Welcome to the 2023 ARIA Author Showcase and Giveaway Event!
How to enter – Comment on the daily showcases to enter the daily giveaway. Comments close one week after the initial Showcase post. GRAND PRIZE drawn on Dec 8th (1 -$250, 1 -$100, or a 1 -$50 Amazon gift card. One grand prize pp) – For every showcase you post on, you automatically gain one entry to the grand prize. 30 Authors = 30 entries.
Susan Joyce will be at the Rhode Island Author Expo
On to the Showcase!
What name do you like to write under? Susan Joyce
Where do you call home? Foster, RI
What genre(s) do you write? Children's picture books
What genre(s) were you drawn to when you were younger? When I was young I devoured everything, but especially stories of adventure, stories with animals, mythical tales. I would find an author and read every one of her/his books. The books transported me and I imagined myself in the stories.
What were some of your favorite books growing up? Why? National Velvet, Lassie Come Home, Bambi, Watershed Down. Walter Farley's horse books. The Chronicles of Narnia. All the Little Women Books. Nancy Drew, every Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes (my father had a boxed set). The entire Swallows and Amazons series (We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea is still one of the best titles ever). Anne of Green Gables series. EB White's essays. F Scott Fitzgerald. May Sarton (novels, non-fiction, and poems). Anywhere I visited I poured over the bookshelves and started reading. As to why, I became absorbed in the lives of every character (or real person). I wanted to know as much about them as possible. I worried about their fate. I sobbed with abandon at their heartbreaks, triumphs, deaths. I needed to know the end of everyone's story.
What are some of your favorite books today? Among the recent books I have read, Annie Harnett's Unlikely Animals is one of my all-time favorites. Also loved her first book, Rabbit Cake. I just finished Colson Whitehead's Crook Manifesto (sequel to Harlem Shuffle, which I also loved). Just before that I read SA Cosby's All the Sinners Bleed, which was excellent (also loved Razorblade Tears). The Night Watchman and The Sentence by Louise Erdrich (among many others of hers). Going back a bit, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver changed how we live our lives. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon blew me away.
What inspired you to become a write? I love books and the written word. My father wrote beautifully and edited many of my essays. He had terrible handwriting and there would be illegible scrawls across every page, however once I'd deciphered his notes I understood what he meant and it made my writing tighter and better.
Billy the Rescue Dog
Billy the Rescue Dog is the true story of Billy, a Treeing Walker Coonhound. As Billy gains confidence in his new life, he begins to find things...and his tracking skills become critically important when a chicken goes missing.
Tell us a little about how Billy the Rescue Dog came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else? I had wanted to write a children's book for years, however none of the stories bouncing around in my mind quite gelled. When we adopted Billy, he was skin and bone--PAWS New England rescued him. He had been chained to a doghouse, and was starved and sick. When we first brought him home he was overwhelmed by his new surroundings. He had (has) such heart though, and I knew I wanted to tell his story.
Which scene, character or plotline changed the most from first draft to published book? I had some young test readers (who read an early draft of the story). They gave wonderful, honest feedback, much of which I incorporated. The biggest change was in expanding the search for the chicken. I compacted some of the text on previous pages, and asked my friend/fabulous artist/book illustrator to add more art for the search. At one point she asked me, very nicely, how many more test readers there were going to be.
Which character was the most challenging to create. Why? Billy the Rescue Dog is a true story, so the characters are real. However, I wanted to convey so much about Billy, and I worked hard to capture his personality, and how he evolved as he settled in with us.
What do you like best about being a writer? Talking to young kids. I have visited schools and libraries to read the book, and in some cases I have given talks about making the book. For younger children I focus on how the characters are all real, trying to encourage the kids to tell their own stories. For older kids (3-5 grades), I take them through the making of the book from the first drafts to the actual printed copy. Because I wrote and published the book myself, I was able to control the entire process. And I was lucky enough to work with two extremely talented friends--Thea Ernest, who captured Billy and all of us with her lovely watercolors, and Jeanette Chow, who designed the book, including the cover. I talk about (and show) their processes as well. When a kindergartener looks you in the eye and says "That was a good book" well, there is nothing better.
If you could collaborate with any author past or present, who would it be? What would the title of the book be? (If possible) - Give us a one sentence blurb. Roz Chast and the book would be called “Getting Older Is Not So Bad.” It would be a collection of essays, snippets, and her cartoons, about the good (and bad) of aging. "
You can follow Susan Joyce here -
Insta - @billytherescuedog2021
Susan is giving away a copy of “Billy the Rescue Dog.” To enter comment below. --> You are a detective and have been paired up with a pup to assist your sleuthing needs. What breed is your new k9 partner? What is their name? And finally, give your pooch a fun quirk.
(Comments are open for one week)