Tuesday, September 8, 2015

FEATURED AUTHOR: ANDREW JOYCE



ABOUT THE BOOK


Molly is about to set off on the adventure of a lifetime . . . of two lifetimes.

It’s 1861, and the Civil War has just started. Molly is an eighteen-year-old girl living on her family’s farm in Virginia when two deserters from the Southern Cause enter her life. One of them — a twenty-four-year-old Huck Finn — ends up saving her virtue, if not her life.

Molly is so enamored with Huck, she wants to run away with him. But Huck has other plans and is gone the next morning before she awakens. Thus starts a sequence of events that leads Molly into adventure after adventure; most of them not so nice.

We follow the travails of Molly Lee, starting when she is eighteen and ending when she is fifty-six. Even then Life has one more surprise in store for her.


SALE! Molly Lee is on sale for $0.99 until September 27. 


GUEST POST BY ANDREW JOYCE


My name is Andrew Joyce, and I write books for a living. Amy has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new book, Molly Lee. The story is a female-driven account of a young naive girl’s journey into an independent, strong woman and all the trouble she gets into along the way.

Now you may possibly be asking yourself, What is a guy doing writing in a woman’s voice? And that’s a good question. I can only say that I did not start out to write about Molly; she just came to me one day and asked that I tell her story.

Perhaps I should start at the beginning.

My first book was a 164,000-word historical novel. And in the publishing world, anything over 80,000 words for a first-time author is heresy. Or so I was told time and time again when I approached an agent for representation. After two years of research and writing, and a year of trying to secure the services of an agent, I got angry. To be told that my efforts were meaningless was somewhat demoralizing to say the least. I mean, those rejections were coming from people who had never even read my book.

“So you want an 80,000-word novel?” I said to no one in particular, unless you count my dog, because he was the only one around at the time. Consequently, I decided to show them City Slickers that I could write an 80,000-word novel!

I had just finished reading Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for the third time, and I started thinking about what ever happened to those boys, Tom and Huck. They must have grown up, but then what? So I sat down at my computer and banged out REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer in two months. Then sent out query letters to agents.

Less than a month later, the chairman of one of the biggest agencies in New York City emailed me that he loved the story. We signed a contract and it was off to the races, or so I thought. But then the real fun began: the serious editing. Seven months later, I gave birth to Huck and Tom as adults. And just for the record, the final word count is 79,914. The book went on to reach #1 status on Amazon twice, and the rest, as they say, is history.

But not quite.

My agent then wanted me to write a sequel, but I had other plans. I was in the middle of editing down my first novel (that had been rejected by 1,876,324 agents . . . or so it seemed) from 164,000 words to the present 142,000. However, he was insistent, so I started to think about it. Now, one thing you have to understand is that I tied up all the loose ends at the end of REDEMPTION, so there was no way that I could write a sequel. And that is when Molly asked me to tell her story. Molly was a character that we met briefly in the first chapter of REDEMPTION, and then she is not heard from again.

This is the description from MOLLY LEE:

Molly is about to set off on the adventure of a lifetime . . . of two lifetimes.

It’s 1861 and the Civil War has just started. Molly is an eighteen-year-old girl living on her family’s farm in Virginia when two deserters from the Southern Cause enter her life. One of them—a twenty-four-year-old Huck Finn—ends up saving her virtue, if not her life.

Molly is so enamored with Huck, she wants to run away with him. But Huck has other plans and is gone the next morning before she awakens. Thus starts a sequence of events that leads Molly into adventure after adventure; most of them not so nice.

We follow the travails of Molly Lee, starting when she is eighteen and ending when she is fifty-six. Even then Life has one more surprise in store for her.


As I had wondered whatever became of Huck and Tom, I also wondered what Molly did when she found Huck gone.

I know this has been a long-winded set up, but I felt I had to tell the backstory. Now I can move on and tell you about Molly.

As stated earlier, Molly starts out as a naive young girl. Over time she develops into a strong, independent woman. The change is gradual. Her strengths come from the adversities she encounters along the road that is her life.

With each setback, Molly follows that first rule she set against self-pity and simply moves on to make the best of whatever life throws her way. From working as a whore to owning a saloon, from going to prison to running a ranch, Molly plays to win with the cards she’s dealt. But she always keeps her humanity. She will kill to defend herself and she has no problem killing to protect the weak and preyed upon. However, when a band of Indians (for instance) have been run off their land and have nowhere else to go, Molly allows them to live on her ranch, and in time they become extended family.

This is from a review on Amazon:

A young female in nineteenth-century rural America would have needed courage, fortitude, and firm resolve to thrive in the best of circumstances. Molly Lee possesses all of these, along with an iron will and an inherent ability to read people accurately and respond accordingly.

I reckon that about sums up Molly.

I would like to say that I wrote MOLLY LEE in one sitting and everything in it is my pure genius. But that would be a lie. I have three editors (two women and one guy). They kept me honest with regard to Molly. When I made her a little too hard, they would point out that she had to be softer or show more emotion in a particular scene.

I set out to write a book where every chapter ended with a cliffhanger. I wanted the reader to be forced to turn to the next chapter. And I pretty much accomplished that, but I also wrote a few chapters where Molly and my readers could catch their collective breath.

One last thing: Everything in MOLLY LEE is historically correct from the languages of the Indians to the descriptions of the way people dressed, spoke, and lived. I spend as much time on research as I do in writing my stories. Sometimes more.

It looks as though I’ve used up my allotted word count (self-imposed), so I reckon I’ll ride off into the sunset and rustle up a little vodka and cranberry juice (with extra lime).

It’s been a pleasure,
Andrew Joyce

ABOUT REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer

Three men come together in the town of Redemption, Colorado, each for his own purpose.

Huck Finn is a famous lawman who does not hesitate to use his gun to protect the weak. He has come to right a terrible wrong.

After his wife’s death, Tom Sawyer does not want to live anymore; he has come to die.
The third man, the Laramie Kid, a killer Huck and Tom befriended years earlier, has come to kill a man.

For these three men, Death is a constant companion. For these three men, it is their last chance for redemption.


INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW JOYCE


How did you get started writing and when did you become an “author?”

One morning, I went crazy. I got out of bed, went downstairs, and threw my TV out the window. Then I sat down at the computer and wrote my first short story. It was soon published in a print magazine (remember them?). I’ve been writing ever since.

Can you share some of your marketing strategies with us?
I go to bloggers and beg for reviews and/or a “guest post” spot on their blog.

Imagine that! Okay, do you have a day job?
I write books for a living, and that’s all. It keeps the wolf from the door.

If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?
As stated above, I do not own a TV. But if a gun was put to my head, and I had to watch only one channel, it would be TCM (Turner Classic Movies). I love old movies.

How often do you tweet?
Almost never.

How do you feel about Facebook?
Ambivalent.

YouTube is . . .
Kinda cool.

What five things would you never want to live without?
Oxygen, vodka . . . and I’ll have to get back to you on the other three.

What is the most daring thing you've done?
Saved a young woman’s life.

That would definitely qualify! What’s one of your favorite quotes?
This is not a quote. It’s just beautiful writing.

"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide."— John Steinbeck, Tortilla Flat

What would your main character say about you?
That I am a lazy, no-account, shiftless so-and-so.


What's your relationship with your cell phone?
We’re seeing a counselor.

Let me know how that works out. Do you have a favorite book?

The Grapes of Wrath.

I'm sensing you like John Steinbeck. Do you sweat the small stuff?
I’m not being bombastic here, but I don’t sweat anything.

If you had to choose a cliché about life, what would it be?
That life is too short. It’s just right.

What are you working on now?
My attention is riveted on a big, tall, frosty glass of vodka and cranberry juice (with extra lime).

Lightning round:
Chevy Chase or Bill Murray?  Bill Murray

Emailing or texting?  Emailing

Plane, train, or automobile? None of the above. I ain’t going anywhere if I can help it.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Andrew Joyce lives on a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with his dog, Danny.

Connect with Andrew:
Website  |  
Blog  |  
Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads 

4 comments:

  1. Great interview, tickled my funny bone! Thanks, Amy. I am going to check out his books - and your blog while I'm here. I love its name and cover photo. Nice job!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Emily! I hope you'll come back!

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