I met Jocelyn Green a couple years ago when she was here to speak at a local writers conference, Breathe. I so enjoyed talking to her because she drew me into her stories so easily.
The Mark of the King released in January. A historical fiction set in what is New Orleans before the revolutionary war is her 5th novel with many more to follow.
Why and when did you first know you wanted to write?
I’ve been writing stories ever since I could hold a pencil. My first was writing captions in my Bugs Bunny coloring book to turn it into a cohesive tale. I was too young to think about why I was doing it—it’s just part of who I am: a storyteller.
What inspired you to write the Mark of the King?
In 2014, I discovered a list of names. It was a list of girls from Salpêtrière, aged between twelve and twenty-six years old, sent to Louisiana in January 1720. Why were they in Salpêtrière, Paris’s most notorious prison for females? How were they chosen for Louisiana? What did they do once they arrived? These questions and many others took root in my imagination. The character of Julianne began to take shape when I read in a New Orleans archive center about the mass marriage of convicts in Paris in September 1719, right before they were sent to La Rochelle for transport to New Orleans. It was a story that begged to be told!
Did you ever write something that completely surprised you?
Yes, I’ve had characters drop onto the page that I wasn’t expecting, and then totally take over. That doesn’t happen all the time, but it did happen with The Mark of the King with a couple of characters.
Can you tell us about what that was without giving away any major plotlines?
Sure. Simon and Lily both surprised me somewhat. I had planned to write them into the story but I didn’t know they would want their own scenes written in their own POV. But those were some of my favorite scenes to write.
Tell me about your next release?
My next release will be March 1! It’s The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection, five novellas written by Heather Day Gilbert, Amanda Dykes, Maureen Lang, Joanne Bischof and myself. Here’s the book blurb: Join the journey as one word etched in Latin on an ancient bronze bottle travels through the centuries to reach five young women who are struggling to maintain their faith in God and love. An Irish princess, a Scottish story weaver, a Post-Colonial nurse, a cotton mill worker, and a maid who nearly drowned each receive a message from the bottle just when they need their hope restored.
What is your favorite genre to read?
If you were not a writer what would you be doing instead?
Scrapbooking. Haha. And cooking more. But in terms of something that might make a little money—maybe working at a library or bookstore.
Where is the strangest place you have seen your books?
I saw an advanced reader copy of one of my Civil War novels on eBay once and thought that was the strangest thing (aside from being illegal). Who would want to bid on an uncorrected proof copy of a novel?
Where is your favorite place to write?
I usually write best in my office, surrounded by my research books, because I’m constantly fact-checking as I write. It’s a laborious process. But sometimes if I get stuck, I find a change of scenery to be helpful. A local coffee shop or the university library where my husband works are great places to get the creative juices flowing again.
I can read absolutely anywhere. I can’t even name a favorite place because once I’m reading, I’m in the story world so completely my physical surroundings disappear.
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon at night.