Friday, August 14, 2015


Joyce Elson Moore is our blogger today on Author Expressions. As some of you know, it was actually Joyce who started this blog some years ago.

After a brief teaching career, Joyce turned to writing full time and has since reached a widening audience with her books, most of which reflect her background in music.

Among other awards, Joyce’s medieval romance, Jeanne of Clairmonde, won First Place in the FWA Royal Palm Literary Awards. Another novel, The Tapestry Shop, (Five Star/Cengage), won a medallion in the Popular Fiction Category from Florida Book Awards, sponsored jointly by Florida State and the Humanities Council.

Excerpts and reviews of Joyce’s books are on her website:

And now, here’s Joyce:

My new mystery The Stockholm Castle Mystery, recently released by Five Star/Cengage, features Johan, a 17th-century lute player appointed by an eccentric queen mother to solve a murder mystery. It’s an historical cozy, the first of a planned three-book series. I kept the title simple, like favorites from my youth. I knew that a Nancy Drew book, with a title like The Mystery at Lilac Inn, was going to be a treat. I read her books curled up in a wicker chair on our front porch. I was no longer a Florida girl, fanning away the summer days, waiting for school to begin. Instead, I was beside my favorite sleuth as she drove her convertible down twisting lanes hunting for clues.

 The plot of this mystery series generated, as some do, from a chance reading I came across. The Silver Bible is an ancient codex housed in a Swedish university. A little of the book’s history is known, but the manuscript went missing for a period of time. I was interested enough to delve further, and discovered that after the Thirty Years War it resided in the Stockholm castle. Further research only whetted my appetite to learn more, and from there, my imagination took over and a mystery was born.

 My sleuth is a man with a past. I won’t spoil the book for readers by revealing details, but he became the Swedish queen’s lute player. From there the plot unfolds. A romantic interest complicates the plot. She is the queen’s astrologist, and quite a gal she is. I had fun writing this book because some of the characters were like old friends by the time I finished the final draft. Luckily, they are still with me as I complete this next book.

My previous books were historicals. The Tapestry Shop, another Five Star/Cengage book, won a prestigious award from Fla. Book Awards. Because of this, it is permanently on display in the library of the Florida governor’s mansion. I have three historical fictional biographies written under a pen name, Elizabeth Elson. They are my Women in History Series. These books were carefully researched, and while they read like fiction, they closely follow the real events that made them the women they were. One of the novels is about Julia, the Augustus’ daughter, and her little-known affair with Marc Anthony’s son. The next portrays the life of Theodora, an empress most famous for quelling the Nika riots. The last in the series is about Cosima, Franz Liszt’s daughter, and the musical geniuses whose lives she shared.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that The Stockholm Castle Mystery is also now an ebook, making it more accessible to readers across the globe. Publishers Weekly said the mystery was a delight to read, so I’m hoping mystery fans think the same.

I’m making final revisions on the second mystery in this series. It takes place in Brandenburg.

Joyce’s Advice to fellow writers:

You write, and write, and then you decide to submit. You get rejections, and you keep writing because you have to write, because you have stories in your head. Characters are waiting to come alive and take you into their world.

Write. Take classes. Write. Read, read. Get a thousand eyes to read it. When you’ve finished your novel and think it’s the best it can be, join a group like NovelPro. Expect honest critiques. Revise and revise. Writing is revising.

Where to find Joyce’s books:

The Stockholm Castle Mystery is available in hardcover and as an ebook on Amazon and other online retailers, as well as your favorite independent bookstore.

Thanks, Jacqueline, for inviting me today. I’ll respond to comments and answer any questions readers may have about the book.


Patricia Gligor said...

Great advice, Joyce. In spite of rejections and all the other pitfalls of a writing career, if you have a story you MUST tell, never give up!

Maris said...

Joyce, that's great advice. You are so right. The only way to get published is to write. Most writers I know simply can't "not" write. Rejections hurt, but a writer keeps writing because even though one person might not love the story, another might (will).

Susan Oleksiw said...

First, a note of thanks to you, Joyce, for starting this blog. I enjoying being a part of it, and learning about other Five Star/Gale, Cengage books.

Your advice on writing and revising and seeking feedback is spot on. Writing is work, but the best work in the world. Good luck with your newest book. I've been to Sweden years ago, so I look forward to "visiting" the country again through your story.

Allan J. Emerson said...

Like Susan, I want to thank you for starting this blog, Joyce. It's a great place for us Five Star writers to get to know each other's work.

Your work has won an impressive list of honors--hanging out in the Governor's mansion no less! Best of sales with your new book!

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Hi Patricia: Thanks for stopping by. Yes, it's something every author knows. Ypur story must be told.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

You're correct, of course, about rejections. I had shoeboxes full, but looking back, those were practice books :-)

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Hi Susan: Thanks for the kind words. I loiter, but am keeping an eye on your successes. Thanks for the comment.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Hi Allan: Thanks for stopping by. Perhaps we'll get to meet at some Five Star gathering at a conference. Appreciate yoour comment.

Mary F.Schoenecker said...

You may not remember, Joyce, but you helped me with the mechanics of writing a blog on the Five Star Expressions site. It was about eight years ago, and I am still writing, but hesitantly. Thanks for the spark I need to continue. I enjoyed hearing about you, and thanks for starting the Five Star blog.