Spotlight On… Joanna Campbell Slan

March’s Spotlight On……

***Joanna Campbell Slan***


Hi Joanna, can you tell our readers how long you’ve been writing for and what/who inspired you to start writing?

I grew up in a family of storytellers. Both my grandmothers were great raconteurs, as well as voracious readers. Because we lived in a small town, I was able to walk thirteen blocks to the public library. Those books set stories whirling in my head. Soon I was telling my own stories.

Can you tell us about your latest story, what can readers expect?

It’s a long short story called “The Glassblower’s Wife,” and it’s about Jewish glassblowers who worked on the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles. They were under a death sentence by the Doge of Venice, and the hall nearly didn’t get finished.

What led you to write this particular genre?

Actually, my sister found a piece about the glassblowers and I was so taken with the idea that I worked it up into a story. I love history, and human drama. This piece fits the bill perfectly.

Have you got any tips for writer’s block?


1.) Get out of your own way. Start writing anything, and keep moving the work down the page. Eventually you’ll hit on an idea or phrase that gets you going.

2.) Start with the who, what, when, where, why, and how, and then elaborate on each of those points.

3.) Brainstorm a list of twenty things that could happen or that are related to your topic.

4.) Look up quotations and research on your topic.

5.) Take a walk on the beach.

Note: I never get writer’s block. I have days when I don’t write well, when each word has to be coaxed from me, and when I can’t concentrate, but I still write. It’s a discipline.

Do you work on more than one story at a time?

Yes, almost always. Right now I’m editing a book from the paper format, editing a serialized short story, writing blog posts, and revising The Glassblower’s Wife.

What do you think you’d choose as an occupation if you weren’t an author?

I’d probably be a craftsperson, doing miniatures for sale. Or a psychologist. Certainly a teacher. I loved teaching college.

 Favourite things (quick fire questions):

 Favourite actor?

Jeremy Northam

Favourite film? 

“Michael” starring John Travolta, although right now I can’t get “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” out of my head

Favourite holiday destination?


Favourite colour?

Periwinkle blue

Favourite dessert?

The one that’s right in front of me!

‘The Glassblower’s Wife’ is available to pre-order on Friday 20th March 2015, and we highly recommend that you do. Links are below:


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