Today, we’ll be meeting a gutsy, amazing young author who blows me away with her talent and positive outlook. Meet Joey Paul, YA and paranormal author.
Joey, we’d love to know you better. Tell us a bit about your life …
Before I was born, my parents had decided that since my mum had named my brother, my dad would name me. So I came alone and I was Samantha, then when he left for the registry office, I was Rowena. When he came back, I was Joanne! I use the name “Joey” because it’s been a name I’ve become known by since I was about twelve.
I’m from Swindon, in the UK. I’m thirty-three and live in a lovely historic house with my best friend from school, B, and her ten year old daughter, Miss D. I am also disabled with several chronic conditions. B became my carer when I first got sick with M.E in 2001. We have four cats – two each – and following a tradition I started at fifteen, my two are named after types of pasta: Miss Penne, and Miss Spaghetti, who’s called Hetti for short.
I use a wheelchair 90% of the time and have been for the past few years, though I’ve been using a wheelchair part time since 2002. I have a brilliant electric chair that means I can go geocaching whenever we’re able. It’s basically a world wide treasure hunt using GPS satellites to find the goods! The rest of the time I have my lovely manual chair, which gets me from place to place inside the house and outside too!
Now you know why I’m in awe of this woman. She is a fantastic writer too. Tell us about your books, Joey …
I have completed twelve books, am writing books thirteen and fourteen and plan to continue to release one a year. Of those twelve, six are part of a series, and six are standalones. I have seven books out as ebooks, and I’m hoping to release the majority of them as paperbacks this year too. I generally write YA crime, mystery and paranormal fiction, though I have written a contemporary romance as well as one that’s mostly general fiction.
The series I write is the Dying Thoughts series, and the fourth one will be released in the coming weeks. My plan is to have the pre-order link live for the 14th August when I have the cover reveal, and then to release it by the end of August. The majority of my books are told in first person, though one is third and another two are switching points of view.
You are one of my favourite authors… who are your favourites …
I love to read a variety of genres, but my favourite has to be crime and mystery. I also like to delve into romance, historical fiction, fanatasy, paranormal and all brands of young adult. I find it very difficult to whittle it down to just one author, so I will just say that I love the alphabet series by Sue Grafton, everything that Harlan Coben has written, as well as other mainstream authors. I have a few favourites in the indie world as well, Jana Petken, Jalpa Williby, Angie Martin, Lindy Spencer and many many more!
What started you writing? How old were you? Who or what was your inspiration?
I started writing seriously at the age of 19. I had gotten diagnosed with M.E and Fibromyalgia, been retired from my job on medical grounds and told that I would probably never hold a conventional job again. I had moved out of my place as I wasn’t able to afford the rent with no income, and I ended up living with a friend – it was B actually. I had already written my first “book” at the age of 13, and then tore it apart at 19, desperate for it to be better than it was. Once that was done, I sat down and wrote what became my debut novel, Blackout, in ten days. That started the whole process. I was first published in 2003, and then became indie in 2010.
I do remember writing stories at school, usually with the help of a friend or two. Some of them I look back on fondly and others I leave in the dark recess of my mind because they were that bad! My nightmares are people finding those, but I seem to have the only copies, which is the main thing!
I find inspiration from my life, and from watching other people out of the window of my office. I’ve used friends, family and strangers to inspire characters, and some of the things that have happened in my books are parts of my own life.
That’s fascinating. Taking inspiration from your life is a bit like baring your soul, I feel and that is brave. Not many authors can do that. You have written quite a few books. Let’s take a look at some, shall we …
I know that authors usually have a routine to their writing, something that sets the mood, something that keeps the little grey cells turning… What’s your secret …
When I first started seriously writing, I wrote in pen, on a pad and then in the evening, I would type it all up, correcting and adding more as I went. I kept that up until my fifth book, at which point the Fibromyalgia had caused my hands to cramp so badly when I held a pen that it was becoming impossible to write. That’s when I made the switch full time to the computer. Since then, I have acquired a tablet and so I’ve been able to write on that in bed when the pain or other issues are too bad.
I like to try and write something every day. It doesn’t always happen though! I am very lucky that when we moved here, there was an extra room that I could use as an office, and I do the majority of my writing there. I usually sit with a cup of tea and then see what I can get done. I prefer to do my writing when Miss D is at school so that I can think in the silence, but obviously it doesn’t always work like that.
What is your most used social media platform and why?
Probably Facebook, though I also use other sites that then post to my Facebook page. I do like Tsu as it seems to get my posts seen by more people.
Do you blog too? I’m sure readers would love to know your thoughts and insights …
I do! It can be found here: http://www.joeypaulonline.com/
Your favorite review?
My favourite review has to be the five star one I got for Lynne & Hope from a book blog. It can be found here: https://theverdictsout.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/book-review-of-lynne-hope-by-joey-paul/
I haven’t read Lynne and Hope. I should pick it up …
Your ‘Yes, I’m an author” moment?
My first one had to be holding Blackout in my hands when it was first published.
It was an awesome feeling to know that this story that had been in my head since I was fifteen was now out in the world. After that it had to be my first review!
I can totally feel you 🙂
Your covers are rather brilliant, Joey. Who designed your covers?
My best friend and carer, B, does all the drawings for my covers. The majority of them have had a make-over, with just two left to do. My hope is that by the end of the year, they’ll all be all nice and shiny!
Cheers to that!!
What’s your favorite book made into a movie?
Probably the Harry Potter books. While I love the Hunger Games and other dystopian novels that have made it to the big screen, Harry Potter has a place close to my heart and I’ll always love those.
Harry Potter is one of my favourites too. That woman I tell you, I feel if I can just breathe the air she breathes, maybe I’ll get infected with her imagination… 🙂
Any sneak peeks at future projects?
I’m writing two books at the moment. One is the seventh in the Dying Thoughts series, and the other is a standalone set in the year 2050. It’s a crime YA book which sees the ability to walk a mile in someone’s shoes literally turned to murder.
What cause is dear to your heart and why?
As someone who suffers from Fibromyalgia, the cause nearest my heart has to be The Fibroduck Foundation who are aiming to raise money for biomedical research into the cause of Fibromyalgia and ways to treat and hopefully one day, cure it. Their website can be found here: http://www.fibroduckfoundation.co.uk/
Here is some quirkiness…have a blast …
If you were a Disney princess which one would you be and why?
Probably Ariel. I’m a lot freer in the water, but on the ground, I’m unable to do much. I love swimming and getting out of my chair and being able to move and float.
What song is your current favourite?
Probably Plain White T’s – Write You A Song
If you have a genre to describe yourself what would it be?
It would probably be a mix of a medical thriller and a mystery J
Oooh! Hear that, people, a wild combination!
If you could meet one author who would it be?
It would be a hard choice between Harlan Coben and Sue Grafton.
Have you had a paranormal experience?
I have! In 2006, I met someone who was a really close friend. Her name was Jessie and she had severe M.E, to the point where she was paralysed, bed bound, tube-fed and unable to talk. We would send each other long texts. I would send one every morning when I dropped Miss D off at pre-school and she would reply through the day before sending me a long one at night. In December 2008, she died. I didn’t find out until a few days later when B read about it in the paper. Her legal name was different and so B didn’t know she was basically showing me an article about my friend. I recognised her photo and connected the dots. I was devastated. However, the night before, I’d had a dream that she’d come and walked along with me through a beach. Neither one of us could walk that distance (she couldn’t at all, and by that time it was too much for me.) She told me that all would be okay, and that she was happy. I didn’t think anything of it until I read the news article. I don’t know if it was just one of those things that my brain cooked up, or if it really was her. But it did provide me with some comfort.
That is a truly amazing experience, Joey! We’ll leave you with that pleasant memory. We are so happy to have spent time with you and wish you all the best with your latest book. Here’s Joey’s latest offering, folks.
Here are the buy links for her new book :
Pick it up!
Thanks so much for having me Jan, some really good questions and I’ve enjoyed them immensely!