THE WRITING PART
Q. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Briefly, about yourself?
My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. I live on a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with my dog, Danny.
Q. What genre is/are your book(s)?
Historical Fiction and Action/Adventure
Q. What draws you to this genre?
I really don’t know. I come across a subject that interests me, I research that subject, I come up with a story to encompass that subject, and then it’s off to the races, so to speak.
Q. Briefly, what led up to last/latest book? Also, Please describe what the story/book is about in one sentence.
I read a short article about “the largest mass execution in the history of the United States.” That intrigued me. As I researched it, one thing led to another and the next thing I knew, I was writing about eighty-five years of American history.
Yellow Hair documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890.
Q. What was the time frame for writing your last book?
Six years. I did one year of research for Yellow Hair, and spent eight months writing it. I then put it away and wrote other books. But during that time, I’d pull it out and work on it (editing, rewriting, etc.).
Q. How much research do you do?
Q. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
No. That would be too much like work.
Q. What is the easiest thing about writing?
The writing itself. I love it. The story just flows. I write like I’m talking one on one with my best friend. To me it’s just a one-sided conversation.
Q. What motivates you to write?
I have nothing else to do.
Q. When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?
One morning, about six years ago, 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. Just for the hell of it, I threw it up on a writing site. A few months later, I was informed that it had been selected for publication in an anthology of the best short stories of 2011. I even got paid for it. I’ve been writing ever since.
Q. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
I like good reviews . . . bad reviews not so much.
Q. What do you prefer: Pen or Computer? And how do you stay organized (any methods, systems, tools you use)?
Computer. As I fall asleep at night, I write in my head what I’m going to put down on paper the next day.
Q. How do you relax?
I sit down and write a short story. I have 150 written and another twenty or so in various forms of completion.
Q. How did you find your agent?
I spent one solid year sending out query letters. But I ended up with one of the biggest agents in the business.
Q. What were your few biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?
That even with an agent and a big publishing house behind you, you will still have to do your own marketing. Maybe not Stephen King, but I sure as hell had to. That’s why I went Indie.
Q. What would you have done differently if you could do it again?
Q. What’s next? What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment, I’m marketing Yellow Hair.
Next, I’m going to imagine what became of Tom Joad. As he was saying good-bye to his mother for the last time, he said this: “I’ll be aroun’ in the dark. I’ll be everywhere-wherever you look. Wherever there is a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there is a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there…I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folk eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build—why, I’ll be there.”
From The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck.
THE READING PART
Q. Do you re-read books? One book that you would read again & again?
The Grapes of Wrath.
Q. Your influence(s)/ favourite author(s)?
John Steinbeck, Louis L’Amour, and Jack London.
Q. What book(s) are you reading at present?
Letters from the Dust Bowl by Caroline Henderson.
Q. Best piece(s) of writing advice we haven’t discussed?
Read, read . . . and then read some more. Read everything you can get your hands on! Reading to a writer is as medical school is to a doctor, as physical training is to an athlete, as breathing is to life. Think of reading as taking a writing class.
AND: Never, ever, ever, ever respond to a negative review!!!
About the Author
Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written four books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, MICK REILLY.
Blurb from Andrew’s latest novel, YELLOW HAIR:
Yellow Hair documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage written about actually took place. The historical figures that play a role in this fact-based tale of fiction were real people and the author uses their real names. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century. This is American history.
Where else can you find Andrew?