Today’s Spotlight is on JoAnn Smith Ainsworth, author of POLITE ENEMIES, OUT OF THE DARK, and MATILDA’s SONG.


Thank you, Shelley, for this invitation to be guest author today. I appreciate this opportunity to share my Work and my writing journey with your readers.

Why do you write?

It’s a passion, although it started as a business.

As I approached retirement age, I needed a way to supplement my social security income. Since I have my B.A. and an M.A.T. in English and completed my MBA studies, I decided to become an author and write novels. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with my characters and with the craft. Now, I’d keep writing even if I never sold another novel.

What’s your favorite genre?

I write “coming of awareness and self acceptance” stories in an historical setting. Self acceptance transforms the heroine into an “indomitable” woman as she struggles with plot elements. When she overcomes each challenge, she gains in strength and wisdom. She becomes empowered.

“Awareness” and “self acceptance” stories are timeless. My heroines, although living in historical times, could easily be transported to today’s world.

People struggle with relationships generation after generation. They grow into adulthood, marry and nurture children. They face the same types of emotional highs and lows as their ancestors. They are blocked while trying to reach their goals or make their lives better. They have aspirations. They endure despair. Since the heroine’s actions drive the story, all my writing has a similar tone, even though the plots, locations and personalities are different.

I like to test myself as a writer, so I blend genres. My medieval and western romances have a blend of suspense, paranormal, action and mystery. My novel, EXPECT TROUBLE, (releasing April 2014) has only a hint of romance and is a paranormal suspense. Despite the genre/sub genre I use, the heroine is of prime importance to the resolution of the story question.

To be successful as an author, what do you see as the main goal?

The ability to run a successful business and knowledge of the craft.

What advice can you give to aspiring authors?

Write the book of your heart because you’ll be passionate about marketing the manuscript to publishers and to readers.

This advice has its drawbacks. By the time you finish the novel, the market may be such that the manuscript will be a hard sell. Or you may be before your time and have to develop a market niche.

Nonetheless, from personal experience, I find that a better novel results when you write a story you care deeply about.

What advice would you give to the youth of today (not just authors)?

Never give up. Stay optimistic.

When I speak to readers, I often have people come up to me and say I’m an inspiration because I chose to change the direction of my life as I approached retirement. I started the business of “author” as a senior citizen. I stuck it out (despite being knocked down from time to time by rejection letters) until I succeeded by being published. I give others hope to follow through on their dreams and not to let age become a barrier or an excuse.

Out of this life journey, I learned to stay true to myself, stay focused, and be willing to walk baby-step by baby-step toward my goal.

What’s on your bucket list?

I’d like to speak about writing and my novels in foreign countries.

Tell us about your book:

Polite Enemies cover_150x100

IDA LOUISE OSTERBACH survived Indian and range wars and the murder of her husband. She’s kept the farm going through sheer grit and the help of her cousin, a friend and two farm hands. She’s managed a profit, paid the mortgage and re-paid the crop loans. Hard working, focused, fiercely proprietary, the last thing she has time for is romance.


JARED BUELL—widower neighbor and wealthy rancher—was never particularly charitable when it came to farmers, even eye-catching ones like Ida. He’s not looking to start trouble or anything else with her. His comfortable existence needs no complications, thank you very much. Then an old nemesis comes to town and threatens his and Ida’s property. He has no choice but to get involved.


Experience this action-packed romp through 1895 Wyoming where an outlaw schemes to take over the town and Ida and Jared find love when they least expect it.

Read an excerpt at

What would you like people to know about you (put your bio or anything else here):

When JoAnn Smith Ainsworth carried wood as a pre-teen so her Great Aunt Martha could stoke up the iron stove to prepare dinner, she wasn’t thinking, “I could use this in a novel someday.” Yet, the skills she learned from her horse-and-buggy ancestors translate into backdrops for her historical romance and paranormal suspense novels.

MATILDA’S SONG (ISBN:  978-1-60504-195-7)

OUT OF THE DARK (ISBN:  978-1-60504-277-0)

     POLITE ENEMIES (ebook ISBN:  978-1-61160-6362; trade paperback:  978-1-61160-590-7)

     THE FARMER AND THE WOOD NYMPH (ebook ISBN:  978-1-61160-660-7) release Dec. 2013

     EXPECT TROUBLE (print ISBN:  978-1-61009-074-2) release 2014

Her debut medieval romantic suspense novels received 4 stars from RT Book Reviews.

To learn more, visit, Twitter @JoAnnAinsworth or Facebook’s JoAnn Smith Ainsworth Fan Page.

Contact her at