I hope y’all are ready!
Joy has answered all of the questions
and we have them ready to go!
Don’t forget to comment at the end of the interview for a chance to win the wonderful charm bracelet
Joy is giving away!
Who is your favorite sister??? Kelli or Rita???
Ha! I bet you thought you would stump me. My hands-down favorite sister in the whole wide world is Jonah’s. For those who do not know me personally, Jonah is my grandson. He has a twin sister who is my only granddaughter. She would be my favorite. #grandkidsrule #grandkidsarenumber1
Joy…I noticed that in the fine details of your stories, you use personal information from your real life Example: Using JJ’s birth date for Georgiana. Can you give a couple of other examples where you did this?
(Rita Malone Paul)
Good eye, Rita. I’ve actually used Jennifer’s birth date a few times. I’ve “borrowed” names from people I love or don’t love and have used them accordingly. Mainly, I have been pretty cavalier about adapting characters to fit personalities of people I know. (And, people you know as well.)
How do you stay so positive and upbeat all the time? Does your writing help with that or is it part of your character to not let life get you down?
Thank you, Janet. Those are words I will cherish. For this you may blame my parents. By naming me “Joy”, it obligates me to a certain attitude. And, I LOVE living. To me, every breath is precious and every minute should be filled with something we love to do. If my day is particularly challenging, I write happily ever after.
My instinct is to walk away from negativity and in-fighting. It’s why I rarely get in the middle of an issue unless it affects someone I love. Then, the claws come out and I’m single-mindedly fierce.
How long did you live in South America? Did your experience influence your writing?(tgruy)
John and I lived in Ecuador twice for a total of four years.
Absolutely/positively, Tere, our living there influenced me. I am forever filling my days to overflowing. In Ecuador, the pace of the whole culture is slower and more relaxed. Eventually, my health and the high altitude forced me to slow down. It was then that I started thinking I might actually have the time to put a story to paper.
It also helped me to realize that Regency England was a culture. I found it much easier to place myself there alongside my characters with the experience of getting outside my comfort zone.
Which is your favorite Jane Austen novel? …. And why is it your favorite?
Pride and Prejudice is my favorite. Why? I think it’s the family dynamics of the Bennets and the Bingleys. There is no doubt that my siblings played a huge role in how I grew up. Getting to read about the same in P&P is like watching reality TV.
Which are your top three favourite Austen novels?
- Pride and Prejudice
- Persuasion (John was at sea for 21 years as a sea captain. I still cherish the letters he wrote. So, Captain Wentworth’s letter? It’s easy for me to think he spent years imagining what he would say to Anne Elliott if he ever had the chance. The days on the ocean, when not in port, are lonely and quiet. Lots of time for a healthy imagination to work.)
- Emma – I will just say she reminds me of someone I know well.
The best variations, in my opinion, are most credible when the values of the original are not ignored but, instead, are built on as circumstances change from the original source. That said, how many times have you read Jane’s P&P and how recently?
(Betty Campbell Madden)
Good question, Betty. I’ve read it twice in the last three years. How many JAFF have I read during that same time? Literally hundreds.
Which of the Pride and Prejudice films is your favorite, and why? (insert evil laugh here)(Robin Helm)
You are a stinker of the first order, Robin. However, the answer may surprise you.
When Jennifer was still at home we watched the 1940 version with Greer Garson. That was way before I ever read the book. Jennifer was an only child so observing her watch the Bennet sisters was a hoot. She had grown up thinking that having a sister would be the same as having a best friend. Then she found out some sisters are “Lydia” and she changed her mind. Those memories make it my favorite.
What is your favorite non Jane Austen movie?
I LOVE sweet chick-flicks like You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, and Clueless. The Anne of Green Gables series is a special favorite and old musicals are a standby. My guilty pleasure? Sam Elliott westerns.
Which is your favourite Mr Knightley in the adaptations?
Both Jeremy Northam and Jonny Lee Miller are excellent actors. However, since I’m almost the same height as Jonny Lee Miller, I’d have to go with Jeremy Northam (he’s 4” taller). Besides, his clothes in Emma are the height of elegance, just as I imagine Mr. Knightley would wear.
Who is your second favourite Austen heroine and why?
This one is hard, Joana. You might assume that Elizabeth Bennet is my favorite. She’s not. From the first time I read P&P she frustrated me to no end. Yes, I would have reacted as she did at the Meryton Assembly. Yes, I would have wanted to make witty comebacks to Darcy and Caroline. Yes, I would have refused Mr. Collins as she did. But, she was smug. She arrogantly thought she knew everything she needed to know to pass judgements on people. Of course, by the end of the book she was a much smarter and mature young lady. She’s my third favorite.
My first is Anne Elliot. I love her loyalty.
My second is Elinor Dashwood. She loves her sisters more than herself.
Which Austen villain do you dislike the most and why?
Fanny Dashwood. Such a cold-hearted snake.
When did you begin writing books?
I wrote a horrible book when Jennifer was little (about 30 years ago). It ended up in the trash bin. My first published book was written in 1985. It was a cookbook for the cancer clinic in Mexico where I was treated. In just over a month, it will be two years since I started “A Father’s Sins”. I published it March 2014.
What was your initial inspiration to begin writing JAFF?
When I read “The Journey” by Jan Hahn (see the next question), I longed for more. I would dream about that story and spend hours’ day-dreaming that particular Darcy and Elizabeth in a variety of altered situations. I found more and more JAFF, but never lost my storyline that came from those daydreams. After about a year, I just HAD to write it down.
You mentioned once that ‘The Journey’ by Jan Hahn was part of your inspiration for starting your writing career. What about that book was so special to you?
I had just finished reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time when I found Jan’s book. At the start, Darcy and Lizzy are in a carriage with the Bingley sisters. Darcy actually had a conversation with Elizabeth and I thought, “well, it’s about time.” His tender care of her during the robbery and kidnapping were exquisite. THAT was the Darcy I fell in love with.
Then came chapter 8. Wow! I’ve never forgotten it and reread it on occasion. By the end, I closed the cover, closed my eyes, and sighed a happy sigh.
I remember reading that you had found your type of writing and it was fluff! Why do you call it fluff?
I love being in love. Love it! Love it! Love it! I love a hero who slays dragons with his brave heroine by his side (with a sword of her own, of course). I admire capable women immensely. Therefore, my stories tend to have Darcy and Lizzy stand together as one against their enemies. It gives me pleasure to watch a relationship bud and grow into something tested and strong. So, I write them falling in love easily. That’s my fluffy marshmallow crème method of storytelling.
The only question I can think of, and it would be for all authors, is where ever do you come up with the ideas for variations? As much as I read, I can’t say that I have ever had a new idea for a story popped into my head.
Sheila, after I read a story I ponder over one small change. Then I mentally follow that to what I believe the conclusion would be. Thus, a new variation of an old story.
What inspires you to write JAFF (P&P) novels and how do you come up with the plots?
As I mentioned above, Dung, it involves a lot of thinking and a healthy dose of imagination. Many nights I lay awake moving my characters around like furniture in a room. I get to know my characters better as I imagine them reacting to unexpected influences.
If I am entertained by the path they take, I make a note of it for later. There’s my story.
My question is how do you get your ideas on paper? I want to be able to write but I just can’t get the ideas and conversations in my head to make sense on the written page. I envy you this ability.
I used an outline with my first book. I wrote 2-3 sentences describing what I wanted to take place for each chapter. Then I went back and filled in some details to move the story from one chapter to the next. Then, keeping in mind the need to show rather than tell, I thought of conversations that would move the story along and reveal qualities and motives of the characters as they spoke. It’s not as hard as you might think.
Another tool is to use the forums to post a chapter at a time. The feedback you get between each chapter is invaluable. The reviewers want you to improve and succeed.
After Jane Austen, what deceased author and what living author have been the greatest influence on your writing?
Ohhhh, good question. I think it’s a tie between Charles Dickens and Lucy Maud Montgomery. For current? Hmmmmm! Let me think. It would have to be Jan Hahn for JAFF and Richard Peck (his kid’s books are so awesome – Way Down Yonder and A Long Way from Chicago are my favorites).
I have really enjoyed all of Joy’s stories and particularly love Married in “One Love, Two Hearts, Three Stories”. I’d like to know what was your inspiration for this story. I thought Georgiana’s character was excellent and very believable for a fifteen year old.
Lynn, it was actually Georgiana that started Married! for me. What are the facts as we know them from Pride and Prejudice? She was a teenager who showed a propensity for poor judgement by falling for Wickham. She was wealthy, privileged, and without a parent’s authority. It was an easy leap to make her teenage years more challenging to her dear brother. I couldn’t see Darcy dealing well with it on his own so put him and Elizabeth together quickly. Married! Is my particular favorite as well.
Would you ever consider writing a non P&P variation such as one based upon Persuasion?(Debbie Fortin)
Yes. I have a story outlined that is Persuasion based. In it, Anne Elliot has developed a subtle rebellion that none of her family are aware of. Captain Wentworth doesn’t realize the woman he admires is actually Anne. When he finds out, he loves her more than before and his letter at Bath is 100% justified. Maybe one day I’ll finish it.
Do you try and keep a set schedule for writing, or do you write whenever the inspiration hits you?
I try to write every day. However, I have the bad habit of editing as I go. That slows me down considerably. And, I’m easily distracted.
How do you stay motivated?
Funny you should ask this, Jennifer. I have a lovely daughter that badgers me unmercifully.
I love your stories, Joy. I do have a question or two for you. When writing, I am sure, you sometimes have moments when your characters just aren’t cooperative. What do you do to get through those rough patches….walk, bake, watch a movie, etc?
Excellent question. I take them to bed with me. They invade my dreams and thoughts until I realize where I went wrong in my writing. Right now, Bingley continues to give me fits. You would think that such an amiable man would be easy to write. He’s NOT!!! HE DRIVES ME CRAZY!!! I won’t have relief until I tell his story exactly as he wants me to. Period!!!
If you could meet Jane Austen what would you talk about/ask her?
I would like to hear her describe each family member one by one. In her writing, she provides very few personal details about her characters, so I would try to listen to see if that was her inclination with the real people in her life as well.
I love how in your variations the villains don’t get to do much damage, and if Darcy and Elizabeth have challenges to face, they often communicate and face them together. Will it be the same in your next novel?
No. My next Darcy and Lizzy is called “The Abominable Mr. Darcy”. When she overhears Darcy at the Meryton Assembly, she says he goes from an enigma to an enemy. (Very much a departure for me. I keep wanting to make everyone play nice and get along. It’s not happening in this story.)
Georgiana was a very entertaining surprise in ‘Married’ – very different to canon, but deliciously naughty and it was easy to believe why she would act as she did. Do you have another surprise like this in store for us?
I believe the path Jane Bennet takes will be shocking in my Bingley/Jane story. She is much more “real”. Still kind and good, of course, but as imperfect as everyone else.
Is your next book going to be a novel or a collection of short stories, and how long till the next treat?
I wish I could make Bingley/Jane a short story so I can be done with them. Grrrrr! But, no. All are full-length.
Would like to know about a publication date on the next book but I hate to seem like i am putting any pressure on you/her. Things all happened in good time, is a philosophy I seem to adhere to.
I adore you, I’m working on it, Sheila. Truly I am.
Now, how long do I have to wait to add more Joy King creations to my inventory? I’m certainly ready for another good fix! And I’d be so happy, even jubilant, moving my mouse, turning the page, with that coveted bracelet decorating my wrist.:)
(Betty Campbell Madden)
Thank you kindly. As mentioned above, I’m typing.
Joy, I have all of your books and have read them several times. Are you still planning on finishing the sequel to A Father’s Sins?
I am. It is book 2, Bingley, which I am working on now.
What other projects are you working on?
I have two books and one screenplay in progress right now. If I’d quit bouncing back and forth I would probably get one finished sooner. I’m working on it.
My question is when you plan to get your next book out so your sister by choice will stop going crazy while waiting? ??
How many more ideas do you have for stories? I need more things to read.
The truth is that my brain keeps spinning with ideas. I don’t think it will ever end. Thanks Rhiannen!
Since I have and thoroughly enjoyed all your books and audios I was wondering. Are you branching out writing something else, like kids books?
Eventually, yes, I would love to publish my children’s stories. I get such enjoyment sharing them vocally with my nieces, nephews, and grandchildren that I’ve not taken the time to write them down. I’ve not forgotten them.
Joy do you have any suggestions for an aspiring writer?
Yes. You will never have a finished book if you don’t start. I think there’s a shoe company whose advertising slogan is “just do it.” Think of a story you would love to read and write it. The rewards are astounding.
What words of wisdom can you share with someone who is thinking of pursuing writing and publishing as a career or hobby?
Jennifer, I don’t know how wise I am, but thinking about writing is like sitting in a rocking chair – you don’t go anywhere no matter how hard you think/rock. Writing a book is like eating an elephant – one bite at a time/one word at a time. I love those metaphors because they help me not be overwhelmed with the process.
If I type a few words, I have a sentence. If I type a few sentences, I have a paragraph. A few paragraphs, I have a chapter. Before I know it, I have a story in front of me that’s begging for “the End”.
My sincerest thanks, Leslie, for your invitation to be part of your blog. I look forward to 2016 with great anticipation.
Thanks so much, Joy!
Now, don’t forget to comment for a chance at that amazing charm bracelet!
Rules for the giveaway –
If you asked a question, you have 1 chance in the drawing.
If you comment on this interview, you get 1 chance in the drawing.
If you left a question and now, a comment, you get 2 chances in the drawing!