The Write Way Café welcomes Aspiring Writer Joyce Flinn, who shares her path from dreaming of writing, through life interruptis, until story creation.
When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
I have enjoyed writing since I wrote an original play for Christmas in fifth grade, which I helped direct. I went on to write short stories and poetry in high school. The writing bug kept nibbling at me throughout college, but I had to study something that pays, so I took up education and history. Then, life interruptis happened along with a husband and kids, but that bug kept nibbling at me. I have read romance novels since my Grandmother would share her Regencies with me. So, my first manuscript was a Regency, which I finished about five years ago. I struggled with the tone of the book and decided to hold off writing for a while longer, but kept reading. Then, my daughters and niece got me hooked on paranormal romances – both Teen and Adult. So, I felt I finally found my true calling and that darn old bug went into overdrive.
What are you working on right now?
I am writing a paranormal based in contemporary times. The paranormal elements are the Greek Gods and Goddesses along with other pantheons mixed in.
How do you do research?
I do a lot of researching online and found a lot of wonderful sites on the Greek mythos. I also have acquired quite a few books on mythology as well as demonology and Christianity. A fellow author recommended YouTube to research how Greek people speak and that has been so helpful.
Where did the idea for your story come from?
I dream and day dream a lot. Ideas pop up and then won’t let go. I have a young adult novel that keeps yelling at me from time to time not to forget about it. I will say, it wasn’t from the movies, although there have been so many movies lately on the Greek Gods and heroes. It makes me a bit nervous that the genre has been overloaded.
Why did you pick the setting you did?
The story starts in DC with the sighting of a demon. I thought this was ironic. There are some scenes set on an island near Greece, but the rest of the scenes are in my own back-yard in rural Garrett County, Maryland. I want to make the setting a true character of the story line, so I wrote what I know best.
Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
They do have basis in real people, but not me (I hope). I have three daughters who are inspirational and I used some of their positive and some of their irritating characteristics although magnified a bit. I am certain they would say “I am not like that”. The hero and male characters were a bit more difficult. As with most authors, I used some parts of my spouse or other role models in creating them.
What do you consider your greatest writing strengths? What gets in your way of writing?
This is a very difficult question. The insecure author in me thinks I have no strengths. I think what I really try to capture is the transition or metamorphosis of the characters throughout the book. I believe we grow and change constantly as life hammers away. What gets in the way of my writing? The rest of my life. The girls are all in college or graduated, so I hope to have more time to write. I also was diagnosed recently with fibromyalgia, which can make writing difficult on some days.
Do you have a favorite playlist for when you write? Classic, rock, pop, none of the above?
This really depends on what I am writing. If it is a tender, sexy or love scene, I may listen to Country or Classical music. If it is a fast paced area, definitely hard rock. There are times when the old 90’s pop rock gets me moving, too.
What is your likely choice for publication, a publisher or self-pubbed?
I would prefer a publisher, but am not ruling out self-pubbed.
Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
I finally have a nice writing space where the kids used to keep their dolls and play kitchen. I have a desk, a couch, book shelves everywhere, and quiet. It works great, except when hubby suffers from empty-nest syndrome and needs some company.
What are some of your favorite books and why?
There are so many, as the shelves and my Nook attest. I love paranormal romance but I also enjoy erotica, BDSM, and Young Adult. I recently re-read Janet Chapman’s series about the Scottish warriors who were time-jumped from the 12th century. The love and support these men give their better halves is inspirational. They are also funny and I laugh out loud. Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series and Chronicles of Nick are must buys. I enjoy humor knitted into the dialogue, heroes and heroines who are flawed, and a great deal of sensual heat. Other favorite authors are JR Ward, Lora Leigh, Lara Adrian, Shayla Black, Lexi Blake, Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, Alexandra Ivy, Donna Grant, Sylvia Day, Cassandra Clare, Julie Kagawa, Dianne Duvall, and so many more.
Who is your favorite book boyfriend? Why?
My youngest daughter loved Ash, from the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. She would ask why guys today couldn’t be like him! I just laughed. I could choose Paris, from Gena Showalter’s series as he holds the demon of Promiscuity . But, I think I would choose Michael McBain from Janet Chapman’s Wedding the Highlander. He is insightful, a bit of a philosopher, loves his son with his whole heart, and loves Libby despite his determination not to love again. He surrounds her with comfort, support, and unconditional love.
Who are your greatest support people for writing?
My daughters are so excited about this venture of mine and my husband is very supporting, even attending a recent conference with me. My sister, Connie, is my only beta reader and pushes me because she wants to read more. I also have a lot of support from the chapters of RWA (Maryland and Western Pennsylvania) as well as the Savvy Authors.
If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
Probably a college professor, teaching history. Or, better yet, I would be an editor!
What line from a book left an impression on you and/or your writing?
“Sometimes things have to go wrong in order to go right” or “He who lets fear rule him, has fear for a master” by Sherrilyn Kenyon.
What is the quirkiest thing you’ve done with your character/s?
Hmm… I am not known for being quirky or snarky. I really have to get my kids to help with this. Sophia, my heroine, shot a cross bow at a demon, which is interesting for someone who typically hides in the shadows. One of the characters threw a bagel at Kiros, the hero. But, poor Sophia is getting hit on by some of the Gods and the poor woman is standing there with a full bladder, not sure how to tell a God that she had to pee!
Learn more about Joyce at http://joyceflinnauthor.blogspot.com/