Joyce Milne D'Auria
The Scottish Writer
Joyce Milne D’Auria – About the Author
Like many Scots I am a traveller. Born in Coatbridge, Scotland and raised in the post-war period. There was a large extended family of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and brothers, Milnes, Fergusons, Foxes, to name a few. After graduating from Glasgow Royal Infirmary as a nurse I came to the United States and continued my education to earn a Masters in counselling at St. Lawrence University in New York and practiced in Florida specializing in Marriage and Family and Addictions counselling.
My daughter, born in the USA, Linda MacIntyre Frame, who also graduated from St. Lawrence has turned out to be, among other things, a superb editor and a super mom to my two grandchildren. My husband, Paul and I moved to Florida where he opened a marine business and has sold boats here for thirty years, stealing the odd day off to go fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.
My story-telling started before we had television. My youngest brother liked me to tell him original tales plucked out of my imagination. The idea for my first novel was conceived in the Old Monkland Cemetery, near Glasgow, where birth dates and early deaths carved into the crumbling monuments whispered to me the unsung courage of my ancestors. My grandparents’ stories, told to me in rich Scottish dialect, along with research trips to my homeland, helped me breathe life into the nineteenth-century world of My Blood is Royal which takes the reader from the Scottish highlands to the lowlands in a saga that encompasses the infamous Highland Clearances and the dire conditions of the labouring family in the Industrial Revolution. Gritty stuff. Chapters from the book have won awards in the Cincinnati Celtic Festival and the Florida Writers Association Competition.
These Scottish stories have required me to broaden my knowledge of history way beyond the usual fare in Scottish schools which seemed more concerned with the names and dates of English kings.
Billy Boy, though not a sequel, followed, in historical time, a couple of decades later. Some of the more colourful characters from My Blood insisted on making a re-appearance. Billy will win through many trials and tribulations in the end with a little help from another famous Scot, Andrew Carnegie.
My humorous articles appeared regularly in The Scottish Banner, distributed to expats in USA, Canada and Australia and a compilation of these entitled Lumpy Porridge and Other Scottish Memories is now published as well.