Monday, May 25, 2009

Why I Write

While I'm guesting over at NightsOfPassion today, please welcome my friend and fellow Dorchester author, Joy Nash here on my blog! Joy is a USA Today Bestseller who wrote part of the wildly inventive IMMORTALS series, as well as her own DRUIDS OF AVALON historical romances set in Roman Britain. But that's not enough for this talented writer, oh no! Joy has now gifted us a delicious new contemporary with a paranormal twist called A LITTLE LIGHT MAGIC. Just look at that lovely cover. My blood pressure has already dropped 10 points.

I've asked her to be my guest-blogger today. So take it away, Joy!

Why I Write by Joy Nash

Short answer: I’m insane.

Oh, okay, not really. At least, I don’t think so. But as any writer will tell you, writers are wired a little differently than normal people. I think Jennifer Crusie said it best in a talk I heard her give at a writer’s conference: “Given a free afternoon,” Jennie declared, “most people do not choose to sit down at their computer and make stuff up!”

But writers do. In fact, we’d rather sit around making stuff up than do almost anything else. We make up characters and settings, plot points and dialogue. We make up love scenes and fight scenes. We make up jokes and hair-raising danger. We wrap ourselves in our own little worlds. And it’s very, very satisfying.

We get to play God.

So why do I write? Confession time: at heart, I’m a control freak.

Now, I used to be a control freak in my real life. This was long ago, before three kids and a dog. Before home ownership. Before marriage. When I was single, childless, and renting, it was relatively easy to keep my life in some semblance of control. Take that ordered existence and throw in a husband, a house, a dog, kid 1, kid 2, a bigger house, kid 3 (who arrived within four years of kid 1), a new dog…and well, you get the picture.

I’d kept a journal and written short pieces since childhood, but I didn’t start writing novels seriously until my youngest went to part-time preschool. It was a desperate bid to control…something. I’d have given almost anything for a world in which people did what I wanted, when I wanted them to do it!

If I’d only known...

To my shock, I found out fictional characters can be every bit as ornery and contrary as a two-year-old in the middle of a full-fledged tantrum. My fictional characters, not unlike my kids, take off in different directions. Sometimes I guide them, sometimes they keep me running after them. Sometimes I wonder: who’s really in charge here?

I’m not sure it’s me.

Joy Nash

PS: My latest attempt at playing god is A Little Light Magic, a summer romance set at the Jersey Shore. (Leisure Books, May 26)

Ok, Joy's A LITTLE LIGHT MAGIC hits the bookstores TOMORROW, so please run right out and snap up your copy before they're all gone. If you too have "control issues" and would like to have A LITTLE LIGHT MAGIC delivered to your door, here's your chance:


Please leave a comment or question for Joy. If you do, I promise to track her down and make her answer! (See, I have control issues too!)


C.L. Wilson said...

Great blog, Joy. You're so totally right! LOL. I thought writing was a way to control something too; alas, then comes the days when the books and characters just will *not* cooperate! What do you do to get out of a stuck spot and get your characters moving again?

Trish Albright said...

Joy, you give me hope. If you can do it, I can. Being published is wonderful but demanding--and I don't have three kids, two dogs (hoping the first dog is still alive), and the husband, or mortgage! What is your writing schedule like? Do you write every day, or in blocks for each book?

LuAnn said...

Great guest blog! Is it difficult to switch from a light-hearted romance to one that's quite a bit more serious?

Barbara Monajem said...

Heh. Characters can be soooo uncooperative, and the problem is, we have to pay attention, because at least half the time they're right. They take us on different and fascinating paths that we couldn't have foreseen from the start... which is very inefficient if there's a deadline. Plot, pants, control, fly free... Argh. But it all works out in the end.

Joy Nash said...

You found me, Diana! :-)

C.L. - when I get to a "stuck spot" I get out actual pen and paper and start to write as if I were the character answering a series of questions that relates to the problems I'm having with the story, the character's backstory and his/her thoughts about other characters and what's happening in the book. That usually does the trick and puts me back on the right path.

Trish - I work part time, so I try to write for a few hours every morning before I go to work. As it gets closer to deadline, I write in the evening. When it's REALLY close, I cash in my vacation/sick days and do nothing but write.

LuAnn - There's a little hump to get over when I start any new book, regardless of genre or voice. Once I get into a story, everything's great - except when the galleys from a previous book arrive and I have to stop a project to go back and read a previous one. That can be jarring.

Barbara - I do tend to plot at the beginning, but I don't hesitate to change directions mid-stream if a character tells me to!

Thanks for stopping by Emily's Blog! Don't forget to stop by my blog at to check out my Countdown to Summer and this week's prizes.


EmilyBryan said...

Let me just post a link to help readers visit Joy more easily.

And go pick up A LITTLE LIGHT MAGIC today. It's a great way to slip into a summer state of mind!

GladysMP said...

So you have a new dog. What kind? We have a yellow Lab and he is a great help when I am working in the yard. That is he keeps me busy playing fetch. Is yours a house or yard dog?

Joy Nash said...

Gladys - My "new" puppy is now 10 years old! But she is still going strong - we walk a mile almost every day. She's a liver-spotted Dalmatian - with dark brown spots instead of the more usual black.

She's a sweetheart and a confirmed house dog. While my first dog liked to run away, Maia spends all her out of doors time figuring out how to get back into the house.

Labs are wonderful dogs - so happy and energetic!

Colleen Thompson said...

Congratulations on the new release, Joy!

EmilyBryan said...

I so agree about Lab temperment. We had a chocolate lab when our kids were little. Ginger was with us for just a month shy of 15 years and when she died, old and full of years, we mourned as if a family member had died. I guess she was.