Guest Author Interview: Joyce Proell by Cassiel Knight

See Jane Publish readers, please join me in welcoming one of my authors at Champagne Book Group. I love having all our fantastic authors but I’m thrilled to have one I have the pleasure of working with.

“Thanks you so much for inviting me to your blog today. I’m very excited to be here.”

Tell us about your publishing journey.

I almost laughed when my husband suggested I write a book. Me? What did I know about writing? But I needed a break from the stress of working in mental health. When he suggested I take a year off to write, I jumped at the chance.

Never looking back, I quit my job and started a new one. At eight o’clock each morning, Monday through Friday, I sat down at my computer to write. What fun! Within a year, and in a total isolation, I’d crafted a rip-roaring historical romance, filled with pirates, kidnapping, a wonderful hero, nasty villains and torrid love scenes. Stomach queasy with nerves, I sent out half a dozen queries and a full manuscript. Within weeks, the responses came back with a big, heartbreaking no.

For a day, I roamed around the house, stunned, disappointed and angry then I got back to work. I reached out to other writers, joined Romance Writers of America, found a critique group, and started a second book. Eliza is that book.

What’s the funniest thing to happen to you along your road to publication and what was the most exciting?

I’d love to say writing has been one long laugh track. But it’s been a serious, daily process of sitting at the computer, learning how to craft an engaging read. It’s writing and rewriting, searching for inventive plot twists and getting to the heart and soul of the hero and heroine. It’s exciting when the characters come alive. It’s as though they’re real people, flesh and blood, sitting across from my desk in my office. Sometimes they become so real, they start to set their own direction then I have to channel them back into the path of the story I’ve laid out.  

What has been the most challenging thing related to publishing you’ve had to deal with on our journey?

Social media. I’m not computer savvy so building a website was challenging. Replacing my old computer helped. I added an author facebook page. Now I need to figure out how to utilize this medium to connect with a wider range of readers.

Who is your favorite author, and what are you currently reading.

The possibilities are endless since I’m an avid fiction reader. I use the NY Times Book Review as a selection guide. Over the years, I’ve followed countless mystery series. Elizabeth George, Charles Todd, Jacqueline Winspear, Anne Perry, and Martha Grimes are just a few. Last year I read every one of John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport books. This year I ran through C. J. Box.

Last night I finished Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s The Great Escape. Other romance writers I enjoy are Eloisa James and Mary Balogh.

If your novel, Eliza, was made into a movie, who would play the roles of your hero and heroine?

A young Gregory Peck or Hugh Jackman would be a good stand-in for Will. For Eliza, model Doutzen Kroes came to mind. However, these images soon fall away once the true nature of the character develops in the story.

As Joyce’s editor, I’ve read Eliza and loved her story and agree that Hugh Jackman would make a delicious Will. <grin> Looking for a sweet historical spiced with yummy sexual tension? Then be sure and check out Eliza which releases on October 1.

Thanks for joining us, Joyce! Much luck on the launch of Eliza!


Posted on September 25, 2012, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Ooh Hugh Jackman, yummy… Looking forward to reading Eliza, Joyce! And maybe you can rework the pirate mss in the future; I love rip-roaring adventure!


  2. Hugh Jackman? Nice visual, I can’t wait to check out your book! Best wishes.


  3. Oh, I so agree on Hugh to play the role as Will! As a fellow critique partner, I’ve been lucky enough to read an unedited version. This story is wonderfully written and I can’t wait to read the edited published ‘Eliza.’ Congratulations Joyce! You have a long publishing journey ahead of you.


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