Interview with Joyce White
Joyce White describes herself as a curious child playing in the garden between the two houses of God and Science. Picking flowers from both.
What got you into writing, and what do you enjoy most about it?
I spent 20 years as a legal secretary writing other people’s words. My back finally gave out, and I had to retire early. I took a few college classes in writing, fiction, and mystery, but it wasn’t until I took a poetry class, that I realized that I was a writer myself. One of my favorite quotes by Ernest Hemingway is, “It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.”
Which writer influenced you the most?
I loved Raymond Chandler, the mystery writer, and his infinite use of the metaphor. I love Joyce, Carol Oates, and Jackie Collins, now passed. One of my favorite books is The Way to Be Happy by Lawrence Gould.
What turns a good story into a great one?
I think the most important thing is that the writer knows the subject and writes for his audience not for himself. I think we have to have a great beginning and a greater end. A story must do three things: inform, entertain and reach out to the readers emotionally. If we can get our words to relate to the reader, we can draw them in.
How do you balance your schedules and artistic goals with everyday life?
My husband loves my writing, and he helps me with the housework so I can spend my ‘feeling good time,’ writing. I didn’t start writing until I retired. I design and make sterling silver rings during the summer and write more during the winter.
What do you aim to evoke in the readers of your books?
My books, Sculpting the Heart: Surviving Depression with Art Therapy and Sculpting the Heart’s Poetry while Conversing with the Masters are both uplifting books. I am not a doctor, but I have suffered Chronic Depression most of my life. I’ve spent my life looking for ways to be happy, and I hope my readers will find solace and joy in my writings. I aim to entertain, inform and pass on the joy I receive by writing for others.
Please tell us about your latest work, what inspired you to write it, and the research involved.
I think it is important for a writer to know and even live their subject. If it weren’t for loving others, my depression would have left me weak, crippled and a failure. Because of my writing, I’ve learned to give myself joy, and I hope to spread that joy to others. I am now working on More Than Love. I have written a lot about love, and my new book is a collection of some of that writing plus a lot of my poetry. I have lived the research.
Can you give us a story outline of your book?
Excerpt: We all at one time or another lust in our hearts. We drool at a romantic movie and porn heats our intestines. Sex leads to fulfillment and bliss, and sometimes it leads us to grief. For the last three decades, I have lived with and without, loved, and lost. Join me in peeling back the many layers, even sheets of relationships, as a daughter, son, lover and parent. My life has been shaped and molded by love. I was a naive piece of clay needing attention and satisfaction. As a poet, I would say love is poetry in motion as I move from girl to teenager to woman.
However, when moving from one love to another, my heart took a lot of wounding. Yow, Isn’t Love Grand? Even with all love’s drawbacks, most would answer emphatically “Yes!” Why I have been endowed with the passion of writing on these subjects, I resign to God’s inscrutable purpose. I’m not a doctor; I write for fun and wellness, yours and mine. But, I also write to inspire others to be present, mindful and authentic to your aspirations, intuitions, and bodily functions.
What was the most difficult part of writing this particular book?
It’s hard for a 70 year-young writer to be entirely honest when it comes to matters of love. Most of my writing over the years has been about love. I just had to collect it all in one place with my poetry.
Can you tell us about how you had your book edited, published and its cover art created?
I’m not that far in More Than Love but as for Sculpting the Heart’s Poetry, I typed the CD’s and sent them to LULU. Lulu did the cover art from a picture I sent in. I would recommend them if you need help getting your book published.
What made you ultimately decide between self-publishing and conventional publishing? And will you use the same procedure for your next publication?
I’m living on Social Security, and money was a big factor in deciding on self-publishing. I did most of the work myself on the books I published; and for More Than Love, too, I plan to have LULU do the cover art and publish my new book.