Joyce Ann Brown is an author I met through the wonderfully supportive Facebook author’s group BooksGoSocial. For a bookaholic like me, this is a lady with a dream job combination – a librarian, an explorer and an author. Plus, her book titles and the genre she writes make me envy her; that’s how cool they are. Here is a bit more about Joyce. Have fun reading and check out her books links (listed below).
1. Your jobs have been librarian, explorer and writer. Which of these did you want to do when you were little and why? Did you plan to do them or did they just sort of happen to you?
I can’t remember when I didn’t want to be a writer. I became a school librarian after teaching for several years because of all the great stories and resources stored in the library. I wanted to get them into the students’ hands and minds. Why do I explore? I’m curious.
2. Which five things about yourself would you like to share with us that are not in your Amazon bio?
My husband and I bought an RV (big recreational vehicle) so we could take our cats with us when we travel around the U.S.
I’ve started my next Landlady mystery and am looking for a cateriffic title.
I tried being a sales person at various times and was never any good at it.
My two grown children and their families live a total of 1,700 miles away from me.
My toddler grandchildren are the characters in little picturebook mysteries I wrote for them.
3.You write charming mystery stories (congrats on the puntastic titles, by the way;)!). Where do you find your inspiration? Do you ever get inspired by your students? How difficult is it to stick to the timeline in mystery writing?
I’m inspired by stories I hear. Catastrophic Connections, my first mystery, is based upon a story told to me by one of my renters and another story told by a friend whose “psycho“ cat once saved her life (or so she believed.)
My characters can be inspired by anyone I know or have read about or seen in a movie or have had as a student.
The timeline of my stories change constantly as I write; so it must be hard for me to stick to one.
4.Your heroine is a landlady amateur sleuth and her peculiar cat. What do you love about your character and is there a real person who inspired her creation?
I am a landlady. All the action in the books that involves rental management is based upon my own experience. The traits of Beth, the protagonist, are inspired by people who are much braver than I am, but I don’t know a specific person who would actually take on the solving of these crimes where danger lurks. It’s fun to create such a character, though!
5. Who is your favourite book detective (not your own) and why?
I like Goldy Bear, Diane Mott Davidson’s amateur sleuth. She’s smart, fun, and caring. And the books include good recipes.
6. As a librarian, would you say that people have stopped reading? Have you noticed a shift in interest in the last decades? Which books do you usually recommend?
I was a children’s librarian, and children haven’t stopped reading. In fact, I’d say they read more when we count all the reading they do on computers. Handwriting has suffered, of course. The books I recommended to them depended upon their ages. There are tons of great picture books, middle grade books, and young adult books, both the classics and those written recently.
7. When you go exploring, do you leave things to serendipity and fate, or do you plan them ahead and have a set goal ahead?
I always have a plan, but then there’s the next corner, the next bend in the road, the next article to read, or the next subject to learn about. I’m curious and want to explore further.
8. What is the one genre, besides mystery, which you would love to try writing and why?
Humor. And probably literary fiction.
9. If you could interview any famous detective in human history, who would it be and what would you ask?
Fictional: I’d ask Precious Ramotswe how she developed her common sense approach to solving her mysteries. Sherlock Holmes I’d ask where he got his keen sense of observation.
Historical: I’d ask Allan Pinkerton who he dealt with people who discouraged or thwarted him.
10. What is the most fun part of the whole writing process for you and why?
The puzzle of putting all the pieces together tests my creative powers. I see the scenes in my mind first, but then I have to find the right words, the correct sequence of events, and the perfect spots to reveal clues or red herrings.
11. Would you like to add anything about your current work or send a message to the readers?
I’ve begun the third book of my Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mystery series. The new story takes place in the same neighborhood in Kansas City as the first two books, but Beth Stockwell, the Landlady, travels to another exciting country during the course of the story. I need a feline-inspired title. Any suggestions?
By the way, since Anita sent these questions to me from Croatia, and I live in the U.S.A., please forgive spellings and punctuation which look strange to you because the rules are different here. (Example: The word favorite is spelled favourite in the U.K. which is the English Anita is using. Also, when I hit the double quotation mark key on this Word document from Croatia, it looks like this—„ Weird to me but fun to know—another opportunity for exploration and learning.)