Joni Rodgers

I've survived blood cancer, parochial school, and publishing. I fear nothing.

Born into a family gospel/ bluegrass band, I grew up on stage, opening for huge-haired, sequin-bedazzled country-western legends of the 1960s. I always loved setting words in rows and started seriously writing in the 1980s while living on a fire tower in California's Trinity Wilderness with my husband. I kept writing for the love of it as a young mom working on theatre and voiceover projects. 

In 1994, at age 32, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a virulent blood cancer. That sucked, but I used the chemo downtime to finish my first two novels, both of which were published by small but prestigious literary presses.

In 2001, Bald in the Land of Big Hair, my memoir about the chemo thing, was published by HarperCollins and quite well received. Extraordinary people started asking me to help them tell their stories, which is how I ended up ghostwriting, book-doctoring, and editing between novels.

In 2011, I started my own indie e-press, Stella Link Books, to publish a 10th Anniversary Ebook Edition of BLBH (foreword by fabulous Elizabeth Berg!), my backlist books, new novels, and whatever else I feel like publishing on my own label. It's a thrilling time to be in the book business. 

Meanwhile, I've been married for 30-something years to jet mechanic/winemaker Gary Rodgers, and we enjoy awesome offspring. So my husband makes wine, my son married a psychotherapist, and my daughter is a freelance editor. Writing life hat trick, baby!

Grace is real, and I am extremely grateful. Also I play ukulele. Let me know if you want to hear my publishing industry inspired send-up of "I Dreamed a Dream" from Le Miz.

A few more details are offered in this post on my publishing journey as illustrated by my hair.

Peace and grooviness ~


To subscribe to BtO, click "Subcribe to: Posts" at the bottom of the page and then "Subscribe to this feed."

Want to borrow a cup of content? Feel free to share our link or a brief quote with your friends. But please e-mail for permission to reprint or repost our work elsewhere, and always add an attribution and a link back to our site.

We welcome your feedback. Feel free to post comments. PR and outreach from publishers and published authors should be sent to:

Boxing the Octopus: all content copyright 2008 Colleen Thompson and Joni Rodgers all rights reserved.

We welcome payola in the form of pies, cakes, neatly folded laundry and free books!

In accordance with FTC regulations, we're required to inform readers that we receive books from publishers, authors, and PR folk for review. We'd like to receive money via an offshore bank account, but that hasn't happened yet. When my dad was in radio back in the '50s, a local baker used to sneak over in the dead of night and fill the back seat of his car with bread and pastries. We would NOT object to this. Please review our review policy here. And let us know if we should leave the car outside the garage tonight.

Peace, love, and statutory compliance ~