Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Debut Author Spotlight ... JoAnn Durgin

by JoAnn Durgin

Awakening is the story of my heart since it loosely parallels events in my life and is based on my love story with my husband, Jim (the inspiration for Sam Lewis to my Lexa Clarke, the core characters in my series). Awakening was also the last manuscript (after penning several stand alone novels) I wrote before putting my writing aside for a decade to raise our three children. When I unearthed it (literally from beneath the bed and blew off the dust bunnies) in late 2008, I only found half the story. When I read it with “fresh” eyes, I felt this was the story the Lord wanted me to pursue getting published. Jim and I prayed about it, and I knew He’d give the story back to me if it was His will. Not only did He give it back to me in a dramatic way, but the Lord confirmed it was the one. I hope you’ll read all about my writing journey on my website at http://www.joanndurgin.com./

Next, I tried getting an agent and captured the attention of one of the best – twice – with Awakening. He told me, “You’re good, you’re getting there, but work on it some more.” One night, I simply Googled “small Christian romance publishers.” I systematically went down the list until I found Torn Veil Books (Winnipeg, Canada). They were the first entity (agent, publisher or otherwise) to request the entire manuscript. I received my contract on May 1, 2010, and my book released in late November 2010. Although it didn’t happen overnight, it did happen. I still don’t have an agent, but the Lord always knows best, especially for one who’s patience-challenged like me. The Lord has been so gracious, and I am indeed blessed.


Torn Veil Books, November 2010
262 pages

Lexa Clarke signs up for a short-term summer assignment in San Antonio with TeamWork Missions, hoping to make a difference in the world. TeamWork director Sam Lewis has a job to do and can’t afford to be distracted by the petite, feisty blonde. But when she tumbles into his arms from the top of a house they’re rebuilding, Sam suspects his life will never be the same. A God-fearing man. A God-seeking woman. A combustible combination.

JoAnn Durgin is a member of ACFW and its Indiana chapter. Awakening is her debut novel and the beginning of a series. She was a finalist in the long contemporary romance category of the 2010 RWA/FHL Touched by Love contest, and is a regular blog contributor with Hoosier Ink and Reflections in Hindsight. JoAnn is also an active member of the My Book Therapy Voices where she has either won or placed in four consecutive Flash Fiction contests. Above all, she loves to share the redeeming love of Christ through her stories.


  1. JoAnn, thanks for stopping by and telling us the story of your heart. You've encouraged this patience-challenged writer as well.

  2. Thank you, Brenda! I'm glad I can encourage you. One of my goals is to help other writers. We need to uphold one another in prayer as we move along in the unique journey the Lord has for each of us. I'm happy to report that I'm one of three Christian authors in the Top 30 of Amazon's Top-Rated Contemporary Romance list right now as well as being in the top 5 of their Contemporary Christian Romance list. God is so good, and He's blessing above and beyond. I'm absolutely thrilled Awakening is getting into the hands of His choosing and touching hearts for Christ. Blessings, and thanks again.

  3. You're very welcome, JoAnn :)

    I'm thrilled to see your book doing so well.