Interview with Susan Joyce

Seattle PI news site logoSavannah Mae of BLOGCRITICS.ORG recently interviewed me about my new book, The Lullaby Illusion.


Her questions were thought-provoking and took me back to my childhood reminding me of why I became a writer.

Susan, I’ve been perusing the various websites and web-pages of yours and I have to say that you have lived an extraordinary life. If you don’t mind though, I’d like to start this interview a bit further back by asking you about your childhood. Who were you as a child? (Were you the shy, demure child, or did you always have that adventurous spirit)?

Read the interview in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

The Lullaby Illusion hits the shelves (and e-shelves)

The Lullaby Illusion, by Susan Joyce

Now available!

The Lullaby Illusion

by Susan Joyce

New book details the harrowing personal journey of a young
American woman facing seemingly insurmountable situations while living in the Middle East and Europe.
After many miscarriages and the loss of a child in childbirth on the island of Cyprus, Susan seeks solace by creating art and recording her vivid dreams. Through difficult life changes—Cyprus’s bloody coup and war in 1974, a rescue from a sinking ship in the Indian Ocean, learning
of her husband’s secret life, and surviving his deadly assault in Belgium, she discovers her “ticking clock” is not the child she fails to produce, but rather her creative potential.

Following her vivid dreams and intuition, she successfully reinvents herself as an artist and writer. From beginning to end, Susan Joyce reminds us of the stream of awareness that flows through all of us.

Early reader reviews show it resonates universally with men and women:

A hell of a tale…

— Mark Mercer, Writer

Amid the gripping account of her final days living in Cyprus as war broke out and bullets flew past, what moved me most was Susan’s spirit through the difficulties life throws at her. This true story gives honest insight into the complex emotional turmoil we all experience for various reasons, and shows how it is always possible to see the positive and build our life afresh exactly as we choose to live; not to long for what might have been. An uplifting, inspiring and triumphant story.

— Jennifer Barclay, Author, Falling in Honey

…like riding the roller coaster of life, exciting and engrossing, funny and sad. A real page turner. I was sorry to read “The End.”

Isabel Saltonstall, Editor


Available from, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Powell’s, other online sellers and better bookstores.

Writing on the Wall comes to pass as Russians ride high in Cyprus.

My life was shattered by the coup in Cyprus on 15 July 1974, followed five days later by the Turkish invasion on 20 July 1974. Thousands of lives were drastically changed forever by the atrocities, including
foreigners who happened to live there. Of which I was one. The writing was on the wall then. Because of the island’s strategic location, big powers continue to fight to control it.

Cyprus Bank’s Bailout Hands Ownership to Russian Plutocrats

The Bank of Cyprus was forced to absorb the insolvent Laiki Bank as part of the international rescue plan.

What? No bagels in Israel?

I first arrived in Israel in 1968, following the ’67 Six-Day War, to learn Hebrew and Jewish History at an ulpan on the border of the Negev and Judean Deserts, in the small settlement village of Arad (located a few kilometers west of the Dead Sea and 45 km east of Beersheba). I appreciated all the new things I was learning and the interesting foods I was being introduced to, but was shocked to learn that bagels didn’t exist in Israel. What? No bagels? How can I live and study here? How can Jews live without bagels? Being from LA, I often brunched at Canter’s Deli, the famous Jewish-style delicatessen in Fairfax. When it came to authentic bagels, I was spoiled.

The closest thing to a bagel, in Israel in those days, was a warm pretzel-looking thing being sold by a street vendor … and sold only in the afternoon. I wanted a real NY bagel for breakfast. So began my search for the perfect bagel recipe. I needed a chewy, dense mouth feel experience, and the local bread didn’t cut it.

A friend agreed to send a recipe by mail; one she’d found in the NYT’s food section. A recipe for “Authentic, classic, New-York style” bagels—which required kneading, rising, resting, forming, rolling, resting again, boiling, turning, and then baking. Since my small apartment didn’t come with an oven, I had to do the complex routine of making bagels on the top of a two-burner stove. It took several shopping trips to Beersheba to find all the ingredients, but I eventually did. Then I spent one entire day making and baking bagels. They were delicious—a gourmet edible masterpiece.

OMG, I thought later, no wonder Israelis don’t DO bagels. They’re too busy rebuilding their country. I decided to just get used to those warm pretzel-looking things. Instead of making bagels every week I helped plant trees in and around Arad.

When I visited Arad, many years later, the trees were standing tall and the warm pretzel-looking things tasted yummy.

Here’s a fun site on the history of bagels.

A Brief History of Bagels

More than you possibly want to know about bagels.

Resettling Diego Garcia?

UK announces new feasibility study into resettlement of the British Indian Ocean Territory

MercoPress, 9 July 2013.
The British government announced to Parliament that it will commission a new feasibility study into the resettlement of the British Indian Ocean Territory, BIOT, whose indigenous population the Chagossian was removed in the sixties and early seventies for defense reasons and is an issue that remains highly controversial and sensitive.

Read the rest of the article at

Wow! I thought reading the headlines from MercoPress. Resettlement of the remote coral atolls in the Indian Ocean? After all these years? Why now?

A flashback in time… 1975, when I first viewed the bay of the largest Chagos Island—Diego Garcia.

A private yacht, I helped crew, got stuck on a coral reef and capsized. Our crew was reluctantly rescued by the British and American navies. Although civilians and women in the military weren’t officially allowed on the island, the British governor invited all of the crew to dine with him at his home. We women went first, showered and later dined, wondering all evening why the male members of the crew didn’t arrive for dinner. The governor said he didn’t know what happened to them. He assured us they would come later. Much later, we returned to the yacht. The men were furious. Seems the governor wanted to have only women guests that evening.

Several days later, after repairs, we sailed on to the Seychelles and spent several weeks enjoying a real paradise.

What I didn’t know, at the time, was the brutal history of the Chagos Island. After landing in the Seychelles, I started hearing stories from natives about how NATO had forcibly removed the entire population. Descendants of African slaves, the original Chagos Islanders, were expelled and relocated to other islands in the area, so the British and Americans could have a secret military base in the remote center of the Indian Ocean—a listening site for NATO, a place to refuel bombers, and later reportedly used for the infamous American ‘renditions.’ This military base has been crucial to U.S. military strategy for the past 25 years, and has functioned as a launch pad for bombing raids in Iraq and Afghanistan. A great location to wreak havoc on people most British and Americans don’t know, or care, exist.

This ignorance serves the needs of multinational (i.e., extra-national) corporations to extract resources for profit, regardless of the human costs among humans who apparently don’t count.
So why now, would the British government care about restoring the island to its original inhabitants?

In 2016 America’s 50-year lease on the island of Diego Garcia expires. The option to extend the leasing rights must be agreed upon by December 2014. At issue is the question of sovereignty.

To me, it smells. And not good.

Abandoned places around the world

I lived in Kyrenia, Cyprus in 1974 when the Greek Coup and subsequent invasion by Turkey rained harm on my idyllic life and that of all people who considered Cyprus their home. I have written a memoir (The Lullaby Illusion— ) about this period of my life and what I have learned from this experience—a journey of awakening, of realizing how the world works or doesn’t, and why these tragedies occur again and again leaving graveyards of civilizations.

See photos of abandoned places around the world

These stark and stunning photos of abandoned places tell amazing stories of human lives and livelihoods lost, and civilizations in chaos. All speak of life interrupted—by wars, disasters, the collapse of commerce. Most occurred when governments and industries made decisions that rained harm. Only one of these abandoned places—the picturesque Italian village of San Pietro die Monti—was caused by a natural disaster, when a series of earthquakes struck the area. People, governments, corporations, and their decisions have caused the tragedies that struck the others.

My hope is that these photos will educate people on the injustices that occur on our planet—on our watch—inflicting great injury to all for decades to come.

Susan Joyce

“Life Happens Live it!

Inspirational speaker, author, and family friend, Jake French, coined this phrase after a devastating accident and spinal cord injury in 2008 left him a quadriplegic. From one instant to the next—turn, turn—his life drastically changed and in the first few days both he and his family felt hopeless. Then Jake chose to get out of the “pity-pit” and live his life to its fullest by focusing on the positive.

And so when our carefully planned schedule recently came to a screeching halt—when our son Jesse fell down steep stairs and broke his left ankle exactly one week before a trip to the States where he had hoped to start a new life on his own—I reminded him of Jake’s horrific accident.

“A bad fracture,” the doctor told Jesse. “Surgery was successful because the operation was done in a timely fashion, restoring normal anatomy and assuring normal function of the leg.” The doctor went on to explain that Jesse was lucky because it could have been a much worse accident. He told Jesse that he’d need to stay off the leg for several months and wear a cast for at lest four. The first few days in the hospital were the worst for Jesse as he sorted through the whole inconvenient ordeal of not being able to walk. He also worked through a range of emotions as he questioned why this was happening to him.

Being a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and to everything there is a season—turn, turn—I tried to console Jesse by sharing my philosophy and belief that every cloud has a silver lining. He’s heard this one from me before. We talked about how inconvenient mishaps, that stop us in our tracks, can  move us forward or backward in life—depending on our attitude. Problems and difficult times can lead us to better days if we learn from the mishap. To which he replied, “I guess I wasn’t meant to leave Uruguay now, for whatever reason.” By the time Jesse arrived home, he seemed accepting of his fate and changed by the ordeal.

Jake’s tragic mishap made him realize the importance of turning “excuses into expectations” through positive attitude, focus, and choice. Jake’s living his best life—and sharing with others what’s possible when one refuses to accept limitations and instead focuses on the challenges and choices life presents. Thanks Jake!
Susan Joyce

Link to Jake’s site

Tribute to Stuart Wilde

Stuart Wilde, the great metaphysical teacher and writer has passed on. May he rest in peace knowing his steady light brightened the way to my awakening.  His philosophy and writings have greatly influenced my life and my works. Thank you Stuart Wilde for sharing your thoughts with others. Link to Stuart Wilde site