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 and the Humanities Council. Florida State
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
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
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
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
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.