Interview with Joanne Bischof

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Joanne Bischof, the author of the stunning Appalachian novel Be Still My Soul.

Married to her first sweetheart, Joanne lives in the mountains of Southern California where she keeps busy making messes with their home schooled children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, writing, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life.

Welcome! I’m so excited to be interviewing you! First, I would love it if you would start by briefly telling us how your writing journey began.

Thank you for having me! I've been writing as far back as I can remember. The memory that is the strongest is when I was in third grade and wrote my first short story. My mom helped me write it out in my best cursive. She was so proud that I really felt like maybe this was something I could do. I've been in love with writing ever since.
Please share with us one fact about you that not many people know. And
feel free to have fun with the question!

Something that comes to mind is how I often think of how I shouldn't be here. I'm pretty new to the writing community and have only been a part of it for about two years. I've gone to very few conferences, am yet to attend ACFW and have never met my agent in person. In fact I queried her the completely wrong way. She had no idea who I was when we started corresponding and I think she offered to look at a sample just to be nice. I sent her a portion of my upcoming release, Though My Heart is Torn and she offered me representation. A year later, we were looking at a three book contract from WaterBrook Multnomah. It was a wild and crazy road and I still look back and know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God was at the wheel.

Be Still My Soul: The Cadence of Grace, Book 1Which fictional literary character most inspired/inspires you?

Probably Leana from Thorn in My Heart by Liz Curtis Higgs. I absolutely loved her. When I first read that book, I wanted to have a deeper level of compassion like she did. I wanted to love as purely as she did. It's a beautiful story.

 What inspired you to choose the setting for your novel?

The setting for this series originated from bluegrass music. I wanted to write the story behind the story. To write about the lives of people who lived during the early days of bluegrass music. And not just any story, I really wanted it to be a love story. 

If you could be best friends with any of the characters in your novel, who would it be? Why?

I would have to say Elsie. She's plays a mentoring roll in Be Still My Soul and when people meet her, they quickly learn that she's almost always in the kitchen, whipping something up and a sample of her famous pie often comes with a little wise advice tucked on the side. She's just the person Lonnie needed during a difficult time in her life and I think that many people can relate to an Elsie in their life.

What inspired this novel?

As the idea took seed, it unfolded to be a love story between two mismatched people—a marriage between a shy, innocent girl with a strong faith, and a cocky, confident bluegrass musician who hasn’t given God much thought. By throwing them together in a shotgun wedding, I wondered how their story would unfold. Could true love rise from the ashes of broken hopes? This was the question I asked myself as Lonnie and Gideon’s journey began. I love to write about redemption and of course, I love a good happy ending, so the challenge to go from the beginning of the story, to the end was a big one and a great adventure as a writer.

What are 3 things you like to do to relax?

I love to sit and read, especially with a good cup of tea. I also enjoy going for walks and listening to music. We live in a quaint mountain community and the town and all the neighborhoods are carved out of the woods so it's a beautiful place to walk and right now, enjoy the fall color!
What book(s) are you reading, or have read lately?

I absolutely love to read and have had a hard time lately carving out those precious hours. I'm about to start Sarah Sundin's With Every Letter and then next on my list is A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs. I can't wait for both of those!

Though My Heart Is Torn: The Cadence of Grace, Book 2 What piece of writing advice have you received that was most helpful to you?

Probably learning about voice and understanding voice. I never knew what this was for most of my early writing years, granted everyone has one, but I wasn't well developed. It was blurry. It sounded like what I thought I should sound like--clear, professional and straightforward. Then as the years went on and people began to talk to me about voice, I began to be more aware of it. It sort of clicked into place eventually and it was incredibly freeing. Especially since my publisher is very respectful of the way I write--fragments and all. They let me be myself and I'm so thankful to them. 

 Where can readers connect with you?

I'm on Facebook and Twitter and blog every Tuesday about faith, writing and country living on my blog. And when I have writer's block, I can often be found on Pinterest either listening to my writing mix or playing with my Applachia inspirational boards.
Thank you so much for giving me the pleasure of an interview with you!
 And I wish you the very best with your newest release!

Thank you, Faye! It's been a pleasure!


  1. Thanks, Faye! I truly enjoyed this interview and it's such a pleasure to get to be here on your beautiful blog. Blessings on your day!

    1. You are welcome! Thanks so much for taking the time to do the interview and stop by!

  2. Great interview!! This has just made me want to read Be Still My Soul all the more!

  3. FAYE, Great interview! Thanks for sharing, JOANNE! I tweeted!

  4. Carrie, Thanks so much for stopping by! And for tweeting it!


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