Joy Ross Davis is 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, she traveled to Ireland and worked as a writer and photographer, publishing numerous travel articles and photos for an Irish travel agency. She has been a contributing feature writer for a local newspaper and has published articles in Southern literary magazines. She lives in Alabama with her son and beloved dogs. She loves to speak at conferences, book club meetings, and events to share her connection with angels and the stories behind her books.
Could you tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Alabama but have lived in many places, including Ireland. I have three grown children and three rescued fur babies. My career, until retirement, was as a college English professor for twenty-eight years, but when my mom was diagnosed with Dementia, I became her full-time caregiver. My writing hashtag is #angelwriter because my stories feature unusual angels.
When did you first decide to write and what got you started?
I wrote my first short story when I was in the fourth grade and have been writing ever since.
What is the best part about writing, and the worst?
The best part of writing is the satisfaction I feel when the story in my head transfers exactly as I want it to on paper. The worst part is when I just can’t seem to get it right.
Tell us about one of, or your most recent book?
My most recent book is called Peaches and Lace, set in Portugal, about a well-known fashion designer who gets mixed up with some unsavoury characters and almost loses her life as a result.
Do you have any inspirations for you writing? Other authors / people / events?
I get inspired from photographs I see. Sometimes, I can look at a photograph and a story runs through my mind. I also get inspiration from simply looking out my kitchen nook window into my large back yard. A few moments of silence while I drink my coffee opens my mind to new ideas and stories.
Tell us about your main characters. Are they based on real people or a product of the imagination?
No, my characters are not based on people, although I’ve often read that all of our characters are merely extensions of some part of us. But mine are strictly from my vivid imagination.
What are you currently working on? How long before release?
I’m working on a sequel to my first novel called Countenance which will be released some time in 2019.
When you have finished writing the book – what do you do next? By that I mean, do you edit the book yourself? Do you design your own book cover? Do you prepare a project plan to market your book?
I usually have a BETA reader who reads the final draft and makes suggestions. I use those suggestion to tighten the story, go through it chapter by chapter one more time. Then I send it to my publisher for suggestions. I don’t design book covers. Thankfully, my publisher is very good at book covers and marketing.
What is the best piece of advice you could give to someone starting out on a writing career?
The best advice is simply to keep writing. Keep creating stories and then submit them repeatedly.
Which authors and novels would you recommend as must reads?
Agatha Christie, John Updike, Maeve Binchy, Susanna Kearsley, J.R.R Tolkien
If you could choose one person (dead or alive) to have a chat with, who would it be and why?
Definitely Agatha Christie. She’s a fascinating and prolific author.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing, marketing, or being involved with your book business? Do you have any hobbies?
Hobbies? Well, I like to make hand-painted Celtic greeting cards but of late I just haven’t had the time.
Any fun facts about you that you would like to share?
I love animals. I watch cooking shows on TV. I read for two hours every night before bed, even when I’m working on a novel. And because I live in a house built in 1899, I spend a lot of time as caretaker for the old house.
You speak of Alabama, Tennessee and Ireland can you tell us what makes these places so special to you. If you had to choose, which would be THE place?
Of course, THE place would have to be Ireland. It’s a place that calls to me, that makes me feel at home and that allows me to be surrounded by beauty. One of my big dreams is to own a home there.
Thanks so much for taking the time from your busy schedule to talk to me today. Good luck with you new book and continuing work.
You can find all Joy’s excellent book on Amazon and you can catch up with her on social media.