Monday, February 20, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Joy Preble

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:

Fill out the Raffelcopter form below for a chance to win both Dreaming Anastasia & Haunted:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I have been intrigued by these novels for quite some time! Now I really really want to read them. Thanks for the interview.

  2. These are both on my to buy and TBR (SOON!) pile... I have always loved the stories and conspiracy mythology surrounding Anastasia and I'm excited to dive into Joy's story!

    1. Oops, forgot to add my email!

      PatriciaERiley (at) gmail

  3. What a great interview! I've always been intrigued by the story of Anastasia as well.

  4. Great interview! Thank you so much for being on the tour Cari and hosting a giveaway!!

  5. Great interview, Cari! I just love these covers too...Joy is so so sweet. We are lucky to have her in Texas!


  6. i've never read these, but from the interview i'd love to read them. :) count me in! :)

  7. great interview and awesome giveaway!!

    GFC Michele Luker
    jmluker at winco dot net

  8. Excellent interview! The history of Anastasia has always intrigued me!

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  9. Oh I have been keeping an eye on this series since quite a long time and ... honestly after reading this fantastic and honest Interview I want to pick it up now soon! I want to meet Ethan! Lol

    And.. Dear Joy: What an incredibly strong woman you are! Being so sick, having to deal with so many struggles and still being here and writing! Even more, deciding now to write every day!! I wish you all the best, for your personal life and for your writing career!

  10. Great interview! Joy is such a doll! :)

  11. I can't believe I've never heard of these books before! To say I'm intrigued would be an understatement. I feel kind of lame being so out of the loop. Going to add to my reading list now!

    This was a great interview. Getting to know an author always makes me want to read their books even more.

  12. Thanks for the giveaway! Brianne twitter:BrianneRS1979

    Memoriesovertakingme at gmail dot com

  13. I definitely want to read these!

    Twitter is @Jenny_Geek

    Email is JennyATbookstotheskyDOTcom

  14. sounds like an interesting story :)
    email: cruz042 at
    twitter: @ariannecruz07

  15. Oooh, these two sound really good! I love the Q&A :-) It's always nice to learn more about an author's life and work. Thanks, Maria! <3


  16. This definitely sounds like a series I woudl love. Great interview!

    exlibriskate at yahoo

  17. These 2 books have been on my TBR list since I saw someone gushing about them on Twitter one evening. They definitely sound like they would be right up my alley!

    Thank you for the great interview and the giveaway!!!

    lisaaustin121 at gmail or @dizneeee on the Twit.

  18. These books sound fascinating. I'm looking forward to reading them. Thanks for the giveaway. amy dot swihart at gmail dot com

  19. Thank you very much for this giveaway. I need to put these on my to-read list.

    ajiehuang1997 (at) gmail (dot) com

  20. Thanks for the chance! I have had these on my wishlist for a while.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  21. I would love to read both "Dreaming Anastasia" & "Haunted" thank you. They do look amazing.


  22. Thanks so much! They all look great!

    Christina Kit.

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

  23. What beautiful covers! The covers alone really make me want to read them. Thanks!!

    widsfam7 @ digis dot net

  24. I love her answers to what she hopes people will take from her books. She sounds very knowledgeable and down to earth. Great post.
    (not an entry)

  25. This was a great interview! I love the cover of both of the books. I've definitely added it to my to read list.

    Jenni - memoires on twitter

  26. I have been wanting to read these forever. thanks for the giveaway!


    leyser73 at gmail dot com

  27. These books sounds really great and are definitley on my radar. I really like the fact this series is a trilogy. Once I read something I never want it to stop and I can already tell I will love these books. This is the second series I know of that deals with Russian heritage. I really enjoy learning about new places and languages. Thanks for the giveaway I definitely need to read this series.

    1. Oh and my name is Caitlin. Forgot to put that lol. Sorry

  28. Amazing interview, I can't wait to read this series! I love that Joy Preble is breaking out of the box in dealing with Russian folklore, and I'm eager to see how that is integrated into the books. :) Thank you for having the giveaway!

    ~DJ Librarian

  29. Thanks for the giveaway and interview. I've always been fascinated by the history of Russia's Tsars and I love that these books are inspired by it.

  30. I would just love a chance to read these books!
    Thanks for the interview=D
    Lethea B
    Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

  31. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!! :))

  32. New Follower, saw this on Twitter and had to come over and post.. would love to have the book you are giving away... Thanks for the chance to do so.. loved the post...

    Breath of Life

  33. Thanks for the giveaway--and a great interview. :D

    darcyette AT hotmail DOT com

  34. thanx for the giveaway! :) loved the interview