Interview with Joan E. Farr

What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
None! That is because when I published my first book, I found out later that it had been banned for five years. It was called TEN SECRETS You Must Know Before Hiring a Lawyer and it was a paperback that came out in 2003. I tried everything, but couldn't get it into a book store or a library anywhere. I put it on, but received very few orders. It was also on our website at as an e-book but the button was blocked and we received no orders, so I just removed it.
Describe your desk
It is a glass desk with a coaster of Abraham Lincoln to the left of my computer and my business cards in a holder behind it. To the right of my computer, there is a pen/pencil holder, sticky notepad, small clock, stapler, desk calendar, desk lamp, photo of my family from 15 years ago, a coaster and an in-basket for work that I have yet to do. There is a rolodex under the glass desk top to my left, and an automatic pencil sharpener to the right, with a little book called "God's Promises [Day by Day]" next to it. That's about it!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Weisbaden, Germany and my family moved to S.C. when I was about 3. We lived there until I was 6, then we moved to an air base in Germany until I was 9, then to Wichita, Kansas. My father was an AF fighter pilot who was killed a year later, and my mother decided to stay in KS and raise her five children. She was a legal secretary/court reporter for 47 years before she retired. My writing was influenced when I wrote my first story in the second grade, and I continued to write short stories and comics until college. My mother always wanted me to write a book about my life, but it's a never-ending story!
When did you first start writing?
I began drawing at the age of three, then began writing and illustrating little stories about my friends when I was in grade school. About the age of 10, I think.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I ran for governor of Kansas in 2010 and for U.S. Senator as an Independent candidate in 2014 in Oklahoma. So my latest book is an attempt to educate the public on "How to Run for Office as an Independent [Candidate] on very little $$," which is the title. Most people (42%) consider themselves Independent now, and many believe that you need a lot of money to run for office when you really don't. This book tells you how to run a campaign for $8,000 - $12,000, involve your friends and go on the adventure of a life time! We really need to send wealthy lawyer career politicians packing and get more 'regular' people in office.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
When I could not get anyone to publish my first book, which I found out later was banned for five years.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Since I am just getting started with Smashwords, I don't know yet! I am just hoping that orders will go through and the Paypal button will not be blocked, which has happened to me so many times before.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I like to help people, to educate them so that they can make better decisions, and especially so that they don't get taken advantage of by government and big business. I also like to spread God's word and I think every Christian should try and 'preach the word and warn others' like the Bible tells us to do, each in their own unique way.
What do your fans mean to you?
I don't know that I really have any 'fans' lol
What are you working on next?
I am still trying to finish the book about my life that my mother always wanted me to write. I began it the year she died in 2000, and it is taking a lot longer than I expected.
Who are your favorite authors?
I like a number of different books written by different authors, but the only one who is really a favorite is my mentor and friend who helped me edit and publish my first book. Her name is Dr. Kathy Alba Jones.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The challenge of trying to please God in everything I say and do!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Doing volunteer work for my non-profit organization, the Association for Honest Attorneys takes up the majority of my time. I am also helping my sons get on their way in life, and I enjoy reading, decorating and watching political news on T.V.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I usually prefer to read hard cover or paperback books since I am on the computer too much as it is.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, in fact, I still have it from the second grade. It was about going to visit my grandma and a snowbank fell on me, so I never went to visit her again lol
What is your writing process?
When the ideas come to me, even if it is in the middle of the night, I'll get up and make note of them on my computer. After everything is compiled, then I try and formulate chapters and put the information under each one.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My mother read a lot of books to me when I was little, but as far as the first story I ever read, it was probably in the first grade. The first word was "Look." Then the next page it said, "Look, look." It was a book about Dick, Jane & Sally.
How do you approach cover design?
I formulate the idea for a design and then I get help from graphic design experts.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Bible, because it teaches you how to live this life so you can make it to heaven some day. The Prophet, because it is very prophetic and inspires hope. The Wit & Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln, because he was our greatest president and so profound. The Power of Positive Thinking, because it is so uplifting. The Nine, because it gives good insight into the workings of the U.S. Supreme Court.
What do you read for pleasure?
I like The Week magazine, TIME, Newsweek, but also other magazines about home design.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
A pad
Published 2015-08-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.