Jo-Anne Vandermeulen

"Journey to Publication"

“Conquer All Obstacles” Hits the Stands in Australia - Part 1

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“This will have a circulation of around 7 million people combined; and around 4 million of those people are in Sydney.” >Sylvia Massara - The Lit ChickCorner <

Welcome to the ‘Lit Chick’ Corner! (That is, ‘Literary Chick’). As a novelist, I’ve decided to create a regular forum in which I interview authors or highlight their work. In my interactions as a writer, I meet all sorts of wonderful colleagues from around the world and I would like to dedicate the ‘Lit Chick’ Corner to all the hardworking, and often unrewarded, authors out there. So, be it fiction or non-fiction, my aim is to introduce the reader to some of the writing that is available outside of the traditional publishing arena. I hope you enjoy!

WRITER OF THE MONTH FOR AUGUST:
This month, I’m launching a two-part article on author and novelist, Jo-Anne Vandermeulen.
A little bit about Jo-Anne:  Jo-Anne Vandermeulen is a Canadian writer, and an inspiration to us all. With two books out, including a novel, Jo-Anne has overcome her own obstacles to follow her dreams. An English major, graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, she had to give up teaching when she was diagnosed with an illness that forced her to get out of the classroom. Now, with the novel Conquer all Obstacles, and the non-fiction book Promotional Tips for Writers, Jo-Anne is an inspiration for many readers.

Additionally, Jo-Anne produces and hosts a weekly live radio show on Blog Talk Radio (BTR), entitled, “Authors Articulating,” where she shares marketing and promotional tips with other writers and answers questions from her extensive and ever-growing list of followers. Further, she is the owner of Premium Promotional Services, a company that supports and markets fellow writers.

‘Conquer All Obstacles’ was released in November, 2009, and ‘Premium Promotional Tips for Writers’, was released in December, 2009.

Jo-Anne has two grown daughters, and resides in Courtenay, British Columbia, with her mini-dachshund, Oscar.

Sylvia: First of all, welcome to the ‘land down under’, Jo-Anne. And although this is what I would term a ‘virtual interview’, I think that it is still exciting to convey this information to readers out there who normally would not have heard of you.

Jo-Anne: That’s right, Sylvia. It’s the wonderful world of the Internet that is making this possible, and I am thrilled to be featured in a country which I hope one day to visit.
Sylvia: Okay, so let’s get down to it, and please tell me more about what led you to be where you are today.

Jo-Anne: It’s all in the following head line I use: ‘Conquering All Obstacles: Turning Devastation Into Opportunities’.

Now I realise that I have choices. I can choose to be happy or sad. Really, it is totally in my control. But, I never used to think this way…

In April of 2006, I was given a reality check. I’ll never forget the feeling:

...sitting on the examination table, the crisp white paper crinkling beneath my butt…the doctor turning while shaking his head, his lips mouthing in slow motion—the words I never wanted to hear…and then the sparkles of black dots cloud my vision…total darkness—perfectly numb.

Facing an unexpected illness and slamming hard into instant retirement is not what people usually see as an opportunity. Yet, we all have choices, and a few weeks after this drastic change in direction of my life, I knew I could either, wither up and die inside or I could turn this devastation into an opportunity.

Being a highly driven and productive person, I was not about to give-in. A counsellor helped me by suggesting different options. Her question was: “What is one thing you’ve always wanted to do?”  And my answer was: “I’ve always wanted to write a book, but have never had the time.” Her response: “Well now you have the time.”

And so began the journey to an amazing writing career that I now wonder how I ever lived without. A journey down a foreign path that has led me to endless opportunities.

Sylvia: You know, this is awesome, and I can truly relate to you because I was diagnosed with a health condition that pretty much did the same to me. It was definitely instant retirement, but like you, I chose to reject this notion. Anyway, that’s another story for another article. So tell me what you have achieved in the past couple of years.

Jo-Anne: Aside from writing my two books, which have gained excellent reviews, I’ve shared my story with thousands of readers, and listeners of my radio show. I started a blog which now has over 200 daily visits and total hits of 30,000; I’ve gained E-zine Expert Author Status and a lot more.

In fact, just this week, out of 3 million members on Goodreads (a website where readers around the world review books), I’m rated number 23 most followed. And about a month ago, I reached a maximum of 5,000 friends on Facebook, so I’ve have been asking my friends to please join my NEW GROUP – “Fans of Jo-Anne Vandermeulen” (please tell a friend) http://bit.ly/bkw2Yz.

Sylvia: Wow, you’ve been a busy beaver! But tell me a bit more about your business and radio show. I must say I’m intrigued.

Jo-Anne: I created a new online business called ‘Premium Promotional Services’ in March ‘09, and this has turned out to be a successful business with many happy clients world-wide. I also produce and host a weekly LIVE Blog Talk Radio show, called “Authors Articulating with Jo-Anne Vandermeulen”, with over 3,000 listeners—and guests from all over the world. And the list goes on ... just google my name and you’ll see :-)

Sylvia: So, tell me a little about your novel, Conquer All Obstacles.
Jo-Anne: Conquer All Obstacles is a suspense/romance - ‘A WOMAN WHO WANTS TO FIND LOVE ... WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES FOR A HAPPILY-EVER-AFTER ... EVEN TANGLING WITH A PSYCHOPATH ... YET, LOVE HAS THE POWER TO ... CONQUER ALL OBSTACLES’.

That’s a catchy sub-title, don’t you think?

Sylvia: Well, ‘tangling with a psychopath’ really makes me want to read this particular story. So tell me a bit more.

Jo-Anne: The story is about a middle-aged divorcee, Tara Robstead, who wants more than a secret love affair with her boss, Josh Henderson. Yet, her search for ‘happily-ever-after’ costs her more than a price paid in blood: her soul is destroyed. Now, confined in a mental hospital, she must confront her greatest fears in order to break a psychopath’s control over her fractured mind. Against the ticking clock, Josh must face his true love for Tara, before it’s too late.

Josh is compassionate, caring, loyal, and a great father. His main weakness is the moral dilemma constantly brewing in his mind—torn between affirmation of love and commitment with the heroine, Tara, and his plan to secure financial freedom for his sons through a working promotion…but he cannot have both.

Sylvia: What can I say, except that I’m more and more intrigued. But who is the psychopath?

Jo-Anne: His name is Devin—a psychopath who schemes a perfect plan of control with the women in his life.

Sylvia:  So how would you sum up this novel?

Jo-Anne: Conquer All Obstacles is character driven— revealing the characters’ amazing growth and their conquering of all obstacles, right to the very end. It’s real page-turner, engulfing the reader to ‘live’ the life of each character, and be surprised by the many twists. I can confidently say that the story will leave the reader wanting more.
Sylvia: Well, thank you, Jo-Anne, for sharing your story with our Aussie readers. And before we go, I’ll ask you to provide some links for where readers can find out more about you.

Jo-Anne: Thank you, Sylvia, for featuring me on Lit Chick. I really enjoyed talking to you. As for my links, I’ve put everything on one page, see below:
http://www.booktour.com/author/25474
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This article was written by Sylvia Massara, Author of ‘The Other Boyfriend’ and ‘The Soul Bearers’. For more information, or to contact Sylvia, please visit: www.sylviamassara.com

*To purchase "Conquer All Obstacles" - Click HERE


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