Monday 26 September 2016

The Genre Interview with Jo-Anne Berthelsen

Welcome to the Genre Interview. Jo-Anne Berthelsen has kindly agreed to answer our questions related to writing genres.

What genres do you write?
Jo-Anne:  I write ‘faith-based’ novels and Christian non-fiction works (memoir), plus the occasional short story.

What market do you write for (Christian or general, clean reads etc)?
Jo-Anne:  Primarily the Christian market.

In which genres do you have books available for sale?
Jo-Anne:  General ‘faith-based’ fiction and Christian non-fiction, plus short stories in various anthologies (Glimpses of Light, several ‘Aussie Stories’ publications).

How many books have you published in each genre?
Jo-Anne:  Six novels (one general ‘faith-based’ historical fiction and five general ‘faith
based’ contemporary fiction) and two Christian non-fiction works, the first one a memoir and the
second (due for release on 1st October) a mix of memoir, teaching and reflection questions.

Are you published traditionally, indie or hybrid?
Jo-Anne:  As of 1st October, when my indie non-fiction book, Becoming Me: Finding my true self in
God, is released, I will be able to say I am a hybrid author (seven books published traditionally, one

Did genre influence your decision to choose a particular publishing model?
Jo-Anne:  Not with my first seven traditionally published books, but genre did influence my choice with my eighth book, Becoming Me. Because it is not quite the type of non-fiction the publisher of my previous two books is producing at the moment, I decided to publish it myself rather than look elsewhere. It is still a memoir, but also contains some reflection questions, so could also be classified under ‘Christian Growth’.

Are your published works available in print, e-book or both?
Jo-Anne:  My first four novels are/were available only in print, but my last four books are available in both print and e-book format.

Why do you want to write? Do you feel called to write?
Jo-Anne:  I want to write for a variety of reasons. Firstly, I find it so fulfilling and satisfying—even the
hardest parts! Secondly, I feel God has gifted me and also equipped me through my studies and life
experiences to communicate via the written word—and it is important I use the gifts and knowledge
God has given me. Thirdly, I believe I have things to say that can make a difference in the lives of
others and hopefully draw them closer to God, via both my fiction and non-fiction books, as well as
my short stories.
And yes, I also believe God clearly called me to begin writing back in June 2003, while I was sitting
on a rock in Turkey, reading Isaiah 42 (see my website for more details)! It had always
been a dream of mine to write, but from that point on, I knew writing (and speaking) were to be my
main focus.

Many thanks to Jo-Anne Berthelsen for sharing her thoughts on genre.

Jo-Anne Berthelsen lives in Sydney but grew up in Brisbane. She holds degrees in Arts and Theology and has worked as a high school teacher, editor and secretary, as well as in local church ministry. Jo-Anne is passionate about touching hearts and lives through both the written and spoken word. She is the author of six published novels and two non-fiction works, Soul Friend: the story of a shared spiritual journey and Becoming Me: Finding my true self in God (to be released 1st Oct). Jo-Anne is married to a retired minister and has three grown-up children and four grandchildren. For more information, please visit 


  1. Loved your story in Glimpses of Light, Jo-Anne. Good on you for launching out and publishing Becoming Me. It's a great cover. Looking forward to reading it :)

    1. Thanks, Jeanette--so encouraging, as always. I enjoyed polishing up that short story of mine for 'Glimpses of Light'--I remember how it just seemed a good fit for that anthology so was delighted when it was included.

    2. It was not only a perfect fit, but also a great way to finish the anthology. It has already touched a lot of people. So glad you did submit it :)

    3. I will let my friend who inspired the story know, Jeanette, when I next email her. She'll be delighted!

  2. Congratulations, Jo-Anne on all of your writing works and for being obedient to the gifts the Lord has blessed you with. "Becoming Me" arrived safely last week and I'm hoping to start it soon and will report back.


    1. Thanks, Ian. I don't think 'Becoming Me' will take you too long to read when you get to it, but it might depend on whether you decide you have time to interact withe reflection questions in each chapter as well. God bless!

  3. Thank you Jo-Anne, I enjoyed reading the genre-interview.

    1. That's great, Mimi! I tried to keep my answers brief--it could easily have turned into a very long blog!

  4. Hi Jo-Anne, Thanks for sharing your writing journey with us :) Congrats on the upcoming release of your 8th book!

  5. Thanks, Narelle. Who would have thought I would still be here writing and have eight books published? Not me, for sure! All I can say is, God is amazing!


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.