Poor Joy. I feel so terrible. I asked quite a while back for people to answer The Questions and Joy kindly answered. Like three years ago.
And, my life… happened, or stopped happening, as the case may be.
Back then, Joy only had one book out, Countenance, “a suspenseful yet heartfelt story full of intrigue and unexpected revelations, where magic is made in the kitchen and angels can fall in love.”
Now she has, erm, eleven! books listed on Amazon! Which just goes to show what can happen if you put your mind to it, and write.
You’ve waited long enough for them, so here are Joy’s answers to:
8. Your favorite book growing up? Your favorite book now?
When I was 12, I snatched a copy of book from my uncle’s library. It was called Naked Came I, the biography of Auguste Rodin. I read it cover to cover then hid it in a drawer in my bedroom. I felt so grown up to be reading a book that I had…swiped. A few days later, though, my guilty conscience got the better of me, and I confessed my great sin to my uncle who said, “Well, Sister, what did you think of it?” I was delighted to be able to talk to my uncle about this book, so it has been, for many years, my favorite, most unforgettable book!
As to my favorite books of today? There are just too many of them to name. I am a voracious reader.
11. What three items will always be found in your refrigerator?
The three items I always have on hand in my refrigerator are Very Vanilla Soymilk, Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock, and Hellman’s mayonnaise! I usually also have a 6 pack of V-8 Fusion and snack packs of raspberry Jell-O. I think I must have been born with a sensitive stomach, so when I’m bothered with it, I put myself on a soft and easy diet of soymilk, chicken stock (with crackers), and Jell-O.
14. Obviously, as a creative person, every day is different, but what do you find yourself doing every day?
Every morning I try to spend at least thirty minutes sitting at my breakfast nook, looking out over the back yard. I think, pray, meditate. It’s my alone time, my quiet time. Most days, I can also use the time to jot down little notes about stories, so I keep a Post-It Note pad and pen on the table in the nook.
Years ago (my house was built in 1899), this nook was simply a darkened, closed off portion of the kitchen. But in recent years, I’ve remodeled it to create a bright open space with a large picture window and pretty floral drapes. It serves as a wonderful quiet space for me.
(dSavannah note: Ooooh. I so love old houses. I know Joy does too. She’s always posting pics of cool old houses. Can’t say I’ve noticed that one of them was actually hers!)
15. What inspires you?
What inspires me? Practically anything can give me an idea, but I find that I am most inspired by photos. I find them in various places, lately on Facebook. When I’m working on a book, I print out and tape photos to the wall beside my computer. The photos remind me about scenery, characters, places and help me stay focused.
One of my friends posted a photo of a young girl wearing a gorgeous floral dress sitting in a green velvet chair. As soon as I saw the photo, I knew the girl’s name must be Emalyn. Shortly after, I also knew that she had a treasure hidden in that chair. That is how Emalyn’s Treasure was born.
18. Your work space: neat or messy?
My workspace used to be a total disaster!! It was a small back room with horrid carpet, walls painted a sickly green and served as the dog’s playroom, a storage room, and my office. When I write, I’m messy, just messy. I make stacks of notes and have them scattered all around the office. I have notebooks, binders, plastic bins. I’m not sure how I ever get any work done. About once a week, I get the urge to clean it up, and so I straighten and dust and vacuum. By the next day, I’ve scattered more notes about, but hey, at least there’s no dust, well, not that day anyway.
UPDATE: Now, I do have a beautiful office! I took a small back bedroom and ripped out the carpet, painted the walls a beautiful sea green and found a gorgeous antique dining table that serves as my desk and as the home for my computer, printer, and scanner. In the two large windows hang two pieces of Irish stained glass, and on the walls are paintings I love, plus a wonderful sculpture of a dove of peace. With a white rug, a Celtic scarf draped on my door, and a small shelf with an angel sitting on top of it, my office makes me smile as I walk in each morning!
(dSavannah note: Sounds beautiful. Just what a busy author like yourself needs.)
20. When did you know you wanted to be a writer/artist?
When I was in the fourth grade, our teacher had us write a story. I had already been writing little stories and storing them under my bed in a shoebox. I decided to write a brand new story for my teacher, so I wrote a ghost story since most of my stories were about ghosts or angels and most of them were a bit on the spooky side. When my teacher read the story, she called my mother and my aunt to come to the school. We all met with the principal. The teacher told my mother that my story was trash, so she tore it up and threw it in the garbage. I cried and cried. But I kept writing my stories and hiding them away in my little shoebox. I loved writing them. I just didn’t want anyone else to read them! I wish I still had that shoebox today, but our house burned and destroyed them all.
(dSavannah note: That’s just awful! I thankfully have most of the little stories I wrote as a child.)
23. Where is your heart home and why?
My heart home is in Ireland. When I was a girl, my aunt told me stories of her “great grans” who came to South Carolina from Ireland. So, I grew up with the idea that I was Irish, and I embraced that idea. When I made my first trip there in 2007, I was fortunate enough to live and work all across Ireland as a travel writer and photographer. The longer I stayed, the longer I wanted to stay. I felt at home there, at home in the place, at home with the people. It was a wonderful time in my life, and I have been back twice since. Each time, I feel more and more as if it is where I am supposed to be. I just haven’t had the courage to make the move. But I will.
(dSavannah note: I have Irish blood, and would love to visit someday.)
About Joy (in her own words):
I am of Irish descent and a student of the lore and magic found in the hills of Tennessee. After a twenty-five year career as a college English professor, I traveled to Ireland and worked as a writer and photographer, publishing numerous travel articles and photos for an Irish travel agency. I have been a contributing feature writer for a local newspaper and has published articles in Southern literary magazines. I have a Ph.D in Creative Writing and live in Alabama with my son and three beloved rescue dogs.
- Her Website
- Buy her books on Amazon (paperback and Kindle) or BN.com (some paperback, some Nook)