Joni was born in Chicago, moved to Japan, and returned to live in Phoenix, Arizona. After joining the Navy, she lived in Lakehurst, New Jersey where she met her husband, a career sailor. They moved to Jacksonville, Florida, from there to Pensacola, Florida where Joni attended the university. Upon graduation, she returned to the Navy and was stationed in Naples, Italy. From there, the Navy sent her to live in a number of U.S. cities and even spent a year with the U.S. Army at their Command and General Staff College obtaining a Master of Military Arts and Sciences. Upon her retirement, she traveled the country in an RV with her husband until he passed away. She returned to the workforce living in Dallas until she discovered a passion for writing fantasy novels. She retired for a second time and now lives in Tucson, Arizona.
Website Address: http://www.joni-parker.com
Twitter Address: @ParkerJoni
About the Book:
A NATO training exercise goes terribly wrong when five warships from different countries are mysteriously transported to Eledon, the Realm of the Elves. The warrior Lady Alexin is charged to escort the troops back home to London in the year 2031 with the aid of the Wizard Ecstasy and a magic shrinking potion. Yet, when the authorities question her story, Alex is detained and imprisoned under suspicion of terrorism. Caught in a web of politics, betrayal and bungling bureaucracy, the confusing world of the future will push her magical gifts to their limit, and her own future will hang in the balance, caught between “justice” and the place she calls home.
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Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Joni: Several years ago, I was suddenly inspired to write when I developed a character and a bunch of stories. I didn’t stop for three months. After I finished, I wasn’t sure what to do with the manuscript so I decided to publish it. It needed a lot of editing, but eventually, it became my first three books in The Seaward Isle Saga: The Black Elf of Seaward Isle, Tangled Omens, and Blood Mission. The inspiration continued for the next series called The Chronicles of Eledon with Spell Breaker, The Blue Witch, Gossamer, and Noble Magic.
Is this your first book?
Joni: Curse of the Sea is actually my eighth book. It begins the Admiralty Archives, my third series and will have two more books.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Joni: My editor, Teresa Kennedy, runs a small indie press so she’s also my publisher. She published both the ebook and print versions of my first series, but now, she only publishes the ebook version. I publish the print version and post it to Amazon.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Joni: The pros: I have help with publishing the ebook and my editor sets the manuscript up for the print version including formatting and cover design. She also takes care of forwarding any royalties.
The cons: I do all the marketing to promote my book and get reviews. Also, I can’t independently verify how well sales are going since that information goes directly to the publisher.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Joni: Fortunately, I have a good working relationship with my publisher. She doesn’t change my title arbitrarily or pick covers without my approval. That’s not true with the big houses. Once the author turns over the manuscript, the author gets little input on the title or cover. I didn’t know anything when I first started and I was working hard on my writing skills so I appreciated the help. Indie publishing and all that’s involved was more than I could handle at the time.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Joni: It depends on the author. If the author can devote the time and energy into self-publishing, then that’s the way to go. However, most of us can’t do it all and needs help from somebody.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Joni: After I finished my first book, I found out that writing it was only the beginning. An author has a lot more to do in the way of marketing and publishing. At the time, the self-publishing market was only in its infancy and anyone who went that way, was looked down by the industry. My book was even downgraded by a reviewer because it was self-published and she claimed there were a lot of spelling errors in it when there weren’t. Anyway, there are a lot of resources now available to help authors so don’t be afraid to ask for help.