About the Book
Genre: Adventure/Historical Fiction
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: March 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads:
It’s 1861 and the Civil War has just started. Molly is an eighteen-year-old girl living on her family’s farm in Virginia when two deserters from the Southern Cause enter her life. One of them—a twenty-four-year-old Huck Finn—ends up saving her virtue, if not her life.
Molly is so enamored with Huck, she wants to run away with him. But Huck has other plans and is gone the next morning before she awakens. Thus starts a sequence of events that leads Molly into adventure after adventure; most of them not so nice.
We follow the travails of Molly Lee, starting when she is eighteen and ending when she is fifty-six. Even then Life has one more surprise in store for her.
Molly Lee is the sequel to the best-selling novel REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. It is the story of a woman who knows what she wants and starts out to get it. Molly is about to set off on the quest of a lifetime . . . of two lifetimes.
Please welcome author Andrew Joyce to Socrates’ Book Reviews. Andrew is the author of a new historical fiction novel entitled MOLLY LEE. This book is a follow-up to his first book, REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. We are very happy to have him visiting our blog today
1) Can you tell us a little bit about your books and how you came up with the idea for them?
First of all, I’d like to say I usually do not do interviews; most of the time I find the questions inane. However, I love these questions. Hence, with your permission, I’ll answer in detail. I may come off as inane myself, but if I do, please forgive me.
Now to the first question:
My first book was a 125,000-word historical novel. And in the publishing world, anything over 80,000 words for a first-time author is heresy. Or so I was told time and time again when I approached an agent for representation. After two years of research and writing, and a year of trying to secure the services of an agent, I got angry. To be told that my efforts were meaningless was somewhat demoralizing to say the least. I mean . . . those rejections were coming from people who had never even read my book.
“So you want an 80,000-word novel?” I said to no one in particular, unless you count my dog, because he was the only one around at the time. Consequently, I decided to show them City Slickers that I could write an 80,000-word novel!
I had just finished reading Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for the third time, and I started thinking about what ever happened to those boys, Tom and Huck. They must have grown up, but then what? So I sat down at my computer and banged out REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer in two months. I had them as adults in the Old West. Then I sent out query letters to literary agents.
Less than a month later, the chairman of one of the biggest agencies in New York City emailed me telling me that he loved the story and suggested a few changes. They were good suggestions, and I incorporated about 80% of them into the book. We signed a contract and it was off to the races, or so I thought. But then the real fun began: the serious editing. Seven months later, I gave birth to Huck and Tom as adults. And just for the record, the final word count is 79,914.
2) Who is your greatest influence in your writing life?
Every great writer that ever lived: Steinbeck, London, et al. Beryl Markham wrote a book that made me cry. Not because of the content . . . because of the beauty of her prose.
3) Did you always want to be an author?
When I was sixty years old, I woke up one morning and threw my TV out the window. Then I sat down at my computer . . . I’ve been writing ever since.
4) Who are your favorite authors and what are your favorite books?
By far, I’m my favorite author. Just kidding! John Steinbeck puts us all to shame. That son-of-a-bitch sure could write. Grapes of Wrath is probably the greatest book ever written.
5) Where do you do most of your writing? Can you describe the setting for us?
I live on a boat. I sit on the water with a vodka and tonic within easy reach. Then I just go to town.
6) What do you think about the way eBooks have become so popular?
I’m an old fart. I’m the guy yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off my lawn. However, I love it. Without eBooks, I’d still be looking for an agent to sell my wares, and you would not have asked me for an interview.
7) Do you do much research on your books? What does the research consist of?
This is my favorite question. I research my butt off. I write (for the most part) historical novels. I must know about the era; the nomenclature . . . everything. I’m presently researching women’s undergarments of the 1890s. If there is anything you need to know about pantalettes, just ask me.
8) Do you plan to write other genres?
I have 140 short stories that cover everything from the detective genre to science fiction and everything in between.
9) Do you have any other books on the horizon?
Yes I do, but right now my attention is riveted on a big, tall, frosty glass of vodka and cranberry juice. So I’ll have to go now. It’s been a pleasure, Yvonne. Thank you.