Hello there everyone.
Hope you haven’t all melted in the heat wherever you are, it certainly has been a scorcher here these last few weeks!
Speaking of things that are hot off the press, I’d like to share with you yet another brand new Author Interview with an amazing author to tickle your reading taste buds with her engaging words.
Please let me introduce you all to Gloria Joynt-Lang, as she debuts the first book in her “Out of the Darkness series”, the Contemporary Romance novel “Beyond Circumstances” and we join Gloria on the journey of her Book Tour.
Thanks for reading folks and have fun as always 🙂
Hi there Gloria, fantastic to have you here today to discuss your debut novel release, along with your own passions, influences and writing experiences.
Thanks for hosting me.
Let’s start first with your debut Contemporary Romance novel itself “Beyond Circumstances”. Please tell us more about the plot and themes of your book, along with the romantic challenges your lead protagonists Dr. Lexie Draden and Zak Tifour face, as they explore their intimate feelings for each other against a backdrop of Zak’s dark past and deep secrets that inevitably come between them over the course of your novel.
Beyond Circumstances takes place within a setting of a small rural town in Illinois. The type of place where everyone knows each other and there’s a lot of shared history. It centers around Zak, a man of Middle Eastern descent, and Lexie, the town’s new doctor. Although Zak’s been residing in the community for a couple of years, he’s still an outsider in many respects. When a relationship emerges between the two, a local businesswoman along with her son, the town’s Sheriff, caution Lexie to stay away from Zak. Initially, Lexie ignores their ambiguous warnings, but when Zak vanishes for several months, she begins to reconsider how she sees him – torn between her own experiences with the man and the rumors surrounding his disappearance.
Beyond Circumstances explores bigotry, and the underlying issues of fear, grief, and isolation. It’s about healing from one’s past, and the power of communities who band together in helping out their neighbours. It addresses Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and its impact on not only the person afflicted, but those around them.
If your novel was to be made into a film (or even a TV series), who would you cast in the lead roles?
I’d like to see Dominic Adams in the role of Zak. For those not familiar with his role as Tony Bishara from Devious Maids, he currently plays a villain on the History Channel’s dramatic series Six. I think he would bring the kind of intensity needed for a character such as Zak. He’s of Middle-Eastern descent and I would love to see him in a role that acknowledges this and portrays him as one of the good guys.
I think Emma Stone would make an amazing Lexie. She’s phenomenal in so many different roles, and has a perfect combination of girl next door charm and take charge attitude.
What would you choose as your own personal mascot or spirit animal when it comes to you and your style of writing?
The Bear would be my spirit animal. I’m not necessarily confident, but I do gain a certain strength from writing. And the bear symbolizes standing up against adversity. On a more fun side, there’s the hibernation aspect. I can write for hours in my private den.
What do you think most characterizes or defines your writing? Do you have any writing quirks or themes that constantly crop up in your stories?
A lot of work brings to the forefront pre-conceived notions and empathy. There are times, where most of us will judge people incorrectly. For instant, when a boisterous child runs down the aisle during a wedding, we might brush them off as being a brat, not realizing the child has ADHD and sitting still doesn’t work for them. I write about these perceptions, and how wrong they often are. It’s not to shame anyone, but rather to make us all rethink how we see things, and offer kindness to one another, to reach out in even a small way to those struggling.
It’s not necessarily a quirk, but I’ve included a canine in all my novels thus far. I have two dogs myself and I’m amazed at how dogs help us. In Beyond Circumstances, Abby is this massive woolly beast of an animal who’s attuned to Zak’s emotions. When Zak finds himself in a dark place, he attempts to gift Lexie with his beloved canine. This gesture symbolizes his love for Lexie in so many ways.
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?
Finding the time to write during the summer. It’s one of the reasons why I often take my laptop with me when boating. I also have a tendency to overwrite. The word count for my first draft of Beyond Circumstances was twenty-five percent longer. I had a considerable amount of excessive wordage, which I had to cut out. I’m better with this now, but it was tough at first.
The easiest part for me is creating the characters. I love doing this. to me they come to life, and I constantly find myself imagining how they would deal with various situations.
Who are some of the authors, musicians, poets and/or historical figures that inspire you?
The list is rather long, but I’ll focus on Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai. I’ve always been in awe of people who devote their lives to social justice. Both of them have put their own well-being and safety at risk so others can benefit. They inspire me to be a better person. Long Walk to Freedom was one of my favorite non-fiction books, and I’m looking to reading I am Malala this summer.
What sort of research do you do to write your books?
I usually start by researching on the internet, and then I expand to talking to people that are experts, or who have gone through experiences similar to what my characters have. Both my characters in Beyond Circumstances have gone through traumatic events so at points the research was disheartening. But I also try and have fun with research. There’s a scene in Beyond Circumstances where Zak takes Lexie to the Opera. I ended up watching opera as part of research and really fell in love with it. I’ve got a scene in a book I’m currently writing that involves a character who sandboards. I’m headed to the Oregon coast this fall, and hopefully, I’ll get a chance to try it. I’m a lousy skier, but maybe I’ll have better luck with sand dunes.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always loved writing. I communicate better in words than in speech. I’m rather nervous getting up in front of a crowd and talking. I hate the sound of my own voice, and nervously babble. I guess I am doing a bit of babbling in writing, as that is how I ended up with a ridiculously long first draft, but you get the chance to edit with writing. Like most writers, I had a story inside me that needed to come out, and I guess as long as I continue to have stories, I’ll be writing.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writer’s Block?
I take a break and do something other than writing. If it’s not coming, I’m not going to force myself to look at a blank screen. I tried it once, and it only added to the frustration. Walking or some other physical exercise seems to be the best medicine when I’m stuck. Something about being outdoors in nature loosens ideas from my brain.
You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?
To be bolder. I wasn’t necessarily timid, but there were instances where I should have stood up and taken a stand. I admire kids who have a real sense of self, and aren’t afraid to challenge the system.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
In the summer, I do a fair amount of kayaking and boating. I tried fishing, but I get freaked out, worried they’re going to bite me and I can’t stomach the idea of killing them. Yes, I know I’m a hypocrite as I do eat fish. I’m not a golfer but rather a person who golfs. Essentially, I’m not very good at it, but it’s nice to get out and swing a club. I have a Honda Shadow motorcycle that I’ve had for approximately twelve years. It’s in great shape, which means I don’t take it out as often as I should. Riding is a great stress reliever. You find yourself focusing on the road ahead and not concentrating on things that bother you.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
Beyond Circumstances is part of the Out of the Darkness series and the second novel in the series, Escaping Circumstances, is scheduled for release in December 2018. It’s a stand-alone novel that follows the story of Scorp, who shows up in the second part of Beyond Circumstances. I’m in the process of finishing a third novel in this series, and contemplating a fourth. I’ve also written another novel set against the backdrop of coastal Oregon. It’s about a man whose life seems ideal on the surface – successful business, hot girlfriend – but when he loses someone he loves, he begins to re-examine what’s really important.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
To not give up. If you love writing continue to do so. Prior to writing Beyond Circumstances, I wrote a few short articles that I submitted to various magazines. They all got rejected. After a few days of sulking, I finally decided that I would treat writing as one would treat making a quilt. If I sold my work, great, but if I didn’t, I would still marvel that I created something unique and special to me.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for joining us Gloria, good luck with your Book Tour and we can’t wait to get our hands on a copy to find out more 🙂
Gloria Joynt-Lang was born in Ars-Laquenexy, France and spent her childhood experiencing the vast landscapes of Canada. A graduate of the University of Alberta with a degree in Criminology, she devoted her career to working in the criminal justice system. She now splits her time living in rural Alberta, Canada as well as Southern California with her husband and their two dogs, a Maltese named YaHoo and Yorkie named Smookie Bijoux. Why the Yorkie has a stripper name shall remain a tight guarded secret. A lifelong nerd, she is most comfortable with a book or laptop close by except when she transforms to cool biker chick, hopping on her motorcycle for a speed limit abiding ride to the nearest bookstore.
You can connect with Gloria via the following Social Media channels:-
Facebook:- Gloria Joynt-Lang – Author (FB)
Twitter:- @glojoyntlang (Twitter)
You can buy her books here:-
If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.