Cast your mind back to our April 2019 issue. We were ecstatic to announce our winning and highly commended authors and books in our Spiritual Book Awards 2019. It’s now time to enter your books into the Spiritual Book Awards 2020, and we can’t wait to see what you’ve published this year (any book published in the last two years is eligible)! Follow the link here to enter and read astrologer-extraordinaire Joanna Watters’ reaction to her win below.
How did it feel to win your category in the Spiritual Book Awards?
Surprised! I didn’t even know that my publisher had entered my book so when I got the news I was a bit stunned, it was one of those “what?” moments! But of course then I felt very excited, and very grateful. I was told many years ago by my brilliant colleague and fellow author Elisabeth Brooke, “You can write a book only if you have something to say”. Those words stayed with me. I knew in a very deep and sure way when I was writing Be Your Own Astrologer that I had a lot to say. Getting it all into the specified word count was a challenge!
How did you enjoy having your book judged by such a big MBS name?
It was a fabulous surprise to hear that my book had been entered and had won, and I was even more delighted to learn that Marion Williamson was the big name judge. Marion was editor of Prediction magazine when I first started writing features many years ago and I got to know her style and approach. She’s a fabulous “hands on” earthy Taurus and was the first person to highlight the importance of the “how to” element in my writing, which totally resonated with me. To this day my course descriptions use the words “how to” and my students learn astrology and tarot as crafts – practical skills and techniques, rooted in tradition but not in theory or academia.
Did you always know you’d be an author? What’s the ultimate goal in future? Why do you love being a spiritual author?
Yes, I always knew I’d write something. Writing is in my bones. My mother was an English teacher, my degree is in English and European literature, and I’ve always loved the saying that “there’s a book inside every person”. In fact, in my twenties, I was told by a psychic friend that I would write a book, but I’d only just started on the astrology/tarot path then. It takes many years to become proficient so I never thought that my books would actually be on those subjects. To be a spiritual author is awesome. You’re connecting up with something bigger than you are, you’re passing on knowledge, you know in a humble way that you’re making a difference.
What are you working on now – what opportunities did winning your award lead to?
I’ve been working on follow up astrology and tarot titles for the last few years but the simple truth is that I don’t have the time to devote to finishing them. Writing a good book means doing it to the exclusion of all else! The Greek Island Summer School runs May, June and Sept, the London workshops and classes run three times a year in April, August and October, and in between all of that I’m snowed under with individual client work, writing the weekly blog, keeping up my profile on social media and so on. I need three of me!
Would you enter again? What would you say to someone thinking of entering their book in this year’s Awards?
If I ever get to finish another book, yes, absolutely! This has made me think about how awards are the furthest thing from your mind when you’re writing a book. It’s a solitary experience – it’s just you, at your desk, your family knowing not to interrupt you, the challenge of word by word, paragraph by paragraph, chapter by chapter …. your book is your creation, your baby. I would say to any writer that just to finish and give birth to a book is an amazing achievement in itself. To get recognition for it is a bonus, and can be a big career shift. My first book in 2003 didn’t miraculously make me better at what I was doing, but it got my name out there and suddenly I was being taken seriously. Maybe I then started taking myself more seriously too. Validation is a powerful thing.
For more from Joanna, visit joannawatters.com
INSPIRED BY JOANNA’S STORY? ENTER YOUR BOOK/S BEFORE 20TH NOVEMBER 2019 HERE. GOOD LUCK!