16 June, 2017

#Interview with Andrew Joyce, #Author of Yellow Hair

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 five books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and fifty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR.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.

An Interview:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/a storyteller?

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.

What inspires you to write?

Anything and everything.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?

The inspiration for Yellow Hair came to me when I was reading a short article. It made reference to the Great Sioux Uprising of 1862, and also mentioned that the outcome involved the largest mass execution in the history of the United States. That piqued my interest.

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that were written before and never saw the light of day?

I have 150 short stories waiting to be edited so I can publish my two-volume book of short stories entitled Bedtime Stories for Grown-ups.

Tell us about your writing process.

I prefer 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.

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?

Big Jim sat straight and proud as he inspected the four columns, making sure they were evenly spaced. After nodding his head in approval, he raised his right arm, and in a forward, arching motion he said, “Follow me.”
With that one action and those two simple words, Jim Cody’s infamous train that departed in the spring of 1850 from Westport, Missouri, and traveled into legend, started west, putting into play events that culminated in the largest mass execution in the history of the United States.

As to why it is my favourite passage, I can’t say. What I mean, is that I don’t know.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?

I imbue my main characters with many of my traits—both good and bad.

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?

I’ve read all my life. John Steinbeck and Jack London are two of my favourite authors. They influence me by making me want to write like them. I’m not there yet and probably never will be, but I keep trying.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, to date?

Never, ever, ever, ever respond to a negative review.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?

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. When one reads stuff like the passage below, one cannot help but become a better writer.

"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

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?

A knife, a copy of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, and a woman.

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?

I am permanently unwound. And what is free time? Between writing, editing, and marketing my books, I’m lucky if I can find the time to get drunk once in a while. 

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?

I completed my bucket list back in my 20s. I went everywhere I wanted to go and did everything I wanted to do. I’m now sixty-six and I just go with the flow, knowing that I’m not missing out on anything.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.

There is nothing fun about me.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?

Yes. I would like to thank you for having me over. It’s been a blast.

About the Book:

Through no fault of his own, a young man is thrust into a new culture just at the time that culture is undergoing massive changes. It is losing its identity, its lands, and its dignity. He not only adapts, he perseveres and, over time, becomes a leader—and on occasion, the hand of vengeance against those who would destroy his adopted people.

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.


1 comment:

  1. Great questions and even better answers...really enjoyed this interview!