Welcome to the GLC ACFW blog's bi-monthly (for now, anyway LOL) Meet the Member feature! (If you're interested in being featured, email me and I'll add you to the queue. Also drop me a line if you have any exciting news to share in your writing life so I can share it here on the blog.)
ANYhow - today we are featuring Joy Avery Melville, the GLC chapter's own critique coordinator, and presenter at April's mini-workshop in Jackson (more details here). And without further ado, here's Joy!
JOANNE: Thanks for the interview, Joy! Tell us a bit about yourself.
JOY: I live in Schoolcraft, MI with that dear man of my childhood dreams - praise GOD.
We have two adult children - both married - and between them we have seven grandchildren.
Our house is owned and run by a five pound yorkie - Otis Sir Barceslot (he never barked until he was over a year old - now - he barks at anything that so much as squeaks).
JOANNE: I can totally relate to that "mind thing." What do you like to write?
JOY: Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance (still working on the HOW-TO’S with this genre) and Women’s Fiction.
JOANNE: How long have you been writing? At ACFW?
JOY: My first effort at creative writing was a novella when I was at the end of 8th grade. My English teacher read it and told me to take every writing class I could possibly get and write, write, write!
I joined ACFW at the urging of Gail Gaymer Martin in April of 2010 - I met Gail in the spring of 2008 after an email correspondence over many months.
JOANNE: Have you had anything published?
JOY: A short WF story - I won a contest and was published in two newspapers with the story and my bio.
A musical play - written (play writing and music lyrics) my sophomore year in high school. Another sophomore, one junior and one senior all had strengths to add to the project. The other sophomore and the junior did most of the musical scores and lyrics - although I did two songs completely - and the senior and I wrote most of the actual play and did set designs to fit the acts and scenes.
The musical was written over one summer, practiced and sets were built and it was produced in the spring of my sophomore year. We each had parts beyond the writing. The senior was the heroine, I was one of the secondary characters, the other sophomore was the prompter and the junior was the junior director!
We were only going to have a dress rehearsal for the middle schoolers and then have one evening performance. We did the dress rehearsal and since we’d advertised so much on television, radio, and in regional papers, we sold so many tickets we ended up performing two evenings and a Saturday matinee. It was a REWARDING experience.
JOANNE: How cool! What are you working on right now?
JOY: I have two things going - a contemporary romance and just last Thursday at the prompting of Amanda Barratt and then a follow-up from Julie Lessman - I’ve decided to take my women’s fiction that I pitched unsuccessfully at the 2011 National ACFW Conference in St. Louis and turn it into an historical romance. It will be my first full length historical and if I wasn’t so tied into my current work in progress, I’d dig right in.
Previously I’d set the story (my first novel) in Coopersville, MI but after Amanda and Julie talked to me I was at our Schoolcraft Library working on my current book when I looked up above the fireplace and saw a very large depiction of SCHOOLCRAFT in 1881. WOWSER - just the day after I’d spoken to both of those gals.
So, when I can finally get back to that story, I’ll RE-set it in Schoolcraft and have it in the mid to late 1800’s.
I’m really excited about attempting that - I just want to get this current story out of my heart and head and print as I honestly believe God wants this story told for someone.
JOANNE: What is the best writing advice you've ever received?
JOY: Don’t try to fast-track the writing experience. Allow yourself to enJoy the journey and make sure you study to show yourself approved by God.
JOANNE: To you, what is the best part of ACFW? The GLC chapter?
JOY: The spiritual connection/fellowship. I appreciate the wonderful spirit in this chapter.
All for one and one for all - makes the hard work of writing so ‘fun’ and precious to me.
JOANNE: How can folks connect with you?
JOY: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Critques By Joy: email@example.com
I can be found on Facebook - Joy Avery Melville
JOANNE: Anything else you want to add?
JOY: I can’t impress on those who want to write for the LORD enough how very important it is to be in HIS WORD every single day or in prayer/communication with Him every single day. It’s the days I miss either or both of those that Satan throws fist-fulls of discouragement, disillusionment and defeat my way.
Volunteering in the Chapter or at the National level is one of the best teaching experiences I’ve ever had. The blessings have been so numerous I’ve lost count AND it’s amazing how much I’ve learned by volunteering a bit of time and effort.
Thank you for this opportunity, Joanne. I love to share what God has done in my life and writing!
JOANNE: And now the sweet, giving, and wonderful Joy has a question for YOU! Answer in the comments, please :)
How can I best serve you as a fellow-member of GLC?