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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thanks, Joyce, for visiting with us today. I hope we'll have an article from you posted Wednesday.
Purchase Storm on Amazon.com
Book Trailer for Storm