AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Joss Landry, author of 'I Can Find You (Emma Willis Series #2)



Joss Landry has worked as a consultant for more than twenty years, writing copy for marketing firms and assisting start-up companies to launch their business. She recently made the switch from composing copy and promos, to writing fiction and prose. She is developing her style through courses and the support of other writers and is presently working on honing three other novels for publication.
Blessed with four children and six grandchildren, she resides in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband, a staunch supporter, and enjoys spending time biking, rollerblading, playing tennis, and swimming. She loves creating stories as she says they fulfill her need to think outside the box.

Her latest book is the urban fantasy/paranormal, I CAN FIND YOU (Emma Willis Series #2).

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Interesting question. I come from a family where my grandmother was able to read tea leaves and predict the future quite accurately. People used to come all the way from Boston to the Canadian maritime province of New Brunswick to have my grandmother read their future. Word spread, and her fame grew. She also had a younger sister, my great-aunt, my mother’s aunt, who could read people’s thoughts and sense trouble miles away.

My mother an intuitive, would change her mind at the last minute from taking part in certain activities, for no reason at all it would seem. 

Once my father reserved train tickets for my mother, my baby brother, my four-year-old sister and myself. I was five at the time. We were due to travel from Moncton to Edmundston, New Brunswick to be with my grandparents while he covered a newspaper assignment a week abroad.  He’d reserved tickets in the sleeper compartment of the train to help my mother deal with the nightly ride and three small children. My mom complained she didn’t want such expensive tickets, but my father convinced her to keep them. The minute he was gone, my brother on her hip, she dragged my sister by the hand while I followed, and we waited in line at the ticket counter to get tickets in another compartment. I tried to convince her that it would be fun to sleep on the train. She would not hear of it. I learned over the years that whenever my mother dug in her heels, as shy and as sweet as she was, a strange look would take over her whole persona, almost like the sound of an aura swooshing around her, immovable, and nothing and no one could convince her to do otherwise. 

A terrible derailment occurred that night with the train. I remember walking lopsided coming back from the washroom and a man holding on to me while luggage shifted from one side to the next. People were screaming while the conductor yelled to stay calm over the horrifying noise of the train's wheels scraping against the rails. 

When all the motion finally stopped, my mother was crying while she held the three of us. 

Another train took us to our final destination. My grandfather picked us up at the train station, and I’ll never forget the tears on his cheeks. Everyone thought we were dead. No one knew my mother had changed the tickets and the only casualties were those in the sleeper car. This particular car never made it over the bridge. It unhooked and rolled down the cliff and exploded. Had my mother not changed those tickets, this would have been our fate.

All my life, I have followed in this tradition of being able to see, and I know of quite a few others who do as well. 

Therefore, Emma came to me as a means to make people aware of help along the way, and to give purpose and courage to people who tote these talents, sometimes, at an enormous peril.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The difficulty in writing a book like I Can Find You, the second book in the Emma Willis series, is encountering the villains and having to learn about their threats and worse, wondering what happened in this world to create such evil dudes in the first place. A mixture of fear and pity goes into creating such characters as the wizards

Also, in the first book of the Emma Willis series, I Can See You I believe writing about difficult parents who cannot recognize their child’s gifts turned into a traumatic experience for me, most difficult to write, as I have known such families. I believe what touches us most is usually something difficult to put into words, even though we are writing fiction, reality is forever slightly over our right shoulder.

I don’t think you can soften the blow of writing a mystery thriller fiction novel. You simply need to focus on the positive twists in your book and hope your characters will stand by you and do what they must. To tell you the truth I am sometimes surprised by my protagonists’ actions.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I decided to self-publish. I didn’t submit I Can See You or I Can Find You anywhere. In I Can Find You, especially, I found the subject matter too personal, and when Emma discovers and hones new powers, I didn’t know if anyone else would understand and accept how these powers work. I had a professional cover made, and a professional editor look over the book, but this series is one after my own heart. I wanted to publish this from start to finish. I don’t yet know how many books the series will hold, but I am sure more than four books is the deal.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published? 

Yes, how quickly it is to write the story and how long it is to edit the same story. It took me a couple of months to write I Can Find You once I settled in our new place, we moved across the country mostly because I needed a place where I was more inspired to write, I was able to finish the story. Since I had written half the book elsewhere, I found I needed to practically redo the first half of the book and then, of course, edit again.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I am launching soon, a romantic/fantasy/Sci-fi novel of 92,500 words. This story took me 30 days to write, beginning of the new year, and edited, and edited again, What About Barnum?  has been waiting for the preferential treatment of a launch to become visible and available. What About Barnum? is the first book in the Binary Bounty series. 

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people? 

I am going to say the spiritual or inspirational aspect of my mysteries. I am a firm believer in the grand purpose of life and in the mighty Universe helping us along to accomplish what we feel we must do. This message comes through in my stories—breathes loud and clear. No missing the memo. You will meet all types of heroes and some entirely different from what we expect—not mainly two-dimensional scope. I am also a firm believer in brotherhood, kindness, selflessness acceptance of all those we don’t know and call strangers.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book? 

Some people have told me there are a spiritual penchant and kindness in my stories. Others recognized the mystery and the thrill of the chase. I would say my message is one of turning the other cheek, smiling when we want to cry and adopting Emma’s stoicism and selflessness. Barnum’s heart and loyalty, Hank Apple’s dedication, and Christina Tyler’s kindness. I believe you will find all my characters convey unique qualities present in all of us. Now, if only half of us would agree to display such qualities, and trot them out with pride, this world would do away with malaises such as wars, famine, poverty—all sorts of fears liable to make us haul possessions and hold onto them for dear life.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

There is a saying by Albert Einstein I love! He says, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
I often used to tell my children, and now my grandchildren, “Which one of these sentences would you like to be true?”

One of my sons chose the first theory. One of my grandchildren also chose the first thought. What I told them is, “You are allowed selecting the conjecture you prefer, but whatever you decide will become your truth. This time spent on Earth, I have learned logic offers no rhyme or reason. The heart rules, the thoughts draw the path, and the soul gets us there.

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