- Tell us about yourself: I am a single mom living in mid-Maine with my three daughters about ten minutes from Stephen King’s home in beautiful downtown Bangor, Maine. I have lived in Maine but also CT, VT, and VA. I have two Associates degrees in Criminal Justice and Accounting.
- How did you start this journey to become a writer? I have always been a writer and all through both high school and college, I had teachers/professors encouraging me but I didn’t consider it at that time. About three years ago, I started thinking about it after reading my first contemporary romance, Love Hacked by Penny Reid. I have always read the classics like Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Bronte sisters etc. I was a bit of a snob before reading Love Hacked. I thought that contemporary romance was garbage but I was glad to be wrong. After the first book I could stop…..some of my favorite authors are: Penny Reid, Mickey Miller, Chance Carter, Sloane Howell, Katy Regnery (love Never Let You Go, it’s my favorite!), TM Frasier, Rachel VanDyken, LJ Shen, Carian Cole, K Webster, Emma Chase, Jana Aston, Alice Ward, Helena Hunting, Mariana Zapata…and many more. I can’t pick just one that I could ever live without.
- What have you written so far? I am relatively new to publishing but have many books in the works, I currently write contemporary romance but will be writing some erotica and a few non-fiction books about personal experiences.
- Tell us about your current book. My first book, Shadows and Whispers, was published in August 2017. Due to health issues and family, I was not able to do anything in 2018 but I am releasing my next book, 5Guyz a romance and bromance (reverse harem). It was inspired by the people and experiences by people I knew when I lived in Randolph Vermont. I moved from Enfield Ct and that was really city life. Things were entirely different in the small Vermont community. I hope to finish and publish 5 books and I am part of an anthology releasing this May with all contemporary romance stories called Pretty and Witty.
- What is the inspiration for your current book? One thing I want to aim for is more normal/everyday characters. I like people that work everyday jobs with normal lives. I take inspiration from people around me. I have an overactive imagination and find myself starting new books all the time to at some point focus on and finish.
- Who was your favorite character to write and why? My favorite character so far is Ruby from Shadows and Whispers. She is a redheaded spitfire and a little unfiltered. I am a lot like her…lol
- What do you have planned next? I have a website, twitter and Facebook. I am starting a newsletter after 5Guys is published and hope to do fun things like sending birthday and holiday cards to people along with emails that keep readers updated on what I am doing.
- What advice would you give new writers? Find a kick-ass personal assistant. Mine is awesome and I couldn’t do any of this without her. Finding good, reliable beta readers is something that can be difficult but soooooo worth the help. Find people who read a lot in your genre and are willing to help by reading yours. I myself have yet to break out but this Spring and Summer I have two books that I am promoting that will involve challenges of social experiments to readers or anyone, and Youtube videos with me. I am hoping to get my name out there. I have started two women’s groups on Facebook. With all the shaming going on, I want other women to be encouraged to be themselves and not let others make them feel bad. Curvy Girl Nation is a movement I am starting. The web page is under construction but shame on shallow men or anyone to make someone feel bad about their shape! I am older than a lot of romance authors but young at heart. I also have several causes I hope to fundraise for in the next couple of years and they include Homeless teens, Suicide prevention, Wounded Warriors.
- How can readers get in touch with you? website: joyvalentinebooks.com and twitter and Facebook: joyvalentineauthor