On this beautiful April Sunday, I am very pleased to introduce you to another of my Wild Rose Press sistahs, author Joyce Holmes. Joyce hails from British Columbia and is living the writing dream. She recently “sat” down with me for an indepth interview and graciously gave me – and now you! – a glimpse at her newest release, Visual Effects.
Joyce – The Writer Questions
- What drives you to write? I love telling a story – creating believable characters, giving them tough emotional issues to deal with and then helping them find their way to a happy place.
- What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write contemporary romance, partly because I enjoy dealing with real people in real-life situations, and partly because I’d have no clue how to write anything else.
- What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? I’m a voracious reader. I read all romantic genres and every type of other fiction, as well. I even occasionally read non-fiction. And cereal boxes, bus advertising…
- What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday? I don’t follow a schedule unless I’m under deadline. I’d love to write every day, but sometimes real life doesn’t let me. I do ‘writer stuff’ every day, though. Promotion, social media, research, whatever is the priority at the time.
- Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?Years ago, I converted my smallest bedroom into an office and that’s where I write. My laptop sits on an old desk and there’s a small table next to it, where I keep notes and research papers that aren’t on the computer. Two tall bookshelves, overflowing with books, and a filing cabinet take up most of the remaining space.
- Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvision? When I had kids at home, I was quite good at filtering out the noise, but I’m noticing more often now, noise distracts me and I need quiet, especially if the scene isn’t going well.
- Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? I listened to music on occasion when I first started writing, but not for some time now. Sadly, it’s become another noise that distracts me.
- How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I had just come back from a trip to LA, so I had the film industry on my mind, and that’s the backdrop for my story. As for the plot, it evolved as it went along. A few of the plotlines were taken from my life experiences and given their own twists.
- Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Usually the characters come first. I have to know them quite well before I can put them into any given situation, although their personalities sometimes make a bit of a transformation to suit the plot as it develops.
- What 3 words describes you, the writer? Slow, slow, and slow. Oh, that’s only one word? Okay, then, slow, methodical, and obsessive.
Joyce, The Person Questions:
- Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I’ve climbed Grupo Nohoch Mul, a pyramid in Mexico. I have bad vertigo and it’s quite the climb, so it’s a proud accomplishment for me.
- Who was your first love and what age were you? His name was Guy James, and I was thirteen. It was only puppy love, but it lasted a long time. My first real love was my hubby, at age eighteen, and it’s lasted a lot longer.
- If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. My first date with Hubby. It could use a do-over or three
- Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando?Boxers, but not the baggy kind.
- If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? This is going to sound weird, but I don’t use many beauty items. About the closest I could get is my facial cream.
- What three words describes you, the person? Tenacious, loyal, softhearted.
- If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Something silly, like Call Me Maybe.
- If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? I’ve read many great characters, but no particular one jumps readily to mind. So, at the risk of sounding narcissistic, I’d love to spend time with my current character, Jesse Devlin. I think he’d be a lot of fun to hang with. He could take me sightseeing in his vintage Porsche, stopping for a stroll along the Santa Monica Boardwalk; maybe go dancing…
I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:
- Favorite sound: A child’s laughter
- Least favorite sound: Knuckles cracking
- Best song every written: Imagine by John Lennon
- Worst song ever written: All those rap songs full of swear words and nasty lyrics.
- Favorite actor and actress: Keanu Reeves (Because of his looks, not his acting) and Julia Roberts (Because she’s so real)
- Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead): My little dog. I’d love to know what she thinks and what she sees.
- What turns you on?: Tenderness
- What turns you off?: Negativism
- Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”): “Sorry I’m late. I forgot.” (Needless to say, that first date was also our last.)
- What’s your version of a perfect day?: Getting all my kids and grandkids together with my hubby and me, and doing something fun. Hearing them laugh and watching them enjoy being with each other.
Drey Winston is a fierce competitor who enjoys challenging her mind and body. But when it comes to her heart—no one ever gets close enough to compete for it. Having grown up believing she was an unwanted burden to her parents, she prefers to keep her feelings well hidden. Just when her hard-fought goals are finally within reach, the audacious Jesse Devlin comes along to breach her carefully guarded defenses.
After a disastrous marriage early in life, Jesse Devlin prefers strings-free relationships. Confident and outgoing, he gets along well with women, but his natural charm can’t seem to penetrate Drey Winston’s aloofness. While attempting to win her over, he’s the one who ends up losing his heart.
Can this commitment-phobic bachelor convince the stubbornly independent woman he loves that his feelings—and hers—are the real deal?
Jesse leaned against a tree to draw in a few deep breaths. As he straightened, he plucked his ball cap off his head and wiped his forearm across his brow, then hooted a victory cheer. “Hard work’s over. Time for the reward.”
He dropped the cap onto the sand and emptied his pockets into it. Then he pulled his T-shirt over muscled shoulders, dropped it onto the sand on top of his cap, and made quick work of his footwear. Drey stared in disbelief as he beelined down the beach and ran straight into the low surf. When he was hip-deep in the water, he slipped smoothly beneath the surface. He reappeared several feet out and turned to wave.
“Join me,” he called. “The water’s great.”
“Not a chance. The ocean is cold in summer, I can only imagine how frigid it must be today.”
“Wuss,” he scoffed and splashed water in her direction.
Shivers that had nothing to do with feeling chilly shot through Drey as she watched him emerge from the water a few minutes later. Rivulets ran down his chest, following the ridges and planes of his brawny body. Wet shorts clung to muscular thighs.
He ran his hands over his face and then shook himself like a playful pup. “You don’t know what you missed. Nothing like a dip in the salt chuck to get the heart pumping. Well, almost nothing.” He stalked deliberately up the beach toward her, and the look on his face made her back away, but she didn’t react fast enough. He caught her up in his arms, laughing at her shrieks of protest.
“Lemme go, Jesse. You’re cold. Come on, Jesse, lemme go. You’re getting me all wet.”
“That’s the whole idea. Get you wet and me warm.”
She gave him a firm push in the wrong direction as she sprinted down the beach. “Not if you can’t catch me,” she threw over her shoulder as she went.
Joyce Holmes lives with her husband and very small dog in the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia. The award-winning author is happily living her dream of being a stay-at-home writer. Photography and blogging about her travels are two of her passions, along with visiting her kids and grandkids. When she’s not dreaming up stories in her head or planning her next great adventure, she’s off enjoying the great outdoors.
You can find Joyce here: