Thursday, April 23, 2009

GUEST AUTHOR: JoAnn Ainsworth

You must have been struck—the way I was—with the courage it took for Susan Boyle to stand alone on a stage and face a large TV audience on the Britain’s Got Talent show. She stood there calmly despite the ridicule directed at her before she sang.

I was struck by how much her experience—her vulnerability—parallels that of authors. When our books are released to the reading public, we bare our egos to whatever opinions our readers have of our novels. Of course, we believe in ourselves and our work, but there is always uncertainty—did our stories get to the right market, to readers who will appreciate them? And—like Susan—what joy we feel when our work is fully accepted and praised.

Courage is the theme that runs through all my novels. My characters find themselves in new and unexpected situations. They must reach inside themselves to find the strength and determination to resolve the problems facing them—hopefully, to a good ending. During their struggles, my characters are transformed. They learn life lessons such as ethics matter, sometimes you have to fight and rewards come with risk.

I recently found that having a book released in trade paperback can be hazardous to my health. My first-sale book, OUT OF THE DARK, which features a sight-impaired heroine, was released 3/31. I had scheduled a number of marketing events—including being guest author here—to bring the novel to the attention of you readers. Little did I know that preparation for blogs, chats, radio and video interviews, postings of excerpts, and responding to email would eat up so much time and energy. I found myself scrambling to meet deadlines—especially when several were changed—and to keep up with the household chores that go along with daily living.

Thursday, just before suppertime, I was matching up receipts with my credit card invoices when suddenly my heart started frantically pounding. Mark wanted to drive me to the hospital, but I had no strength to walk. Next thing I knew, I was being carried down the porch steps by paramedics and transported by ambulance to the Emergency Room. I spent the night in a hospital bed for overnight monitoring of my heart. Fortunately, there was no major damage and all but one of my tests were normal for most of the night. One showed the heart under stress. Eventually it came back to normal as the stress level was reduced. I was released Friday with a bottle of pills and no restrictions on my activities.

The life lesson learned was to spread out my speaking engagements, book signings and the rest of what it takes to get our novels to your attention. I will schedule more time to sit in the sun and read someone else’s book.

Every day—like the characters in novels—we face challenges to our health, within our families, on the job, and in our community that can leave us vulnerable and exposed. As we face and resolve each challenge, we grow as human beings. We become stronger as we absorb and learn life’s lessons.

Like Susan Boyle, we have our own stage and spotlight trained on us. Like Susan, when we sing our heart out and pour our passion into life, we rise to new heights and are rewarded.

I invite you to learn more about me and my novels at Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

JoAnn Ainsworth


JK Coi: Thanks to JoAnn for visiting and congrats on your release!

This image is the inspiration for my new heroine. Meet Miranda Solomon. She's the woman who's going to give Justice a serious run for his money in--

Absolute Justice

My post today at the Pleasure Gardens is about her, so come on by after you've left your questions for JoAnn here!


J.K. Coi said...

Hi JoAnn, thanks for visiting. Your lesson is an important one about trying to remember that within the hustle and bustle of our lives, the excitement and pressure of what we do, we should always try to find ways to relax and de-stress. It's not good for our health or our family for us to be a roiling ball of nerves and tension :)

Kimber Chin said...

Wowsers, no, no, nothing is as important as our health! Big hugs, JoAnn!

J.K., no freakin' way! I just finished a short using the same inspiration for my heroine! 'Course my heroine is slighty crazy so readers likely won't even make the connection but...