Joylynn M. Jossel

Joylynn M. Jossel
The Root Of All Evil

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
June 23, 2003

Q. Who is Joylynn M. Jossel?

A. Joylynn M. Jossel has been self publishing since 1998. It wasn't until she was laid off from work with her employer of 10 years that she decided to publish and sell her books full-time. Stepping out on faith, Joylynn invested her severance money and her 401k she had built for 10 years into the craft she believed in. Of course she has a wonderful mate and very supportive friends and family that saw her through this process. "I didn't want to be one of those authors who go bankrupt pursuing their dream, but I knew I just had to see it to the end in order to genuinely be happy in life," Joylynn states. Recently landing a three book deal with a major publishing house proves that Joylynn's efforts were not in vain.

Q. What inspired you to write the novel "The Root of All Evil"?

A. I had made several attempts to write a novel because it was the "thing". My prior self-published works consisted of short stories and poetry, both of which are a little more difficult to push. My brain was so scattered in my attempt to write for money instead of writing for the love of the craft as I had always done prior to, that I found that I had started three separate novels. Anxiety wouldn't allow me to just focus on one. That's when I discovered that creating a read solely because it's the in thing or simply to make money or the best sellers list was not something I was mentally or morally equipped to do. So those scattered thoughts remained on my hard drive, unattended, for about a year. I continued pushing my other works until one day this storyline just popped into my head (I now know that God put it there). I took all of the characters and descriptions that I had stored in my hard drive and combined them into one novel. I intertwined them, with ease this time, and created what I feel is my best work ever!!!!

Q. How did you come about the title?

A. Originally, my story was titled "The Love of Money" and I decided to change it because it was just too similar to one of Omar Tyree's titles. Although titles can't be copyrighted, I didn't want to create such confusion Since everyone knows that the love of money is the root of all evil, I decided to go with the latter end of the cliche.

Q. Will there be a sequel to this novel?

A. There is a definite sequel in the works which is titled, "When Souls Mates". I am having a ball writing it because my readers have all the input. I asked them to email me what they wanted to read about in the sequel, what characters and what type of drama they wanted in the sequel. It has been a treat giving each reader exactly what they want as I write.

Q. Why did you chose to let Breezy, Jeva and Klarke have such devastating lives?

A. The moment I ran upstairs to my computer to start typing the novel I was in the middle of watching the movie "Set It Off". I could really relate to some of the issues the girls were going through in that movie involving money. I wondered if I was the only one who had ever been in a position as to where I couldn't do a damn thing about the empty gasoline fuel light on my car. That is a devastating matter to a person. Money is serious business to a great deal of people. Some people think money gets them through life versus faith, which is how I came up with the subtitle: The almighty $...some pray for it...others pray to it. I had to create such devastating issues to show the role money played in these women's lives.

Q. Why did you chose to leave the story with so many unanswered questions such as: Guy and Klarke serving time for a crime they didn't commit and Jeva unknown identity?

A. I got to a point while writing this novel where I knew all of these unanswered questions meant one of two things: 1) that my very first novel pretty much as an unknown author was going to be GIGANTICALLY THICK or 2) that a sequel would be needed. Leaving all these unanswered questions were also pretty fun. I wanted people to feel that emotion of "not knowing". That's a pretty strong feeling that in the end would leave a strong impression of my work. It's challenging to create so many twist and turns in a story, not reveal all of them, but still have a story that makes sense in the end. My goal was to hopefully earn a nice following of readers who would want a sequel from me.

Q. How long have you been writing?

A. I have been writing since the days of elementary journals and rainy day writings. I'll be 32 years old this August and I wrote the first short story in my debut title, Please Tell Me If The Grass Is Greener (short stories) my second year in college (a little over ten years ago).

Q. How many novels have you written?

A. I have written Please Tell Me If The Grass Is Greener (short stories), World On My Shoulders (a diary of poetry), Twilight Moods: African American Erotica (Publisher and contributor of Daydreaming at Night) and The Game: Stories about the life (Contributor of Popped Cherry). The Root of All Evil is my very first novel of which I am very proud of. St. Martins Press has picked it up, along with the sequel and a third book as well. I managed to sell over 11,000 copies in a two month period as a self published author and land a three book deal with a major publishing house. Since I have sold the rights, I am no longer able to print the book and it won't be returning to the shelves until summer 2004, so anyone who hasn't yet gotten a copy of the book better move fast or they'll have to wait a year. Joylynn does have a novel titled "Dollar Bill" which will be published this August (2003) by Triple Crown Publications. St. Martins has also signed Joylynn to a novella deal which will be released fall 2004. This once self published author is now contracted to a total of five works. She is a walking blessing who has every intention of building a permanent home in the literary world.

Q. Do you recognize any of your personality traits in your characters?

A. I used a great deal of my own personality traits in many of the characters, including the male characters. Of course I used those of my family and friends also (who won't tell me juicy secrets any more due to the fact that they might read about it in my next book :-)

Q. What type of atmosphere do you require to write?

A. It might sound weird, but I write better with the faint sound of the television in the back ground. I need a sign of life going on around me. Although I have a laptop, my preference is to write up in my cape cod attic at my very old computer.

Q. What message would you like readers to receive from reading "The Root of All?"

A. The obsession or the love of anything is the root of all evil, not just money. When men see the cover of my book they always reference the woman as being the root of all evil, and maybe this is true for some men. True life events and crime have proven that loving something too much can be tragic.