I’m excited to have Author Joyce Shaughnessy as my guest today. She is the self-published author of A Healing Place, Blessed Are the Merciful, and The Unsurrendered. I hope you find this interview as interesting and informative as I did.
- What is your name and where do you call home?
Joyce Shaughnessy, Midland, Texas
- Do you have a pen name?
- What is the name of your most recent book & if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?
The Unsurrendered ~ An American spy and his wife join a partisan group during WWII, and she must save him.
- Is the above book part of a series.
Yes, it is the last in a series of three books. The Pearl of the Orient is the name of the series and can be found at: http://joyceshaughnessy.com
- What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I saw a documentary on the history channel of the Death March in the Philippines during WWII, and I decided I had to write about it. I also saw one about the Dustbowl of the American Depression, so I started the book in 1935 with a fictional family, when the daughter was young. When she becomes an adult, she marries someone who walks the Death March.
I started writing when I was 56. I am now 62. I published my first book in 2010, at age 59.
- How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)
My husband is an amateur artist and drew the cover. I loved all of my covers, but in the last book, The Unsurrendered, I found a Time-Life photograph taken of actual 19 yr old woman who was a partisan and was credited with 7 Japanese kills. She became the cover of my book and the main character.
- Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)?
- How did you come up with the title for your books?
A Healing Place came to me immediately. The family of the young girl in the Depression moves to a small oil camp to find work and a home. It became their healing place from poverty and a chance to live in dignity. I lived there as a little girl (my parents ran the grocery store) and it was a wonderful place in which to grow up.
Blessed Are the Merciful, Our Forgotten Soldiers came from the nurses I depicted on the island (who actually existed, but mine were fictional) and I read that some of the soldiers, after three years of captivity in prison camps said to the Americans “We thought that you had forgotten we were here.”
The Unsurrendered came from the title that MacArthur gave some of his soldiers when he told them to leave, fight behind enemy lines, and become “unsurrendered soldiers.”
- Do you have a book trailer? If so where can we watch it?
I have three book trailers.
A Healing Place: http://youtube.com/watch?v=bKBteLBILPS
Blessed Are the Merciful: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Px36ROaU08E
The Unsurrendered: http://youtube.com/watch?v=mptn3ZiUsVs
My books are in e-book, paperback, & hardcover, but if I am reading, I prefer to hold an actual book. However, many of the reviews that I have done are from e-books.
- Are you a self-published/Indie author?
I am a self-published author.
- What made you go the self-published route?
I was 57 when I finished my first book, and I decided after two rejections, that at my age, I had better go with indie. I’m glad I did because I have continued to participate in many round robin novels and short stories in anthologies. I’m not certain that I would have done it otherwise.
- Have you ever read a book more than once? If so, what was it?
Yes, many. My favorite will always be Nelson DeMille’s Up Country. If I ever get a break from writing, I intend to read it the fourth time.
- What is your opinion about novellas?
There is a place for them in publishing, but I think novels usually sell better. I may be entirely mistaken. They always leave me wanting more, so perhaps that is a good thing.
- Have you ever read a book based on its cover?
- What is your favorite film based on a book?
Herman Wouk’s Winds of War and War and Remembrance.
- What is your favorite book genre at the moment?
I am so busy writing that I haven’t been reading much at all. I guess it would be historical fiction and humor. Nelson DeMille accomplishes both in the same book.
If you mean what I am writing, I am participating in a round robin fantasy novel with Heather Schuldt, and I love it. The other 4 authors are amazing!
- What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why?
None. I’ve been too busy.
- What book are you reading at the moment and in what format?
I just finished reading The Last Israelis by Noah Beck so that I could do a review. It was very good.
- If you could invite any four celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
General Douglas MacArthur for his insight about WWII, Hilary Clinton because of her intelligence, experience and to ask her this question, Nelson DeMille because of his compassion, humor, and intelligence, and Herman Wouk because of his intelligence, talent, and the fact that he’s still writing at 97.
- What’s the best advice you have been given when it comes to writing?
I was told to write as much as I possibly can in every genre. That’s exactly what I’m doing, and I love it!
- Do you have any hobbies?
No. I don’t have the time.
- Where can your readers follow you?