The Writing Life with M. J. Joseph



M. J. Joseph was born in the first Catholic hospital built in Florida, a Gothic Revivalbuilding designed by the Hungarian architect, Albert Olszewski von Herbulis. Now, a nearly abandoned stone pile listed in the United States National Register of Historic Places, the former hospital, deserted by the Daughters of Charity, currently houses a couple of eateries and a Montessori school. As a matter of curiosity, Joseph’s children attended the Montessori school.
Joseph represents the seventh-generation of his family to live in Pensacola, Florida, growing-up the son of a World War II PT Boat sailor and a working mother, spending the happiest of his early days along the shores of Pensacola Bay and Santa Rosa Island.  Every year, like Persephone, he descended into what he regarded as the dark and forbidding underworld of schooling, enduring complete boredom and utter disinterest, except upon the occasion of first hearing one of his music teachers sing Schubert lieder.  Upon escaping his primary education, Joseph discovered university life and began an enormously fulfilling period of scholarship and curiosity that has remained dear to him.
Joseph spent his professional career in his family’s firm, eventually rising to CEO and managing the corporation’s merger with a multinational company.  He has been retired for sixteen years, occasionally working part-time in the non-profit world and in jobs that have interested him, as well as, directing, for several years, his own non-profit corporation benefitting international youth soccer, or, more commonly understood, football.
M. J. Joseph has written all his life, but, until sharing the manuscript of his book, The Lübecker, with a several friends and his wife, he had no interest in publishing any of his work, finding other interests sufficiently fulfilling, especially, sailing.  Joseph plans to publish the entire work, of which The Lübecker represents the first book, largely owing to the enthusiastic support of the girl of his dreams, his wife, Ann, and wonderful publicist, Maryglenn McCombs.     
Website: www.mjjoseph.net 
Check out the book on Amazon.
What’s inside the mind of a fiction author?
This fiction author desires to entertain himself by pursuing the challenge of depicting his personality and experience through actions, events and settings fashioned through the exercise of his imagination.   

What is so great about being an author?
There is nothing great about being an author: granting oneself time to be absent from responsibilities to family, friends and society is incredibly selfish. I don’t relish the necessity of isolating myself from the demands of daily life, recreation, or friends and family to exercise my wish to write.    I can’t think of any reasons to recommend the practice of serious writing to anyone, except that the possibility for forgiveness and support from one’s family and friends for doing so sometimes exists.  

When do you hate it?
I find nothing to hate about serious writing, only the inherent egocentricity required to do so.

What is a regular writing day like for you?
I begin writing after a light breakfast at 7:00 or 7:15 and pause for lunch at about 11:30.  I usually resume writing about 12:15 and continue through the afternoon until 3 or, no later than 4.

Do you think authors have big egos? Do you?
Yes, but authors may or may not be perceived as particularly arrogant people.  I have an out-sized ego, as demonstrated by the license I give myself to write, but to be described as an arrogant man would mortify me.
 
How do you handle negative reviews?
I believe that everyone offered the same work written by me, reads a different book. I acknowledge that different tastes and expectations influence the reception of my work and that some readers will indulge in unkind criticism, which, I have to admit, discourages me.   In the end, however, if I wish to continue as a writer, I have to maintain the attitude suggested in the old Arab proverb, “The dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on”.

How do you handle positive reviews?
I am encouraged, but recognize that the review is not the final judgement.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?
Curiosity

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?
Writing requires discipline and I feel compelled to make some kind of effort toward realizing results, whether or not I am inspired to write. There is endless preparation to occupy my less creative moments.

Any writing quirks?
I enjoy writing in natural light.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?
If no one took my writing seriously, the fact that I write for my own amusement would be reinforced and I probably would not entertain further efforts to publish.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate? 
No, to some degree any writing effort is fulfilling.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?
Only inasmuch as it accounts for readership.

What had writing taught you?
All writing leads to better writing.

Leave us with some words of wisdom.

Seizing time to write is a selfish act and one must cherish the forgiveness and support of those most affected.
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