About the Author
Joyce DiPastena dreamed of green medieval forests while growing up in the dusty copper mining town of Kearny, Arizona. She filled her medieval hunger by reading the books of Thomas B. Costain (where she fell in love with King Henry II of England), and later by attending the University of Arizona where she graduated with a degree in history, specializing in the Middle Ages. The university was also where she completed her first full-length novel…set, of course, in medieval England. Later, her fascination with Henry II led her to expand her research horizons to the far reaches of his “Angevin Empire” in France, which became the setting of her first published novel, Loyalty’s Web (a 2007 Whitney Award Finalist).
When she’s not writing, Joyce loves to read, play the piano, and spend time with her sister and friends. A highlight of her year is attending the annual Arizona Renaissance Festival .
Joyce is a multi-published, multi-award winning author who specializes in sweet medieval romances heavily spiced with mystery and adventure. She lives with her two cats, Clio and Glinka Rimsky-Korsokov, in Mesa, Arizona.
1. How did you get started as an author? What or whom inspired you?
I suppose two authors inspired me the most as a beginning writer. Regency author Georgette Heyer inspired my love for words and characters and dialogue and all the ingredients that go into creating a joyful novel. And Thomas B. Costain inspired my love for the Middle Ages. I know I can never aspire to be as great an author as Georgette Heyer or as great a historian as Thomas B. Costain, but during my high school and college years, they kind of inspired me to mix and match and experiment until I eventually found my own writer’s niche and voice.
2. How many books have you written and in what genres?
I’ve written six novels and three short stories/novellas, all medieval romances. And a little non-fiction book about medieval names.
3. How long does it typically take you to write a novel?
I think the fastest I’ve ever written a full-length novel (from start to publication) has been about 9 months. Some of my early books took me years to finish and polish and publish.
4. What writing projects are you currently working on? What can you tell us about these projects?
Right now, I’m working on a novella that springboards off some references I made about my hero Gerolt’s past in Courting Cassandry before he met my heroine, Cassandry. I’m going back in time to explore how some of these events happened, but through the eyes a knight named Nick Ryder, who was picked to mentor Gerolt when he was a rather reckless young man. And yes, Nick is getting a romance of his own. :)
5. What inspired the idea for your Courting Cassandry or Hearts in Autumn Series?
A couple of years ago, a writers group I was in challenged us each to try to write an autumn-themed story. While I was trying to come up with an autumn theme, the thought came to me, “What if I wrote a story about falling in love during the characters’ ‘autumn years?’” So I wrote a romance about an older couple and enjoyed it so much, I decided to turn it into a series called “Hearts in Autumn.” Courting Cassandry is the second title in the series. (The first was Loving Lucianna.)
6. What other hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
I love to read, play the piano, eat chocolate, and play with my cats. :)
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