Interview with Andrew Joyce

Talk to me about your books

My first published novel was entitled REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. I’m here today to promote MOLLY LEE, my latest. I’ve also written an unpublished (to date) historical novel of 142,000 words entitled YELLOW HAIR, and 140 short stories that eventually will be packaged into a two volume set called BEDTIME STORIES for GROWN-UPS.©

Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?

I think the best way to describe Molly is to let two people who have read the book and given a review tell you about her. Both reviews are on Amazon.

“A young female in nineteenth-century rural America would have needed courage, fortitude, and firm resolve to thrive in the best of circumstances. Molly Lee possesses all of these, along with an iron will and an inherent ability to read people accurately and respond accordingly.”

And:

“With each setback, Molly follows that first rule she set against self-pity and simply moves on to make the best of whatever life throws her way. From working as a whore to owning a saloon, from going to prison to running a ranch, Molly plays to win with the cards she’s dealt. But she always keeps her humanity. She will kill to defend herself, and she has no problem killing to protect the weak and preyed upon. However, when a band of Indians (for instance) have been run off their land and have nowhere else to go, Molly allows them to live on her ranch, and in time they become extended family.”

Could you give us a quick summary of your current book?

Molly is about to set off on the adventure of a lifetime . . . of two lifetimes.

It’s 1861 and the Civil War has just started. Molly is an eighteen-year-old girl living on her family’s farm in Virginia when two deserters from the Southern Cause enter her life. One of them—a twenty-four-year-old Huck Finn—ends up saving her virtue, if not her life.

Molly is so enamored with Huck, she wants to run away with him. But Huck has other plans and is gone the next morning before she awakens. Thus starts a sequence of events that leads Molly into adventure after adventure; most of them not so nice.

We follow the travails of Molly Lee, starting when she is eighteen and ending when she is fifty-six. Even then Life has one more surprise in store for her.

When did you decide to become a writer?

One morning, about five years ago, I went crazy. I got out of bed, went downstairs, and threw my TV out the window. Then I sat down at the computer and wrote my first short story. It was soon published in a print magazine. I’ve been writing ever since.

Why do you write?

Because I have to. I don’t know if I can explain this correctly, but here goes. We live to create. What I’m saying is that we, as humans, must create. It can be a book, a song, paint on a canvas or anything else. But create we must. If nothing else, we create our reality when we get out of bed in the morning. The choices we make during the day create the world . . . our little world that we inhabit as individuals. I’m not religious, but if indeed, we were made in God’s image, then if She is the GREAT CREATOR, it stands to reason that we are also creators. And that is why I write.

Where do your ideas come from?

From outside of me.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

The marketing.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

The writing.

Do you ever get writer’s block?

Never.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

Never having experienced writer’s block, I can’t really say. I’m of the mind that when you are ready to put your thoughts on paper, you will. If you are having trouble saying what you want to say, shut off the computer and do something else. Maybe that is why I’ve never suffered from writer’s block. Sometimes, when in the middle of writing a book, I’ll stop for days at a time if I don’t feel I’m doing justice to my characters. But during that time, I constantly think of them and where I’d like to take them. Then, when I feel the time is right, I’ll sit back down at the computer.

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.

I don’t read while I’m writing because I get too caught up in the book I’m reading when I should be writing. But I do read all the time between books. As to favorite authors, I’ll tell you about only one. John Steinbeck, and this is why he is my favorite author:

“The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide.”— John Steinbeck, Tortilla Flat

Have you ever read anything as beautiful? Also check out the first paragraph of chapter three in The Grapes of Wrath.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read . . . read, and then read some more. Read everything you can get your hands on!

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

I reckon my web site might do (Andrew Joyce).I really don’t like to talk about myself. This is the entirety of my standard bio: Andrew Joyce lives on a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny. I may be wrong, but I want my writing to stand alone. I want people to read my books because they derive some pleasure from doing so. Not because they find me an interesting character.

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