Joselyn Vaughn, Author of The Warden's Lantern, Talks Writing

My guest today is Joselyn Vaughn. Joselyn lives in the Great Lakes state (Michigan) with her husband, three rambunctious children and two beagles. When not suffering the woes of potty training three toddler/preschoolers, she enjoys reading, running (sometimes, she says, it's more like fleeing the craziness at home). She also enjoys reconstructing clothing, thrift store shopping and surfing “I spend way too much time there and am getting all kinds of exciting ideas for projects for my husband to do. He is less than thrilled by this.”

She loves writing romance because she enjoys stories where everything works out all right in the end and the main characters have a happily ever after. Her stories are set in small towns with quirky characters that take on a life of their own.

Anne – Welcome to Piedmont Island, Joselyn. It’s always wonderful to sit on the deck and talk writing with another author, especially one who is also addicted to Pinterest! (Don't you just LOVE it?!) Okay. Back to the reason for your visit -- the writing! Let’s start with your most recent release. Tell us about it.

Joselyn - It’s called The Warden’s Lantern.

Dark, creaking trees. Cracking thunder. A ghostly orb.

Barbara Milanowski couldn’t have picked a worse night for her amateur paranormal investigation, but she couldn’t let her longtime crush Elmer Derecho’s skeptism go unchallenged. When Elmer runs her off the road with his motorcycle and scolds her for being out in the inclement weather, her happily ever after drops with the barometric pressure and the loss of her keys and glasses. While spending time alone with Elmer was one of her fantasies, the dream date didn’t entail diving into the mud and untangling herself from a raspberry bush.

While trying to protect Barbara from the storm, Elmer’s eyes are opened to all the things in his life that are missing. Elmer had gotten comfortable with his maps and pictures and chasing tornadoes after the fact. But Barbara reminds him of his forgotten zest for adventures, and ignites his interest in the Warden’s Lantern and for Barbara.

While sheltering in a dilapidated guard house, Barbara and Elmer are drawn out of the protection by the Warden’s Lantern, the ghostly light Barbara had been trying to document. Elmer dismisses it as a trick of the electrical storm, but together they attempt to find the true source of the light. Will their shared talents solve the mystery and start a lasting relationship?

Anne - Of the characters you’ve created, does one hold a special place in your heart? Why?

Joselyn - I think Minnie Schultz from Hauntings of the Heart is my favorite. She has many of the qualities I would like to have when I grow up (or at least when I achieve her age.) She is so confident in who she is and what she does, despite the curve-balls life has thrown at her.

Anne - Tell us the defining moment when you felt as if you’d finally made it as an author.

Joselyn - Sometimes I feel like that hasn’t really happened yet. The first time I felt like my dream of having a published book was coming true was when I held the galleys for my first book in my hand. There it was, like a photocopy of the final book and then it started to set in that my book was really going to be published.

Anne - How many rejections have you received? Was one more memorable than others?

Joselyn - In the process of submitting my first novel, I received close to forty rejections before it was accepted. Most of them were the standard photocopy rejection, but one came on a business-card-size piece of card stock. It basically said ‘thanks, but no thanks’ and the agency’s name.

Anne – Do you have any words of advice for struggling, unpublished writers?

Joselyn - Get your butt in the chair and write. You won’t get anywhere without a story to sell. The more you write the more practice you have and hopefully the better chance you have.

Anne - Have you experienced writer's block? If so, how did you work through it?

Joselyn - Other writers might not call it writer’s block, but I had one scene that I just didn’t want to write. It was where a character remembered a miscarriage that she had many years before. I avoided writing for a month or so because I didn’t want to tackle that scene. I knew it had to be done just right and I had to find the quiet time to focus. Eventually it came, but I still have a hard time reading that scene. 

Anne - Would you share an excerpt of The Warden’s Lantern with us?

Joselyn – Of course!

Barbara Milanowski adjusted the motion setting on her camera and snapped another shot of the trail. She wrapped the strap around her wrist and wandered a few yards along the road--if it could be called that anymore. Weeds grew up through the middle and crowded in from the sides. A gust of wind caught a handful of leaves and tossed them in front of her. The trees swayed and creaked, sending chills down her spine.

It’s certainly creepy out here. No wonder there were stories.

But with the dim light and building haze, she doubted she’d find anything useful tonight.

She took off her glasses to clean them on the bottom of her black turtleneck. The humidity clouded them up in minutes. Surveying the woods, the shapes of brush and undergrowth blended into the darkening sky.

Professional investigators would have been better prepared.

Tripods, extra batteries, voice recorders, flashlights. The farther she traversed from her car the more items she added to the list of things she should have taken. She’d headed into the woods with only a camera and pepper spray on a dare.

Anne – Oh, I love how that ended. Something is about to happen…and very soon. Guess that just means The Warden’s Lantern is going on my TBR list! Quick. Your five favorites – author, actor, movie, song, quote.

Joselyn – Author: Jane Austen, Actor: Hugh Jackman, Movie: You’ve Got Mail, Song: “Life Less Ordinary” by Carbon Leaf, and quote: “God never gives you more than you can handle, but he has high expectations.” – Mother Theresa

Anne – Final question, Joselyn. Where can readers find you online?

Joselyn – They can email me:, or visit my webpage or blog. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon.

Anne – Thanks so much for traveling to Piedmont Island, Joselyn, and talking about writing. I wish you every success with The Warden’s Lantern.

Readers, as always, your comments and appreciated and welcome. To ensure you receive every post, author interview, update and/or book giveaway on the Piedmont Island Trilogy blog, become a follower. It’s easy and besides, it puts a goofy smile to my face! J

Until next time, happy reading!

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