Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Interview and Spotlight: The Cook's Temptation by Joyce Wayne

Today, we have an interview with author Joyce Wayne.  She is promoting her latest book, THe Cook's Temptation. Make sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post!

Publisher: Mosaic Press
Date of publication: February 2014

Joyce Wayne brings to life the complexities of Victorian life, first in County Devon and then in London’s East End. The ‘big picture’ is about one woman’s life, class conflict, religious intolerance, suspicion and betrayal. The central figure is Cordelia, a strong-minded Jewish woman who is caught between her desire to be true to herself and her need to be accepted by English society. Cordelia Tilley is the daughter of a Jewish mother and an Anglican father. Her mother has groomed her for a life in English society while her father, a tough publican, has shown no tolerance for his wife’s social climbing or the conceits of their perspicacious daughter. Cordelia’s mother dies from typhoid fever, she tries to run the family ‘s establishment, she falls prey to a local industrialist, she gives birth to a son, she is tormented by her husband and his family. Finally, she is rescued by suffragette friends and sets off to start a new life in London.The Cook’s Temptation is about a woman who is unpredictable, both strong and weak willed, both kind and heinous, victim and criminal. It is a genuine Victorian saga, full of detail, twists and turns, memorable scenes, full of drama and pathos.
Praise for The Cook’s Temptation

“Joyce Wayne’s debut novel, The Cook’s Temptation, has the stately bearing of a nineteenth century novel – the mercilessness of Thomas Hardy, the black allegory of Nathaniel Hawthorne, the tense marriages of George Eliot. It is a story of how people become what you blame them for being.” – Ian Williams, poet and fiction writer, short listed for the 2012 Griffin Poetry Prize

Kari & Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?

Joyce: Since I was in middle school, I’ve been reading historical novels.  The local librarian in my hometown knew me and put aside new historical fiction that came into her library.  Those narratives, historical research combined with imagination, stuck with me into adulthood.  I’ve always wished to write a novel, having worked as a journalist for many years.  Journalism is fine, but not really the kind of writing I yearned to pursue. It was more like teaching math when I preferred to be teaching literature.  Finally in my fifties, I found the courage and the time to write fiction. It took five years to complete The Cook’s Temptation.

Kari & Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Joyce: I’m an observer, as are most writers. The idea for The Cook’s Temptation came from the media coverage about new super bugs that are appearing in our hospitals and clinics.  I began thinking about what it would be like to carry a superbug in Victorian times, my favorite period.  How would a person be treated who was considered contagious before there was medication to deal with infections?

Kari & Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Joyce: Right now I’m working on a novel set in the 1940s.  It’s a spy thriller and it is about Canadians in Ottawa, the federal capital of the country, who were spying for the Soviet Union during and after the war.  If you’ve been watching The Americans on TV, the series about sleeper spies in the U.S. during the cold war, you’d be interested in my new novel.

Kari & Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Joyce:  I’ve always loved Dorothea in George Eliot’s Middlemarch.  She is so earnest; she tries so hard to please and yet remains her own person.  At an essential level, Dorothea remains true to her convictions. Middlemarch is my touchstone, the book and characters I return to over and over again when I am perplexed. Dorothea is my guide for the perplexed.

Kari & Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Joyce: I’d be a raccoon.  Outside my house, I can hear them and sometimes see them at night, scouring the neighborhood for treats.  They always appear to be so mischievous and they manage to survive on ingenuity in their own urban neighborhood without going too far afield. I admire their pluck.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter @joycewayne1951

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

Joyce Wayne has an MA in English literature, has taught journalism at Sheridan College, Oakville,
Ontario, for twenty-five years, and lives in Toronto, Ontario. She was a winner of the Diaspora Dialogues contest for fiction and the Fiona Mee Award for literary journalism. She is the co writer of the documentary film So Far From Home (2010), a film about refugee journalists persecuted for their political views, and various of her other works have been published in Parchment, Golden Horseshoe Anthology, Canadian Voices, and TOK6.

For more information please visit Joyce Wayne’s website. You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads. She is happy to participate in Books Clubs by phone and Skype.

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