Author spotlight – Joey Paul – Author of the Dying Thoughts series

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.

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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 …

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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? 

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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.

Product DetailsIt 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.

Interesting!!!

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. 

 

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Here are the buy links for her new book :

US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B013WXUP4W

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dying-Thoughts-Fourth-Joey-Paul-ebook/dp/B013WXUP4W/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1439560706&sr=1-1&keywords=Dying+Thoughts+-+Fourth+Week

Pick it up!

Thanks so much for having me Jan, some really good questions and I’ve enjoyed them immensely!

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Sebastian by Christoph Fischer

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I read the Luck of the Weissensteiners about a year back and loved it. Though the book tied up most of that story, there were some threads that were left hanging and I always wanted to pick up where I had left off and see what became of the family that I had got attached to. The author really delves into history and his perspective of the War, imminent and ongoing, through the eyes of his characters is always well researched and interesting. I took a little while to get to the next book because you need to make time to be able to totally experience the book .

When I last met Sebastian, he was a bit of a disappointment. He was cowardly and unattached to his mother who was the character I was rooting for in the first book. Circumstances caused the situation but I was interested in finding out how the dynamics change. War can make for strange relationships and can break existing ones and forge new ones. Christoph Fischer has brought that out vividly and before long I was on Sebastian’s side, watching him grow stronger and become a person with strong family values.

And of course, I can’t end the review without touching on the incredibly well painted picture of Vienna and the detailed background that the story is set in. It speaks of not just the author’s prowess with the pen and his talent in turning a phrase but of the indepth research that must have gone into writing this story. Another fascinating read and a must for fans of historical sagas!

Bells on her toes by Diana J. Febry

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I love this author. As a huge fan of mysteries, with bodies and without, and having grown up on a diet of Dick Francis and Ruth Rendell, Diana J. Febry’s books are right up my street. They are the kind of books that you can easily finish in one sitting. I love the racing background, there’s just something about horses that draws me in.

But the reason that I pick up this author’s books is for the intriguing read. It is murder mystery at its best with suspenseful murders, enough clues dropped to keep you guessing, and let me warn you that you will be guessing till the end. She manages to give the tale a final twist and as always surprises you when she wraps it up.

The characters are written very well and DCI Peter Hatherall and DI Fiona Williams come with their own baggage which is delicately interwoven into the main story. The background life of these investigative officers makes them very real and you want to know what is happening in their lives. I realised that I’ve missed them when I picked up this book. It’s been a while since I read her last book and felt like I was catching up with their lives. I’m as hooked by what is going on in their lives as I am with the murder itself.

Add to this a whole lot of, not side stories, but more of interesting background of other issues and you will be riveted till you finish. Pick up one of her books and you will want to read them all!

Dying Thoughts by Joey Paul

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Dying Thoughts is a young adult mystery at its heart, but Joey Paul has made it so much more. It is a funny and entertaining story of young Tara’s ‘gift’, though she doesn’t consider it one. The first person narrative is neatly done and takes us on this journey in a sixteen year old’s shoes remarkably well. Tara’s introspective conversations are witty and does not grate (I’ve found that if not done well, it can ruin a book for you. It has ruined quite a few books for me.) But Joey has done a great job. Tara herself is very endearing and her relationship with her father seems very real. The mystery itself serves as a backdrop to Tara’s journey of self discovery, but is suspenseful and keeps you turning pages.

I think this book serves as a great introduction to Tara’s gift and how she realizes that she could be in a position to help people. I see there are more books about Tara Leverton’s adventures. I look forward to reading them. Five stars, Joey Paul!

Wired for sound by Cherime McFarlane

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For those who love rock and roll and reading, this is the perfect book for you. The author has an in depth knowledge of bands, tours and the behind the scenes action of a major tour. As with all artists, tempers run high and emotions get out of hand. Cherime Mcfarlane brings out the essence of the Scot in Hamish beautifully and his conflict over his love for Lori and his doubts about her, make that love story very interesting. A good mystery and an enjoyable read!

Savage Surrogate by Dorothy Mercer

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The Savage Surrogate caught me completely by surprise. Though the summary hints at suspense and mystery, I thought it was mainly a romantic novel. This is the first McBride book that I’ve read. Now I want to read the others. A dashing personality, suave and stylish, Dorothy Mercer has created a male character that women will find appealing.

The book holds your attention from the start and you are drawn into the murky underworld along with the protagonists, as they dig deeper to figure out what happened to Fran. The characters of Fran and Juliette have been given equal space and developed well. Both come out as strong, independent women. A captivating read…one I would recommend!

The dry by Rebecca Nolen

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I haven’t read a book that kept me glued to it, in a while. This one did! The Dry was like an exciting combination of Stephen King and Tolkein. It reminded me a lot of the “The Dark Tower” series by Stephen King, but in a style that children and adults could understand and enjoy.

The setting of the book is fantastical and the description, detailed. You can visualize and feel “The Dry” ambience, which permeates the book. This is not just a quest, it is also a coming of age portrayal of Elliot Sweeney, and how he learns, adapts and becomes stronger with each new monstrosity that threatens him. His little fellowship is quirky and endearing and you can’t help but fall in love with each of the characters. Even the bad guys (bugs or worse) have well developed personalities.

I am in awe of the creativeness of Rebecca Nolen’s mind. To create a fantasy that is terrifying but believable is true genius. An exciting read and a wonderful adventure!