Interview with suspense author JoAnn Smith Ainsworth

novelist JoAnn Smith Ainsworth
joins me today and we’re chatting about her new paranormal Expect Deception,
it’s book two of her Operational Delphi series.
1: Expect Trouble — Runner-up, 2016
Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book Competition and Semifinalist in the 2015 East
Texas Writers Guild contest

2: Expect Deception — Finalist, 2016
“Best Book” Awards “Fiction: Mystery/Suspense” category and 2016
Finalist in the East Texas Writers Guild contest
JoAnn Smith Ainsworth
experienced food ration books, Victory Gardens, and black-out sirens as a child
in WWII. These memories create vivid descriptions of time and place which put you
in the midst of a fast-paced journey through paranormal realms as U.S. psychics
hunt down Nazi spies.
Ainsworth lives in California. She has B.A. and M.A.T. degrees in English and
has completed her M.B.A. studies. She has published five previous novels.
learn more about this award-winning author, visit her website.
Please tell us about your current release: Expect Deception.
Just when US WAVE Livvy Delacourt thinks she and her
team of psychic Nazi hunters are ready for whatever The Reich can throw at
them, Hitler adds to the mix a spy who also happens to be a wizard. Now dark
magic is being used to attack U.S. facilities. Livvy must match wits with the
evil wizard, whose objective is to destroy Operation Delphi and all her team.
If she fails to ramp up her psychic powers, she may perish—and perhaps cause
the U.S. to lose the war with Germany while she’s at it.
An emotional journey through paranormal realms, Expect Deception is a fast-paced,
suspenseful tale of what happens when U.S. Navy psychics pit themselves against
their Nazi counterparts.
What inspired you to write this series?
In this series, the U.S.
government recruits psychics to find Nazi spies on the East Coast. It’s been a
journey to get to the series.
I experimented with my
first four novels to decide just what it was I like to write. I started writing
just before retirement and wanted to discover something I enjoyed that I could
do for the rest of my life. I combined genres in my first four books and tested
them out: romance, suspense, westerns, mystery, and paranormal. I discovered I
enjoyed writing suspense with the paranormal wrapped into it.
I was a small child during
World War II. When my research said that Hitler was interested in the occult, I
decided to set my Operation Delphi series during that time. I chose to put five
different psychic talents onto the U.S. team so that I can feature each of them
in later books.
Excerpt from Expect
Chapter One
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 1943
The clock struck ten o’clock that Wednesday morning.
A clairvoyant, a medium, a crystal ball reader, a seer of ghosts and a nurse
with healing hands sat around the polished, antique table in the Hamilton House
mansion library, now their conference room. The stormy weather that had
heralded America’s entrance into the war had finally passed. Balmy breezes
crept through the opened French doors, allowing exit to a flagstone patio and
extensive estate grounds. They—the Operation Delphi team—were the White House’s
top-secret psychic defense against Nazi mind control. They were attempting to
raise their psychic powers to new levels. Distractions could wreck the
focused, people.”
WAVES Lieutenant Olivia “Livvy” Delacourt rolled her shoulders and shook out
her hands before raising one hand to push back a bobbed strand of brunette hair
still curled from the dampness of a morning shower. Beneath the starched,
white-cotton collar of her uniform, she massaged a spot of tension at the nape
of her neck. She and her team were attempting to coerce U.S. Navy Commander
Barrington Drew III—“Trey” to most everybody—to act against his better
glanced at their goal written in white chalk lettering on the blackboard—Get the boss to eat hardtack. Skeptical
engineer that he was, Trey wouldn’t be a cinch to manipulate into eating food
he despised.
stakes were high.
spies had picked up rumors that Hitler’s inner circle of occult practitioners
was capable of disrupting war preparations purely by mental suggestion directed
against U.S. citizens. To combat this, President Roosevelt established the
ultra-secret group The Watch Committee. In turn, and under the supposed
oversight of the Navy, the committee created a U.S. occult team named Operation
second mission, but just as important, was to psychically search for Nazi spies
who infiltrated cities and towns along the East Coast, especially in the states
of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. In this, their team had had some
success. A few weeks back, they’d zeroed in on German spies, resulting in their
capture. But that success was a drop in the bucket compared to what must be
done to win a war.
normally came willy-nilly to Livvy. As a Delphi operative, she must invoke
clairvoyant visions at will. If rumors were true, they were neophytes compared
to their Nazi counterparts and had a lot of work cut out for them.
need to get this right.”
spoke aloud, as much to fortify herself as to spur on her team. She rubbed her
hands together, the resulting friction creating physical warmth even as it drew
sustenance from the ethers. She aligned her eyes to a crammed, floor-to-ceiling
bookcase directly in front of her. Unfocusing her physical sight, she relied
instead on her psychic third eye.
her willpower from the mystical bonds that anchored consciousness to her physical
body, she allowed her spirit to drift upward as if riding a sunlit cloud. From
ceiling height, she dispatched a mist of spiritual well-being to her physical
body, which sat dutifully on the straight-backed conference room chair. With a
mental tug on the silver cord connecting body to spirit, she drifted through
the wall and along the back hallway.
the silver cord and probing ahead with rainbow-colored tendrils, Livvy glided
closer to Trey’s office. Her spirit effortlessly slipped through the office
wall and drifted leisurely across the ceiling, then floated downward, stopping
behind the high-backed, black leather executive chair where Trey sat. Livvy
knew that the comfortable chair and his rosewood office desk were a gift from
his politically prominent, industrialist father, who was also a member of The
Watch. A lined, yellow, legal-sized pad rested on the leather-bound desk
blotter and had some notes written in ink.
this close vantage point, Livvy reached out tendrils of mental willpower to tug
on his aura and to entice him into the conference room.
            “Make Trey eat the hardtack.”
“Dammit to hell.” He shouldn’t be bothered by hunger
pangs. He’d eaten a large breakfast not that long ago. Trey pulled out a desk
drawer, looking for candy, but no luck. Adding insult to injury, on top of
hunger pangs something was poking him at the back of the neck. He checked
beneath his uniform collar to see if the laundry tag was straight. His fingers
unearthed nothing to explain the sensation or where the hell the smell of
gardenias was coming from. Irritating.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m writing Expect Betrayal, Book 3 of the
Operational Delphi series. It takes place in war-torn England. The Nazi spy is
a warlock and the protagonists have an assassin pursuing them.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I sold my first
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day
like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to
Writing is not easy work
and is mentally taxing. My brain gets tired after 3-4 hours. I write in the
morning when I’m most alert. I use the rest of the day for marketing,
administration, author events, and the everyday chores that come with keeping
myself and the household active and running.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m a practical person and
don’t really have quirky habits. The closest I’ve come to quirky is the I
prefer to exercise immediately after waking up in the morning and before I
begin writing.
Before being an author, I
worked in offices and found that I got stiff from being at a computer all day
so I started the practice of exercising before taking the bus to work. I
continued this quirk into my writing career, even though my travel time only
involves going down a flight of stairs.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a child,
opportunities for females were extremely limited. I was counseled to take the
Commercial course in high school so that I could support myself by being a
secretary until I married. My other choices were to be a nurse (but I’m not fond
of blood) or be a teacher (which I tried for a while in an adult school
teaching ESL, but I found I got too involved with my students’ problems and
find it emotionally easier to work at a computer) or a librarian (but my family
had no money to send me to college) or I could work as a clerk in a store (I
don’t like handling money). Other job pursuits were not open to females. There
were an exceptional few who took the battery of society to become lawyers and
doctors and scientists.
The reason I started
writing was as a way to bring in income in over my Social Security. Good thing
for me, that the writing turned into a passion. I didn’t know at the time that
only a small percentage of authors make enough that they can quit their day
Anything additional you want to share with the
The lesson I learned from
being an author is “persistence.” Keep focused on your goal and keep plodding
toward it no matter how difficult the way nor how many times you get knocked
down. My reward as an author is not monetary. It’s when someone tells me, “JoAnn,
you kept me up all night reading.”
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Thanks for being here today, JoAnn!

One thought on “Interview with suspense author JoAnn Smith Ainsworth

  1. JoAnnAinsworth says:

    It was my pleasure to be with you and your readers yesterday, Lisa. I wish everyone the best life has to offer.

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