(The following is an interview by the Star* Publish Times editor, Janet Elaine Smith, with debut author
Joyce A. Anthony)
Ed: Welcome, Joyce. I know you are a "new" author. When did you first start writing, and what was
your biggest inspiration?
JA:Thanks for having me here. I fell in love with the written word at about the age of eight.
I wrote little things here and there over the years, but nothing serious. I never shared any of my writing until about
ten years ago.
Books were my safety growing up and I often dreamed of being able to write
things that might help someone else know they weren't alone in this world--that someone, somewhere not only understood, but
Ed: I have had the privilege of reading Storm,
your debut novel. It is an awesome book. How did you come up with the idea?
JA: Thanks, Janet. The idea actually took years to grow. I was riding in a car one
day and glimpsed a man out the window. His eyes met mine briefly and I had this incredible sense of "what if..."
Every so often, I would picture that man and his eyes and I would again ask "what if..."
Then I was talking with a girl from a writing group and the subject of
using what fascinated you as a story idea came up. I mentioned how I had always been fascinated with railroad tracks--even
as a child. She asked me "So, what's at the end of those tracks?" Within days, Storm began to take form
in my mind.
Ed: As you look ahead, what are your thoughts? I know you have heard that writing the book is the
easy part; the hard part is marketing it.
JA: Right now I finding a mixture of elation, fear and still disbelief. Mostly, however,
I have this sense of anticipation--a feeling that something wonderful is just down the road--and I can't wait to be right
in the middle of it!
Ed: Most authors also enjoy reading. Who are some of your favorite authors and what genres do you
JA: No question--Rod Serling has always been my favorite author. I believe that man
was a literary genius. He made me wonder, think, question.
That said--it is rare that I read any fiction--other than Psychological
thrillers. I prefer non-fiction works--on any subject that happens to capture my interest at the moment.
Ed: Do you have other books in the works? Can you give us a hint?
JA: I actually have three--one started and two outlined. Spirit of the Stallion is
a non-fiction book entailing the story of a bipolar child and addressing issues not found in most books on the subject.
The Trees Remember is a YA historical paranormal and The Gospel According to Rex is a unique perspective on
traditional Bible stories.
Ed: Has your family been supportive of your writing? If so, how?
JA: My son is by far my biggest supporter. He not only gives me the time I need--he also
gives me the proverbial kick in the butt when I'm doing things other than writing. Other than that--my genetic
family never has been--but I have my heart family, many online, who have been incredible in their support.
Ed: How did you come up with the cover idea for Storm?
JA: First, I knew I needed a whirling rainbow--that's where Storm seeks his answers.
That idea came from a quote I woke up with in the middle of the night one night. Then, Storm and Maggie are essential
to this story--they had to be pictured. Kristie Maguire came up with the idea of the font--and it just brought the cover
from one I thought was pretty good to one that I believe is incredible.
Ed: You have a newsletter that you publish monthly. How can people sign up for it?
JA: Yes, KaleidoSouls Storm Watch :-) All anyone need do is go here
and sign up. I'd love to have them on board!
Ed: Is there any particular passion that fuels your writing? If so, what?
JA: I think the biggest thing I strive for is to make people think, question--and act. If
I can induce any emotion that is strong enough to care--then I have been successful.
Ed: Do you have any advice for other wannabe authors or new writers?
JA: Believe in yourself--and what you are writing. If you can believe strongly in the words
you wish to share, the words will flow. If you can't believe deeply in your work, nobody else will. Almost as
importantly--listen to those who have been there; be willing to at least examine their advice, try it on and see if it fits.
If not, then let it go, but at least take time to listen.
Ed: Thank you so much for sharing with us, Joyce. Do you have any final "great pearls of wisdom"?
JA: Don't write the story--let the story write itself. You will find yourself constantly amazed
and delighted with what your characters have to say
The Book Pedler http://thebookpedler.wordpress.com/
posted an interview on March 18, 2006
THE BOOK PEDLER: Joyce, thank you so much for stopping by for this
short interview today! It’s a pleasure to have you here at The Book Pedler!
JOYCE: Thanks for
having me here–I feel honored for the opportunity to share with you and your readers
TBP: Most importantly, what inspired you to write
Storm? One of the stories main themes is finding your destiny; did this have a lot to do with inspiring you to write Storm?
JOYCE: What inspired
me most was wanting my readers to stop and really look around them. I wanted to show that not everything is as it seems
and everyone has a story. I wanted people to understand that we may judge all we want, but in the end, the judgment
is not ours to make and we may all be surprised at the result.
TBP: Your book is steeped in spiritual messages. What role do you think faith and
spirituality play in life and do you think it’s important for your writing?
JOYCE: I believe spirituality and faith are a
necessary part of everyone’s life. I’m not speaking religion here–but basic faith in some higher good,
whatever path is chosen to reach that.
believe my spirituality is an important part of my life, and therefore my writing. I don’t preach or lecture–my
goal isn’t to convert anyone. When your faith is as much a part of you as your blood and breath, it can’t
help but be a part of all you do.
TBP: Your characters,
especially Storm, are so real and vibrant. How do you go about writing characters? Do they come to you fully formed or do
you have to work on character sketches?
don’t ever do a character sketch. My characters appear as the reader sees them–they almost have a life of
their own. I see them, hear them; they are so real to me I can almost believe I can reach out a hand and touch each
and every one.
TBP: Rainbows seem to play a large role in the storyline of Storm. Indeed the cover
of the book is filled with them, as if your web site. What is it about rainbows that draws you to them? Do you feel they have
a spiritual significance?
JOYCE: Rainbows have always been special to me. I see them as hope–a promise of better things to come.
Just as the rainbow brings a feeling a hope to me, I have the wish that my writing might bring hope to someone else.
The whirling rainbow
in Storm holds a special meaning. It entered my mind that some days all the colors of the rainbow swirl and combine
until you can no longer see there individual hues but only blackness. It is a reminder that even the blackest of moments
contains within it a rainbow of hope.
TBP: Storm was such an amazing book; I’m dying to know
what’s next. What’s your next project that you’re working on? Is it related to Storm in anyway?
:-) My next project is completely different than Storm. Spirit of the Stallion is the true story of a bipolar
child, one who spent years fighting the demons that bipolar disorder creates in a child–and finally triumphs.
I hope that it will
inspire other parents of bipolar children to hang in there and not give up on the special souls that come to us in the body
of the bipolar child.
TBP: Thank you so much Joyce for stopping by today and telling everyone
all about your incredible book Storm! It’s been a pleasure and an honour to have you here!
JOYCE: Thank you again for having me. This has been a wonderful experience. I’d like to ask your
readers to visit my site http://joyceanthony.tripod.com/ and the other stops I make on this tour–and
should they be inclined to do so, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what they think :-) I always love
to hear reader’s thoughts.