Title: MOLLY LEE
Genre: Adventure/Historical Fiction
Molly is about to set off on the adventure of a lifetime . . . of two lifetimes.
It’s 1861 and the Civil War has just started. Molly is an eighteen-year-old girl living on her family’s farm in Virginia when two deserters from the Southern Cause enter her life. One of them—a twenty-four-year-old Huck Finn—ends up saving her virtue, if not her life.
Molly is so enamored with Huck, she wants to run away with him. But Huck has other plans and is gone the next morning before she awakens. Thus starts a sequence of events that leads Molly into adventure after adventure; most of them not so nice.
We follow the travails of Molly Lee, starting when she is eighteen and ending when she is fifty-six. Even then Life has one more surprise in store for her.
I first saw him in the light of the setting sun. He sat straight and proud astride a chestnut mare, handsome in his grey lieutenant’s uniform. He rode into the yard following my pa who was driving the family wagon. In the back of the wagon lay the “Captain.”
We womenfolk have it tougher than men when it comes to affairs of the heart. What you are about to read is my story. It is not a pretty story, and I am not proud of it. I think the only proud moment of my life was the day I met and fell in love with Huck Finn.
1. What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start? Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)? If you plan it out, how do you do that? Outline, note cards, post-it notes, etc.?
I prefer to write in the early morning hours when things are quiet. I usually get up around 2:00 a.m. and go to work. The commute is not long . . . only a few steps to my computer.
I sit down to write a book with no idea where my characters will take me. I start out with (I hope) a killer first sentence and the last paragraph of the book. Then I set out to fill the in-between space with 100,000 words. I find that the easy part. Sometimes I will bring my characters to a certain place, only to have them rebel when we get there. They’ll tell me they want to go somewhere else and take off on their own. I have no choice but to follow.
2. How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?
For my short stories it can be a line from a song or anything inconsequential I may come across during the day. Sometimes memories of people I had known in my distant past will get me thinking and that will lead to a story. I have published forty short stories about my dog. They are told from his perspective and the continuing narrative is what an idiot I am. For anyone who may be interested in what my dog has to say can check him out at: Danny the Dog.
However, for my novels it’s a bit different. It’s the urge to tell a story. I don’t really know what it will be about, but I know it’s in me. So I sit down at the computer and go to town. I never suffer from writer’s block because that story is just roaring to get out.
3. How long have you been writing?
One morning, about five years ago, I went crazy. I got out of bed, went downstairs, and threw my TV out the window. Then I sat down at the computer and wrote my first short story. It was soon published in a print magazine—remember them? I’ve been writing ever since.
4. What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
Read, read . . . and then read some more. Read everything you can get your hands on! Reading to a writer is as medical school is to a doctor, as training is to an athlete, as breathing is to life. When one reads stuff like what is below, one cannot help but become a better writer.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." — John Steinbeck, Tortilla Flat
5. How important are names in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds, or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
There is a lot of history in my novels and that takes a lot of research. I have to get things right. In my first book, I made two mistakes. One was the date an event occurred (I was off by one year) and with the other, I had my hero loading the wrong caliber bullet into the gun he was using. Believe me; I heard about those errors in a few of the reviews for the book. But that was a good thing. It taught me to do my homework.
Anyway, while doing my research, I come across the names of people who actually had a hand in what I’m writing about. So I’ll sprinkle their names throughout the story. Because of the history factor in my books, people’s names have to fit the time and the place I’m writing about. Also, when reading for pleasure (history, non-fiction), if I come across a great name, I’ll jot it down for future reference.
Books/authors/genres: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. He is also my favorite author. Lee Child and David Baldacci ain’t bad either.
Movies/TV Shows: I like movies from the 1930s & ’40s.
Music: John Stewart. If you’d like, you can listen to one of his songs here.
Food/writing snack: Food: Chicken sandwich. Writing snack: Vodka and cranberry juice.
Social Media Site: NoneThank you for having me over, Lisa. It’s been a real pleasure.
Author Andrew Joyce: