Interview with Joyce E. Larsen

What is your writing process?
Mostly inspiration. I will hear something and it will touch my heart. I will not be able to keep from thinking about it, and words will start to flow, until I have to stop and write them down.
I also keep a list of topics that I would like to write about and sometimes, when I know I need to write, I will get up early in the morning and ponder on the list until an idea comes about one of the topics.
Then there are those times, I know I need (and want) to write about something very important. I will begin with a prayer for extra help to know what God would have me say. These often have been some of the most thought provoking and touching pieces of my work.
What do your fans mean to you?
Those who read, enjoy or are touched by my work, I think of more as friends, family. It takes a certain spirit to like poetry in the first place, but someone who appreciates inspirational work is extra special in my eyes (and I believe in God's eyes as well). If I have been inspired to write something that touches your heart, then I believe, God touched me to write it just for you.
The more people access my poetry, the more I know that the poetry will be moved toward more individuals who really "need" it. SOOO if you consider youself a "fan", I thank you. For you will be the way my heart felt words will make it to someone else.
THANK YOU!!!!!!!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1- The scriptures. I think that this is self explanatory.
2- the children's book "Me Too" by Mercer Mayer. I am touched to think of how sharing can be reciprocated when you least expect it.
3- My mother's books "His Everlasting Love" (all 3 volumes). These are stories about The Father's help to His children. I like to think of them as being full of stories about miracles. To know that God loves us and wants to help. Another reason why I love the Lord.
4- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. In a nutshell, because it taught me what love we might find if we humble ourselves.
5- Last but not least, my own. Songs to My Savior. As I read the poetry I have written, I am touched to know just how many of them were written where the words "flowed" as fast as I could write, and I know that I had help to write them. As I re-read them, I feel the spirit of the Lord with me and I am touched again - as when I wrote them.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I think this is obvious. I have great love for and gratitude to my Savior. Writing allows me to vocalize my feelings in such a way that I feel I am singing at the top of my lungs (and mostly on key). I want more than anything to touch others to know what the Father and the Son have done for them, so they, too, will sing Songs to Their Savior. In doing so, I remember how lucky I am that the Savior died for me - that I might repent and be saved. I want to serve Him and show that I know that He gave me the way to live that I might be of service to my brothers and sisters on this earth. YES - I believe YOU are a brother or a sister.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Both volumes but especially volume II was spurred by my completing my poetry "Especially for Easter". I felt an urgency to get it into print. I had self published 3 small volumes prior but want a vaster audience than I was getting. So I decided to combine my volumes 1 and 3 into one volume and then volumes 2 and 4 into another. A dear friend who is also an author helped me to publish - for which I will forever be grateful.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
The location of the city I grew up in doesn't matter. I grew up in a loving and happy home with parents who cared and loved me and each other. I was number 8 of nine children and we were poor but happy. I lost my father when I was eight years old. My parents believed strongly in God, and as I said in my first book's dedication "taught me to love the Lord, by example". Again, by example, I was taught to serve and I have chosen to listen to and serve the Lord. I am truly a Christian, and although I am thoroughly flawed, I will keep trying to improve.
All of this is the basis for my writing and the reason I listen to what I am prompted to write, say and do.
How do you approach cover design?
I wanted to show how I felt for the divine. Nature, to me, is very inspirational as I believe that this world and all of the beauty in it are God's creations. For my first book I felt the beauty of the Aurora Borealis with the Christmas star would put together my feelings for the night of His birth.
For Volume II, I wanted to show how I might feel on that day that He returns.
For Volume III, (still in progress), I want the world to know that I hope to someday kneel at His feet and worship Him.
All three covers are shown on my Website
What do you read for pleasure?
Believe it or not - I prefer non-fiction, most often history. Sometimes if I am watching a movie, I will pull out a history book on the subject and to see how accurate the movie is.
When did you first start writing?
I starting writing when I was in Junior High School, but the first short stories and poems that I remember writing weren't until High School. The first poem that I wrote was about Ants. I think that it was pretty pathetic. I have come a long way since then. I do have to say I feel that my poetry is truly on a different level than my fictional writing is, but someday I would like to complete and publish my novel.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Having a website. On the site, I have placed poems from each book and direct links for eBook or paperback purchase locations.
I have also had booths at various craft and antique shows and would like to do more book fairs.
I am trying to get my paper backs into inspirational book stores.
Plus a lot of word of mouth.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Being able to publish eBook, (and for use on many different eBook readers), has been a "God-send". Smashwords definitely has allowed my readers to have easier access to my work. And at an affordable price. I thank Smashwords for this and for my continued success in these formats.
What are you working on next?
My plan is to complete "Songs to My Savior Volume III" (Especially Scriptures and Etcetera) by 2015 and then move onto publishing my two children's books "The Sarditart" and "The Sarditart 2 - Visit to the Sannynans".
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm clock. No, really, gratitude. My life might not have gone on the path I have desired, but knowing there's something after, or something more leads me to be grateful for the time of the world into which I was born and for this knowledge. I want to shout of God's love and mercy and forgiveness, and try to treat others in this same way. I may not always achieve this but I want to try.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Well, I have a real job. I also have horses, and my dear friends and family. I wish that I had more time to write, but then my "Songs" might have more of a forced rather than inspired end, so I will happily continue this way for a while.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was called "The Bassinette", and was based on the true story of my nephew who died of cancer at 6 months old. It was quite a serious piece and I wrote it when I was 15.
Published 2014-02-17.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Songs to My Savior Volume II
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 16,170. Language: English. Published: December 22, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Inspirational
If you liked J. E. Larsen’s first volume of poetry “Songs to My Savior Volume I”, you will find this second volume equally as touching, for this book of poetry contains more from the author’s heart. The poetry within its pages is a continuation of the author’s love and dedication to the Savior and to the Father of all Heaven.
Songs to My Savior Volume I
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 17,230. Language: English. Published: December 22, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Inspirational
This poetry touches the soul, calms the heart and shares the author's love for the Savior and Heavenly Father. The series includes stories in poetry of the scriptures, real life, Christmas, Easter and heart felt feelings for the divine. Most are in rhythm and rhyme that flow fluently and easily. Let us share with you these amazing poems.