Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fresh New Voice of YA- Joelle Anthony Interview

1)How did you get the idea for Restoring Harmony?

Tim Wynne Jones, a Canadian children’s author, just told me that when he’s asked that question, he always answers, “I got it at the Idea Store.” He thought he was being quite clever until a child said, “Oh, I’ve been there. They have all kinds of furniture and cool stuff!” Of course, he meant Ikea.

In a way, the world around us is an idea store though. If you just pay attention, anything can spark a story. My husband saw an article on the end of oil posted on a community bulletin board when we were on our honeymoon and our discussion and a bit of research after that got me going on Restoring Harmony.

2) What was The Call like? Tell us all about it!

My manuscript had been out on submission for almost three months (summer is really slow) and I’m very patient, so honestly, I hadn’t thought about it too much. I knew my agent would call if he had news, so there wasn’t any point in asking him about it. My agent likes to surprise his clients, so he hadn’t hinted that he’d be calling or anything, even though he knew ahead of time he was going to get an offer from Putnam. I am a very bubbly happy person and so is my agent so usually our phone calls are filled with laughter and jokes, but this time, he was the only bubbly one. I was totally in shock. He even emailed me afterwards and asked if I was okay because I’d been so quiet. By then I was skipping up and down the porch and jumping up and down though, so I was able to reassure him!

3) What book(s) are you working on now? Can you tell us anything about them?

I’ve just handed in my second book. It’s called The Right & the Real. It’s about a girl whose father gets involved in a cult and when she won’t join with him, he kicks her out on the street. She doesn’t have any adults in her life she can rely on, and she’s afraid her friends will tell their parents, so she tries to hold her life together as best as she can and keep everyone from finding out.

We still have all the editing to do so I don’t think it will be out until sometime in 2012. I’ll probably start something new to work on in the meantime and to do between rounds of editing, but I’m not really sure what that project is yet.

4) Have you always been a fan of YA, or are you still new to it all?

I have always read YA and it’s always been my favourite genre. I even read it when I was an actor and before I started writing. That’s how I knew without question what I wanted to write.

5) What book(s) are you reading now?

I’m rereading my childhood favourites, The Children of Green Knowe series by L.M. Boston. The librarian suggested them and I got all excited because I haven’t read them in about thirty years. They’re so good at any age.

6) What's your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor?

Something sour…like lemon or green apple. I can’t actually remember the last time I had one though because I’m not that into candy that leaves a sugary aftertaste and jellybeans definitely do.

7) You used to be an actor playing bit parts in movies. Did you enjoy doing that? What prompted the career change? Do you still do any acting on the side?

Being in the movies isn’t nearly as glamorous as it seems. In fact, it’s a real drag. You sit around a lot and usually you’re freezing or really hot or super hungry. I think some actors feel like when they hit it big, it will get better, but honestly, every time I looked at the stars they were either freezing or hot or hungry and mostly standing around too! Theatre, I love though. I was in a production of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding for ten months (200 performances) and I loved every single show and would do it again in a heartbeat!

The main reason I gave up acting is because you have to do so much crap…be a hand in a commercial, wear a clown suit for a used car dealership (I never did that), it’s just sad. If I could act all the time, it would be different, but even in theatre, you often have to play roles that don’t interest you. I prefer to write because I can choose my projects and I don’t have to leave the house.

As strange as it might seem, one of Canada’s most celebrated actors, Antony Holland, lives here on our tiny island and has a small theatre. I’ve done a one woman show there that his wife directed, and I hope to do some more in the fall. It’s great fun because I am doing it for the love of theatre. My husband also used to do a bit of professional acting, so we’re hoping to do a show together at Antony’s theatre sometime.


  1. Great interview, I haven't had the chance to pick this book up yet but I've been anxious to read it!

  2. What a great interview! I can't wait to read this book. Love what she said about the "idea store" and the reality of acting. :-)