Branna Lind’s self-esteem rests at the bottom of the Mississippi River. She canceled her “wedding of the decade,” though she isn’t saying why. She wants life on her own terms, no ready-made job in the family business: no safety net of close-knit kin, and no more betrayal.
College professor James Newbern prizes his bachelorhood. Experience has taught him beautiful women are high-maintenance trouble and Branna fits that type. He is happy to avoid her until the college vice president assigns him to mentor the newest hire–Branna.
Branna is on her way to a new life, but will the scars of the past send her running from love? Even if she stands her ground, can she convince James that she truly is his “type”?
I am very pleased to be invited to Harlie’s Books. Thank you for the opportunity to share the news about my debut novel, Bayou Born.
Where do you do your best writing?
Well, there’s writing, and then there’s writing-writing. Don’t you agree?
The first is creating new pages, words I haven’t written before. The muse dances best when I make my world quiet. I’m able to do that with the least effort when I’m in my office on my chaise with my laptop.
Writing-writing is editing. Its takes me twice as long to edit anything than it does to write it. Since I’m going through physical therapy for pain in my left wrist, I sit at my desk with a new ergonomic keyboard and spend even more time editing because I’m correcting typing mistakes that I didn’t used to make. The new keyboard is good for the wrist, but bad for the blood pressure.
Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
The word I hold sacred is “Believe.” It’s more than Hope. It’s stronger than Want. Believing is a step beyond Faith. It’s a knowing that you’re true to yourself and on the right path in life.
The phrase I like best is my mantra taken from author Jodi Thomas. When I attended the inaugural Writer’s Academy at West Texas A&M University in 2009, she told the class, “Triumph comes through perseverance.” She said many great writers are never published because they do not have the tenacity to persevere. I vowed right there and then that I would be a writer who pushes through to have a career. Besides, when I worked in corporate America, every performance review I received listed tenacious as one of my good qualities. It’s a blessing and a curse.
What book(s) are you reading now?
I love the feel of a physical book in my hands. I collect them, and will not part with any of my autographed ones. However, I have duplicates of many of them because most of my reading accomplished on my Kindle. At the moment, I am reading:
Tears of the Wounded by Alicia Dean. I have her Cupid’s Beau waiting in the wings.
Wedgie Tales and Panty Lines by Sandra Sookoo, with Winning His Wife to follow.
That Summer in Cornwall by Ciji Ware. I just finished her Midnight on Julia Street.
And, I always have one Historical. Right now I’m finishing The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne by Madeline Hunter.
I LOVE the voice of each of these authors. On a different note, I find it curious that readers will put down a book for a particular reason. I always finish a book because I have to know how it ends. I have to know the journey.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be and why?
The Renaissance of Linda
A renaissance is a renewal of life, a rebirth. I am a lifetime learner, and I’ve worked since my teenaged years. I wrote my first book when I was twelve. It was a romance. I’ve worked in restaurants during high school, where I learned to cook and waitress, which helped pull me out of some of my shyness. In the fall of my senior year, classes ran from 7 a.m. to noon, so I attended cosmetology school in the afternoon, then worked at a pharmacy in the evening. I’ve taken flying lessons, though because of a set of circumstances, did not get a pilot’s licenses. I worked as a hairdresser and a hair model before I committed to college. There, I studied business. In my corporate America days, I worked for major insurance companies as a litigation manager. I hold a Senior Claims Law Associate professional designation. At GE, I became Six Sigma Green Belt trained. I love to sew. I paint. I write poetry. I cook. Everything in life, including vacations, is an opportunity for me to learn about the world around me, but also about my life. My husband calls me his renaissance woman.
What do you do if you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Well, this is an interesting question. Because I love learning, I learned how to never have writer’s block. I have even gone so far as to create a workshop (with the help of a friend who is a creativity coach) with tips on how to rid the dreaded affliction. I have presented the seminar at several conferences, including RWA Nationals. My problem isn’t writer’s block. My problem is finding time to bring to life all the stories in my head.
For those who don’t already know how awesome your latest publication is, please give us a short blurb about it.
Branna Lind’s self-esteem rests at the bottom of the Mississippi River. She canceled her “wedding of the decade,” though she isn’t saying why. She wants life on her own terms, no ready-made job in the family business, no safety net of close-knit kin, and no more betrayal.
College professor James Newbern prizes his bachelorhood. Experience has taught him beautiful women are high-maintenance trouble and Branna fits that type. He is happy to avoid her until the college vice president assigns him to mentor the newest hire—Branna.
Branna is on her way to a new life, but will the scars of the past send her running from love? If she doesn’t, will she convince James that she truly is his “type”?
Once we finish this book and fall in love with your characters, we are going to want the next book immediately. What can you tell your readers to help calm their hunger for more?
I have a contract with The Wild Rose Press for book two in the Fleur de Lis series, Bayou Bound. While Branna Lind and James Newbern have cameo parts, the story focuses on Biloxi Dutrey, Branna’s cousin the photographer, and her issues with Nick Trahan, the new veterinarian in town, along with old grudges and prejudice.
Tell us about your current project(s).
I am prioritizing projects. It always takes me a bit longer than I think to complete things. I’m actively writing book three of the Fleur de Lis series, Back to the Bayou. It features Camilla Lind, Branna’s wild-natured sister, and her unwanted attraction to Jared Richardson. This story opens in Jackson Hole, WY and focuses on the events that draw Camilla home, with Jared following her to Mississippi. There, she has to finally face, not only her sister and her past deeds, but disaster and death brought by Hurricane Katrina.
Another story that I’m polishing, I dubbed it “my Belle book.” I love this story and hope that it will find a home when it’s finally ready. It’s the story of three women, Jane, Suzanne, and Maggie, once childhood best friends, their friendship cemented by a secret. After high school, they go their separate ways until they’re reunited when a pivotal man in all their lives dies. They come together as ex-wife, sister, and widow of Mark Maucele. Now they want to reconnect with the deep friendship bond they’d shared, only the secrets they hide from each other may tear them apart forever.
Can you see parts of yourself in any of the characters?
There is some aspect of me in every single one of my characters. It may be slim, something as benign as my love of a favorite dish or my love of one of my dogs, but it’s there.
I think an interesting interview might come from the reverse. By that I mean, an interview with my character to see if they see any aspect of themself in me.
What would you like to be called if you had to change your name?
My birthday is Christmas Eve. If I had a penny for each time someone said, “Oh, don’t you just hate your birthday?” I’d be rich today. Still writing, but rich.
When I was growing up, I thought my parents could have made it easier for me if my name were Eve, or Noël, or Joyeux Noël, or maybe even December. I know, those are probably odd choices for names, but I thought it would at least explain my birthday. And, regarding the date of my birthday…I really don’t know what it’s like to have a birthday any other day of the year, so I celebrate it to the hilt.
Okay, so everyone has had a chance to see your awesomeness. Where can they go to snag their own copy of your novel?
I hope anyone who reads the book will drop me a line and let me know how they liked it. The Kindle version and the trade paperback is available at : http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Born-Linda-Joyce/dp/1612178200/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1360196114&sr=1-10
In mid-May, the book will be available for the Nook. I’ll have that information on my website as soon as it’s provided to me.
Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the Web. I really wish you the best of everything. But before you go…where can we follow you?
Thank you again for having me. I enjoyed our time together. I’m usually more comfortable talking about my characters than myself; they are never quiet or shy.
Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/LindaJoyceAuthor
Twitter: @LJWriter https://twitter.com/LJWriter