Today we’re sitting down with authors Andrew Joyce and Danny the Dog for a joint interview. Andrew is the author of several novels, including his latest, Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups, and Danny writes a monthly column to keep his legions of fans informed as to his latest adventures. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.
AJ: It’s a pleasure to be here.
DtD: Me too … I guess.
Tell me a little about yourselves and your backgrounds?
AJ: I’m a writer, which surprises me greatly. For the first three years of my writing career, I never referred to myself as a writer. It was only when the royalties started coming in and I could quit my day job that I dared think of myself as such.
DtD: I’m a dog.
What book or books have had a strong influence on you and/or your writing?
AJ: The works of Louis L’Amour and Robert B. Parker.
DtD: The genius writings of Danny the Dog.
AJ: Excuse me, but I need to speak to Danny for a minute.
AJ: What are you doing, Danny? You don’t seem to be taking this interview seriously. You’re giving one-word answers and when asked about your favorite authors, you say “yourself.” I know all us writers think of ourselves as our favorite author, but you’re not supposed to say that out loud.
DtD: Whatever! May we continue with the inquisition?
AJ: I’m sorry for Danny’s attitude.
That’s okay, Andrew. Danny and I understand one another. So let’s carry on. Going back to the beginning, what is it that got you into writing?
AJ: One morning, about six years ago, I went crazy. I got out of bed, went downstairs, and threw my TV out the window. Then I sat down at the computer and wrote my first short story. I threw it up on the internet just for the hell of it, and a few months later I was notified that it was to be included in a print anthology of the best short stories of 2011. I even got paid for it! I’ve been writing ever since.
DtD: One day, about five years ago, Andrew went out and left the computer on. He was always complaining about how hard it is to write anything decent, so I thought I’d show him how easy it is when one has talent. Is that a long enough answer for you, Andrew?
Tell us a little bit about your writing process.
AJ: I prefer to write in the early morning hours when things are quiet. I usually get up around 2:00 a.m. and go to work. The commute is not long … only a few steps to my computer.
DtD: I have to wait until Hemingway over there goes to bed.
AJ: By any chance, are you referring to me?
DtD: Yes, but only in an ironic way.
AJ: You see what I’ve got to put up with?
Now, boys, play nice. You are both professionals. What would your fans think?
AJ: You’re right. I’m sorry.
DtD: I’m the only one with fans around here. I’d say that Andrew’s been riding my coattails for years—if I had coattails. But for your sake, I’ll try to be well-behaved.
That’s a good doggie. Do either of you have any hobbies? Or anything you like to do in your spare time?
AJ: I like to read history and do research for my next book. I also like to watch old movies from the 1930s and ’40s.
DtD: My hobby is looking after His Nibs here. I’m always getting him out of trouble or bailing him out of jail after one of his benders. I call him Hemingway because he drinks like Ernie did. You should see ol’ Andrew when he’s had a snootful.
What are you two working on at the moment?
AJ: This interview.
AJ: High five, Danny.
DtD: Next question, please.
AJ: Hey, Danny. Don’t leave me hangin’.
DtD: Pleeease … give us the next question!
How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use a set formula?
AJ: I usually sit down to write a book with no idea where my characters will lead me. I start out with what I hope will be a killer first sentence … and the last paragraph of the book. Then I set out to fill the in-between space with 100,000 words. I find that the easy part. Sometimes I will bring my characters to a certain place, only to have them rebel when we get there. They’ll tell me they want to go somewhere else and take off on their own. I have no choice but to follow.
DtD: That was a pretty artsy-fartsy answer.
AJ: Was not.
DtD: Was too.
AJ: Was not!
DtD: Was too. Was too. Was too!!!
Boys! If you can’t behave, I’ll have to end the interview. As a child, Andrew what did you want to be when you grew up? And, as a puppy, Danny, what did you want to do?
AJ: I never wanted to grow up, and I believe I have succeeded.
DtD: I think he has, too. As a puppy, I only wanted to survive Andrew.
What would we find under your bed?
AJ: The monster that lives there.
DtD: When it thunders, me (and Andrew’s monster).
If you could travel into the past or future, where would you want to go? Why?
AJ: Egypt. I’d like to see the Great Pyramid being built.
DtD: The caveman days. I think it would be super-duper to be in a time before dogs allowed themselves to be “domesticated.”
What has been your worst or most difficult job?
AJ: Some jobs I’ve had in the past have been real doozies. I’ve done back-breaking physical labor. I’ve worked as a waiter for a short spell and hated every minute of it. I worked with and breathed in chemicals that have done a number on my lungs. But the worst job I ever had was when I was eighteen. I worked at a McDonalds for one day. At the end of the shift, I walked out never to return. I didn’t care about the pay I was owed or anything else. I just wanted out of there.
DtD: Looking after Andrew.
What group did you hang out with in high school?
AJ: I had no friends in high school. Still don’t … come to think of it.
DtD: At last … Andrew has said one true thing! I, of course, had no need of schooling. I was born brilliant. Not to mention wonderful, marvelous, and good looking.
What is something that you absolutely cannot live without?
DtD: If you don’t mind, I’ll field this one for both of us. For Andrew, it’s vodka. For me it’s Andrew.
AJ: Aw shucks, Danny.
Thank you for stopping by. It’s been a little different. However, I believe we’ve learned a few things about your writing processes … and a few other things as well.
AJ: Thank you for having us.
DtD: Yeah, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
Andrew’s Latest Book
Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups is a jumble of genres—seven hundred pages of fiction and nonfiction … some stories included against the author’s better judgment. If he had known that one day they’d be published, he might not have been as honest when describing his past. Here is a tome of true stories about the author’s criminal and misspent youth, historical accounts of the United States when She was young, and tales of imagination encompassing every conceivable variety—all presented as though the author is sitting next to you at a bar and you’re buying the drinks as long as he keeps coming up with captivating stories to hold your interest.
Comprised of 218,000 words, you’ll have plenty to read for the foreseeable future. This is a book to have on your night table, to sample a story each night before extinguishing the lights and drifting off to a restful sleep.
Mr. Joyce sincerely hopes that you will enjoy his stories because, as he has stated, “It took a lot of living to come up with the material for some of them.”
Available on Amazon.
About the Author
Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until years later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books. His first novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, was awarded the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Western of 2013. A subsequent novel, Yellow Hair, received the Book of the Year award from Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 from Colleen’s Book Reviews.
Joyce now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, Mahoney: An American Story.