If you like your romances as steamy as a Southern summer night, but with plenty of heart, allow me to introduce you an amazing author- Linda Joyce.
Her debut novel Bayou Born (on sale until the end of February for .99), set the stage for her Fleur De Lis series, and the second book, Bayou Bound was released in January. A third book is on the way, but that’s not all she has lined up. So let’s get down to a one-on-one interview and find out the scoop (and don’t miss the Giveaway Info at the end)!
2013 was a busy year for you, and 2014 is ramping up. Your debut novel, Bayou Born, with Wild Rose Press, has garnered some very good reviews (several 5 star reviews on Amazon) and sets the stage for your Fleur De Lis series. How has that experience changed your life?
I’m thrilled to say that Bayou Born has fifteen 5-Star reviews. *clapping happily*
I enjoy connecting with readers. I pay attention to their comments, it helps me to grow as writer. Since the release of the first book, I’ve learned far more about book promotions that I ever knew, and now I build time into my schedule for promoting, which is a huge change. I love attending functions that are all about readers.
The next book in the Fleur De Lis series, Bayou Bound, was released in January. How does that book differ from the first?
Bayou Bound brings Biloxi Dutrey front and center. It’s truly a romance from beginning to end. Biloxi always complained about living in her cousin Branna’s shadow (Branna is the Heroine in Bayou Born) and now Biloxi gets her own book. Her story takes place at Fleur de Lis in fictional Bayou Petite, Mississippi. The setting is very different from the first book. This one is full of antebellum homes, Spanish moss, and over flowing with family conflicts that arise from a large extended family and family feuds.
Here’s the blurb:
Biloxi Dutrey grounds her jet-setting photography career and returns to Mississippi when she learns her family home, Fleur De Lis, is headed for financial ruin. She plans to save it by scooping up the job of Keeper. But that means breaking tradition, and her family isn’t cooperating.
Veterinarian Nick Trahan is new in town and wants folks to stop matchmaking. He won’t settle for just a pretty face. He wants the perfect woman, one who believes in family and commitment—the exact opposite of his parents.
Nick rescues Biloxi during a raging storm, but the squall is tame compared to the tempest between them. Soon they experience the backlash from the long-standing feud between their families. If Biloxi surrenders her dreams for Fleur de Lis and toes the line with tradition, will she also be forced to give up on “forever love” due to the hate their families still harbor?
It is evident from your writing that setting plays an important part in your stories. How much do you draw from your own life, places you have lived or seen?
I take settings seriously. Setting is a character in all my stories. I believe it influences the characters—how they live, think and speak. Take Mardi Gras for example, it doesn’t have much meaning in Cody, WY, but you can’t get around it in Louisiana and other southern Gulf Coast states. I do pick settings from the places I’ve lived or visited. On last count, I’ve been to 45 states. I am considering developing a story that will take a Heroine to Japan, the country where my mother’s from.
Many of your books are set in the South- so are your Heroes and Heroines reminiscent of typical Southern Gentlemen and Southern Belles? Or have contemporary times changed that image?
There is “southern” in the characters of my Fleur de Lis series. They eat grits with their eggs. *grins* The quintessential southern story is Gone With the Wind, and using that as a benchmark, “typical” is still a hard word for me to define. For example, Ashley Wilkes and Rhett Butler are considered Southern Gentlemen, though they were very different types of men. I think their “southern” was molded by their different upbringings.
In my Fleur de Lis series, my characters face modern world issues. However, each of them has a deep love of their land, a connectedness(and conflict) to their family roots and history, though how each of them show that is very different. They also are aware of the expectation of courtesy and politeness. Manners matter. Yet they each have a little different take on which ones matter most. *chuckling*
The book I’m working on now, book three of the series, Back to the Bayou, is not yet under contract, however, it’s about the story of Branna’s sister, Camilla, a woman with a wild streak as wide as the Mississippi is long. She’s working on overcoming some less-than redeeming qualities and wants to be a better person, though no one could ever accuse her of being a Southern Belle.
What do you like to read in your spare time?
I read mostly romance and women’s fiction. I have a list of YA books I’d love to read. I enjoy being involved with the lives of characters, usually those that I’d like to have as friends. I also read poetry, self-help books, inspirational writings, and books on the craft of writing. I have friends who write scifi and horror, so I have been known to read their works.
Will you be attending any upcoming conferences, or have any other appearances?
I’m very excited about upcoming events. On March 8th, I’m signing books with two other authors, Melissa Klein and Marilyn Baron, at Hiram Books, in Hiram, Georgia.
Melissa and Marilyn are authors with The Wild Rose Press, too. We’re planning other book signing dates, which will be on my blog and my author Facebook page. We’re giving away a nice gift basket at each signing.
Also, I’m sponsoring a table at the Heart of Dixie Reader’s luncheon on June 14th. If you’re a romance reader, this is a not-to-be-missed event!
I’m excited about learning more about the craft of writing. The Southeastern Writer’s Association Workshop is held on St. Simon’s Island. I think writers need to check it out.
Here’s the faculty lineup:
Agent in Residence: Carlie Webber of CK Webber Associates Literary Management
Publisher: Dahlynn McKown of Publishing Syndicate
Editor Chuck Sambuchino
Novel Writing: Bob Mayer
Short Fiction: C.D. Mitchell
Social Media for Writers: Debbie Brown
Writing for Young Readers & Poetry: Peggy Mercer
They have lots of contests that pay, and critiques for attendees offered by the faculty. I met Bob Mayer last year in Kansas City and I’m thrilled to be taking his classes.
Then, in November, I’m attending Sweet Tea & Chocolate Cake Book Club announces it’s 10th Anniversary Luncheon & Book Signing November 8, 2014
If anyone would like information about these events, please let me know. Or stay tuned to my author Facebook page, Linda Joyce, Author.
What’s next? Any new stories in the pipeline?
I’m working on a second series set in Kansas. The first book—the working title is Harvest, Kansas—is a contemporary romance with Amelia and Lucas. Here’s a preview:
Artistic Amelia continues to paint and fights to stay on her deceased parents’ Kansas farm, however her brother, the bank, and the weather battle her at every turn.
Ever loyal Lucas chose to serve his country, fully expecting to return home and farm family land, but the bank had other ideas. He’s not leaving country life again, so now he contracts with farmers to harvest their crops. Meanwhile, he’s trying to help his best friend, Amelia’s brother, by discouraging local guys from dating Amelia. After all, farming is hard enough for a couple or a family, but impossible for a woman alone, which Amelia’s brother hopes will force her away from the country. Only one problem—Lucas has fallen deeper in love with Amelia. The last thing he wants is for her to return to the city.
Amelia and Lucas learn life takes no prisoners. Love isn’t a luxury waiting in the uncertain future, but the very thing that feeds the soul. It makes living another day worthwhile. With family, the weather, and the bank conspiring against them, can they hope to harvest the love growing between them?
I have another book, Four Secrets, I’m very passionate about. It’s women’s fiction. It’s complete, but waiting for deep editing. I have a few other books in the plotting process…and not sure yet where they will take me.
Where can readers get in contact with you, and purchase your books?
I would love to hear from readers! AND everyone who leaves a comment will be entered to win an eBook of Bayou Bound.
Here’s the other places where you can find me:
Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/LindaJoyceAuthor
Twitter: @LJWriter https://twitter.com/LJWriter
Fresh Fiction: http://freshfiction.com/author.php?id=32071
Places to purchase Bayou Born…AND it’s on SALE for 99¢ until the end of February at:
Bayou Bound http://amzn.com/B00I28U6OC is available at Amazon in eBook and now Paperback.
Thanks, Linda! You have quite a lot going on, so thank you for stopping by to chat with us. But wait! There’s more- Linda’s offering a Giveaway. If you leave a comment with your email address here, you’ll be entered to win! Five copies of Bayou Bound. Five winners.
And Bayou Born is on sale for .99 at http://amzn.com/B00B9L1VAC until February 28th. The winners will be selected on March 10, 2014.