Author Interview with Susan Joyce on Screenwriting and Redefining Her Next Chapter

Author Susan Joyce in 2103Meeting author Susan Joyce in person was a highlight of my trip to South America.

We had originally connected through the Facebook group, We Love Memoirs two years earlier.

Susan has written two memoirs, and authored and edited numerous children’s books with her husband, author Doug DuBosque.

In addition to writing award-winning books, Susan has lived in several countries and ran a thriving publishing business with her husband for more than two decades. After all that, plenty of writers would have been content to retire. Yet when Susan spoke to me about her latest writing passion–screenwriting–her radiant energy was infectious.

I´m pleased to have Susan as my guest this week.

What led you to screenwriting?   

My heart led me to screenwriting. I´ve always enjoyed the theatre and films; even turned two of my books for children into stage plays with original music; songs I had written and by collaborating with an elementary school music teacher. Great fun! A thrill to see the productions performed on stages in schools and at a community college in Oregon.

Describe how the screenwriting process differs from writing books.

 Screenwriting is a different art form using different set formats. It´s a challenge and exciting to learn new ways to express my imagination with words in a community which encourages writers to think outside the book box; to SHOW and not TELL.

I receive advice, again and again, to write more books. The more the merrier for fans and followers. When I dreaded “making time” to write, I knew I needed something different to stay excited about creative writing. Script writing is fun, feels as if I am playing with words as I imagine the scenes they fit into.

A book or a film originate in the writer’s imagination first. Once the writer writes her version on paper, the script begins a new life when others involved in the production process; the editor, the director, the producer, the cameraman, etc share how they imagine it.

Like magic, the final creation becomes a dance shaped by the keen observation of others from different angles.

How do you engage with a writing community from your home office in Uruguay?

In today’s internet world, it’s easy. I belong to several online screenwriting groups and attend online workshops where I can share ideas and pitch my projects.

What takeaway do you have for other writers who face burnout?

Ask yourself what makes you tick, what makes you happy and move forward to a new adventure.

What are you working on now?

Many projects.

At the moment, I’m turning my book Good Morning Diego Garcia into a screen script and into a mini-series for television. Hopefully BBC. I will do the same with my first memoir, The Lullaby Illusion. I’m also writing a TV series set in a jazz club in Germany where expats gathered to make new friends in their new homeland.

Stay tuned.

 

For more information, you can find Susan at Susan Joyce Journeys.

Or click here to connect on Facebook.

Here her books can be found.

 

The Storm before the Calm/Readying for South America, Solo

 The reasons I get so nervous are many. 

I’m about to leave for South America in a few days. By myself. It will be continent 6/7 for me, and I’m nearing my goal of finishing the research for a travel memoir and companion guide book for older, non-wealthy women who want to get out of their comfort zone and see the world on their terms.

I’m frightened of flying. I won’t know the language, despite my efforts to learn. And I’ll be on a clenched budget, especially since I just got my kitchen renovated.

But there is something truly humbling about leaving for a new adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As soon as I fasten my seatbelt, I nearly always start to cry. Partly because I’m exhausted from my work and because I’m excited and scared, I’m flooded with thoughts of friends and loved ones who’d wanted to travel more but didn’t get the chance. Early deaths or bad circumstances. And yet, here I go. And I take none of it for granted.

Traveling alone away seems to bring out my best.

 I’ve worked really hard to engineer a future for myself, one that looked unlikely early on. In my struggle to attempt control over my environment, I’ve become an over-anxious control freak. 

Nothing crushes the false sense of control like travel. And traveling to someone else’s country, playing in their playground without officially having been invited, it’s clear that I have little influence or control. Feeling small and powerless can be exhilarating.

 So away I go. Far from responsibility of house and home, away from the security  friends and family, away from social media and television. I hope to meet new friends see some animals and sights. I hope I get lots of exercise and sleep. And on Thanksgiving, I will see with a new lens how grateful I am for all that I have waiting for me right here at home.

 Have a wonderful day. Thank you for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 And thank you to Charlene at Soul Sciences podcast for the talk about writing.