Friday, September 1, 2017

Enough Joy a New Release by Sarah Floyd

Enough Joy the sequel to Finding Joy is finally out! I had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah for YouTube, but due to the hurricane, I haven't had a chance to finish cutting and finalizing the interview. So, for now, I hope you enjoy this print interview. Thanks again Sarah for letting me interview you!

--Susan

Enough Joy by Sarah Floyd

"From the author of the Voice of Joy series (Finding Joy 2015) comes Enough Joy, another Christian fiction novel about faith, family, and godly romance. After several months of life in Vermont, Joy is growing in her faith and cherishing her new relationships. Her big farmhouse is never lonely anymore, and her heart is full. She takes unexpected tragedies in stride, she accomplishes major goals, and she learns more every day. She's even writing again. But Joy's past still threatens to destroy her. Can she finally overcome her doubts and fears and embrace her future completely?" (Amazon)

About Enough Joy


Does Enough Joy stand on its own? Or, is it better read as a sequel?

It can stand on its own, but it is definitely intended to be read as a sequel, primarily because it doesn't contain a long summary of the previous book or detailed character explanations.

What sets Enough Joy apart from Finding Joy?

Enough Joy has a more serious tone than Finding Joy. Joy has grown up a lot in the time period between the books, although it wasn't very long, and I think I'd consider her to be much more fully an adult in Enough Joy. Enough Joy also covers a longer period of time, ten months, than Finding Joy, which took place in about five months.

What do you really love about these characters?

I love so many things about these characters...Joy's determination, Paul's stability, Joann's encouragement, Jennifer's impulsiveness...I could go on and on. I have never created a cast of characters that I wish were real people as much as I wish these characters were. I've had to move slowly on the writing, editing, and publication process of Enough Joy due to many life events, most of them wonderful...buying a house, having a second child, keeping up with my first child, etc., so when I'm not writing about these characters, I miss them so much. Several of my readers have shared that the characters seem like real people to them, and I'm so glad because they certainly seem real to me.

Is there a character that you identify with?

I identify with Joy the most, but she's not very much like me in most ways. We don't look alike, we're not the same age or in the same stage of life, and we don't have the same backgrounds in most ways. I think the two main ways we ARE similar is that she left everything familiar and moved to a new life in Vermont, which my husband and I did in 2013, and that she and I share some of the same fears and insecurities. Those similarities enable me to write about her in a genuine manner, but Joy's life is certainly not modeled after my own. The character Joann is almost nothing like me, but I also identify with her to some extent because she is who I'd like to be when I grow up. haha

What was your hardest scene to write?

That's difficult to answer. I suppose the hardest parts were the first few chapters...it often takes me several chapters of writing to feel as though I'm really on a roll with a new novel...or as though it's really going to be worth finishing. I write my books straight through, in order, with just bits of notes about where the plot is going so that I don't forget. Sometimes I make changes, but I never write scenes out of order. It interferes with the way the book flows through my mind...it's almost like a movie. The most emotional scenes for me to write were the chapters of Joy's meltdown...that's all I can say without spoiling the book for anyone who hasn't read it. They were difficult because I had to remember some of my most upsetting experiences in order to write naturally about Joy's feelings even though our lives are so different.

Is there anything you edited out of this book?

Nothing significant...tons of unnecessary adverbs and other sloppy writing!

Are there more books coming out with these characters?

I plan to publish one more full-length novel for the Voice of Joy series, to make it a trilogy. I've just barely begun to write it...I'm still in the ugh...is this really any good? stage. I also have a much shorter prequel detailing Joy's visit to her aunt and uncle's farm as a teenager; I may or may not publish it as a bonus novella.

About the Writing Process


What is your writing process?

I write fiction in composition notebooks with black pens. I need quiet (or non-invasive music) and privacy in order to write fiction...hearing others talking interferes with the characters' voices. I write in spurts...sometimes I will go for days without feeling like writing, and sometimes I'll scribble 10-15 notebook pages in one night. It's hard for me to find time to write consistently because of having two little ones under three and a very busy husband with a long work commute.

Does writing energize or exhaust you? 

It generally energizes me until my adrenaline rush is over, and then I am completely exhausted. If you've ever read Little Women, you probably remember the sections that describe Jo's writing process...she was secluded in the attic for hours or days, forgetting to eat or sleep, and quite grouchy when she was finished. I can't exactly disappear for days in my stage in life...the children would eat each other...but that's how I feel in a more moderate way when I'm really in the middle of writing a book.

What is your favorite time of day to write? 

Evening, after supper but not too late.

How does your family life impact your writing?

My husband is extremely supportive of my writing, so he helps motivate me and encourage me. Writing has to take a backseat to mommying these days, but I know that my children are my most important realm of influence, so I squeeze it in around diapers and bottles whenever I can.

What do you think are common traps for aspiring writers?

I can think of quite a few, but I'm sure I do some of them myself...creating characters that are (and always have been) 100% evil or 100% saintly, using extremely cliched plots or themes...ahem...not mentioning any of those!, not editing their work well enough, writing for their audience entirely instead of for themselves...I don't mean that writers shouldn't consider their audience when they write, but if there isn't an intrinsic joy of writing in their hearts, their books won't seem as natural or meaningful.


Random Questions


What does literary success look like to you?

I'll be totally honest and share what I would consider literary success to be for myself: to see my books in Christian bookstores or libraries or at Christian events, to hear others talking about my books in my presence without realizing I'm the author, and for my books to be suggested or required reading for students in homeschools or Christian schools (the Voice of Joy series is too religious to be required reading in most public school settings).

Do you Google yourself? Occasionally. haha

Do you read your book reviews? If so, how do you deal with good or bad reviews?

Yes, always. I haven't, uh, actually gotten any bad reviews yet. But I'm sure I will as my books gain more publicity so I will need to deal with them in a way that doesn't hurt my love for writing. I'll accept advice about that!

In what ways do you market your books? 

I actually hate the marketing angle of the process, so my husband does a lot of that at my request. If I start thinking about my books too much from a financial standpoint, it interferes with my creativity, and I feel self-conscious. I post a lot about them on my Facebook wall and in large groups I'm in, and I have a Facebook page for Finding Joy, but not yet for Enough Joy. I try to bring them to ladies' events as well. I'm also promoting my second book's release on August 31 by offering my first book for free for one day (September 2). Other than that...you'd have to talk to my marketing manager, my husband!

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
At least a dozen!

If you could choose a mascot, or a “spirit animal” as your writer self, what would it be? Well...the closest one would be L.M. Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables (and so many more amazing books!). We aren't much alike, but I've admired her writing since I was in third grade.

Have you ever gone on a literary pilgrimage?

I visited as many author sites as possible in Concord, Massachusetts as a teenager (Louisa May Alcott's house and grave, Nathaniel Hawthorne's house, some sites related to Emerson and Thoreau, etc.), but I was only able to be in the area for a few hours. I also spent one day on Prince Edward Island last year and was able to tour Green Gables and to see the outside of some of L.M. Montgomery's homes, as well as her grave. I'll have to save more in-depth pilgrimages for a different stage of my life!

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