Image result for milton avery

Hello, Joyce. Thank you for agreeing to an interview about your writer’s blog: I understand you also have an e-commerce website. What can you tell us about that?

JMP: My business website is  I sell sashiko stitching supplies with traditional Japanese patterns and my own designs, inspired by the landscape and cultures in the southwest.

So your web business is a full-time job and you also write?

JMP: No, I would describe myself as a person with two jobs.


What role does the blog play in your writing?
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JMP: The blog started out as an experiment. At first I wrote about my garden and places I visited. But at this point, the blog is a scrapbook of writing exercises I don’t picture trying to publish.  There is a series of six short stories about the animals on my sashiko designs inspired by Mimbres pottery. One story was written in an airport when I had a long wait because my flight was cancelled.





What are you working on now?

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JMP: Last week I completed the second draft of “Red Moon”- a middle grade novel with a female protagonist.I am also working on a first draft of a story with a male protagonist. Those are my two ‘active’ manuscripts.  There are other drafts I have set aside for now.

Who writes middle grade novels you especially enjoy reading?

JMP: Off the top-of-my-head: Andrew Clements and Louis Sachar; Lois Lowry (of course) . And two new authors – Grace Lin and Anne Ylvisaker.





What adult novel have you read recently?

Image result for milton averyJMP: David Lagercrantz’s  book “The Girl in the Spider’s Web”- his book follows the characters in Stieg Larssons’ “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy. The original books were wildly popular and I wondered how Lagercrantz would handle the challenge of writing a sequel with another author’s characters and voice. The result is an uneven simulacrum and I didn’t come away with any sense of how he might write subsequent stories that are more his own.


Do you have anything you would like to share about your process?

JMP:  Over the past five years I have experimented with plotting and seat-of-your-pants writing. Both approaches have become part of my process. I begin with a character that takes off on their own. These pieces tend to be short and usually there is nothing more to add. Occasionally I follow an interesting character with complex issues. At this point I do some rough plotting to explore plot possibilities. What I am going to do with my next book is write the last chapter first. I heard John Irving speak on a book tour and he mentioned how he wrote the last chapter and then figured out how his characters got there.

Thank you, Joyce. Time for a cup of coffee and I hope we can do this again.

NOTE:  Paintings on this blog were all done by MILTON AVERY – one of my favorite artists.

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