GMB: This week, I am welcoming Author and Friend, Native American Mystery Author, Joan Leslie Woodruff. Before we start, I have to share with Blogger Fans and Friends that Joan’s positive influence is in large part why I so enjoy writing novels today… I want to take this opportunity to thank Joan for all her encouragement and mentorship through many years of writing and publication. *Thank You Joan*.
JLW: No problem *Smiles* … You are welcome.
GMB: Tell us a little about yourself.
JLW: I am always changing, growing, and learning. My life’s had tragedies many could not recover from; but I look for the lessons. From suffering comes understanding. Understanding creates an arc in the learning curve. Rainbows are arcs, both joyous and spiritual.
GMB: Recently, I visited your Author Website and found this wonderful quote by you … Mind if I share it here?
JLW: Not at all…
GMB: I just have to share this… Your quote reads, "You are born, and you will die, and for all that knowledge, you try to make life count somewhere in the middle. No day is more important. No day is less important. Each moment is equal as long as you are in it, and that’s the secret. A friend once told me, the best day you will ever have is the one you show up for.”
GMB: Your quote is inspirational … The inspiration comes from a 'friend'… Please tell us more about where; perhaps how you continue to find your greatest inspiration?
JLW: My greatest inspiration came from the elders in my family, from my grandparents, aunts, and uncles, older cousins, and especially my parents and my brother.
GMB: So wonderful, Joan thanks for sharing … And from your inspiration, what has brought you to choose to write suspense mysteries?
JLW: Suspense mysteries are my favorite genre. I write them because that is the genre I read most often.
GMB: When inspired, which appears first when contemplating a new project: a character, the plot, or perhaps the title?
JLW: Characters begin showing up in my life. I develop stories around the ones they tell me. When I get off their story-line, I get stuck. When I return to the story-line they provided, it flows easy.
GMB: Indeed, I came across a review of your novel “Neighbors” (1993) ... it seems to speak to your approach for creating stories through your characters, and it shares so much more about your writing … I hope you don’t mind me sharing this review with our audience.
JLW: No, not at all Mitch…
GMB: This comment is about “Neighbors”, and seems to capture what is special about so much of Joan's writing in fiction… “The beauty of Woodruff’s novel is in the language. Rich metaphors decorate her descriptions, and conversations between characters twist interestingly with unusual, but believable, phrases and expressions. The tale is far from a comedy, but Woodruff imbues even ordinary scenes with a delightful wry humor.” Laura L. Klure, writer, Riverside, California.
JLW: In fact, you have found a review from my dear friend, Laura L. Klure…
GMB: Great! And perhaps you can share with us what may be the hardest part of a novel for you to write, the beginning, middle or end?
JLW: The ‘middle’ is the most difficult because it means I am halfway. I like adventures. I especially enjoy the beginning and the ending. The middle isn’t always easy.
GMB: Has your own life influenced your novels?
JLW: All my novels grew from my life.
GMB: Who is your favorite character in your stories, of the ones you have created?
JLW: Mule is my favorite character. He appears in three of my novels. He is a listener. He has the best role in the story. His presence brings tranquility and kindness to the scenes.
GMB: Tell us a little about your newest book release.
JLW: My newest release is not fiction. As a therapist who has a heavy background in the sciences, I have always been suspicious of theory-based counseling. Neuroscience advances every day in leaps and bounds, and it is finally catching up with what I have known since I was a student: Our brain and our mind is programmed by us.
GMB: If I was a publisher, I believe my first question would be, “Why were you chosen to write this story?” How would you respond to the inquisitive publisher?
JLW: My response to a publisher asking why I was chosen to write a story is: I don’t see that I was chosen to write it. I believe I was burdened to write it. My stories are multi-layered, they open doors and close doors for the readers. I believe people are better for having read them.
GMB: Which do you prefer, a great hero or a great villain? Why don’t you name one of each…
JLW: I prefer a great heroine. For instance, in ‘Ghost in the Rainbow’, the heroine is Myra, a woman with so many flaws, she doesn't even try to make excuses for herself. The villain is Beau Haggis, a serial killer.
GMB: If you could be anyone in the world, space, and designated realm, who would it be? And why?
JLW: I would be myself, because I am familiar with my path.
GMB: Thank-you Joan for this wonderful interview, your sharing so that we may get to know more of you, and your writing.
JLW: You are welcome Mitch!
GMB: And, for our Blogger Fans and Friends, please know Joan Leslie Woodruff writes in the genre of medical, suspense mystery; suspense thriller and historical literary. More about Joan and her writing can be found at her website, http://joanlesliewoodruff.com
Book title(s) by Joan Leslie Woodruff, MEd, OTR, Native American Mystery Author include: ‘Traditional Stories and Foods’ (1990); ‘Neighbors’ (1993); ‘The Shiloh Renewal’ (1998); ‘Ghost in the Rainbow’ (2002); ‘Wishes and Windmills’ (2003); ‘Polar Bears in the Kitchen’ (2009) and ‘Mind Games’ (2012).
To acquire the available works of Joan Leslie Woodruff, she suggests that all her books (those still in print) are purchasable through her Website where you can select the bookstore (of your choice) button.
FORTHCOMING INTERVIEW for the Week of April 17, 2013:
G. Mitchell Baker Interviews Jennifer Loiske, Young Adult Author and Friend from Finland.
GMB: For my inaugural interview I’d like to welcome intrepid Alberta writer - Linda Alberta to my blog.
LA: Thanks Mitch. Let’s offer a warm welcome to your blogger fans too.
GMB: First off, tell us about your writing career.
LA: I’ve interviewed Canadian authors for eight-years. Prior to that, I covered the music/entertainment scene for a number of memorable and cantankerous years.
GMB: We’re having a little fun here. Indeed, the book reviewer/music reviewer is being interviewed by me, the author. Why did you agree to be the one interviewed?
LA: I’m curious about everything. I’m curious about the process, the purpose and the limits of self-revelation. Because I’m curious, I need to know how it feels to be interviewed. I’m not one to leave digital footprints and I’m not a convert of social media cults. That’s why talking about myself for this interview will be interesting.
GMB: We hope this will be fun for you.
LA: Oh, it will be.
GMB: You’re having more coffee?
LA: It’s only my third espresso.
GMB: If you’re ready, here is a question. If you could interview anyone who would it be?
LA: I’d interview bold and fascinating, comic book iconoclast – Gerard Way, just because he resonates authenticity and because he is a coffee fanatic. I’d interview musician Jared Leto because he’s complicated. He is a genius of impression management. And, I’m recorded on YouTube, at his last Edmonton concert.
GMB: You’re on YouTube?
LA: I timed a vocal, “wahoo!” prior to “30 Seconds to Mars” playing a favourite song. This occurred when the room was silent for a few magical seconds. Somebody was recording and I go back to YouTube to listen to that moment.
GMB: But, was the room silent for …30 seconds? Next question: did you attend music school?
LA: I started out as a singer/songwriter who studied jazz guitar at Edmonton’s Grant MacEwan. I
love music. I read compulsively. I write from my gut.
GMB: When did you start work as a writer?
LA: In grade 10 I joined the school newspaper club and I interviewed everyone. After this, teachers were friendlier. But they were also kind of careful about what they said to me.
GMB: Did you date Billy Boyd (Pippin from Lord of the Rings)?
LA: That’s what people say. When I interviewed Boyd for the Edmonton International Film Festival, I didn’t bring a recorder and I understood every tenth word he said. He speaks Scottish.
In addition to being an unbelievably nice person who speaks very quickly, he shared that he worked as a book binder for seven-years. One of his jobs, was to assemble “Lord of the Rings” books. Carl Jung has this theory about meaningful coincidences.
GMB: Do you believe in synchronicity?
LA: Absolutely. That’s why we met and why we’re doing this interview.
GMB: Who was your strangest interview?
LA: Musician Kelly Simpson used to wear a black cloak, paint a third eye on his forehead and sing songs that would scare the Hades out of other scary people - while shaking a goat skull on a stick. I co-wrote a Halloween story about him. For this story, we (myself, co-writer and band) met at the Edmonton pyramids after midnight and proceeded to his drive-way, where I tried to start a large cranky hearse. Kelly was chanting and somebody said there were animal skulls buried in the backyard. I believed it!
GMB: What was your most fun story?
LA: One summer I created: The Linda Alberta Roll Pebble Roll Summer Limo Story with Junior Gone Wild. For this traveling photo shoot of a story, we took a limo the size of a Tyrannosaurus Rex through an Edmonton McDonald’s drive-through, to order one burger. Somebody made a sign that said “Don’t Look, We’re Not Famous,” my friend Lilly brought Mooky the stuffed snake and somebody tried to eat cake through a green monster mask. The cake said “Roll Pebble Roll” but we almost didn’t roll.
GMB: Why? What happened?
LA: There was a momentous travel bill for this five-hour excursion that I had to pay, if the story wasn’t published. Being published was part of an advertising agreement I made with the limo company. I kept asking the publisher when this story would be printed. It kept not being printed. When it all transmogrified into a cover story, I relaxed. It was good clean fun, except for the cake.
GMB: Why do you enjoy interviewing people?
LA: It’s an opportunity to interact with fascinating people and I love to hear their stories. I am relentlessly curious about people and life. That’s why I’m always processing information. I’m always learning something.
GMB: Has there been one interview that influenced your life?
LA: When people interact, it’s like introducing salt to a glass of water; the two substances can’t stay the same. Everyone is influenced by everyone. This is part of the joy of life and this is part of the complexity of life. And whether life is a tragedy or a comedy is anyone’s guess.
GMB: You’ve interviewed authors for years. When can we read one of your books?
LA: I’m working on a futuristic story collection dedicated to event probabilities. With one patron, I could finish this book.
GMB: Thank-you Linda, for this interview. One final question: What are your thoughts on being interviewed?
LA: It’s as much fun as three adjectives in one sentence. Thanks Mitch!
FORTHCOMING Week of April 10, 2013: G. Mitchell Baker Interviews Joan Leslie Woodruff, Native American Mystery Author
Amazon Author Page for G. Mitchell Baker
G. Mitchell Baker, Author