Sunday, 12 August 2018

Interview with Sweet Romance Author Joyce DiPastena

What got you interested publishing Sweet Romance books? 

I got started writing sweet romance books a very long time ago because I had so much trouble finding clean romances I wanted to read, especially set in the time period I’m most interested in, the Middle Ages. So I finally decided to write some clean stories for myself to read. After I wrote them, I got super brave and decided to publish them. That was scary, because I didn’t know if anyone would like them, but enough people have responded positively to encourage me to keep writing and publishing. (Thank you to my readers!) 

Tell readers a little about the Hearts in Autumn Romance series.

My Hearts in Autumn Romance series spotlights romances between men and women in their 40s and 50s. These are second chance at love romances and “I thought that love had passed me by” romances. They’re an opportunity for me to explore heroes and heroines who have a deeper life experience than my younger heroes and heroines have had time to enjoy. Because you’re never too old to fall in love! 

Also, tell readers a little about the Poitevin Hearts series. 

The Poitevin Hearts Romance series is based on location. These characters live in (or are connected with) an area of France known as Poitou, which during the 12th century was ruled by the kings of England. I was attracted to the area by the degree of political maneuverings going on between the King of England (Henry II) and his sons during this time period. It seemed a ripe setting for conflict to set my heroes and heroines in and has given me much fodder for tangling them up in intrigues and adventures. 

If you could live the life of one of your characters, would you?

No. I put my characters through too much pain and drama. I don’t envy any of them enough to want to live their lives. LOL! But I love to give them happy endings to make their trials worth it in the end. 

What's your favorite character that you have published and why?

That’s like asking me which is my favorite child. I love all my characters equally. (And if I don’t, I’m not going to hurt their feelings by admitting to favoritism publically. LOL!)

Do you have any real-life stories that you have incorporated into one of your books? 

The closest I’ve come to incorporating “real life” into my stories is giving one character a headache that strongly mimicked my migraines, making the same character bad at embroidery, and giving many of my characters a love for music. 

If you had to choose a different career other than publishing, what would it be? 

I taught piano lessons for 20+ years and enjoyed that a lot (when my students practiced, LOL!). But I enjoy writing even more. 

What is your favorite book that you have ever published? 

Usually my favorite book is the book that I’m currently writing, because that’s the one I’m most deeply immersed in with my characters at the time. But two of my “published” favorites are my romantic historical novel, The Lady and the Minstrel, and my short Christmas romance, A Candlelight Courting

What do you like to do with your time when you're not publishing?

Read, play the piano, spend time with family and friends. And eat chocolate and chocolate chip cookies. 

What's a fun fact that your readers might not know about you? 

I’ve wanted to learn to speak Old English ever since I learned there was such a language in college. I didn’t have the chance to learn it while I was in college, but putting a spin on my Hearts in Autumn motto (You’re never too old to fall in love), I’ve recently decided that “you’re never too old to learn Old English”! So I bought a book called Learn Old English with Leofwin for Beginners and have been slowly working my way through the lessons. “Eala! Ic eom Joyce!” (Hello! I am Joyce!) 

What do you have in store for your readers next? 

I’m working on a sequel for my novella, “Just This Moment,” which appears in the With a Kiss: Sweet Romance Anthology. (100% of the proceeds from this anthology go towards the medical bills of an author friend of ours.) Alys, the heroine of my novella, is blind. I thought her story was finished at the end of the novella, but after I turned it into the anthology, Alys informed me that I wasn’t close to being finished with her yet. I’ve learned it’s always best to listen to my characters, so I’m feverishly typing away to discover what happens next. I hope to be ready to share the rest of Alys’s story with my readers early next year.

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