Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Author Interview: Joyce DiPastena

I am excited to have Joyce visiting my blog today! Leave a comment and your name will be thrown in the jester hat to win Joyce's book!

Let's jump right in:

Joyce, did you want to be a knight or a princess when you were growing up?

A princess. Or at least a "noble lady". I used to imagine myself in this beautiful, flowing "old fashioned" dress. I'm not sure what time period that dress was from, since I really didn't understand what the Middle Ages were at that point. It's possible I was dreaming more of a Renaissance-style dress than a Medieval one at that point. But the gown was always a deep crimson velvet covered with beautiful embroidery. Which is odd as I think about it, because my favorite colors are more in the blue/blue-green family, so I don't know why I chose those colors for my "dream gown". Maybe at that early age, I subconsciously knew that crimson was a "royal color"?

As for the knight. I've never wanted to be one, but when I visit the Arizona Renaissance Festival, I love to visit the booths where they make or sell armor, and pick up a piece of mail ("a flexible armor made of small, overlapping metal rings", if you've read the glossary to Illuminations of the Heart ;-) ) and just run the mail through my hands. For some reason, I absolutely love the feel of it! I'm going to buy myself just a little piece one day.

Do you like to wear dresses/skirts?

To be honest, not particularly. I'm from the generation that still equates dresses/skirts with required nylons, which I don't enjoy wearing at all! I much prefer the freedom of wearing pants. (So I guess it's a good thing I was born in the 20th, and not the 12th, Century, huh?)

Have you tried to make any of the foods mentioned in your book? Do you have favorite?

I'm a terrible cook and am too impatient to spend much time at it. To be honest, my preferred meal (unless I'm eating out) is anything I can throw in a microwave oven and zap. I do have several books with medieval recipes in them, though, so I may give some of them a try one day yet.

Have you ever used a trencher?

Once, at the Excalibur in Las Vegas. We also had to rip apart and eat a capon (small chicken) without any silverware, only our bare hands. One more experience to make me appreciate my 20th/21st Century life!

Have you visited England, France or Italy? If so, what is your favorite place? If not, where would you like to go first?

I visited Italy with my sister a few years ago, but we didn't get a chance to visit Venice, where my heroine Siri was born and grew up. And our flight stopped overnight in England on the way home. We were THIS CLOSE to where the Battle of Hastings was fought and there were tours and everything! But my sister didn't know about it when she booked our trip (she's not as "up" on England as I am ;-) ), so she didn't build any touring time into our stop in England. Basically all I got to see was the inside of our motel room, a little scenery during the taxi drive to and from the motel room, and the inside of the airport. (Let me tell you something. European airports are HOT!!! I'm not sure they believe in air conditioning inside them. Or maybe I'm just spoiled, because living in Arizona, EVERYTHING has air conditioning!)

Anyway, although I'd like to go back to Italy, if I could only choose to visit one place, I'd want to go back to England and visit all the medieval castles there! (AND the location of the Battle of Hastings!)

Have you ever visited a bailey? Where?

Sadly, no, I've never visited a bailey, because I haven't yet gotten to visit a medieval castle. I'm still hoping, though!

Do you have a special place you like to hide away and write?

I recently bought a laptop (MacBook, to be specific ;-) ) and have been enjoying the freedom of writing while lounging in my living room, rather than chained to the ol' computer chair!

Do you snack while writing?

Not usually. Once in a while, I might grab a handful to Hershey Kisses to "keep me awake", but I haven't done that for awhile now. (I'm trying to be good!)

Do you have a muse?

I adopted a gray tabby kitten about 7 years ago and named her "Clio" for the Greek Muse of History. I told her when I brought her home that she was going to be my Muse, but for the first seven years of her life, she seemed much more interested in biting and scratching me, so that didn't work out very well. Somehow she's now grown into the sweetest cat you could ever want to meet, so maybe there's hope that "Muse" thing will work out yet?

And good luck with your virtual tour


Cindy Beck said...

Cute! I loved the interview and the chance to get to know Joyce better.

Thanks. (Is this all I have to do to enter to win the book?)

Cindy Beck said...


Oops, forgot to tell you. I like your blog and clicked to be a follower here.

I'd love to have you as a follower at my blog, too. No pressure, but if you're interested, click here which takes you to

By the way, love the title of your blog!


Rachelle said...

Great interview. Joyce is so much fun and her books are awesome!

Connie Hall said...

This was a great interview and I learned things about Joyce that I didn't know. Please enter me in your contest. I enjoyed your blog.

elizabeth said...

Great interview! Taffy--i love your sense of humor and especially your voice (The way you wrote your invite on AI!)

Come and visit us as:


Peggy said...

Love the interview! It makes me want to go figure out what all Joyce writes.

Joyce DiPastena said...

Thank you so much, Taffy, for the review and interview. Sometimes I wonder if I'm giving away more about myself than I actually want people to know in these interviews. LOL!