic franchise just as epic as it. The Bible is my biggest inspiration and has changed my life for the better. It has inspired me, encouraged me, taught me, and helped me grow and become a better woman.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Hmm. It’s probably the fact that I’ve learned so much about publishing and marketing myself as an author. Since then, I’ve tried harder to put myself out there, so I’ve met a lot of other authors who have become my online friends—at least, I consider them friends—and it’s been an amazing experience. That and getting to share about my stories and see Hunter and Shifter in print for the first time. I wrote them years ago and at the time, I never believed I would be a published author, so the first time I held Hunter in my hands was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had since being published.

In your new book; SHIFTER, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it.
Yes. It’s about a dragon shapeshifter named Beroan. His clan’s Alpha, Sirath, wants to destroy humankind, so Beroan betrays his family and his clan to try to stop them because he knows it’s wrong. He has to find a way to stop them without starting a war and shedding more blood.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Nsi and Beroan?
With Nsi, I learned that it’s okay to put a part of myself into the character. She’s paranoid and fearful just like I am and that doing that actually helped me get into writing her character more. With Beroan, I learned that I can be super creative when I want to be. For him and his race of dragon shifters, I invented a whole language, so it taught me a lot about myself and what I was capable of.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would definitely have to introduce Beroan to Kharro. Kharro is from an entirely different book series, called The Last Pendragon. He’s a dragon that has gone into human form to avoid extinction so he hides out in modern society. I’d love for them to have a conversation and see how they would get along.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
Well, as I mentioned before, Dark Magi is launching on November 19th. An evil king, Vaxon, has stolen the throne and he’s throwing the survivors of the war into an arena to kill each other. His son, also a rebel, will be thrown in with them and forced to betray his friends or his wife and children will die.

What I’m currently writing, though, I actually just finished writing a book titled The Crystal Heist. It’s a story about a group of ragtag thieves who attempt to pull off the greatest heist Kryston has ever seen—to steal the Sky Orb.

Best date you've ever had?
Hmm. I never really went on too many dates and since then, my husband and I have gone on many. I’m not sure if it counts, but I would definitely say that our anniversary back in September 3rd was the best date I’d ever had. We went to Sight and Sound theaters and saw the play Samson and then enjoyed the hot tub in our room together, which was decorated and themed around Native America, so I totally geeked out.

What were you doing the last time you really had a good laugh?
My husband and I just got through eating dinner about an hour ago. We were watching Bryan Hull on YouTube and he does TV and Movie impressions. He does this challenge where he combines two voices together. He took Mushu from Disney’s Mulan and combined it with Simba from Disney’s Lion King and it was absolutely hilarious. You should look it up.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
There has been a lot! One would be my parents’ divorce. I didn’t trust men and I never thought I would find love and it also made me people please others. When I met my husband, he taught me to trust and love—myself, included—and helped me overcome my people pleasing issue.

What was the most frightening moment of your life?
Back in 2006, my mom and I had a car accident when I was in fourth grade. I was sitting in the front seat and the air bag hit my face. The entire right side was burned and I lost several layers of skin. It was terrifying and I was passed out at the time, but I was told later from my mom that she couldn’t get me out. I was unconscious and there was a lot of blood. She couldn’t get the door open but this mysterious stranger opened it and lifted me out. Afterward, none of the locals could find him or knew who he was and he was never seen again. Yes, this is a true story.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
Oh gosh. Why is this a question? It’s so hard to answer. I absolutely love my husband I trust him with everything, so thankfully, there’s no heartbreak. I normally would say true love with guarantee of heartbreak, but then what would be the point? Experience? I’m more of a play it safe kind of person, so I would rather not. It’s too hard if it was ripped away.

1) Jared — Okay, he was my first epic guy in my first fantasy novel, so I’m sure no one is surprised he’s in here. He’s the main protagonist/antagonist of Hunter and a random fact about him is that he actually makes a great dad!

2) Gyran — I literally just finished his book, The Crystal Heist. He grew up in an orphanage but was the oldest, so he always took care of the children. The owner was abusive, so he protected the other kids until the day he turned an adult in their world, at sixteen, and had to leave. A random fact about him is that he loves listening to the rain.

3) Mythix — Hehe, oh, Mythix. He’s from another book in The Valiant Series (same as Hunter) called Rogue. He’s absolutely hilarious and super snarky and sarcastic. A random fact about him is that a lot of his scenes, he literally took control away from me and did what he wanted. I never knew what was going to happen if he was around, even if I had a plan!

4) Keisuke — He’s a vampire from the 1860’s part of my Mystics Series and he’s the main protagonist in all four books. He was a samurai and now, he’s a vampire but he tries his best to be good and being a good vampire isn’t easy. A random fact about him is that because he turned into a vampire before pizza was invented, he’s never tried it.

5) Matthew Saitou — He’s from The Last Pendragon and is one of two male protagonists in the novella. He’s a soldier from Afghanistan which I love and adore and he’s also half American, have Japanese. A random fact about him is that he and his brother invented a code to use if they ever got in trouble—SOS GOW.

6) Jace — He’s a main protagonist in The Valiant Series and is the main protagonist in two prequel books—Mortal and Immortal. Literally, his story is so long and complicated, it takes two epic novels to tell it, haha. A random fact about him is that he always keeps a journal (which if you’ve read Immortal, it would be obvious) and he knows dozens of languages and fighting styles.

7) Shinji! 
  Okay, maybe I’m a bit too enthusiastic but he’s definitely one of my favorites of all time! He’s in my favorite book in The Valiant Series, the third, called, Samurai. He’s very, very snarky and is almost never serious but despite this, is alert and never misses a thing because he’s so well trained. A fun fact about him is that he never really dated too many women until he found his true love (in his book, Samurai). 

8) Kyren — He’s in Dark Magi, and is the main protagonist and is featured in Republic Dynasty and is also a side character in the later books of my Dragon Empire Series, which is going to be rewritten. Fun fact about him is that he started off as a villain and I fell in love with him. His story—how he goes from his book, Dark Magi and Republic Dynasty to the Dragon Empire Series novels has changed at least three to four times and I’m still trying to revise and figure it out.

9) Kaian — Okay, so he’s just one of 50 characters—literally!—in my book Republic Dynasty, which is a book I wrote for fun for myself—hence the 50 characters. A fun fact about him is that in the beginning of the book, I gave him wings and forgot all about it until the end of the book! So that’s something I’m going to be fixing when I edit for publication. Along with taking out over half of my babies (most readers can’t handle 50 characters, even if I can, haha).

10) Hijikata — Okay, so technically, he’s a person from history, a samurai back in the 1860s and leader of the Shinsengumi, but I’ve used him a lot. He was featured as a side character in part of Immortal and he is also a protagonist in my book Cast in Stone, a time traveling adventure story. I absolutely love him. Usually, I take the real historic Hijikata and try to portray him as well as I can. He’s a great leader, harsh and stern at times and he’s just fun. A fun fact about him is that he was actually considered very handsome and a womanizer in real life.

Beroan is a shapeshifter, part of the dragon clan. His clan’s Alpha, Sirath, wants to watch the world burn.

For ten long years Sirath has attacked villages, killing thousands of humans and burning towns to the ground. Beroan has had enough, but his resistance will only end in suffering.

Nsi is a human living in a small village with her grandmother and cousin. Her ignorance about the existence of shifters won’t protect her for long. Her family was killed in a dragon attack when she was younger, and now dragons have come again. Now she will stop at nothing until the dragon shifters are stopped, to save humans from suffering the same fate as her family.

Together, Nsi and Beroan will risk everything to save humanity from Sirath.

Darkness is spreading through the galaxy, Corrupting one world after another, and now it has come for theirs. Sirath already belongs to the Corruption of darkness.

He will not stop until he burns down the world and leaves it covered in fire and ash.

You can purchase Shifter (Valiant #2) at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JOANNA WHITE for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Winner will receive a Character Cards from Shifter by Joanna White.