Monday, June 1, 2009

A visit with author Joyce Anthony

Joyce Anthony's book Storm is available, but I wanted to know about Joyce Anthony the person and author. We sat down with mugs of hot tea and slices of zucchini bread. The day was dreary and wet, so a cozy visit was a good way to pass the time.

Her book Storm's ISBN-10 is 1-932993-74-6, and the publisher is Star Publishing LLC.

Vivian: Where did you get the idea for Storm? What inspired you to write it?

Joyce: The idea for Storm was literally years in forming. As a teenager, I saw a man standing on the side of the road that looked very much like my main character ended up looking. Our eyes met through the car window for maybe 5-10 seconds, but the look and feeling stayed with me. I would go several years without thinking about him and then the image would return.

As a young child, I would look down any railroad track I crossed and wonder what it would be like to just follow it to the end. I felt there was “something” wonderful there. In a writing group I was in, one of the women asked me “So, what’s at the end of the track?”

It was like a flood from that moment on—the characters all seemed to be just waiting, and I couldn’t rest until they told their story.

Vivian: How did/does your history and home background affect your writing?

Joyce: Like many people, I come from a very dysfunctional family. It allowed me to come into contact with many situations that kids should not, but that exposure led me to an understanding of people and events that I may not otherwise have gained. I learned that what things appear to be is not always what they are-and I try to convey that understanding to others.

Vivian: Tell us something about your educational background that has made you a better, or more caring, writer.

Anthony: I majored in Psychology and minored in Sociology in college. This allowed me to learn the inner workings of the human mind, as well as how people relate to the world around them. I believe this add fullness to my characters. I can bring alive the parts of my characters that would otherwise remain hidden, allowing readers a deeper view of each one.

Vivian: What keeps you writing?

Joyce: Some days I think it is insanity :) I love words—but more than that, I love what words can bring about. I can write something that allows others to feel—anger, happiness, hope! To me, that means I have the ability to make a difference—and it is that ability, that need to make changes in this world—that keeps me at it.

Vivian: How do you want readers to view your book? You as an author?

Joyce: I’d like for Storm, to be viewed as a window into the lives and souls of people we see, yet don’t see, daily. I’d like for those who read it to be able to stop for a moment in their daily routine and hopefully reach out to someone new with understanding and love. As an author..hmmm, that’s a difficult one. I guess I would like people to see me as an author who writes hope—someone who understands the human soul and truly cares about making life better.

Vivian: What are your writing achievements and goals?

Joyce: I currently have one book, Storm, published; a short story entitled "Almost Heaven" in a Rocking Chair Reader anthology, and have had numerous non-fiction articles published online. I am currently working on two books and have two more sitting on the back burner waiting for “write” time :)

Vivian: How do any writing groups benefit you and your writing? Yes, I tend to ask that question in very interview because I believe writing groups can be beneficial.

Joyce: The most benefit I get from writing groups is the understanding and companionship the solitary life of a writer needs. In addition, there is always someone who has been where you are, been where you want to be, etc. that will willingly share advice. I am finally getting to the stage in my career, that I can now be looked to as the one who has the advice—that makes me feel I can give back.

Vivian: Does writing help better you as a person? How?

Joyce: I’m not sure if it really makes me a better person. It does help me do things I would not otherwise be able to. For example — I can’t speak in public — meaning more than one other person I know — and I have a very difficult time expressing my emotions—yet with writing, I have been able to make my voice heard in several very important situations. So, while I can’t say it makes me a better person, it does help me express who I am.

Vivian: What advice would you have for a new author?

Joyce: Believe in yourself and in your work. I say that a lot because I can’t stress it enough. Writers tend to look outward for approval, but without that internal approval, you won’t succeed.

Vivian: Any other comments?

Joyce: I look around me and know I am not the best writer in the world—but I do believe what I have to share is important. I want readers to be able to close my books and feel that they somehow have gained something. I love hearing from readers and answer all messages (

Thanks, Joyce, for visiting with us today. I hope we'll have an article from you posted Wednesday.

Purchase Storm on

Book Trailer for Storm



Joyce Anthony said...

You asked some wonderful questions, Vivian. Thank you for having me here today!

Annette Gisby said...

What an interesting interview, Joyce and some very probing questions, Vivian :)

take care

Marvin D. Wilson said...

Wonderful interview. Joyce continues to amaze and inspire me, coming from a "dysfunctional" family and being so functional as a mature and wise woman. I read and just loved STORM. I hope you have more books coming, Joyce ... the world needs your voice.

Nice job, both of you, Joyce and Vivian. :)

The Old Silly from Free Spirit Blog

Crystalee said...

I love that insanity keeps you writing! Isn't that the truth? Writing is the one thing that makes me feel both insane AND keeps me sane. Great interview, Viv.

Vivian Zabel said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone, and thank you, Joyce, for your honest and in depth answers. We can see more of the interesting person you are.

Kristie Leigh Maguire said...

Storm is an amazing book. If Joyce wanted people to think after reading it, she certainly succeeded.

After reading the manuscript for Storm when Joyce submitted it to Star Publish LLC for possible publication, I knew I had to snatch this book up for Star before some other publisher got their hands on it. I am no longer the owner of Star Publsh LLC but getting Storm for Star was one of the highlights of my publishing house career.

Kristie Leigh Maguire

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful interview with Joyce. So glad to see her here getting some of the attention she deserves. I've read the book. It is thought-provoking and you can't go wrong with that!
~Cathy Brownfield

kathy stemke said...

Interesting interview. I wished I was sipping tea with the two of you.

Glad to hear so many of us writers come from dysfunctional families. It does inspire you to look deep within your heart. Keep writting Joyce!

Nancy Famolari said...

Very interesting interview. I get to know something new about Joyce each time she responds to questions. She's seems to be such a 'together' person I was surprised to hear about the dysfunctional family.

Donna M. McDine said...

Enjoyable and insightful interview. I love zucchini bread...I'm sure it was yummy. My girls love it's one of the few times I can get the younger one to eat something green. Looking forward to the next post.


Vivian Zabel said...

Yes, many authors come from dysfunctional families. What is sad is there are more dysfunctional ones than functional ones -- families that is, not authors.

I'm glad to hear so many have read the book and recommend it.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Joyce, I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of your book. It sounds fascinating!

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Isn't it funny how a memory/visit/meeting can inspire us years later.

Every time I read an interview with you, Joyce, I find out something new.

Nice job, ladies.

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Joyce, that's a great combination, psychology and sociology - you've got people covered in and out!

It's always interesting how our past, circumstances, and environment shapes our present and future.

Thanks, Vivian, for a wonderful in depth interview.


Paul McDermott said...

Hi, Joyce!

I enjoyed Storm on holiday last year ... when's the sequel due out??? LOL Paul

unwriter said...

Storm needs no sequel but the next two are going to be just as good if not better. This young lady can write up a storm.

She may have come from a non-normal family but few families follow beaver household formula.

Between the kids, fur and feather kids, she has a lively household but it is filled to the brim with love. I can think of no author I like better to read than Joyce (Not biased, I just happen to think this is my favorite book).

Nina M. Osier said...

Great interview! I, too, think writing = insanity on far too many days. But that's how books like "Storm" are created. (It's fantastic, by the way.)

Joyce Anthony said...

Group hug time here, folks ((((HUG)))) You guys are so wonderful-thank you for supporting me in both writing and life! I'll have to get those next books out soon, won't I?? :-)

Vivian Zabel said...

Having you here today was a delight, Joyce, and I'll be so glad to have you back with your article Wednesday.

Thanks for everyone who came by today.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Great interview Joyce and Vivian.

Harry Gilleland said...

Great post, Vivian! Your interview with Joyce was outstanding. I enjoyed learning more about her.



Donna J. Shepherd said...

Loved learning more about Joyce. Thanks for the interview, Vivian.

Anonymous said...

Great interview. Good questions Vivian. It was nice to hear more from you, Joyce. Keep up the good writing.