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. Continue reading