Friday, September 5, 2014

An Interview with Inspirational Author Joy Ross Davis

An Interview with Author Joy Ross Davis....  

Hello-Hello and how are you today? Let's hope everyone is doing well and happy! Welcome back to my blog where I try to share whatever I think may interest  you. Today is the first time I interview a fellow author. And with me this very first time is inspirational author, Joy Ross Davis.
Joy has graciously accepted me into her domain to take up some of her writing time to talk about her writing and her debut novel, Countenance. So please, without further ado, let us welcome Joy to the pages here.
Thank you Joy for spending time with us. Shall we begin....? 

S.J.: Joy, angels seem to play an important part in your books. Can you tell us a little bit of how that came about? What was your inspiration for your debut novel Countenance?

     Joy:  Angels play a part in each one of my books. I’ve really always been fascinated by them. As a child, I believe I had an encounter when lightning struck at my feet and I was “saved” by a beautiful angel who told me to run, run away. I ran, but when I looked back, there was nothing except seared grass. So, that encounter has given me a special fascination with angels.
    As for the inspiration for Countenance, it came about when I was a full-time caregiver for my mom who suffered from dementia. I had taken a break and gone onto our back patio. As I was standing outside, I heard a loud and clear voice that said, “Countenance.” After a few minutes, I heard the same voice again. I had no idea what it meant, so I got out my Bible and looked for references to the word “countenance.” I found this verse: “His countenance was like lightning; his raiment white as snow.”
     By the next morning, I had the story in my head.  
S.J.: Your work, Joy leans toward the paranormal suspense, where you bring angels, dark spirits, and humans alike into vivid life. What is your inspiration for your stories?

     Joy: Actually, with the exception of Countenance, the inspiration for almost all of my stories is photographs. I can see a photograph and from that will sometimes come a story that just pops into my head. I know the character, the name, the title…it happens without warning and at times when I least expect it. 
S.J.: Joy, will you tell us what do you love most about being a writer? Least?
     Joy:  What I love most about being a writer is simply being a writer, being able to tell the stories that come into my head and have people respond to them. I have to admit that the intense struggle of getting a story onto paper is worth it after reading one really good review!
     What I like least about being a writer is simply not being able to make a living at it. Most of my stories are from .99 to $2.99 on Kindle now, with Countenance at $6.99. It takes an enormous amount of sales, given that I have an agent and publisher, to make money at writing. 
 S.J.: What writer inspired you most and how?
    Joy:  Oh, most definitely I was inspired by Stephen King and John Updike earlier in my life. I was fascinated by Stephen King’s ability to frighten people with his words and to tell a story. John Updike, to me, wrote some of the most beautiful sentences I have ever read. Later, I was inspired by Agatha Christie and Sigrid Undset (Nobel Prize winner). Both of these women write with such clarity and such intrigue that I adore reading their works.  I have the formal style that Agatha Christie used in her writing, and no matter how hard I try, I simply can’t write any other way. 
 S.J.: All right, Joy, if you could give just one piece of important writing advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be?
    Joy: The best advice I could offer is simply to stay with it and get the writing done. Just get it done. Later, hiring a good editor is a must. But first of all, the writing has to be finished. I think that to be a good writer, a person has to be obsessed with it, obsessed with the burning desire to get those words on paper. 
S.J.  Okay, Joy, I'm going to make you think here. What is a favorite book you enjoyed reading and would recommend without hesitation? Why?
     Joy: Oh, there are so many! But, I will choose one of my very favorites, Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset. I would recommend it to anyone. This is a magnificent story of the life of a girl from a prominent family set in the 1400s in Medieval Norway. It is a trilogy and was released first in 1920, with each story in the series released the next year. I have all three combined into one long novel. The writing is glorious, and the story is both compelling and heart-wrenching. At 1100 pages, it is a masterful tale written in elegant language. I don’t think I will ever forget the girl named Kristin Lavransdatter! 

S.J. In closing, Joy, is there anything new on the horizon for your fans to know about?  Anything we should watch out for?
     Joy: I’ve just signed a three-book contract with Oghma Creative Media based out of Arkansas! I’m very excited to be working with this group of people and their awesome authors. My novel, The Legacy of Preacher’s Cove, will be released in 2015. This is the first novel I wrote, and after making some necessary improvements, I submitted it to Oghma, and they accepted it for publication.
That is it for today. Thanks for stopping by. I hoped you enjoyed the interview and that you will consider adding Countenance to your reading list. I know I have. A book excerpt and Synopsis follow the purchase links. I’d like to thank Joy again for spending time with us and telling us of her views on writing and about her debut novel, Countenance available from online stores everywhere. Here are a few links to find and purchase it:  And don't forget to check out Joy’s Webpage at:

    Links to COUNTENANCE:

But before we go, we can’t leave without sharing a bit of Countenance for you to explore. Fortunately, Joy has shared a short excerpt and a synopsis of Countenance for you to enjoy. Take a breath and take a trip with her with reading just a bit….
Synopsis of COUNTENANCE:  Nealey Monaghan’s life is turned upside-down when a grisly multiple murder/suicide takes away her children, husband, and sister all in one night. Her faith, once something she held so dearly, is also a casualty. Numb to the world, Nealey is taken in by her charmingly eccentric Aunt Sylvie, cookbook author and  proprietress of the Playhouse Inn Bed and Breakfast in the hills of Tennessee. Hoping to help her niece find purpose and meaning in her life again, Sylvie makes Nealey a co-owner and begins teaching her the tricks of the trade…and the secrets of the house. But nothing is what it seems at the Playhouse Inn, and the arrival of a mysterious new guest has Sylvie’s friends and staff on guard, as this is a place where magic exists, and secrets must first be unlocked before the dead can rest and the living can truly heal.
"In Countenance, debut novelist Joy Ross Davis creates a suspenseful yet heartfelt story full of intrigue and unexpected revelations, where magic is made in the kitchen and angels can fall in love. Her memorable characters inhabit a home that is more than it seems, unwittingly preparing for a  final showdown where forces battle for the souls of both those who reside there and the dead who cannot move  on to the next realm."
Short excerpt from COUNTENANCE:  Read on….
Chapter 1 
Sylvie Wolcott sliced the last of her winter apples, gathered the peels, and dropped them into a pot of boiling water sweetened with a bit of clear corn syrup. In a smaller pan, she poured a cup of Aberlour scotch, taking a little nip first to test its taste. A second sip confirmed her choice.
“Delightful,” she said.
Into the pan with the scotch went a stick of softened butter. From a tin on the shelf by the window, she withdrew a pinch of golden powder.
“Ah, my special ingredient,” she said and sprinkled it over the simmering mixture. 
She leaned forward and inhaled the delicious aroma.
“Perfect,” she said. “Double crust apple butterscotch pie.”
She squeezed her hands together and smiled. “Oh, I believe my readers will adore it.”
Sylvie walked to the pantry to get the brown sugar and opened the big double doors. From one of the two head-high built in shelving units, she spied the sugar and lifted it off the shelf.  When the subtle scent of flowers wafted into the pantry, she hesitated.  Jasmine?
Sylvie shrugged then closed the doors.
Something on the floor by the kitchen entrance caught her attention: her suitcase, her favorite Louis Vuitton. The bulges in the sides told her it was fully packed.
“What on earth is that doing down here?” 
Atop the suitcase was a cream colored envelope with the word “Sylvie” written in script.
Sylvie picked up the envelope and took out a sheet of paper.
“Sylvie,” it read, “you must go to Nealey. She needs you. Go quickly.”
“My sweet Nealey,” Sylvie said. “What could be wrong?”
Sylvie turned the paper over but found nothing on the back. She glanced around the room for any sign of who could have left both her suitcase and the message.
The aroma of the cooking apples brought her to the stove again.
“Oh, dear, I hope they’re not overcooked,” she said as she turned off the burners.
Once again, she read the message.
“Go to Nealey. Go quickly.”
A rap at the kitchen door startled her.
“Miss Sylvie,” her driver said, “the car is parked out front. Whenever you’re ready, we’ll leave.”
For a moment, Sylvie simply stared at him.
“But how did you know I needed to leave? Who told you to bring the car around?”
He hesitated for a few seconds.
“Well, you did, Miss Sylvie, about an hour ago. You said we needed to go immediately to Kentucky to see Miss Nealey.”
 “No, I didn’t tell you that. I’m certain I didn’t.”
“But you phoned me,” he said, then pointed to the envelope. “There’s another one of those on the back seat of the car, Miss Sylvie.”
Sylvie wrung her hands.
“I’ve been in the kitchen since dawn working on this new recipe. Don’t you think I would remember if I’d phoned you? Oh, dear. Something is not right.”
The driver lowered his head.
“It sounded like you, Miss Sylvie.”
Sylvie took off her apron and laid it across the chair.
“Mercy,” she said. “I wish I knew what was happening. If there’s the slightest chance that my Nealey is in harm’s way, I must go to her. So, I will simply trust this message. It certainly isn’t the first time the unexplained has happened at this inn, and I’m quite sure it won’t be the last.”

Thanks for visiting with us. Joy, please return any time you want. It was fun. Until next month...stay safe. Be happy. Show compassion. Smile.

S. J. Francis
In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family."  Coming in 2015 from Black Opal Books.
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