A Perfect 10 With Joan Hall

This week, we sit down with author Joan Hall. She will give us some insight into her inspiration and her writing.

Please enjoy this week’s edition of A Perfect 10

If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:

A.C. FlorySteve BoseleyKayla MattMae ClairJill SammutDeanna KahlerDawn Reno LangleyJohn HowellElaine CouglerJan SikesNancy BellNick DavisKathleen LopezSusan ThatcherCharles YallowitzArmand RosamiliaTracey PaganaAnna DobrittKaren OberlaenderDeby FredericksTeri PolenDarlene FosterRobert Rayner, C.C. NaughtonSherry RentshlerLinda Bradley, Luna St. Clair

Also, if you are an author and you want to be part of this feature, I still have a few slots open for 2017. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com

Joan Hall 9

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both. On those days when I struggle to write the words, it’s exhausting. But most of the time, I’m energized by writing. Seeing the thoughts in my head come forth on the computer screen is exhilarating.

Do you ever write under a pseudonym?

No, I use my real name.

If not have you considered it? Why or why not?

Back when I was a want to be writer, I considered using a pseudonym, but once I began to write decided to use my own name. I just want to be.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?

I believe a big ego is harmful to anyone, especially writers. The bigger the ego, the harder the fall. And no matter how good a writer is or how successful they are, there will be times of failure. I also believe egos are a detriment to learning. We should all strive to constantly improve our writing and if our egos tell us we’re the best, then we deceive ourselves.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Before I actually began writing, I invested in some online writing classes. Those courses helped me to learn the basic techniques of writing. The encouragement from instructors and fellow students was extremely helpful in crushing self-doubt.

What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?

To me, success is having the courage to write and publish. It took me a long time, but now that I’ve done it, I feel successful. I’m not making much money as a writer, but that’s okay. Someday, I would like to see writing supplement my income, particularly when I retire from my regular job. But I would write without making penny because it’s something I love to do.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?

In my novel Unseen Motives, there is a case of embezzlement. I spent time on the Internet researching and reading true stories of embezzlement. Even though I didn’t go into a lot of detail about the crime, I wanted it to be realistic. For the sequel, which I’m writing now, there is an arsonist on the loose. Again, I searched the web for true stories as well as purchasing a book written by an arson investigator. A few years ago, there was a series of church arsons in the area where I live, so I read about those crimes in great detail.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Often a character name will pop into my head or I’ll see a name I like in the course of my job. When that happens, I’ll put it into a list on my iPhone or PC. I’ve also used name generators and I try to match the name with the character age by searching for popular names from the time period my characters would have been born.

Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?

In Unseen Motives, the first book in my Driscoll Lake series, I have a minor character named Vince. I later decided he will be a main character in book three of the series, Unclear Purposes. Had I realized that before beginning to plot the storyline for Unclear Purposes, I would have probably chosen another name like Brett or Cade. But I can live with Vince.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

I sometimes struggle when there are scenes with multiple characters using dialogue. I try to avoid overuse of dialogue tags and instead use dialogue beats. But even that can get a little tricky when you have multiple characters talking.

If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?

1dMy fourth great-grandmother, Joanna White McCorkle. I would love to know what life was like in the late 1700s and how she felt about her husband (my fourth great-grandfather) fighting in the Revolutionary War. I could also name dozens of other ancestors, but I’m drawn to this one probably because of the similarity of our names.


Abraham Lincoln. I would ask him about the pain and heartbreak of seeing a nation divided.


Neal Armstrong. I would ask how he felt when he took that first step on the moon, knowing he was walking where no other human had ever been.


Amelia Earhart (assuming she could come back from the dead). Probably because I enjoy a good unsolved mystery (and wanting to see them solved) I would ask her the location of her plane. If she didn’t crash in the ocean and landed on another island as some theorize, I would ask if she was taken as a prisoner and what the final days of her life were like.

What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?

I’m still learning this game, but at this point I would say word of mouth and Facebook. Friends and family have been very receptive and although I try to keep my personal page personal, it gets more traffic than my website page. Guest posting is also generating new interest in my mailing list, so I’m hoping to build up a list of devoted followers.

About Joan:

Joan Hall likes to create character-driven fiction with strong, determined female leads and male characters that are sometimes a bit mysterious. Her favorite genre is mystery and suspense—often with a touch of romance.

When she’s not writing, Joan likes to take nature walks, explore old cemeteries, and visit America’s National Parks and historical sites. She and her husband live in Texas with their two cats and a dog.

About Joan’s Book:

D2DUnseen Motives

Stephanie Harris is no stranger to mystery and suspense. The author of several best-selling thrillers returns to her hometown of Driscoll Lake twenty years after her father’s suicide when her great-aunt Helen dies.

She hopes to settle Helen’s affairs as quickly as possible and leave behind the place where she suffered so much heartache. Soon after her arrival, Stephanie stumbles upon information that leads her to believe that all is not as it seems.

When she digs deeper into secrets long buried, she begins to receive warning notes and mysterious phone calls. The threats soon escalate into deliberate attempts to harm her. Stephanie soon finds herself caught in a web of deceit and danger.

Who doesn’t want her to stay? And why? What are they afraid she’ll learn?

Undaunted, Stephanie searches for clues about the scandal surrounding her father’s death. But discovering the truth places her in the path of a cold-blooded killer.

Connect with Joan:





Amazon Author Page


58 thoughts on “A Perfect 10 With Joan Hall

  1. Pingback: A Perfect Ten (Guest Posting) – Joan Hall

  2. Another Great Top 10 from Don!

    Joan, it was fabulous to see you here today. This interview read so smoothly like you were chatting over coffee or tea. We track character names pretty much the same way and your thoughts on writing success match mine too. I hope it will supplement retirement income someday, but even without that, I’d never stop writing. It’s too deeply ingrained in my life!

    P.S….Your fourth great-grandmother sounds fascinating. Her husband fought in the Revolutionary War? I love history, and imagining what life was like in different eras, the Revolutionary era being one that I find particularly fascinating. What a discussion you would have!


    • Mae, yes I had an ancestor that fought in the war. It was exciting to learn of that. One of my cousins has done extensive genealogy research on our family. (Of course there are a few skeletons in the closet, so to speak.) I would love to sit down and talk to you someday.

      And I’m with you on the writing. I write because I love to write. Hopefully, it will generate a little extra retirement income, but if not, I’ll keep on writing.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: A Perfect Ten with Staci Troilo | Author Don Massenzio

  4. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Allan Hudson | Author Don Massenzio

  5. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Author Robert Eggleton | Author Don Massenzio

  6. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Paul Scott Bates | Author Don Massenzio

  7. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with P.C. Zick | Author Don Massenzio

  8. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Joy Lennick | Author Don Massenzio

  9. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Patrick Roland | Author Don Massenzio

  10. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Mary Carlomagno | Author Don Massenzio

  11. Pingback: Come and be interviewed | Author Don Massenzio

  12. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Kathleen Jowitt | Author Don Massenzio

  13. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Michele Jones | Author Don Massenzio

  14. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Maline Carroll | Author Don Massenzio

  15. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with J. Bliss | Author Don Massenzio

  16. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Alethea Kehas | Author Don Massenzio

  17. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Angelique Conger | Author Don Massenzio

  18. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Colin Guest | Author Don Massenzio

  19. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Rebekkah Ford | Author Don Massenzio

  20. Pingback: A Perfect 10 (Bonus Edition) with Andrew Joyce | Author Don Massenzio

  21. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Deborah Jay | Author Don Massenzio

  22. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Win Charles | Author Don Massenzio

  23. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Ritu Bhathal | Author Don Massenzio

  24. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Robin Leigh Morgan | Author Don Massenzio

  25. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Marjorie Mallon | Author Don Massenzio

  26. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Marina Costa | Author Don Massenzio

  27. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Lynda Filler | Author Don Massenzio

  28. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Lorinda Taylor | Author Don Massenzio

  29. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Aidan Reid | Author Don Massenzio

  30. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Lizzie Chantree | Author Don Massenzio

  31. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with J.M. Goebel | Author Don Massenzio

  32. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Kent Arceneaux | Author Don Massenzio

  33. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Victoria Zigler | Author Don Massenzio

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s