About Joni M. Fisher


My Story

I earned my first check for writing at age 16 for winning a national poetry contest.

Raised on stories like Cinderella, I adored stories more like the 1998 movie Ever After. My favorite scene in that updated version of the Cinderella story is when Drew Barrymore, playing Danielle, rescues the prince from a band of gypsies.

My desire to create strong women role models comes from a deep-seated sense of rebellion.

When I was in grade school oh, so long ago, society expected girls to choose from a brief list of roles: teacher, nun, wife, and mother, nurse, secretary, waitress, or stewardesses. But I wanted to write. It was as though all other career options were considered unsuitable for good girls. To say I wanted to write was tantamount to declaring I wanted to be homeless or insane. An outlier. An outcast.

My high school guidance counselor tried to dissuade me from going to college even though I was an honors graduate. By then I’d already started earning money as a writer. I told her that if she wasn’t going to help me, she should get out of my way. So off I went to Indiana University to earn a degree in journalism.

At Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, I earned a B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Theatre History, while reporting on the arts beat for the Indiana Daily Student newspaper.

My writing has appeared in the St. Petersburg Times, AOPA Pilot magazine (the largest circulation general aviation magazine), Christianity Today, City Elite (Ft. Worth/Dallas lifestyle magazine), General Aviation News, The Flying Physician, Water Flying, Pipers Magazine, Medical Precis, Tampa Bay Sounding, and other publications. I’ve published news, celebrity profiles, poetry, essays, a play, and hundreds of feature articles for magazines.

I write stories about bold women who fight to overcome whatever life throws at them because we need role models like that. I have one.

While I was in college, my mother was widowed for the second time. So, after raising three children and surviving two toxic marriages, she announced at age 55 she had quit her job as a legal secretary to go to law school. It was as inspiring as it was heartbreaking that she was finally going to do what she wanted to do.

Like Sara Paretsky so brilliantly describes in Writing in the Age of Silence, women have been told by society to be quiet, to keep their opinions to themselves, to be seen and not heard. But Dorothy Parker, Pearl S. Buck, Harriet Tubman, Virginia Woolf, and Harper Lee told entertaining stories that challenged people’s perceptions about the status quo.

I’d like to be a bold role model for my daughter Jessica, but if she gets any bolder, I’ll have to raise bail. There is quite a strong similarity between her and the heroine of West of Famous, but don’t tell her that.

Oh, and I am an instrument-rated private pilot. Only six-percent of pilots are women. I encourage women to be bold and set scary-big goals in life, because we only get one ride on this planet.

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Reading North of the Killing Hand means you are in for some suspenseful and gripping storytelling. 

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