Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!
Today we’re joined by romance author Joanne Wadsworth. Born in New Zealand, Joanne works both as a writer and a financial controller, all while keeping up with her four energetic children and dreamy husband. Today she is devoted to writing romance, bringing her imagination to life within the lines of new adult, contemporary, and historical Highlander. Enchanter, book three in her Magio-Earth fantasy romance series, is available now as an ebook from Kensington Books.
Join us as we cover subjects ranging from hobbits to hot air balloons, and more!
Describe your favorite place to read or write.
I love to write wherever there is absolute peace and solitude. No noise is permitted since I already have like thirty chaotic characters in my head all trying to have their say. So, come 8.30 in the morning when my kiddies catch the school bus, I’m like a rocket heading to my office. Reading though is a different story. Bring on the noise. The kiddies can resume chattering, and the birds may once again chirp.
Please relate one fact about yourself that has never appeared anywhere else in print or on the Internet.
I’m proud to say I’m one of the few people actually born in Hobitton. Yes, I’m talking about Middle-earth’s Hobitton. In New Zealand, the Hobitton village is located in the tiny rural town of Matamata, and I was seriously born there. Although, I’d like to add a disclaimer. I was not born in a hole in the ground. No, it was the maternity ward for me.
Bad news: You’re about to be marooned alone on a desert island—name the five things you would bring along.
Since you didn’t stipulate how large or small these five things would be, I’m going with:
- A hot air balloon, so I can take in the sights while I’m there.
- Plenty of watermelon, because it’s my favorite food.
- Insect repellent. Hate those pesky insect bites.
- The seventeen pound weight ball I use when I do my ab exercises. Just thinking I wouldn’t want to get lazy on this island.
- And lastly, the President of the United States. If he’s with me, the whole world will likely be searching for us. The one guarantee I’ll make it back home, regardless of the hot air balloon.
Strangest thing you’ve learned while researching a book?
What sea slugs look like, up close and personal. Sometimes my research is quite tactile. During a holiday to Fiji (which is only a short three hour flight from where I live,) I decided the islands would make the perfect setting for my Bodyguard romance series. For the record, we don’t have snakes in New Zealand, so while swimming in those crystalline Fijian waters, I was shocked to see these ginormous snakes on the sandy base, only they didn’t move. Then a kind local man told me they weren’t snakes but sea slugs. So, these creatures look like a regular slug, all gray and slimy, but imagine them being water logged and ballooning to hundreds of times a slug’s regular size. They were several feet long and as thick as a man’s leg, and just roll as the tide moves them. Scary.
Would you rather discover the fountain of youth or proof of life on Mars?
Oh please, that is not even a question. Fountain of youth a thousand times over.
Choose your preferred fictional vacation spot: Narnia or Middle-earth (or some other fictional realm)…
This is really a trick question for me. Since I live in NZ/Middle-earth, I thought I’d choose Narnia. Then I realized most of the scenes from The Chronicles of Narnia were shot here too. You know, it’s really no wonder I write fantasy romance. I’m surrounded by such incredible inspiration wherever I go.
What was your gateway to SF/Fantasy?
Stargate SG-1, the series.
If you were secretly going to write fanfic (or, even better, slashfic) about any two characters, who would they be?
Writing fanfic is actually on my agenda. My New Adult series is written from each heroine’s POV. I’m intending to take the heroes from each of the four books and write scenes from their POV. It’ll be so much fun, and fans of the series will hopefully love catching the insight into the heroes’ thoughts for a change. A new short story will come out bi-monthly on my blog.
Two roads diverge in a yellow wood: one leads toward a mysterious laboratory in which a mad scientist is currently ensconced. The other winds its way toward a tower inhabited by a powerful wizard. You could really use a snack, and it would be nice to have somewhere to crash for the night—which road do you choose?
I’m thinking the laboratory sounds too sterile to crash for the night, and the scientist will likely keep me awake with his mad chatter. I need somewhere comfy to sleep while I enjoy my snack. I’m going with the tower inhabited by a powerful wizard. At the very least, he can enchant me into believing whatever I need.
List three things you’d like our readers to know about you and your work.
I have three intriguing series underway:
- Highlander Heat, historical Highlander romances, feature strong heroines whose paths collide with their delicious Highland heroes.
- Magio-Earth, is a fast-paced YA/NA fantasy romance line, where across worlds, soul-bound mates battle against both love and land.
- And in Bodyguards, each heart-pounding story will bring you a bodyguard and the woman he protects.
And no, the bodyguard will not need to protect his woman from sea slugs. Those creatures shall remain motionless on the bottom of the ocean.
Thanks so much for having me over.