Bio

Biography of Joyce Mandeville



Joyce Mandeville, the author of five novels and many short stories, lives in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.  She is currently published by Little, Brown UK.

I was born in Fresno California, but made my first attempt to leave when I was four.  My mother thwarted my plot, but I can still recall having a clear sense that I didn't belong there.  I yearned for forests and not those dry pine forests that were fifty miles from my home.  I wanted the forests of the fairy tales I loved.  I wanted the forests that held uncountable numbers of greens, mossy trails and ground that bubbled up water.  About twenty years ago, when I was living in England, I went to Sweden, the country my father's family had left shortly before he was born.  Standing on the deck of the ferry I looked up and saw the forests I'd been looking for all my life.

I don't recall the first time I said I wanted to be a writer, but a friend from high school, a man who is a distinguished poet, says he remembers me telling about my desire to write all those years ago.  I'd always trusted him and I suppose I confessed this to him knowing that he wouldn't mock me.  He was the only person I told for many years because it simply seemed too far fetched, too unobtainable for someone who had left college without a degree and usually picked up the phone rather than write a letter.

I didn't talk about writing, but the ideas kept boiling up when I least expected them and finally I sat down and wrote a novel about a time-traveling housewife with scholarly pretensions.  Aren't we always told to write what we know?  It didn't find a publisher and I became an interior decorator (an interior designer for my UK readers).  I enjoyed the work, but I found that what I really loved was hearing people's stories.  I'd sit with my clients for hours and chat and a number of them told me I should be a writer.  After the twentieth or twenty-fifth client told me this, I once again wrote a book which became Careful Mistakes.

My husband was transferred to England and I started my relationship with Little, Brown, UK which has recently been re-kindled.  (A wretched pun since the new editions are e-books and I beg your forgiveness.)  While in England I published Glory Days and A Twist of Light.   

Our return to the States was to a village in rural Vermont.  After a few years of running an art gallery, I'm finally finding the time and space to write once again.  I have two books awaiting publication and a few chapters of a book which I hope will complete my Vermont Trilogy.  

And yes, we have wonderful forests here.  I begin every morning with a hike in a forest that holds an uncountable number of greens, mossy trails and ground that bubbles up water.  I am home.

Little, Brown will re-issue A Twist of Light, A Trick of the Light and Glory Days on June 5th, 2014.