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Joyce MagninJoyce Magnin is the author of The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow, chosen as one of the "Top 5 Best Christian Fiction Books of 2009" by Library Journal. She's written several short fiction and personal experience articles. She co-authored the book, Linked to Someone in Pain. She has been published in such magazines as Relief Journal, Parents Express, Sunday Digest, and Highlights for Children. Joyce attended Bryn Mawr College and is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship. She is a frequent workshop leader at various writer’s conferences and women’s church groups. She has three children, one grandson; one son-in-law and a neurotic parakeet. Joyce leads a small fiction group called StoryCrafters. She enjoys baseball, football, cream soda, and needle arts but not elevators. She currently lives in Havertown, Pennsylvania.

Favorite Bible verse: Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.


 Our Interview with Joyce Magnin


Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I am mom to three wonderful children. I am Grammie to 3 boys. I have a cat named Mango who likes to eat Nachos. I enjoy video games, needle arts but not elevators. And I have never eaten a scallop.

What is your favorite Bible verse?

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

How did you get started as a CBA writer?

Oh, that was a while ago. I joined the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship and started attending conferences, listening to others, networking, paying attention.

How did you come up with the concept for Blame it on the Mistletoe?

Well, it was pretty easy since it was the fourth in the Bright’s Pond series. I continued the townspeople’s stories and how they are effected by change and newcomers.

How much of your personal experience is tied up in the books you write?

Not sure, but I suppose all fiction is in some ways memoir. Although I never experienced the Fountain of Youth.

Your characters are fun and quirky, but underneath it all you have delved into some difficult issues in the series; how much comes from personal experience?

As I said, all fiction is autobiographical in part no matter how hard we try to hide things. But let me just say that the people are Bright’s Pond are combinations of actual people I grew up with, people at church mostly. People in the neighborhood. People and their antics that stuck with me.

What is the symbolism for the title Blame it on the Mistletoe?

Uhm, symbolism. Not so much symbolism as the idea that magical/miraculous things sometimes happen around Christmas.

Do you have a favorite character in the Blame it on the Mistletoe? Why?

I love Mercy and Agnes and Ruth and Griselda but I suppose for this book I had a blast writing about Leon because he’s the mysterious guy, the one with the magic.

How much research did Blame it on the Mistletoe take?
A lot as usual. My research usually includes things like how to grow a pumpkin, how to fly an airplane and learning what was around in the 1970s—music, clothing.

How many books will be in the Brights’ Pond series?

Now that’s a sad question. Mistletoe is the last, for now anyway. I might write more if my fans want me to.

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

Time. Deadlines. Writing synopsis. Battling my own insecurities. Time. Deadlines. I tend to get overwhelmed sometimes and I need to work at organization—never was a strength.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

Oh gee, the characters I get to invent, the stories. I am an introvert so I like that I get to work at home in my sweats and drink coffee all day if I want and take breaks whenever I want. I love meeting other authors and attending conferences and there is still a thrill every time I receive a box of my own books or I see a book in the library or at the store. Yeah, that’s awesome. I love meeting the readers, the fans, the people who fall in love with Bright’s Pond. Going to Book Clubs is always special.

What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?

I belong to The Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Fellowship
And I have an incredible writing support group. We call ourselves the Writeens. It’s an honor to be with them.

What do you do to keep your writing fresh and improve on it each time you write a book?

I pray. I read. I study trends and take some classes here and there. I teach. I pay attention to the world. A writer is first of all an observer. I do that really well.

Are there any other new projects on the horizon?

Yes. I am currently working on a brand new series for Abingdon Press about a Community Theater Group. It’s fun. Filled with laughter and drama and maybe a murder or two.
And I am writing more middle grade fiction for Zonderkidz.

What advice would you give to a person trying to become a fiction writer?
READ. Go to the conferences. Learn the craft. READ. WRITE. Pay attention. Eat your veggies.

What message would you like your readers to take from reading Blame it on the Mistletoe?

I don’t usually like to tell people what they should “get” from one of my books. But let’s just say, hope.

What is your greatest achievement?

Professionally, I hope my greatest achievement is yet to come, that keeps me motivated. But other than my children I suppose.

What do you do to get away from it all?

Video Games. Needlework. Hanging out with my son, skyping with my grandsons.
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Well, just thank you CBD for all you do to keep people reading and for all the ways you support authors.






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