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Author Interview: Joyce Reynolds-Ward

Joyce Reynolds-Ward writes speculative fiction from the wide open spaces. Her stories and settings are influenced by the Pacific Northwest of the United States, both the wet and dry sides of the region. Questions of political and personal power, corporate soap opera, and equitable relationships frequently arise in her work, in both fantasy and science fiction.

Interview

Use three to five words to describe yourself.

Horsewoman, writer, and cynical crone.

Can you give us a little background on your upcoming/existing book or series?

Both the main line Martiniere Legacy series and the new, alternative-world Martiniere Legacy series focus on near-future scenarios where the protagonists are heavily involved in the development of agriculture biobots which respond to climate change issues.

The main line series also looks at a future where debt of all sorts can lead to indentured servitude, and one of the villains is using mind control programming to create an unwilling army from indentured workers.

The alternative world focuses more heavily on agricultural use of robotics, corporate soap opera, and a romance.

Can you give us any insight into your planning and writing process?

Honestly, my process tends to change and evolve. In some cases, I have found that rigorous planning is absolutely necessary in order to make a story work. At the moment, I’m not doing rigorous planning, in part because I’m working with characters I’ve been writing for two years. When I start something new I will probably go back to the rigorous planning process, until those characters are internalized.

I tend to start writing in mid-morning and work off and on into the evening. I’ll write with a focus on scenes, get one scene blocked out and written, take a break, then come back and write more. I am a fast writer and usually average about 1500-3000 words a day.

Silence or music or other when writing/editing?

It depends on the scenes that I am writing. One episode in my recent Kindle Vella project required the same song over and over again just to evoke the feel of the scene (for the curious, that was Anna Nalick’s “Breathe (2 AM)”). Other times, I’ve been able to write in silence or else out in the woods to the distant echo of the husband’s chainsaw as he cuts our winter firewood. I’ve written to music ranging from “Swan Lake” to the Hu’s “Wolf Totem.”

You can erase one book or series from your mind entirely so that you can read it again for the first time, which do you erase?

Discworld.

Who are some of your favourite authors/books?

C.J. Cherryh, N.K. Jemisin, Becky Chambers, Beverly Jenkins….

Who are your favourite book characters?

Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee still have a place in my heart. But then there’s Araine Emory–both of ’em.

Do you have any favourite magic systems?

Not really.

You can bring one world from a book or series to life and live there, which world do you choose

Some of the things I read are nice to visit but not live. Perhaps something like the Goose Bar Ranch from Mary O’Hara’s Flicka series? Just have to go back to dealing with financial struggles, marital struggles, and oh yes, the special horse (note: for those who have not read the Flicka books–they are YA at best, more likely New Adult or Adult in themes. Marital discord and depression driven by financial uncertainty and adults dealing with midlife issues underlies part of the whole trilogy).

What book or series would you love to see on the big screen?

My Martiniere Legacy series.

You can collaborate with one other author, who do you choose?

C. J. Cherryh

Have any cultures/civilisations inspired your writing?

The Native and settler cultures of the Pacific Northwest.

What is your favourite mythical creature?

Unicorn

What is your favourite mythical race?

Elves

You can have one superpower, what is it?

Telepathy

You have the ability to morph into any real creature. Which creature do you choose?

Horse

You can go back in time and live a different period of history, when do you choose?

Perhaps being older in the 1950s and being able to have a louder voice to change politics.

You can meet any five people in the world, who would you choose?

Stacey Abrams, Beverly Jenkins, HIllary Clinton, Denny Emerson, and Kathy Kusner.

Would you rather…

  • ride a dragon or fly a spaceship?
  • have the ability to fly or be indestructible?
    • Be able to fly!
  • be an elf or an orc?
    • Elf
  • have the ability to travel to mythical worlds, from your favourite books, or the ability to travel faster than light and visit planets and solar systems in this universe?
    • FTL travel of course!
  • face one orc or three goblins in battle?
    • Orc
  • be an expert swordsman or archer?
    • Archer
  • be able to wield elemental magic or raise and control the dead?
    • Elemental magic
  • live in a city under the ocean or one floating in the clouds?
    • Clouds
  • be able to see the past or see the future?
    • See the past

Thank you for taking the time, we really appreciate it.