Jennifer Chase: Welcome Joyce. Please tell us a little bit about your background.
Joyce Oroz: At the tender age of twelve, I was painting in oils and writing poems while normal children socialized with each other. I was a female nerd full of pre-teen feelings of inferiority. A bazillion years later, after raising a family, working at my commercial art/mural business and taking creative writing classes on the side, I finally wrote and illustrated my first children’s book. And then I wrote twenty-six more stories, but my dream was to write a novel. After watching my husband write a book, I decided to give it my best shot. Now that I’m practically ready for the rocking chair, I am busier than ever, writing “mystery novels”, but also enjoying country life in Aromas with my husband and golden lab.
Jennifer Chase: What inspired you to write a mystery?
Joyce Oroz: Going back to twelve years old, I loved reading Nancy Drew Mysteries and read every one the library had. The Nancy Drew seed was planted, but the seed didn’t sprout until I read my first Janet Evanovich mystery five years ago. I tried to write like Janet, but only she can pull it off. Only she can blow up Stephanie’s vehicles every other day and make it seem normal. But she had set me to writing, and because I love to read mysteries, I decided to write one of my own.
Jennifer Chase: What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
Joyce Oroz: For me, the middle of the book is always the most difficult to write. I generally know how the story begins and how it ends, but there are a couple hundred pages in the middle I know nothing about. I try to let the story pull me along and take me to surprising places. If I relax and shake-off my writer’s block, the story will usually go where it needs to go.
Jennifer Chase: How long did it take you to write and what’s your writing schedule?
Joyce Oroz: One day I had an epiphany. If I could write one page a day, in one year I would have a complete novel. "Secure the Ranch" was born nine months after that idea was conceived. But the rewrites lasted two years! I average two hours of writing, six days a week, forever and ever. I look forward to it, even though it’s sometimes frustrating. But when a workable idea makes it way into my brain, it’s all worth it.
Jennifer Chase: Who are some of your favorite writers and why?
Joyce Oroz: Colleen McCullough was a favorite author (The Thorn Birds). I loved “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Nowadays, I read a mix of material by J.A. Jance, Jennifer Chase, Janet Evonavich, John Grisham and many others. The hard part is finding time to read, write and live a busy lifestyle, which is why my red pickup truck (still wearing an American flag on the rear window) speeds down the road for twenty minutes to Jasmine’s yoga class where I am able to relax and then speed home.
Jennifer Chase: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Joyce Oroz: I hope you enjoy my first effort. The effort was to make you laugh and maybe raise some hairs on the back of your neck. It was to entertain you and take you away from ordinary life. If those things didn’t happen, try my next book coming out at the end of 2010, and enjoy the ride.
Jennifer Chase: Last but not least, I love asking this question. If you were stranded on a deserted island, and were allowed to bring only 3 things, what would they be?
Joyce Oroz: Since I don’t have time to be stranded on a deserted island, I would take a map, a bicycle pump and an inflatable yacht.
Jennifer Chase: Thank you so much Joyce. I look forward to your next book.
To view orginal author interview, go to: http://authorjenniferchase.blogspot.com/2010/06/interview-with-new-mystery-author.html
Available in Paperback and Kindle