Interview with Andrew Joyce and Danny the Dog

Tell me a little about yourselves and your backgrounds?

AJ: I’m a writer, which surprises me greatly. For the first three years of my writing career, I never referred to myself as a writer. It was only when the royalties started coming in and I could quit my day job that I dared think of myself as such.

DD: I’m a dog.

What book or books have had a strong influence on you and/or your writing?

AJ: The works of Louis L’Amour and Robert B. Parker.

DD: The genius writings of Danny the Dog.

AJ: Excuse me, but I need to speak to Danny for a minute.

AJ: What are you doing, Danny? You don’t seem to be taking this interview seriously. You’re giving one-word answers and when asked about your favorite authors, you say yourself. I know all us writers think of ourselves as our favorite author, but you’re not supposed to say that out loud.

DD: Whatever! May we continue with the inquisition?

AJ: I’m sorry.

That’s okay, Andrew. Danny and I understand one another. So let’s carry on. Going back to the beginning, what is it that got you into writing?

AJ: 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 (remember them?). I’ve been writing ever since.

DD: One day, about four years ago, Andrew went out and left the computer on. He was always complaining about how hard it is to write anything decent, so I thought I’d show him how easy it is when one has talent. Is that a long enough answer for you, Andrew?

Tell us a little bit about your writing process.

AJ: I prefer to write in the early morning hours when things are quiet. I usually get up around 2:00 a.m. and go to work. The commute is not long . . . only a few steps to my computer.

DD: I have to wait until Hemingway over there goes to bed.

AJ: By any chance are you referring to me?

DD: Yes, but only in an ironic way.

AJ: You see what I’ve got to put up with?

Now boys, play nice. You are both professionals. What would your fans think?

AJ: You’re right. I’m sorry.

DD: I’m the only one with fans around here. Andrew’s been riding my coattails for years. But I’ll try to be well-behaved.

That’s a good doggie. Do either of you have any hobbies? Or anything you like to do in your spare time?

AJ: I like to read history and do research for my next book. I also like to watch old movies from the 1930s and ’40s.

DD: My hobby is looking after his nibs here. I’m always getting him out of trouble or bailing him out of jail after one of his benders. I call him Hemingway because he drinks like Ernie did. You should see ol’ Andrew when he’s had a snoot full.

What are you two working on at the moment?

AJ: This interview.

DD: Ditto

AJ: High five, Danny.

DD: Next question, please.

AJ: Hey Danny, don’t leave me hangin’.

DD: Pleeease, the next question!

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

AJ: I usually sit down to write a book with no idea where my characters will lead me. I start out with (I hope) a killer first sentence and the last paragraph of the book. Then I set out to fill the in-between space with 100,000 words. I find that the easy part. Sometimes I will bring my characters to a certain place, only to have them rebel when we get there. They’ll tell me they want to go somewhere else and take off on their own. I have no choice but to follow.

DD: That was a pretty artsy-fartsy answer.

AJ: Was not.

DD: Was too.

AJ: Was not!

DD: Was too. Was too. Was too!!!

As a child, Andrew what did you want to be when you grew up? And, as a puppy, Danny, what did you want to do?

AJ: I never wanted to grow up, and I believe I have succeeded.

DD: I think he has, too. As a puppy, I only wanted to survive Andrew.

What would we find under your bed?

AJ: The monster that lives there.

DD: When it thunders, me (and Andrew’s monster).

If you could travel into the past or future, where would you want to go? Why?

AJ: Egypt. I’d like to see the Great Pyramid being built.

DD: The caveman days. I think it would be super-duper to be in a time before dogs allowed themselves to be “domesticated.”

What has been your worst or most difficult job?

AJ: Some jobs I’ve had in the past have been real doozies. I’ve done back-breaking physical labor. I’ve worked as a waiter for a short spell and hated every minute of it. I worked with and breathed in chemicals that have done a number on my lungs. But the worst job I ever had was when I was eighteen. I worked at a McDonalds for one day. At the end of the shift, I walked out never to return. I didn’t care about the pay I was owed or anything else. I just wanted out of there.

DD: Looking after Andrew.

What group did you hang out with in high school?

AJ: I had no friends in high school. Still don’t . . . come to think of it.

DD: At last, Andrew has said one true thing! I, of course, had no need of schooling. I was born brilliant. Not to mention wonderful, marvelous, and good looking.

What is something that you absolutely can’t live without?

DD: If you don’t mind, I’ll field this one for both of us. For Andrew, it’s vodka. For me it’s Andrew.

AJ: Aw shucks, Danny.

Andrew and Danny’s book is:  RESOLUTION: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure

More from the dynamic duo can be found at: http://andrewjoyce76.com

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