Alyce Joy was blessed with four children for whom she composed bedtime verses every night. That inspired her to publish a children’s book of prayers, entitled, “Priceless Gems.” When her children were grown, she began to write stories for her grandchildren.
Always fascinated with arts and crafts, she taught herself the art of pyrography. This fired her imagination, and she started burning life-sized pictures of wildlife onto all the doors of her home. Her wood burnings are scattered through the U.S. and Canada.
After deciding to put away her burning tools and torches, she enrolled in, and graduated from the Institute of Children’s Literature.
VS: Thank you for taking time to be here today, Alyce. To get things started is your family supportive of your writing?
Alyce Joy: Very! When I enrolled in the Children’s Institute of Literature, it was near Christmas. My goodness, they bought (My Family) me everything I could possibly need. A friend gave me her old computer. Another friend showed me how to use it, heaven help her.
My granddaughter who was about 8 years old, walked through my kitchen a week before Christmas and said, “Grandma don’t get a chair for your desk, that’s all I’ve got to say.” And she walked on into the living room.
“Well” I said to myself, “this looks like a promising Christmas.”
VS: Now, Ka-Boom isn’t your first publication so can you share what was the first thing you ever had published?
Alyce Joy: My husband had a booklet of verses printed I wrote for my children when they were very little. We sold them at the Sportsman Shows in which he had booths. It was called, Priceless Gems. It wasn’t published though a publisher.
VS: Still how exciting to have your work in print. Now you are published with a publisher with your children’s chapter book, Ka-Boom! Can you share with us a little about your current book?
Alyce Joy: KA-BOOM! Which is out now, is about Taylor, who sometimes has problems believing in the unreal. That’s okay in itself, but when she came face to face with a dirty, spaced out fairy sitting among her broken toys, Taylor was not about to take it lightly. After all, this fairy blew up her dollhouse.
VS: Now I’ve read your book and thought it very cute and whimsical without being to girlie. What did you find to be the most challenging part of writing your book?
Alyce Joy: Ending them in the right places. I get into the head of each character. So I have to be fair with each one and give them a proper role.
VS: Yes, it does show you really know who your characters are in your book. What part character is most like you?
Alyce Joy: Sprout, definitely.
VS: Do you have any other works in progress?
Alyce Joy: I still have some work to do on my second book. It is about Kalynn, another of my granddaughters. She was born with a chromosomal defect called, Trisomy #7 or 7-P-Plus. Instead of speaking, she signs and she looks a little different, but she is the most wonderful child, full of fun, ornery with grandpa and loves to do things in the kitchen. This book is for children, plus other children in hopes that they will understand what challenged children must cope with every day of their lives. Sprout becomes her best friend when Kalynn wakes up in the land of Bippenpook frightened and crying. Sprout teaches her to have faith and trust in herself. Kalynn remembered everything Sprout taught her when it came time to save the Bippenpookers from the bad Snookerdoodles. She ran into all kinds of difficulties, and what the dickens happened to Sprout, when Kalynn needed her so badly.
I am also working on a pirate story that will include 3 of my grandsons. It is already one of my favorites. I guess they all are. The boys are going pirate treasure hunting. Sprout missed meeting the boys because in a corner of the cavern she is stuck in a huge spider web with a giant spider on his way to get her, as the boys will soon discover.
VS: Sounds very exciting and nice additions to your Sprout series. What tips can you share as the basic ingredients of a good book?
Alyce Joy: For my type of book, a catchy title, an attention grabbing first paragraph, a lot of humor, danger, exciting adventure and even anger now and then. And last but not least, a warm and pleasant, sometimes unpredictable ending.
VS: What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
Alyce Joy: I get right inside these characters. I become each one of them as I write. If I was that character, how would I feel about this? What would I do if I were him. I surprise myself sometimes when I am inside a bad guy.
VS: Have you received any awards for your writing?
Alyce Joy: This is my first book. If I ever won an award, I would be absolutely giddy! I take that back. When I was in grade school, I won .50 cents from the teacher in writing class for making a perfect O. In those days, we had writing classes. I think they should still have them. But you have you seen some of the Doctor’s penmanship? Scary!
VS: Where can the readers of the Writing Mama find out more about you and your writing?
VS: Is there anything else you would like to share with us about being a “Writing Mama or Dad”?
Alyce Joy: Yes, I talked my 83-year-old husband into writing about some of his experiences as a child, on up through the years. His stories are humorous, sad and historical. (Excellent writer) He has a den, (Sports), Basement (Sports), Shop (Sports and wood, wood, wood!)! His writing room, a card table under the steps. You can write anywhere.
About the Book:
Sprout is a fairy from Spritesville, Ohio. Her given name is Sprunetta Brunetta. She doesn’t like it, because she thinks it sounds too much like somebody’s wicked sister. Since she is only four inches tall, all her friends call her Sprout.
This little fairy is in the service of her queen, the beloved Splaminda Herminda, who rules Spritesville. The queen sends Sprout to different places to do whatever job needs done. Sprout is not a perfect fairy. She has a wild shoe fetish, and is always getting into some kind of trouble. Queen Splaminda realizes Sprout’s problems, but feels the fairy will grow out of her awkwardness, as she matures. Somehow, Sprout always manages to save the good and meek from the scary and sometimes bad…but… occasionally, she needs a little help.
To say the least, it was an explosive meeting between Taylor and Sprout. Taylor’s dollhouse blows up and her wary investigation finds Sprout among its wreckage. The little girl obviously thinks Sprout is a bad, fibbin’ fairy and the fun is about to begin.
Get a sneak peek of the book at http://youtu.be/Hq9sfmzH0-w