About JoAnn

“The impetus behind my writings lies in a desire to illustrate through the lives of my characters that small moments of courage are all it takes to attain what we seek from life.”
~JoAnn Smith Ainsworth

When I carried wood as a pre-teen so my Great Aunt Martha could stoke up the iron stove to prepare dinner, I wasn’t thinking, “I could use this in a novel someday.” Yet almost 60 years later, the skills I learned from my horse-and-buggy ancestors translate into backdrops for my historical romance novels. Growing up with paternal grandparents born in the 1890’s made creating historical novels a logical choice. I had first-handle knowledge of:

  • cooking on a wood-burning stove
  • pumping water
  • storing food in ground cellars
  • depending on blocks of ice to cool food
  • cleaning outhouses, chamber pots, chicken coops, and rabbit hutches
  • beating dust from rugs
  • hanging wash on clotheslines in the dead of winter
  • picking berries under the hot sun
  • growing vegetables
  • canning in the heat of late summer
  • drive-in theaters, radio dramas, running boards and party-line telephones

Themes from these early years run throughout my novels.

When the economic downturn affected business. I was laid off as a database administrator. I opted for Social Security, but not for retirement. Believing “it’s never too late to create your dream,” I resurrected a desire to write.

I graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in a double major of English and Social Sciences and from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a Masters in Teaching English. My M.B.A. studies are from Pepperdine University.

Want more? Check out my online Press Kit. Also read the article on my UC-Berkeley college experiences (Word).

My characters are written to be timeless. They can be plucked from their own novels, placed into different time periods and still be fresh and alive in the new settings because human nature remains essentially the same, generation after generation.