Skip to main content

Joni Rodgers

I've survived blood cancer, parochial school, and publishing. I fear nothing.

Born into a family gospel/ bluegrass band, I grew up on stage, opening for huge-haired, sequin-bedazzled country-western legends of the 1960s. I always loved setting words in rows and started seriously writing in the 1980s while living on a fire tower in California's Trinity Wilderness with my husband. I kept writing for the love of it as a young mom working on theatre and voiceover projects. 

In 1994, at age 32, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a virulent blood cancer. That sucked, but I used the chemo downtime to finish my first two novels, both of which were published by small but prestigious literary presses.

In 2001, Bald in the Land of Big Hair, my memoir about the chemo thing, was published by HarperCollins and quite well received. Extraordinary people started asking me to help them tell their stories, which is how I ended up ghostwriting, book-doctoring, and editing between novels.

In 2011, I started my own indie e-press, Stella Link Books, to publish a 10th Anniversary Ebook Edition of BLBH (foreword by fabulous Elizabeth Berg!), my backlist books, new novels, and whatever else I feel like publishing on my own label. It's a thrilling time to be in the book business. 

Meanwhile, I've been married for 35+ years to jet mechanic/winemaker Gary Rodgers, and we enjoy awesome offspring. So my husband makes wine, my son married a psychotherapist, and my daughter is a freelance editor. Writing life hat trick, baby!

Grace is real, and I am extremely grateful.

A few more details are offered in this post on my publishing journey as illustrated by my hair.

Peace and grooviness ~

Popular posts from this blog

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button": Did you love it or hate it?

Earlier this week, Colleen and I went to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", the extraordinary movie based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I loved it. Colleen not s'much. (I was sitting there choked in tears at the end of the three hour film, so I only vaguely remember her saying something about "watching paint dry.") I want to see it again, so I'm trying to get the Gare Bear to go with me this weekend, but I won't be surprised if he reacts the same way Colleen did. The movie is long. And odd. It requires patience and a complete suspension of disbelief that modern audiences simply aren't trained for, so you've got to be in the right mood for it. The same is true of the short story, though the story and script have very little in common -- at least superficially. The story is very Fitzgerald (though it's not an example of his best writing, IMHO), and the setting -- Baltimore during the industrial revolution, Spanish Americ

APATHY AND OTHER SMALL VICTORIES by Paul Neilan is only good if you enjoy things like laughter

The only thing Shane cares about is leaving. Usually on a Greyhound bus, right before his life falls apart again. Just like he planned. But this time it's complicated: there's a sadistic corporate climber who thinks she's his girlfriend, a rent-subsidized affair with his landlord's wife, and the bizarrely appealing deaf assistant to Shane's cosmically unstable dentist. When one of the women is murdered, and Shane is the only suspect who doesn't care enough to act like he didn't do it, the question becomes just how he'll clear the good name he never had and doesn't particularly want: his own.

Stellar advice from literary agent Dorian Karchmar of William Morris

Stumbled upon this fantastic interview on the Guide to Literary Agents: Editor's Blog , which includes the following spot-on advice for writers: Don’t give in to internal and external pressures to try to find an agent before you’ve matured as a writer. The book business is very difficult and not getting any easier; most books that are published don’t sell well, and many careers end practically before they start. Write a book that only you could write, and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Be more patient and more honest with yourself than you ever thought you could be. Find a couple of writers who you think are better than you are, ingratiate yourself with them, and start reading and workshopping each other. And ask them—beg them—to be merciless. Be humble and quiet while they give you feedback. Be prepared to cut, delete, throw away, put in a drawer. Only when you’ve got your best possible work—something that can stand up there with the best of whatever genre you’re working in—