Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Interview with Joëlle Anthony

Joëlle Anthony has been a storyteller her whole life, which transformed into her writing career. She has had a few small roles in movie, but decided to change to writing. Restoring Harmony is her first book.
What was the hardest and easiest part of writing Restoring Harmony?
The hardest part was Chapter One. Before I ever even queried agents, I cut 60 pages from the front end. Then my agent made me cut more. Then my editor made me cut even more! I found it extremely hard to give the book a running start and create the world Molly lives in at the same time.
The easiest part was the last chapter. I wrote it in about an hour and it never even needed much editing. By the time I got to it, I knew the characters so well, and I knew exactly what I wanted to happen, so it just flowed right out and was done in no time. Now if I could just write first chapters that easily, I’d be set.
2. Restoring Harmony takes place in the future, but if given a choice of time traveling to any point in time, where and when would you choose?
I’ve been asked this a couple of times and I always answer the same, so I should probably try to come up with something different, but honestly, there is only one answer. I really would love to go back to live in the early 1900s in a small town in Minnesota (brrr!) next door to Betsy Ray from the Betsy-Tacy books. The books could be renamed Betsy-Tacy-Joëlle. They had the best times!
3. Music is very important to Molly in Restoring Harmony, what are some of your favorite songs?
As a child of the eighties, I’m not allowed to answer this because it would be so embarrassing. Just kidding. Sort of.
Actually, I married the man who wrote my favourite songs, Victor Mecyssne (he took my last name when we got married so now he’s Victor Anthony. How cool is he?). Seriously, I was a big fan of his work and through a series of lucky events and a mutual friend, we met even though we lived 2000 miles apart. You can hear his work through his site (http://www.victoranthony.ca). It’s a romance story that would be unbelievable in a book.
Some of my favourite songs he didn’t write are Whiter Shade of Pale performed by Annie Lennox, I Wish I Was in New Orleans by Tom Waits, and all the songs by our pal, Tom Mitchell.
4. What are some of your favorite young adult novels?
The Betsy-Tacy high school books by Maud Hart Lovelace
Tribes by Arthur Slade
The Year My Sister Got Lucky by Aimee Friedman
The Timekeeper’s Moon by Joni Sensel
Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti
Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdoch
Rose Sees Red by Cecil Castellucci
5. Is there anything that you would like to add?
Thanks for having me. And thanks for blogging about books. Writers are really lucky to have so many great people blogging about authors, books, and writing.


  1. I loved this book so much. And I had no idea about all the cutting and cutting that went into the opening, but I thought Chapter One began at the absolute perfect moment, so bravo!

  2. Thanks for the blog interview, Sarah! I would be curious to know how Joelle was able to so vividly describe the places her characters visit! Has she visited these places?

  3. Thanks for doing this interview, it was a really interesting one. I love seeing books that authors like and it looks like I have a few more to add to my never ending to read pile. That should be fun though.

    Thanks to you both.

  4. Thanks for having me, Sarah. In answer to Bruce's question, yes...yes, I have. I went to all of them, and lived in some of them. I actually took Molly's journey both the way she took it (minus the walking!) and in a car. Also, I lived in the neighbourhood that most of the book is set in when I lived in Oregon.

  5. Hi Sarah & Joelle :)
    Thank you for the interview.
    It was fascinating to learn more about Restoring Harmony & Joelle Anthony.
    All the best,


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