Today on Writer’s Wednesday we welcome Joanne Bischof, author of Sons of Blackbird Mountain.
Enter below for a chance to win a copy of Sons of Blackbird Mountain! Congratulations to Cassandra Darensbourg who won a copy of Rachel Hauck’s The Writing Desk! Note: This post contains affiliate links.
My Writing Desk
Hello! Welcome to my favorite writing spot! As you can see, it’s not quite a desk. 🙂 But it’s definitely cozy! While each of my writing days is a little different, whenever I sit down to write, I pull up three things: My manuscript on one side of the screen, Pinterest for any pictures or character inspirations on the other side, and some music. I’m a single mom of three kids so this will often be in the evenings once the kiddos have gone to bed. When they are with a relative for the day (and if I’m on a tight deadline!), I’ll write straight through from morning until night, pausing for meals, a bit of movement and to talk to my cat. Cause, you know…social skills. 😉
While I work, something on my computer screen is always moving around. I change music A LOT and also adjust my character images for various scenes. I’m always looking historical details up online or in a book, and am often bouncing around between documents that contain notes or “scraps” (these are important lines or scenes that I have cut out of the manuscript but save because I am a hoarder for some strange reason!) and they have about a 1 in 10 chance of being returned to the book.
While writing Sons of Blackbird Mountain, I also paused to verify different ASL signs for whenever the Deaf character needed to communicate with someone. I knew many of his signs by memory from the classes I took, which really helped with the writing of the book, but there were a fair number that I needed to look up, or verify to be safe. Once I looked up a hand sign, I would repeat it a few times to figure out the best way to describe it in words, and also, I would really try and grasp the character’s emotion and intent behind the sentiment so as to express that in his mannerisms or facial expressions. It was a fun challenge incorporating these into the narrative in a way that felt organic and I really hope readers enjoy the effect of a visual language being presented through the written word. It challenged me as an author to be sure!
Rarely do I go through a writing week without touching base with some of my writing pals and critique partners. This includes Jocelyn Green, Amanda Dykes, and Kara Swanson who I regularly check in with for writing advice. Either running a scene by them, double checking a historical detail, or simply seeking an idea to help my characters out of a jamb. Other times it’s a message or two with my agent, Sandra Bishop, or my editors at Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins Christian as we hash out story insights. All these ladies know the ins and outs of the Norgaard family saga so these stories are always made better in their hands.
And one gal I couldn’t live without is my neighbor who is a head nurse at one of the local hospitals. Often, I walk over to her house with a notebook and pen and sit in her kitchen while we talk about medical elements. I even have a 1900’s medical journal on my bookshelf that she lent me years back. I’ve consulted it for many-a-story!
Between those chats, it’s not uncommon for her to get a text from me that says, “For fictional purposes, how long could someone survive such and such…” She’s been fantastic and has helped me with nearly every story from To Get to You to This Quiet Sky. She played a HUGE role in the sequel to Sons of Blackbird Mountain and inspired a brand new angle to the plot that changed everything.
When the workday is a hectic one and I have little time to spend away from the computer, I typically allow myself to recharge with a walk or a historical drama of some kind if the kids are out and about that day. There are a few shows that I love including Poldark and Mercy Street. We live in a town that has no fast food chains, so during breaks, I tend to splurge on a really yummy meal in my kitchen that usually centers around butter or olive oil, crusty breads and veggies, and coop-fresh eggs that I fry up. A cup of tea or coffee is often nearby! But the computer doesn’t stay idle for long. It’s not uncommon for inspiration to strike at odd hours in the night and sunrise writing sessions are some of my favorites. 🙂
More about Sons of Blackbird Mountain
A Tale of Family, Brotherhood, and the Healing Power of Love
After the tragic death of her husband, Aven Norgaard is beckoned to give up her life in Norway to become a housekeeper in the rugged hills of Nineteenth-Century Appalachia. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the home of her late husband’s cousins—three brothers who make a living by brewing hard cider on their three-hundred-acre farm. Yet even as a stranger in a foreign land, Aven has hope to build a new life in this tight-knit family.
But her unassuming beauty disrupts the bond between the brothers. The youngest two both desire her hand, and Aven is caught in the middle, unsure where—and whether—to offer her affection. While Haakon is bold and passionate, it is Thor who casts the greatest spell upon her. Though Deaf, mute, and dependent on hard drink to cope with his silent pain, Thor possesses a sobering strength.
As autumn ushers in the apple harvest, the rift between Thor and Haakon deepens and Aven faces a choice that risks hearts. Will two brothers’ longing for her quiet spirit tear apart a family? Can she find a tender belonging in this remote, rugged, and unfamiliar world?
A haunting tale of struggle and redemption, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a portrait of grace in a world where the broken may find new life through the healing mercy of love.
Joanne Bischof has a long-standing passion for romance and a budding fervor for theology. She is more and more awed by how wondrously the two go hand in hand.
So depraved are we in our sinful state—so in need of a Savior—that the love story between God and his people is nothing short of astounding. A quenching of the thirst to parched souls. A light that makes the darkness tremble. A freedom from the bondage of pain and sin. Joanne is beyond thankful to be a part of this great love story and writes books to not only portray the glorious wonder of human love but to reflect the ultimate romance and rescue that comes through Christ.