An avid sailor, she spent the past thirty years cruising the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea with “Captain My Way.” Her published works include two books on managing a sailboat, a cookbook, and a book about wedding planning for moms. Joy and her handsome captain live in Connecticut and sail out of Mystic. During her spare time she continues to develop recipes to pass on, crochets prayer shawls, spoils their seven darling grandchildren, and tries not to eat too much ice-cream.
Find her on the Web at www.joysmith.net (which promotes all her books)and www.joysmithromance.com (which is dedicated to GREEN FIRE), or on Twitter.
Tell me about GREEN FIRE.
Happy to, Peter. It’s a just-released romantic suspense, currently available as a digital book. It is said in Colombia that miners addicted to finding emeralds have “green fire in their bellies.” In my story, Victor Novak, a handsome devil who works as a companion to lonely, wealthy matrons (read, gigolo), responds to an invite to Bogota from his new-found brother, a corrupt security guard at an emerald mine, in hopes of bettering himself with a career in emeralds. There, he becomes involved in his brother’s web of danger and deceit, while falling in love with the honest and beautiful Marisol, a single mother struggling to save her family’s flower plantation from the man she believes murdered her father. The story comes to a head when Victor has to choose between becoming a rich (but lonely) criminal or having the love and family he never thought he deserved.
What drove you to write GREEN FIRE?
My love for emeralds of course. What woman doesn’t like jewelry? When researching crime in Colombia for another story, I happened across emerald mining and was fascinated. Online, I found an article about cocaine being smuggled out of the country in flower crates—which led me to craft a plot using emeralds, instead.
Who did you write the book for?
I wanted my story to appeal to men as well as women readers. While a romantic theme runs through the book, I’ve included lots of action scenes as Victor defends himself, his brother, and his woman against cartel gunslingers. When my worst critic--my husband and avid reader of thrillers and “war books”--read my manuscript and liked it, I felt I may have met my goal.
What were your biggest obstacles?
Dealing with Spanish--silly me, I studied French in school. Who knew it would become a second language in the U.S? Also, I worried about adding realism to the setting. I’d never been to Bogota, so I purchased a video of Colombia and then relied on a combo of online Web info and my experiences in other Caribbean countries, like Puerto Rico, to portray what I hope is a fairly accurate rendering of the environment.
What are your productivity tips?
Stay away from Facebook/Twitter and relegate computer games to down time in front of a bad TV show.
Do you have any questions for me?
Yes, Peter. You seem to be very organized and focused in your writing. How do you manage not to get sidetracked (like me)?
Probably the most important thing I do is decide the day before what I will write. This is a promise I keep to myself. That doesn't mean life doesn't get in the way or that I will ignore a fresh idea. If I have other demands, I carve out 15 minutes to keep my promise. If I get a new idea, I STILL write what I committed to write--even though that means more time at the keyboard. By keeping my promise each day, I know I will continue to make progress on my primary effort.