The Dragonfly Gallery “Artist of the Month” for August is Joyce Oroz, muralist and author. Usually it’s my friends on the hot seat. Since I am on the hot seat this time, I will share a former interview with you.
At age 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, and enjoying country life in Aromas with my husband and golden lab.
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 ten 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.
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.
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.
As a former mural artist, I enjoy designing and orchestrating the creation of murals in every corner of Aromas. Two new murals will be coming to town very soon!
I hope you enjoy my first four books, Secure the Ranch, Read My Lipstick, Shaking in Her Flip Flops and my newest book, Cuckoo Clock Caper, published by Cozy Cat Press.
I will be signing books at the Dragonfly Gallery, 380 Blohm Ave. Aromas on Aromas Day, Sunday, August 25th
12:00 to 4:00.