Thanks for your interest in interest in interviewing Joanna. The following information may help, but of course, please do reach out on the Contact page if you need anything further.
Joanna Penn is an award-nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers under J.F.Penn and also writes non-fiction for authors. She’s also a podcaster and an award-winning creative entrepreneur. Her site, TheCreativePenn.com has been voted in the Top 100 sites for writers by Writer's Digest.
Joanna Penn is an award-nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers under J.F.Penn and also writes non-fiction for authors with 30+ books published in 84 countries and 5 languages. Her award-nominated podcast, The Creative Penn Podcast, has been downloaded over 3.7 million times in 219 countries and at over a decade in production, is one of the longest-running and most popular podcasts for writers.
Joanna is also an international professional speaker and award-winning creative entrepreneur. In 2013, she was named as one of The Guardian Top 100 most influential people in publishing and writing [The Guardian], and in 2018, she was awarded Publishing Commentator of the Year at Digital Book World. TheCreativePenn.com is regularly voted one of the Top 100 sites for writers by Writer's Digest.
Joanna studied Theology at the University of Oxford, Mansfield College, before joining Accenture as a management consultant in the late 1990s. She spent 13 years in the IT industry as an SAP consultant, specializing in implementing Accounts Payable into large corporates and working throughout Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Frustrated by the lack of creativity in her job, Joanna started a number of side hustles including a scuba diving charter boat, property investment, and a tourism website, before deciding to write a book in 2006 (rewritten and re-published in 2012 as Career Change).
Joanna started her blog, TheCreativePenn.com, in December 2008 as a way to document everything she learned about writing, publishing, book marketing and making money as a writer, and started the podcast in March 2009, as an early adopter of the medium. She continued to write and publish, moving into thrillers and dark fantasy fiction, as well as professional speaking along the way. She left her consulting job in September 2011 and hit a six-figure income (GBP) in 2015, when her husband, Jonathan, also left his job to join the business.
As a business-woman determined to make money writing, Joanna chose to independently publish (known as being an indie author or self-publishing), and license some subsidiary rights. She now runs a multi-six figure creative business at The Creative Penn Limited, with a publishing imprint, Curl Up Press, as well as a fledgling second podcast at BooksAndTravel.page.
Joanna lives in Bath, England, although she spent 7 years in NZ and 5 years in Australia. She travels regularly for her book research, identifies as INFJ (Myers Briggs) and enjoys gin & tonic or a glass of pinot noir.
Topics and questions
If you'd like to interview Joanna, here are some topics you might consider and some questions that might help based on her books. You're also welcome to request an ebook copy of Joanna's books or ask for specific questions around a topic.
- How to Write Non-Fiction: What are the benefits for a small business owner/speaker/entrepreneur in writing a book? What are the multiple streams of income that can result from writing a book? How do you structure a book? How do you get the first draft written/dictated? Productivity tips. What are the publishing options these days?
- How to Make a Living with your Writing: Many writers focus on the creative side, why is the business aspect so important? What are the different income streams that writers can use? What's the difference between time-based income and scalable income? What are the pros and cons of different publishing options?
- Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives and Other Introverts: What is an introvert and how is it a superpower for writers? How do you manage energy as an introvert who also wants to speak? What are your tips for speaking in public? How can you make money as a speaker?
- The Successful Author Mindset: Common issues for writers: Self-doubt, fear of failure, fear of judgment, writer's block; How to navigate the rollercoaster of the creative life. Tips for success on the author journey.
- How to be Creative: Why creativity is so important in an age of AI and automation. How to find ideas. How to change your mindset when you're in a job that is not creative. How to start creating. How to write stories and use your imagination.
Example podcasts so you can listen to Joanna's audio style
Joanna's own show, The Creative Penn Podcast, has been running for over a decade so she is used to interviews on video or audio-only and a multitude of discussion styles. The backlist of over 450 episodes can be found here, and for a couple of specific shows, check out:
- Solo show: 9 Ways that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will Disrupt Authors and Publishing in the Next 10 Years
- Interview show with a personal introduction: Writing Tips: Unforgettable Endings with James Scott Bell
Joanna has also been on hundreds of other podcasts. Examples include:
- Ask ALLi from the Alliance of Independent Authors: How to use Podcasting to Market and Sell Books
- Unemployable with Brian Clark: Why the future of writing is … audio
- Entrepreneur's Journey podcast with Yaro Starak: Writer breaks free from a hated job and now makes 6-figures as a bestselling author
- Profit Power Pursuit podcast with Tara McMullin: Self-publishing, Distribution, and Writing for Wealth
- Secret Library podcast with Caroline Donahue: Building a full-time writing life
- Novel Marketing Podcast: How to develop multiple streams of income for your book
- Youpreneur podcast with Chris Ducker: How to sell more copies of your book
Joanna uses a Blue Yeti microphone for recording with pop-filter and separate ear-buds and wired Internet, so audio quality should be good.
You're welcome to use any of these to go with the interview, or please request others if you need a specific size or black and white images.
Joanna Color Portrait headshot. Photo credit: Mim Saxl Photography
Joanna Penn at London Book Fair (color, portrait)
Joanna Penn on a book research trip (color, portrait)