1) What inspired you to start writing?
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.
2) What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Read . . . read, and then read some more. Read everything you can get your hands on!
3) Who is your favorite author and why?
John Steinbeck and this is why:
“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
Have ever read anything as beautiful? Well, I have and it was all stuff Steinbeck had written.
4) What comes first, the plot or characters?
When I start a book I have only the first sentence and the last paragraph in my head. Then all I have to do is come up with 100,000 words to fill in the blank space between.
5) Tell us something about your newest release.
Molly Lee 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.
6) What is the hardest part about writing for you?
Marketing! The prevailing wisdom is that you have to be on Twitter, on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram to name just a few.
If I’m posting on all those sites, then I’m not writing. How many times can I tweet that I’m a genius and that you should buy my books? And what else is there to tweet? Who cares what I had for breakfast. And I really don’t care what is “trending” and couldn’t care less about commenting on it. The same goes for the rest of those social media sites.
I’ve given up on trying to sell books on social media. Instead, what I do is beg book bloggers for reviews. And believe me, it ain’t easy. For my last book, REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, I had to go through a list of 3,500 bloggers. After visiting each blog individually (3,500!!!) to read their review policies, I found 300 that would maybe give me a review. Thirty responded. It only took two months of eight to ten-hour days, but it worked! Sales were good because of the exposure I received from those initial reviews, and the book—two years later—is averaging 4.5 stars from 300 reviews (132 on Amazon). And has hit #1 status twice on Amazon.
I can’t wait to stop marketing Molly and sit down at the computer and bang out my next book. I already have half of it written in my head.
7) What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
I like to write in the early morning hours when things are quiet. I usually get up around 2:00 a.m. and go to work. The commute is not long . . . only a few steps to my computer.
8) What did you want to be when you grew up?
I never wanted to grow up, and I believe I have succeeded.
9) How do you do research for your books?
This is my favorite question. I research my butt off. I write (for the most part) historical novels. I must know about the era; the nomenclature . . . everything. I’m presently researching women’s undergarments of the 1890s. If there is anything you need to know about pantalettes, just ask me. As to the how . . . I must admit that I’ve gotten lazy. I used to go to the library; now it’s all on line. Google Scholar rocks!
10 What group did you hang out with in high school?
I had no friends in high school. Sill don’t . . . come to think of it.
11) What would we find under your bed?
The monster that lives there.
12) What is something that you absolutely can’t live without?
Oxygen . . . vodka is a close second.
13) If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?
I’d love to spend some time with Jesus. I’d take Him sailing (I live on a sailboat) and ask Him so many questions, He’d probably get out and walk home.
14) Do you write in multiple genres or just one?
I have 142 short stories that cover everything from the detective genre to science fiction and everything in between.
15) Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?
16) What are your favorite TV shows?
I do not own a TV.
17) Do you have any other books on the horizon?
Yes I do, but right now my attention is riveted on a big, tall, frosty glass of vodka and cranberry juice (with extra lime). So I’ll have to go now. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you.
You can find Andrew and his novel Molly Lee on a range of platforms:
- Barnes and Noble
- Andrew’s Web Site
- Andrew’s Blog
- MOLLY LEE on Amazon
- Andrew Joyce