Joanna is a writer of naughty stories and has some really beautiful book covers on her novels. I commented on them via Twitter, we got chatting… and here’s the interview with Joanna. After a string of male authors, I thought it was time for a female writer again. And what a treat!
Mistress Joanna Noor
Hi, I’m Joanna Noor, and when I’m not penning naughty epic fantasy stories, I am also an illustrator, cartoonist, graphic designer, and editor. Unfortunately I can’t divulge my real identity, because I have a successful alternate career as a YA author and children’s picture book artist. However, everything you need to know about me personally can be summed up in one description: I am a cat. Sweet, friendly, mischievous, sometimes scratchy and fierce, a little bit lazy, but very patient and determined when I need to be! I also enjoy having my back scratched.
Tell us something about you not many people know
I love to surf, but not on water. On land. On a skateboard. In the biggest concrete bowls I can find. This is unusual for a person whose livelihood depends on them being able to wield a pen deftly with their fingers, but I don’t care. The thrill of carving a nice pool and finding new lines far outweighs the pain of the bumps when I occasionally fall.
Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?
Clearly. It was something by Richard Scary, and it had a mouse driving a little car, and it has informed my drawing style and whimsical sense of humor ever since. But the first prose stories to really impact me were C. S. Lewis’s Narnia Books. I spent most of my early life searching for that magic wardrobe which would transport me to another world. I finally found it in the form of a MacBook Pro using Scrivener and Microsoft Word.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Once when I was a little, a Ku Klux Klansman gave me a business card to take to my mother. We had recently arrived in a small Georgia town and it was his way of seeing how she responded—to discern whether she was one of the “good folk,” i.e. racist. My mother took one look at it, saw the writing, and recoiled as if it were a rattlesnake. I saw then how powerful words could be.
What made you want to become a writer?
Fame and fortune. But when real life quickly disabused me of those silly ideas, it was the satisfaction of entertaining people and connecting with them emotionally.
What is the biggest surprise that you experienced after becoming a writer?
No one is waiting to read your great masterpiece. My first book made a little splash, then sank like a stone, where it remained on the bottom of the literary ocean like pirate treasure waiting to be discovered. Yours probably will too, but don’t be discouraged—you’ll have to fetch it, polish it, and show it off to get attention. But that’s part of being a self-published author.
What do you love most about the writing process?
I LOVE immersing myself in another world and getting caught up in my characters’ adventures. I’m a very visual, very emotional person, and it almost becomes real for me at times. I feel things very acutely.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
My avatar is the one you see: Catwoman. And though our resemblance is more intellectual than physical, I look enough like her (without the mask) for it to be a passable picture.
What do your friends and family think of your writing? Do they support your career as a writer?
I am fortunate to be blessed with very supportive and encouraging friends and family. But only two people know about my naughty side-hustle as Joanna Noor, purveyor of kinky Epic Fantasy.
What does your typical writing day look like? How many hours a day do you write?
For someone who self-identifies as a feline, I’m actually very disciplined. I rise early, write as much as I can before I have to turn my attention to other work, then I sometimes edit at night. But often, like a cat, I have frenetic bouts of effort punctuated by sleepy stretches where I do very little.
Do you outline or just write?
I create a detailed outline/roadmap which I happily deviate from, but also use to find my way back to the essential story when I get lost. When I start a story, I know who the main characters are, what their objectives are, and most of the challenges they will face along the way. The rest I just pull from a magician’s hat, like an endless rope of knotted handkerchiefs.
What is your favorite genre? Why?
Fantasy and sci-fi, and most definitely fantasy and sci-fi combined with erotica. As for why—well, it appeals to the anarchic, anything goes side of my personality. The part that happily navigates around a concrete bowl at high speed on a thin piece of wood attached to a few bits of metal and rubber, with tiny little wheels.
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
I would be a professional skateboarder and cultural anthropologist.
If you had to write yourself as a heroine, what kind of heroine would you be? What would you be named?
Her name would be Karli Talbo, and she would be a Kock Rider for the city of Hungri’La on Khymeera.
Tell us a little about your plans for the future. Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years?
I plan to write as many wildly entertaining novels as I can, for as long as I am able to consume coffee and turn caffeine into stories. Many of these books will be about the wonderfully wicked world of Khymeera. Others will not.
What is/are your book(s) about? Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?
Kock Rider of Khymeera follows the adventures of a transgender heroine named Karli Talbo, who is transported from Earth to another world by mysterious celestial beings called the Pu’ussy Kings, where she becomes a pawn in their unfathomable games. It’s fast-paced, thrilling, funny, at times heartbreaking, and downright staggering in its erotic scope. Man, woman, or whatever—if you like your fantasy kinky, then I guarantee this book has something that will appeal to you.
What gives you inspiration for your book(s)? How did you come up with the idea for Kock Rider of Khymeera? Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas.
It started as a John Norman/Gor-inspired joke, to be honest. I wanted to write a smutty parody of all the Golden Age sci-fi/fantasy books I loved as a teenager. But somewhere along the way, I fell in love with my characters and their plight, and then I had to take it seriously. When they started to make me laugh and cry, I had to give them some respect. I typically brainstorm ideas by placing my hapless characters in dreadful situations, then let them figure out how to escape, before I torture them again.
What have you put most of your effort into regarding writing?
Learning how to tell an exciting story.
Do you want each book to stand on its own or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
My Khymeera novels and stories do stand on their own, but you’ll enjoy them more if you start with Kock Rider of Khymeera and go from there. The terminology won’t be confusing later, and all the rich connections between the characters will make more sense. I hide Easter eggs everywhere!
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
Karli Talbo, my transgender heroine of Kock Rider, is my favorite. I adore her because her journey to accepting, loving herself, and finding her place in the world is such a thrilling, funny, and poignant story. With her, I wanted to completely defy readers’ expectations, and I also wanted to empower people who feel marginalized by their sexuality, whatever that may be.
Are you working on another book? What are your current projects? Can you give us a small teaser?
Yes indeed I am, and the first part has already been published! But it’s under another pen name, and I won’t give you any clues except this: Death dies.
What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was least useful or most destructive?
Don’t be afraid to color outside the lines. Write that big, messy first draft without fear or censorship, then whip it into shape later. And plan beforehand if that makes things easier.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment as a writer?
Seeing projects to completion, connecting with people emotionally, and entertaining people for a while when they have so many other options.
Thank you, Joanna, for your funny and your honest answers. It’s good to see people embrace their sexuality!
For people who love Joanna’s writing after this interview, Joanna has four stories (27-47 pages) and two full-length novels (with the beautiful covers) for sale on Amazon. You can contact her via the following social media: