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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Donna interviews Joyce Moore

Hello all you history lovers. Today Donna will be interviewing Joyce Moore, another Hussie, so our readers can get to know the authors behind the books.

Donna: Good morning, Joyce. I have a lot of questions so let's cut to the chase. Tell us a little about yourself. What is your typical day like?

Joyce: I'm a history junkie who loves delving into the past. I find the lives of medieval women fascinating and never tire of reading or writing about them.
My day? I take my cappuccino to the computer, check to see if there's urgent email (read: agent, editor, publisher), then I write. If I have a WIP I write 1000 words a day, sometimes more, but 1000 is minimum. That happens no matter what. If I have to get an oil change, I write while I'm waiting, but those 1000 words will get done. The only thing that interferes with that is if I have an edit to do (again, for agent, editor, publisher).
Afternoons are for blogging and catching up on emails.

Donna: When did you start to write and how long did it take to get published?

Joyce: I always wrote—you know, the poems you hide in a dresser drawer. My degrees are in Music Theory and I taught a while, writing during lunch or whenever I got the chance. Later I changed careers and started writing in earnest. My first book was Haunt Hunter's Guide to Florida. I sent out three queries to publishers and was lucky. Pineapple Press asked to see more, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Donna: What genre or sub-genre do you write? Why did you choose this genre?

Joyce: I always write about history. I suppose I chose the genre because it's what I read and enjoy and what I'm best at. One of my historical novels won an award at the Florida Writers Conference and in June, my historical romance, Jeanne of Clairmonde, will be out. I have two other historical novels out to publishers and have high hopes for those. I don't follow the market—I have to write what I enjoy.

Donna: What difficulties does this genre present?

Joyce: As you know, with any historical, an author must not only write a good story but also be true to the period. So elements like clothing, transportation, politics, or furniture, have to be carefully researched. I like original sources the best, but I do use sites like Wikipedia to get started. Often their references below an article give me direction.

Donna: How do you write? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Is it your characters or your plot that influences you the most?

Joyce: Hmm. Pantser or plotter? Both, I guess. I do plot before I begin, but then my written plot changes as I write. It helps me to write the synopsis early on. That way I tend to see weaknesses before I spend time writing something that doesn't work. And that brings me to the second part of your question. Definitely, the plot is driven by the characters. Many of my historical novels are about real historical figures. If I try to maneuver them to do something, they balk. Scenes don't work. They're not motivated and the plot point fails. So my characters' motivations drive the plot.

Donna: If you could spend an hour talking to anyone from any time in history, who would it be? And why?

Joyce: Ooh, I would have loved to interview Theodora, that much-maligned empress of Justinian. I would ask to put on her jeweled collar, to see how heavy it was. I would tell her she spent the treasury wisely in building homes for aged prostitutes. I would hope she would invite me to a banquet and loan me one of her Byzantine gowns to wear.

Donna: What is your all-time favorite book?

Joyce: Oddly, it is a book I use for research: Wise and Foolish Kings, by Anne Denieul-Cormier. The writing is so beautiful. I searched the internet for anything else she wrote, but could find nothing. When people want to cry because you only wrote one book—now that's a writer!

Joyce at FWA Awards

Donna: What will be your next project?
Joyce: My next project is editing, a historical novel for Five Star. When that's finished, I'll start another novel, maybe set in 15th century Venice. The plot? That's a secret even I don't know.

Donna: Joyce, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, and a little about your novels. I'll be waiting for your next historical to be out.

Joyce: Thanks for asking about my work. I always enjoy talking to another historical author.


Joyce DiPastena said...

Loved the interview, Donna and Joyce! It's so fun to get to know more about everyone in this group.

Loretta C. Rogers said...

Great interview Joyce. Even though we've know each other for years, I keep learning new things about you.

Anonymous said...

wonderful interview Joyce. I enjoy your style of writting. Keep up the good work.