I'm very excited to be the first stop on The Haunted Blog Tour hosted by Mundie Moms. Joy Preble is one of the first authors I met both online and in person. She is also from Houston and since reading Dreaming Anastasia I have run into Joy quite a bit. Joy is a big supporter of our local authors and bloggers so we always spend time together at events. Please join me in welcoming Joy!
For new readers and fans of your series what can you tell them about Anastasia?
Anastasia died too young. She was the seventeen year old daughter of Tsar Nicholas and Tsarina Alexandra and she was funny and smart and snarky and adventurous. The Russian Revolution excised the Tsar from power and the family was all massacred in a political murder in the basement of the house where they'd been held captive. Because they were buried in unmarked graves so that the Russian people would not make them martyrs/saints (which they did anyway!), rumors abounded about how Anastasia escaped. I've been fascinated by this story since junior high. And it became the building ground for my first trilogy.
What has been the most difficult book or scene to write?
Book 2, HAUNTED, was the most emotionally difficult because my life, both professional and personal, was in total upheaval. Between the publication of DREAMING ANASTASIA and the publication of HAUNTED, I lost my agent, 2 editors, my publicist, and had surgery for cancer! Everything turned out fine: book, new agent, new editor and publicist, ongoing cancer-free health. But that was a crazy time. In strictly writing terms, ANASTASIA FOREVER was the hardest because it's the last, so all the plot and character arcs need to come together. And we wanted a book that could stand alone enough that new readers could enter the series in book 3. That was tough! But I am so thrilled about this book!
How much of your novels are research and how much is fiction?
Although I researched extensively about Russian history and folklore (there's a strong folkloric element with Baba Yaga, Vasilisa the Brave, the rusalki, and in book 3, Koschei the Deathless), the novels are fiction. The history is an alternate history, although all historical figures used did exist.
Do you ever see yourself going back and writing another book or a spin off?
I have vague thoughts about a graphic novel that takes us to Ethan's past.(Oooh. Hunky sexy brooding Ethan. And his love life) If you all buys zillions of copies of book 3, maybe Sourcebooks will let me do it. :) Btw, you all will get to see some of Ethan's romantic past up close and personal in ANASTASIA FOREVER! As will Anne...
What do you hope readers will take away from your novels?
That love is sometimes hard won, but you can get there. That loss changes people. That you need to be present in your life or you might miss your destiny. That loyalty is good and everyone needs a loyal best friend. And that true love does conquer all!
You have recently become a fulltime writer. How difficult was that decision?
I am terrible about change! So it was a bit fraught with drama -- should I? shouldn't I? what about our three meal a day habit? And that pesky mortgage? And the economy... But in the end, I am happier than I've ever been. It was absolutely the right decision and it shows in my work. And my cheery smile. (well, most days)
How does your life affect the story you are working on or how does your novel affect your life?
I think every writer's life informs their work to some degree. If you read enough of what I've written, you get a pretty clear take of my philosophy of love, life, passion, etc. So I think life is the chicken and the story is the egg. Or maybe that's the other way around? But writing itself makes me very aware of the world around me. So I guess there's that, too.
What goals do you still want to accomplish as a writer?
I am a huge goal-maker and I actually write them down each year and keep them close at hand and check in with them periodically to see how I'm doing. (geeky, right?) I want ANASTASIA FOREVER to have a good long life. The same for THE SWEET DEAD LIFE when it comes out in 2013. I want to continue learning, growing, taking classes, going to retreats. I want to publish more books: romances, mysteries, paranormals... I love the writing life. I hope to be in this for the long haul.
What is the one question that fans ask the most?
The questions I get are pretty varied, but I do get a lot of questions about Anastasia. Which makes sense.
What was the most surprising part of getting published?
This is going to sound incredibly naive and possibly stupid, but the most surprising part was that people were going to read my books and think about my books and comment on my books. You get so caught up in the process: the writing and querying agents and pitching and editing and promoting.... that you forget sometimes that it's really about telling a story to people. And that your private little imaginary world is going to be out there forever! It's a bit daunting but it's the most amazingly wonderful thing!
What future projects are you working on now?
Oh my, I am so excited! ANASTASIA FOREVER comes out this August, 2012, from Sourcebooks. Hopefully there'll be a cover soon. I'm in edits with THE SWEET DEAD LIFE, which is due out in May 2013, from Soho Press. I also have a story in a SOHO TEEN anthology called Who Done It, which will be out in February. All proceeds from the anthology will go to benefit a wonderful organization called 826nyc. Beyond that, I have two other completed contemporary novels that I'm tweaking and some more brewing paranormal ideas... Taking this year off from teaching full time has allowed me to develop a lot of ideas. That's what happens when I'm not grading essays for 175 students every day.
Thank you Joy for stopping by and thanks to Katie(Mundie Mom) for organizing the tour! For the schedule of all the stops visit: http://mundiemoms.blogspot.com/2012/02/haunted-by-joy-preble-blog-tour.html
Fill out the Raffelcopter form below for a chance to win both Dreaming Anastasia & Haunted:
a Rafflecopter giveaway