Joss Landry has worked as a consultant for more than twenty years, writing copy for marketing firms and assisting start-up companies to launch their business. She recently made the switch from composing copy and promos, to writing fiction and prose. She is developing her style through courses and the support of other writers and is presently working on honing three other novels for publication.
Blessed with four children and six grandchildren, she resides in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband, a staunch supporter, and enjoys spending time biking, rollerblading, playing tennis, and swimming. She loves creating stories as she says they fulfill her need to think outside the box.
Her latest book is the urban fantasy/paranormal, I CAN FIND YOU (Emma Willis Series #2).
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About the Book:
Emma just turned fifteen. Her powers have spiraled to include unusual magic, and she gladly relies on Hank and Christina’s friendship to mark the way. Thomas Carson’s feelings for Emma have changed, her aunt Franka tells her—a young man her aunt describes as a young buck whose testosterone plays a big role in his life.
New friends around Emma surprise her. They appear to be like nothing she could have imagined, and their goals stir more disturbance than their presence until she bumps into the scourge of her existence: entities who wish to control what humans do and say. She learns they are powerful, vindictive and will stop at nothing to obtain what they want. Will Emma be able to protect the people she loves?
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What’s inside the mind of an urban fantasy author?
A desire to escape the everyday doldrums and the harshness of reality through special powers perhaps? I love to recreate the world the way I would like it to be, friendship, acceptance, brotherhood toward everyone. I like to think of invisible task forces working at keeping us safe from all the evils portrayed in such a conventional fashion. Emma Willis is one of these talented, gifted people. She is loyal, steadfast and out to make a difference in the world
What is so great about being an author?
When my children were young, I played Nintendo with them, and we watched Star Trek the next Generation together, amongst other movies, and each time we would all sit squeezed side by side on the same couch, I found their company so invigorating. I would say for them to hurry around me, “Quick, get me into somebody else’s life.” They would laugh and realize this was my way of wanting to share these precious moments with them. And we would discuss ad nauseum all the issues crowding our minds. Even the third and fourth time around watching the same program, we still found new areas of discussion.
Well, this is what’s so great about being an author. This feeling of diving into somebody else’s life prevails. I remember my life, my adventures, and I explore and create other such sweet adventures. Within the pages of a book, magical intrigue can live on forever, we hope, pleasing generations to come.
What is a regular writing day like for you?
Early morning, rising hopefully with the sun—I do my best when sunny. Although I can still write when it rains, only the writing will not be as upbeat. First thing I do is shower, coffee and write. A deep passion of mine, at one time, writing has now become a deep rooted habit, a way of life for me.
How do you handle negative reviews?
Any review is a good review, I suppose. When a reader takes the time to give a review, if it’s negative, then you wonder why. Was it their bad day or mine? Could I have changed anything to make them like my story better? Some reviewers, who have gotten very good at writing and editing, In reality, if a lot of people like it and one person does not, then it’s best I please the majority of readers. You can’t always please everyone, I’m sorry to say.
How do you handle positive reviews?
They are easy to handle, in fact, most welcomed. The reader may not be conscious of how much his positive review lifts an author’s spirit to inspirational heights. Truth is positive reviews are the pat on the back a lonely author needs when sticking out his or her neck to perform the biggest show and tell of their lives. Coming out at the seems while ensuring your musings hold strength is often laced with fear and traumatizing effects. A positive review makes all that go away.
What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?
I find people respond quite well. They show interest in wanting to know what genre, first, and then where they can get your book. I am not usually shy of volunteering this information and I will use any means at my disposal to discuss this, casually of course.
What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?
This is an easy question. I rarely not feel like writing in the morning. Very rare, but what I do to get physical exercise as sitting behind my computer only ever flexes my brain muscle, is go swimming or biking or make some time for the gym. I prefer playing tennis and roller blading to going to the gym, but in the winter, you can’t do any of those things.
Any writing quirks?
Wow, great question liable to eat up a lot of paper. Compassion is kicking in; I will be brief and concise. Here’s a quirk: we had to move all our kit and caboodle across the country for me to be able to write better. Some three thousand and eight hundred miles away. I always had difficulty writing where I lived. I began writing in Miami, Florida near the ocean. When we came back to Montreal, years later, the inspiration stopped. Not so much inspiration as dialogue and story going on in my head—SILENCE. In some areas, the reception is poor, while in other places the reception is clear, and unbelievably precise, like a transistor radio and how it gives out when you get too far from the source. I remember driving up from Miami with my husband, and I could sense all the places I might be able to write. Richmond Virginia and more so toward Virginia Beach. As we approached New York City, I knew I could totally write in New York City. Only I would need to learn to type faster than a hundred words a minute to keep up.
I visited my son and his wife out West and was amazed how clear the reception of my transistors appeared to be. I don’t quite understand why there is no ocean anywhere near Edmonton Alberta. However, the instructions of what to write and how to do so are as clear as a bell. Amazing. I will leave you with this one quirk. Others exist, believe me.
What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?
Some people around me do think of my writing as a hobby. No one would ever say this to my face, although sometimes reading people’s thoughts will sting you. I’m sure some people even think of me writing as a means to keep from being bored. Well, that’s all right by me. I don’t presume to control people’s thoughts, only the ones I write as my characters. Actually, in case some of you might think writing relieves boredom, I’m not a person who gets bored. I cook, sew, do sports, and love to just sit and meditate while contemplating the beautiful day outside. Also, I’m a people watcher and over the many years, I’ve turned gazing at humanoid forms into my own brand of art. I can do this without no one ever being the wiser. Best places to do this: Bethesda Fountain in New York City, and the Champs Élysées in Paris, France. Also, I’m lucky. For a mew more years I have young grandchildren I can play hopscotch with, or slide and swing with at the park, and I love to kick things when I’m walking down the street, so my grandson and I often kick the ball around.
Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?
Yes I can understand how this might occur. Spouses are not always perfect, this might cause a love-hate relationship with some people. Children sometimes misbehave which can bring on tendencies for strong antagonistic emotions. However, although I understand this as being close to how some people feel, I don’t ever hate writing. Even when my husband and I argue about our different points of view, I never feel anything other than good about my emotions toward him. I never cared what my children did wrong, I always loved them whatever they said or did.
I guess this translates to my writing. Why would I hate writing? When I’m stuck in some places, which used to happen a lot where we lived, this would become a challenge to surmount. I love challenges, and if I wish, I can win. So I’m debating whether to put this down on paper, but to sum up, I never hate writing.
Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?
An excellent question with a lot of philosophical ramifications. I don’t measure success of an author with money. I’ve encountered too many stories I read and did not like make a ton of money. I’ve read others that will stay dear to me all my life that never became super popular or viral as we say these days. However, I would like my stories to make a ton of money. Are there any authors today who would not? Piles of money would mean everyone would be reading my stories, which is why I published them. Also, this would allow me to write more and market less, edit less, work on my blog less as I would hire out professionals to do all this.
For now, taking charge of all these venues is part of the package and what I consider fun. Mostly, this is a great learning curve for me. I’m not just a writer anymore. I’m a blogger, I review other people’s books, learned Scrivener, and I can typeset books in InDesign, and I can make an ebook and a mobi Kindle file. I love to learn new trades, and there is no one alive who appreciates technology more than I do. Love, love technology. I just think we’ve slowed down over the last five years. We need more discoveries by now, more springboards to greater heights.
What has writing taught you?
Patience, courage to spill my guts, and acceptance of the inevitable. Writing has taught me to fight for the right word, to open up and display my inner-self, to do so with honesty and clarity. Writing has allowed me to stretch while keeping my integral soul intact and at ease.
Leave us with some words of wisdom.
What you think about, you bring about. And with these words, I give you one of my favorite people’s quotes, Albert Einstein: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Choose wisely as what you believe you will make happen. Best way to achieve miracles is to smile, smile when your heart aches, smile through the tears, smile three hundred sixty-five days a year.