is the author of The American Patriot series, three books set in Revolutionary War-era America. She is also author of One Holy Night. Joan has several historical blogs, also, that she hosts (americanpatriotseries.blogspot.com is the one I post on the most frequently. The others are languishing!).
I met Joan through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), a national group. I also got to know her better through Colonial American Christian Writers, an online group I founded last year for authors of colonial-era, and slightly beyond, American books or works-in-progress. The most fun I have had with her, however, was when I was invited to join a Dutch novella writing team with Joan, who wrote the first section. I am so happy she agreed to my interview.
Joan, welcome to Overcoming Through Time.
Thank you so much for inviting me to join you! I’m so pleased we met, and I’m hoping that we’ll get to work together on our novellas.
Would you share either the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help, or the most tragic situation or circumstance one of your character’s has had to get past?
Going through a divorce, and then my parents’ death a few years later were both equally painful. My parents died within hours of each other after a very bad car wreck back in 2002. We buried them on the same day, which was incredibly difficult. But God’s grace was so evident through that whole experience, not only in holding me up through the days when they were in the hospital, and then their deaths and the funeral, but in reconciling me and my oldest and youngest daughters.Their father and I divorced in 1994, while they were still teenagers, and although my middle daughter chose to maintain a close and loving relationship with both me and her father, the other two rejected me completely. I didn’t believe I’d ever have a relationship with them again, and that completely broke my heart. But my parents’ death softened their hearts as they began to realize that they wouldn’t always have their parents with them.
As a result of my parents’ death, my daughters reestablished a relationship with me—in time for me to become a part of my youngest 2 grandchildren’s lives. Now whenever I go through painful situations, I’m reminded that God can use even the most difficult circumstances for a good purpose and for His glory.
What is your favorite bible verse and why?
My life verse is Isaiah 6:8: Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
That verse struck me powerfully when I was a child and with the faith of a child, I committed to following wherever the Lord would lead. That decision has guided me all my life. I haven’t always been faithful, but it’s the goal I constantly strive toward. With God’s help I strive every day to live according to His calling.
Are any of your books available in audio format? Are any available as e-books with audio capability? Large print? (Thank you – we offer this information to our readers with difficulty reading books in regular print format.)
My books are all available on both Kindle and Nook. I don’t have a Kindle, but I’ve been told they do have audio capabilities. I’d love to have my books available in audiobook format someday.
What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
That our nation was founded on biblical values and principles. It’s become popular today to believe that our Founders were Deists or even unbelievers, but that couldn’t be more mistaken. The great majority of those involved in the Revolution were professing believers in Jesus Christ, including Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and they believed that no nation could long endure unless the citizens were taught and chose to uphold the great moral principles of Christianity.
I also want to convey a sense of how faithfully God leads his people through history. And I want readers to know about and value the great sacrifices those who have gone before us made to ensure our freedom. Our Founders were giants—men and women who acted heroically in spite of flaws and limitations. They weren’t perfect by any means, but they accomplished miracles. When I see the direction our country is going in today, I’m afraid the heritage they bequeathed to us is being lost, and I want to do everything I can to prevent that.
As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
In doing the research for book 4 of the American Patriot Series, the thing that has touched me the most is the incredible hardships and sacrifices our founding generation suffered to establish our great nation. Crucible of War starts off with the Battle of Trenton. What Washington and his army endured in crossing the Delaware through massive ice floes, and then riding miles to fight the Hessians through a brutal nor’easter, is almost beyond belief. Several men even froze to death on the way. The more I study this period, the more impressed I am by the conviction and fortitude of our founding generation, and the more committed I am to ensuring that their sacrifices are never forgotten.
Thank you,Joan, for agreeing to answer these questions. Leave it to a psychologist to ask such deeply personal questions. I cannot imagine how awful it must have been to lose your parents like that. And to have gone through divorce and mending your family again. Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!
Thanks so much, Carrie! I hope one of these days we’ll have a chance to meet face to face.