You are never going to believe this! I managed to get an interview with author, Andrew Joyce about his two novels and the characters he chose called, “Redemption” and “Molly Lee.”
Andrew Joyce lives on a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with his dog Danny. “MOLLY LEE” is a follow-up novel to the best-selling “REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer.”
Here is the description of “Redemption,” from Amazon:
“Three men come together in the town of Redemption Colorado, each for his own purpose. Huck Finn is a famous lawman not afraid to use his gun to protect the weak. He has come to right a terrible wrong. After his wife’s death, Tom Sawyer does not want to live anymore; he has come to die. The third man, the Laramie Kid, a killer Huck and Tom befriended years earlier has come to kill a man. For these three men Death is a constant companion. For these three men it is their last chance for redemption.”
Here is the description of “Molly Lee,” from Amazon:
“Molly is about to set off on the quest of a lifetime . . . of two lifetimes.
It’s 1861 and the Civil War has just started. Molly is an eighteen-year-old girl living on her family’s farm in Virginia when two deserters from the Southern Cause enter her life. One of them—a twenty-four-year-old Huck Finn—ends up saving her virtue, if not her life.
Molly is so enamored with Huck, she wants to run away with him. But Huck has other plans and is gone the next morning before she awakens. Thus starts a sequence of events that leads Molly into adventure after adventure; most of them not so nice.
We follow the travails of Molly Lee, starting when she is eighteen and ending when she is fifty-six. Even then Life has one more surprise in store for her.”
Click here to read my book review of “Molly Lee.”
Colleen: Andrew, what are the advantages and disadvantages of writing sequels to classics? How did you decide what the adult Tom and Huck would be like?
Andrew: In this case there was no disadvantage. I picked two beloved characters—the advantage was the same—everyone loves Tom and Huck.
This will probably not be believed, but I felt Sam Clemens standing behind me as I wrote this yarn. He wanted to write a sequel to Huck and Tom and I think he started to do so. However, he never finished it. Perhaps he used me as his instrument to get it off his chest, so to speak. In answer to your question, I don’t know how I decided to make Huck and Tom gunslingers in the Old West. The book wrote itself. But if you repeat that, I’ll deny it. After all, I’m the genius here!
Colleen: What is the single biggest challenge of creating the settings in your novels?
Andrew: I always write my settings from places I’ve been and experienced firsthand. So, that does not present a challenge for me. I don’t know about other writers, but I start a novel knowing the first sentence and the last paragraph. Then all I have to do is come up with 100,000 words to fill the space in between. That is the easiest part. I let my characters take me where they want to go. I may have something in mind for them, but when we get there, they may take me in a whole different direction in which I am more than happy to follow.
Colleen: O.K. Andrew, who would you most like to sit next to on an airplane?
Andrew: I don’t fly anymore. But if I did, I’d prefer an empty seat. If I couldn’t get that, then I reckon Jesus would do. I’m sure he would have some good stories.
Colleen: Who would play you in the movie?
Andrew: Depending on the day, either Matthew McConaughey or Jabba the Hut.
Colleen: What is the one thing you can’t live without?
Colleen: What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever heard?
Andrew: It’s not the best advice I’ve ever heard . . . it’s the best I’ve ever given. READ, READ, READ, and then READ some more. Read every book you can get your hands on. Read Steinbeck . . . “The Grapes of Wrath” and “Tortilla Flat.”
“The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide.”— John Steinbeck, Tortilla Flat
That is some damn good writing. And when you read stuff like that you can’t help but become a better writer.
Colleen: What are you working on right now?
Andrew: Making a big, tall drink that is 90% vodka.
Thank you for this fabulous interview, Andrew. It was great learning about your novels and getting to know you better. I really enjoyed knowing your inspiration came from Mark Twain himself.
If you love historical fiction based in the American old west, you will love Andrew’s books!
Find Andrew on his blog: andrewjoyce.wordpress.com
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