What inspired you to write your first book? I was walking on the beach in Miami with my dog. Dialogue, story names came flying at me and in thirty days I’d written some 200,000 pages. That novel is not yet published, believe it or not. And that novel someone said was the best thing I wrote. The story needs to be trimmed as there will be three other books to follow.
Then I began writing often, all sorts of stories came pouring through, as though a dam had been opened, or perhaps I’d refused to pay attention to all those ideas and unconsciously shelved them all these years. Raising four children and running a household while holding down a full time job leaves you bereft of strength—at least this is how it was for me.
How did you come up with the title? Titles to my book are what come first, usually between sleep and awake in the wee hours of the morning. First the title, then the story, then the people. I enjoy creating strong characters, whether they are bad or good in their roles. Once I get a clear voice from them, the story writes itself.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Always. I believe there should be fun in fiction. Of course, I also like to use fiction to convey some sort of message. However, since I also deem reading to be a time to relax and get rid of the bugaboos in our life, especially in the times we live in, I try to deliver a clean message that provides hope and understanding of all our fellow humans, whoever they may be. My heroines and heroes share this daunting responsibility that they have gladly accepted to “make the medicine go down”. Fiction should be like the proverbial spoonful of sugar.
How much of the book is realistic? Well, this being an urban fantasy, I try to keep reality as fixed as I can with everyone around my heroine. She is the only one in human form who can do the things she does. I find this situates the story along usual, every day to day life and somehow is easier to understand.
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life? I guess my characters are a mix of people I’ve met, read about, and appreciated. All my life, I’ve been a people watcher. I remember hiding behind furniture when I was five years old watching people my parents would invite to some of their famous press club parties. My father, a well known journalist in those days, and my mother a fabulous cook would love to entertain. I remember watching these peoples trying to imagine what they looked like when angry, sad, and wearing all sorts of types of emotions. So, yes, I’ve amassed quite a few characters in my life.
Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why? I have too many to name. Some of them I haven’t even been published yet, but they will take their place on stage one day. I do love Emma, her powers and her simple uncluttered ways. She is the heroine in the series Emma Willis Book I Can See you, and Emma Willis Book 2 I Can Find You being released in the beginning of the year.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Not a thing.
What do you enjoy most about writing? I enjoy parading my ideas and announcing how I visualize the world around me through my characters and the antics they deliver. Being an introverted person, writing is definitely the best way I know to expose my soul and allow others to be in touch with what I am feeling. Fiction provides an excellent medium—a little like the spoonful of sugar that coats loneliness with fun while keeping my feet grounded.
What age did you start writing stories? I guess I always wrote stories, from the time I could examine the world around me. I started to put them down on paper approximately ten years now.
What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project? A little like asking a mother which child she prefers. I love them all unconditionally.
What is your favorite theme/genre to write? Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it? Whatever I don’t read, I would not write. Anything with gore, or violence, dark themes, dark erotica, vampires, zombies. I read to connect with someone or someone’s story, but mostly I read to escape my own life. So, I will not read something that doesn’t bring me peace, tranquility, laughter, knowledge and most of all love. Of course, my stories contain all of this, including mystery.
What book are you reading now? I like books by authors I can trust, meaning authors that will not rake me through a maze of horror and violence. You can trust Christoph Fischer’s books as they are character driven and always bring forth a delicious tale of life. I began with the The Black Eagle Inn and I also read Time to Let Go. My next one will be The Healer. He gives a wonderful rendition of people and their humanities. Definitely character driven plots. I also enjoy Angel Sefer’s books. Mysteries in the Greek Isles and many other books in her series of Beaches. Mystery, first loves, second chances, all heartwarming stories to look forward to.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Many. Joan Childs, Janet Taylor Perry. Phyllis Burton. Two of my favorite authors: Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain Fournier, and Mazo De La Roche, the Ontarian author who produced the wonderful Whiteoaks of Jalna series. I read all seventeen books when I was twenty, the first time I read in English and I was hooked. Character driven stories that allows you to become so attached to them, I still remember Renny and Finch Whiteoak.
Do you see writing as a career? I see it more as my life and my universe, my door to moving on.
Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food? I never eat while I write. I forget to do the normal things, carried away, it’s sometimes difficult to come back.
Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories? To find out about this, you will have to read my books. A little of my oddities in each and everyone of them.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? Still writing, hopefully living near the ocean. Something so strong in the pull of the ocean, so primitive yet soulful. A couple of cities spring to mind. I love Paris and Lyon, both very soulful, and New York crackling with Karma. I also love Phoenix, spiritual and mysterious, yet wherever I go, if I do, I will find difficult to leave Edmonton. This Maritimer has fallen in love with this city.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Editing used to be challenging. Now, I’ve grown into it. Then there was typesetting and formatting an epub and a mobi file. I’ve learned that too. Now my task will be marketing en masse, to send my messages far and wide. As for writing, this part is easy. The challenge used to be finding the time to write. Now, I make time to write.
What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline? Thank you for this question. Makes me realize I don’t give myself enough rewards. I should. I will.
Have you ever hated something you wrote? Not yet, and hopefully never.
What book do you wish you had written? War and Peace, Dr. Zhivago. Imagine being at the heart of such heartwarming literature. Enduring classics that span the barriers of time. Wonderful books.
What is your best marketing tip? That’s tricky. So many marketing tips need to be combined with others to work properly. Lately, I’ve decided to make my books available to retailers and libraries, so I am now publishing with Ingram. Will let you know what this gives.
What genre is your next project? What is it about? A mystery with a supernatural penchant and of course, a story of love and acceptance.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book? Emma Willis will be first in the new year: I Can Find You. The series is urban fantasy and Emma is now fifteen years old. A lot is changing in her life. Her powers have grown and she is about to surprise us all. Also, later will come What About Barnum. A mystery with a supernatural twist, featuring a mighty lesson to learn about love, trust and acceptance.
How do we find your books, blog and bio? Well you can find them on Amazon and in most online book distributors. You can also find them all on my amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Joss-Landry/e/B00A40HQ3A/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3?qid=1480728468&sr=8-3
You will find all my books there and a little on my bio.