Monday, April 11, 2011

J is for Jesus and Joe

Dear Jesus,

You are everything to me. I hope all I am and all I do can point back to you.

I love you.

"I'm lost without You here
Yes, I'm lost without You near me
I'm lost without You here
You knew my name when the world was made"

~The Economy of Mercy by Switchfoot

*I absolutely respect everyone's right to believe (or not believe) whatever they want to. Feel like sharing what you believe/don't believe? That would be awesome. Not comfortable sharing? That's cool, too. :)


Dear Joe,

You aren't really a character or a person, but more of an idea. See, there is a form of Joe in every novel I write. This has absolutely nothing to do with my last name being Josephsen. It all started when Faith and I began to co-write the Restoration series and we needed a name for a second antagonist. We got tired of trying to say "the second antagonist who does XYZ!" and so Faith temporarily dubbed the second antagonist "Joe." The name later changed, but the beginning of the name remained Jo.

Then, when I was writing my 2009 NaNo novel, Confessions from the Realm of the Underworld (Also Known as High School)—also known as "The Novel With the Insanely Long Title"—one of the main characters became Joey. After that, it became my tradition to insert a form of "Joe" in any novel I write. Thus far, I have an antagonist, a high school student, a child's toy, a housekeeper, and a little boy with various forms of "Joe" in their names.

So, ambiguous Joe who appears in some form or another in my books, I am not sure where you will pop up in whatever future books I write, but it will be fun to find out. ;)

A Weird Writer

*Do you have anything random or strange that ties your books together? Anything little tidbits or jokes that you might decide to put in more than one book?


  1. Amen.
    And I use friends names as characters all the time, minor or otherwise.


  2. Love Him too :)
    And no I don't have a Joe type character that pops up in my novels, but I think it'd be cool to have that ever present sort of figure.

  3. I'm of the belief that it really doesn't matter what you believe in, just so long as you believe in something. It's sort of "The Artists Way" approach. If you believe in Jesus (and I do,) then it gives you strength. But you can find strength in any number of places. Faith is key. If you don't believe in Jesus, or God, or any of the above, at least have faith in your own creativity. Have faith in inspiration.
    Thanks for the post and the reminder!

  4. Thank you for sharing your love for Him. He is everything to me as well.

    (I love Switchfoot, BTW)

    Also, so far I don't have a reappearing factor in my stories but am totally intrigued with the idea now:)

  5. My stories so far have been different genres, aimed at different aged readers and have very different protagonists, but, they all include dogs. It's impossible for me to write a story without a dog.

    Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

  6. Well, there's almost always a blacksmith of some kind...;)

  7. I loved the Joe post. I keep renaming my recurring characters, but it gets confusing. And your Jesus post was sweet.

  8. I just realized recently that every book I write has a football game in it. I write books for young adults and tweens...but there's always a football game. I don't even LIKE sports, but I guess to me it seems like such a huge part of h.s./middle school, that some scene in every book ends up being set there! That's my challenge with my next book -- no pep rallies, football games, not even a bonfire!

  9. I have a Joe! In the last who-knows-how-many stories I've written, I've managed to write a scene with a character wearing a pair of red moose boxers. Yes. Moose boxers. Like these:

    The real kicker was when my editor/beta/BFF actually GOT me a pair for Christmas. Epic win.

    I've still got to decide who gets to wear them in Quest... Hmm...

  10. I could never have a Joe. At least not call Joe. My father was career Navy and we lived overseas in Asia for nearly 6 years. The locals would always call Americans 'Joe'. "Hey, Joe! Gotta cigarette, Joe?" I cannot think of the word Joe without thinking of little children gathering around us hoping for smokes or chocolate.

  11. I like your Dear Jesus letter and agree with every word :-) (am also a Switchfoot fan :-)). Hmm, often when I don't yet have a character's name I just keep writing ###. Joe sounds much better!

  12. I love your Jesus and Joe post. Inspiration in every way clearly. I think this was a great choice for J today. I love the idea of carrying your "Joe" through all your novels.

  13. Jamie-That's awesome. I think there has only been one instance where I used the names of people I knew, as a homage to them.

    NiaRaie-It's kind of fun to have at least one thing to connect all my books. :D

    Mickey-Thank you for sharing!

    Ruth-Switchfoot has numerous songs that have encouraged me at various times in my life. :)

    Charmaine-That's really cool! I've had dogs in both of my contemporary stories, but not in all of my fantasy stories.

    Kate-Hee, you do have that! But blacksmiths are awesome. Which is kind of why there's one in Awakenings. ;)

    Tonja-Thank you!

    Stephanie-How interesting! It does seem like something that's normal for a contemporary YA/MG book, though, doesn't it? When I wrote my first contemporary YA novel (I usually write fantasy), there were mentions of a football game, too. It just wasn't high school without that!

    Jeana-That. Is. AWESOME. How fun!!

    Donna-I imagine I'd have that problem if I'd heard Americans referred to that way, too! Funnily enough, I haven't actually written a flat out "Joe" yet. So far, I have Jopherus, Joey, Jojo, Joella, and Josiah.

    Rachel-Thank you! Ha, ### would at least be easy to find! When my co-author and I are writing together, sometimes we'll just leave a ______ for the other person to fill in (or so that we can go back ourselves and fill it in) so that we don't lose the flow of our writing. Easier to leave it blank then it is to get stuck on a name.

    septembermom-Thank you so much!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!