Thursday, May 10, 2012


Welcome one and all to the Author Inquisition. Let’s have a drum-roll please ...
Ladies and gentlemen, my newest victim, I mean guest, is beloved author of historical and romance, and none other than Joyce DiPastena.
Joyce: Good morning!
Spill it, Joyce. You’ve written three novels; give us your best writing advice.
Joyce: What? You expect me to give away all my secrets? Never! Never, I say! Okay, okay you forced it out of me. This is a secret known only to the ancient sages. If you want to be a writer, then you must...WRITE! Write when you're happy, write when you're sad, write when the last thing on earth you feel like doing is to write. Because the bottom line is, if you don't write, you'll never know...a writer.

Does writing grocery lists count?

Joyce: Probably not 

How about blogs?

Joyce: That’s a little better, but you need to stretch yourself a bit more. 

Sheesh! [whispers over shoulder—I think she expects me to write a novel or something.] So, Joyce, what’s your favorite activity when you’re not writing? 

Joyce: Thinking about writing. Yeah, that's even easier than actually writing! The thinking, making up stories in my head part. It's putting those stories down on paper (or computer screen) one word at a time that is torture. And you would know a thing or two about torture, now wouldn't you, Mistress Inquisitor. 

Me? Torture? [jumps up] Never! How could you imply such a thing!? [Pounds on table]
We will get off that subject right quick Ms DiPastena.

Joyce: [whispers] me thinks she protests too much.

What? I didn’t catch that. 

Joyce: I said, I’m enjoying these questions so much.

[smirks] I bet. Tell me about the dreaded writer's block. What do you do? 

Joyce: Gotta fall back on the "What If Game." I ask myself, "What if this happened to my character?" "What if my character did this?" What if, what if, what if, what if... I just keep throwing "what if's" at the wall until something sticks.

What if—we move on to the next question—do you snack when you write? If so, what?
Joyce: Most of the time I write food free.  

I see that gleam in your eyes. Come on. Give us more. [leans over the table] 

Joyce: [eyes widen] When I write, it’s kind of like being locked in a medieval dungeon. You know, that image is actually helpful to my creativity. [smiles hopefully] 

Spill it, Joyce. You’re not getting off that easily. [gives the evil inquisitor glare] I’ve got you pegged as a snacker. What is it—chocolate or veggies? 

Joyce: [eep!] Occasionally my jailor will toss me a little string cheese, and once in a while some merciful soul will smuggle me a Hershey Kiss with an almond tucked inside. [shoulders slump] Oh, darn. Now the secret's out, my jailors will put a stop to those Kisses in no time. [scowls] I hope you're happy. Oh, right, you're the Inquisitor, so of course that'd make you happy!

Moah-ha-ha-ha! [smiles with satisfaction] I knew I could break you down. Now for the tough questions. What made you decide to write medieval novels?

Joyce: I'm a glutton for punishment? (That's why I'm here, isn't it?) Actually, I've never really figured that out. I remember I used to pull out our old World Book encyclopedia and turn it to the Middle Ages and look at a picture of a knight wearing chain mail armor. I would do that periodically.

I think I know just the one. [quirks a smile] Handsome. Tall. Dark curly hair.

Joyce: Yes. [has a faraway look] Why I was drawn to that picture, I don't know.  

I know. That knight was one handsome dude. 

Joyce: [sighs] I can still see the picture in my head to this day. (Occasionally I'll even run across it on the internet and the memories will come rushing back.) Then I read a book about the Plantagenet kings of England in high school and I guess I fell in love with their stories and decided I wanted to write my own stories about them.
I’m right there with you. [fans self] whew! How about some nice cold refreshment? What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? 
Joyce: [smiles wistfully] While locked in the writing dungeon, I sometimes dream of cream of vanilla ice, chips made of chocolate, and almonds roasted fine, mixed together at the Creamery of the Cold Stone

[sighs] A true ice cream connoisseur. 

Joyce: Tina?

Better yet, scoops of delicious ice cream being served by the ever adoring knight in shining armor. Ahhhhh, and the kisses Mathilde steals from Etienne. I don’t know which is sweeter.

Joyce: Tina? Hellooooo?

Huh? [blinks and looks around] Oh, Joyce. Right. I was remembering one of the scenes in your book. Do tell us about your latest, Dangerous Favor.
Joyce: Okay. I’ll read you the back cover blurb. 
Mathilde needs a champion. 
Her father has been accused of stealing from the king, an allegation that has reduced her family to poverty. She has one chance to find and marry a man who can help her prove her father's innocence. Lord Therri, heir to a rich barony, has the wealth and connections Mathilde needs to delve into the mysteries of her father's past. Furthermore, Therri embodies all her romantic dreams.

Etienne, the younger son of a disgraced family, has neither wealth nor connections, but is smitten with Mathilde at a glance. She finds the knight intriguing, but believes he is only out to seduce her. While she seeks for a way to win Therri's attention, Etienne tricks her into granting him her favor, an embroidered white ribbon, for a tournament, setting in motion a dangerous chain reaction of events. Can Etienne save Mathilde from a nightmare from her past and prove
himself the true hero of her dreams? 

I can never read your books just once. Dangerous Favor is available at Deseret Book, as well as (print and Kindle), (print and Nook), and the (free shipping worldwide) 

Joyce: You can read more about my books on my website (, blogs JDP NEWS ( and Medieval Research with Joyce ( Did I mention that I love Facebook? You can like my author page there at


Marsha Ward said...

Hahahahaha! I love your author inquisitions, Tina. Good job, you two.

Connie Hall said...

I loved reading this by one of my favorite people - Joyce. Because of her I spent a wonderful day checking out the Medievel sights here in Utah today. I totally understand why she rights about those knights.

Valerie Ipson said...

Another lovely inquisition! Couldn't have happened to a nicer person!!!

Joyce DiPastena said...

That was the most terrifying interview I've ever had in my life. Tina was merciless, I tell you, absolutely merciless!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Funny. Cold Stone? Yum!

Tera Mecham said...

Fun interview to read.

Jaimey Grant said...

That was vastly entertaining, ladies! :O)

Debra Erfert said...

You are hilarious! Great inter..., er, inquisition! I love Joyce's books.

Heidi said...

You're awesome, Joyce! It's a good thing I don't write full time--chocolate fuels my creativity and things could get pretty ugly pretty fast.

Lindzee said...

haha, very funny! Sounds pretty obvious but the advice to write if you want to be a writer is actually pretty helpful. :) It reminds me that I can't take days off just because I don't feel like writing!

Laura Fabiani said...

What a cool interview! I knew one of Joyce's favorite snacks is chocolate! Like me. I could definitely relate to the snacks while writing, but also making up stories in my head. Looking forward to reading your latest, Joyce.

Tina Scott, the writing artist said...

Thank you ladies for stopping by and for leaving your comments.

Jessica L. Foster said...

Great interview! Now I want ice cream. Also, maybe you should find a picture of that knight and put a link up for it. Just sayin' . . .

Taffy said...

Love it! You two are fun and funny!
*whispers* I think I have ice cream in the freezer.

kbrebes said...

Sweet inquisition! (I have some Cold Stone hidden in my freezer--raspberry ice mixed with strawberry--yum!)

Nichole Giles said...

Lots of fun! You two are hilarious.