Sunday, March 24, 2013

Walnut Springs Press March Madness Sweet 16 Questions--Joyce DiPastena


From the South bracket comes the skilled Joyce DiPastena




If you could be a character from any book, who would you be and why?
I just finished rereading some of The Five Little Pepper books, by Margaret Sidney. I'd read these books as a child, and remember wanting to grow up to be like Polly Pepper. I found myself loving Polly all over again when I reread the series. She is honest and good, but she's not perfect. She's smart and wise and hard working and loves her family more than anything, and she gets to fall in love with Jasper King. (And Jasper falls in love with her.) I think most little girls could do worse than to grow up like Polly Pepper.

If you could co-write a book with any author who would you co-write it with? 
Three historical authors whose writing styles I admire are Heidi Ashworth, Wanda Luce, and Donna Hatch. They all write Regencies and I write Medievals, though, so I'm not sure what kind of book we could co-author together.

How many hours do you spend on writing a day? 
Depends on the day. I'm currently trying to write a minimum of 2 hours a day, six days a week.

What advice would you give an aspiring writer? 
It's fun to sit down and write when the "muse" is upon you, but real writers write whether they feel the muse or not. Real writers write even when they don't feel like writing. That was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn as a writer.

How have your personal experiences affected your writing? 
People ask me if I ever base my characters on myself, and for the most part the answer is "no." My characters are more likely to reflect who I wish I was at times, rather than who I am, but once in while I sneak in a little piece of "me." When my character loves music, that's "me." When my character treasures the written word, that's "me." When Siri bumped her head in Illuminations of the Heart and cried out, "Make it stop, make it stop" against the pain, that was me with a migraine. :-) Same with her lack of talent with embroidery because she had a tendency to always pull the threads too tight. That was "me", too.

How long did it take you to publish your first book after you started trying? 
Close on 25 years. Second piece of advice for aspiring writers: never, never, never give up!

Is there a movie (gasp) that you prefer over the book version? 
I'm not a big SciFi or fantasy reader, but I love to watch both as movies. I'd rather watch that genre as a movie than read it as a book. (With a few exceptions, like JK Rowling and Diana Wynne Jones.)

Do you write in your PJ's? 
Sure, doesn't everyone?

Do you use a laptop or a desktop for writing? 
Laptop.

What is your favorite quotation? 
"Out of small things proceeds that which is great." (D&C 64:33) It reminds me to be patient with my writing. A novel is built one word at a time. Be patient with putting those words together, and eventually you'll end up with something great!

What is your favorite cereal? 
Blah. Don't really care for cereal. I'm more of a toast kind of girl.

If you were a crayon what color would you be?
Blue, teal, or fuschia.

Do you prefer summer or winter? 
Winters in Arizona. If I lived in Utah, it would definitely be summers!

What is one thing you hope to accomplish this year? 
To finish this new novel I'm working on!

The world would be a better place if . . .? 
People would just be nice to each other. Why is that so hard?

What is something you've always wanted to try?
Hmm, that's a tough one. I don't have a bucket list. Maybe it's time I start one?

Joyce moved into a new house in 2012, but had trouble getting all her boxes unpacked, thanks to her little "helper."

Joyce made her annual trek to the Arizona Renaissance Festival. Is it any wonder she loves this place?

Arizona winters - lunching on the patio while the rest of the country is freezing.

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