Interview with Author Joann Keder

Hello author Joann, welcome to BrandEducation! Tell us about yourself.
I’m an author and nature lover, who tries to live by the mantra, “if not today, when?” I have two adult children and a husband who supports my writing career. I love family, humor, nature and chocolate. Not always in that order.

Where are you from?
Originally I’m from rural Nebraska. ( I do mean rural. The nearest Starbucks was 90 miles away in another state!) I grew up and raised my kids all within a 60-mile radius. When we moved to an actual city in the Pacific Northwest, it was a real adjustment to go from everyone knowing your business to no one knowing or caring what I was doing.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love watching crime shows and movies. I’m particularly fond of Wes Anderson movies. I also enjoy hiking and going out to lunch. I could go out to lunch every day and never tire of it.

Can you tell us a little bit about your journey?
I spent a lifetime telling myself, “I can’t.” Those were the words I heard most from those who should have been lifting me up. It became so ingrained that I pushed away the very essence of who I was and lived an empty and unfulfilling life.

When I moved to the Pacific Northwest, I couldn’t find a job or make friends. I broke my foot and was homebound for most of a year. That’s when I fell off the cliff. Hard. I spent time just sitting in my closet, unable to move. 
My husband had a massive heart attack and ended up on a ventilator. I was sitting at his bedside, listening to the sounds of the machines keeping him alive when it finally occurred to me, ‘If not now, when?” I knew I had to write because that is my “essence” and it had been pushed aside for too long. One book became two, and now I’ve published nine novels, won two awards and have plans for many more. 

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Determined, Funny, Loving

What inspires you?
I’m inspired by those who take the path less traveled. Folks who aren’t necessarily flashy, but have a story to tell that makes us all better for knowing it.

Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you. 
My first adult job was as weekend news director at one of the smallest television stations in the country.

How did you get into writing ?
I wrote my first stories at eight. I gave them out as Christmas gifts, all illustrated of course. The next big venture came when I was twelve. I wrote a book about a twelve year-old girl and her Chaplin-esque friend who became president and vice-president. It was many years before I would give myself permission to write again. At 42, I received my masters degree in creative writing. For my thesis, I wrote a story about a small town where the people were afraid to leave. Some might say it was autobiographical. A publisher picked up that book and “The Something that Happened in Pepperville,” was published. It would be a decade before I wrote again.

Can you tell us what inspired your book/ work and what is the story behind it?
I have three series. The first, Pepperville Stories, is about life in small towns. They are notoriously quirky places to live. There is also a real pressure to conform. Those two ingredients make for lots of strange and often funny situations that those who’ve never experienced them can’t believe. That’s why I only write fiction.

Piney Falls Mysteries is my first mystery series. The characters are quirky and loveable, and what I’m most proud of is the definition of family that is a thread throughout this series. More books to come in that series next year.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share?
I’m currently working on two novels and two short stories. The next book in the Pepperville series, called Secrets and Sunflowers, finds everyone preparing for the Salty Celebration, the 150th anniversary of the town. The event will bring chaos and shocking discoveries to our beloved characters.

Gemini and Feather continue their sleuthing in the Charming Mysteries series. Feather has opened a paranormal investigation office and Gemini is helping her neighbor find his son. The two stories will collide in an exciting way!

I’m part of a group of authors who will be releasing a collection of short stories this summer entitled, Midsummer Sun, Mysteries and Murders. It will be released in June.

 I’ve also got a fun backstory I’m finishing that will be available to everyone who signs up for newsletters.

What are your goals and aspirations? 
I want to keep writing for as long as I can. My brain doesn’t stop and I’m thankful for that. I also want to be a bestselling author. 

Where can our readers connect with you online?
I love hearing from readers. If you like a character or story, let’s discuss it!

To know more about Joann Keder visit:

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