Bio: As an award
winning author, Joy Avery Melville’s heart’s desire is to be the author God has
called her to be by sharing Him with readers in such a way they long to
have a deeply committed personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord.
Fully intending to write Historical Romance—had in fact— she
had no plans to deviate from that. God had something else in mind for that “call”
He’d made on her life back in 1967. A mere eighth grader at the time, she had
no clue about the topics she’d be drawn to write about.
Surrendering to the genre God placed on her heart has given
Joy new insight into the hearts and lives of those who too often hurt in
The settings of Joy’s books are near where she lives in
Schoolcraft, Michigan, with her husband of nearly 47 years and their 2-year-old
Yorkie, Is-A-Bella Bindi, (Is-a-beautiful little girl) who thinks she’s a much
larger breed with tomboy tendencies.
Joy loves to hear from readers and will respond!
Welcome back, Joy. Why do
you write the kind of books you do?
Believe me when I tell you, IT WAS ALL
GOD! I was happily writing Historical Romance, and he brought me to an abrupt halt
with a newscast. He nudged, prodded, until I got the message that He wants me
to write Christian Contemporary Women’s Fiction, and He's allowed me the joy of
writing Romance into the stories.
Besides when you came
to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life? When I married
Jerry, my husband of 47 years. I don’t even think having children and grandchildren
surpasses the marrying the man-of-my dreams, though they’ve all ranked pretty
How has being
published changed your life? I have been so blessed by the FB
messages, emails, and reviews on Amazon as to how my books have touched the
hearts of readers. Lots have said how good a read they are, but the personal
things that have been said have humbled me so much. A couple really had me in
tears – one was after a gal had read Meant
For Her, telling me that something that a character did due to his spiritual
beliefs, touched her in such a way, she went to God about it. The second was
from a younger woman who read Sown In Peace, who suffers with PTSD.
She thanked me profusely for affirming all she’s gone and is going through with
it. She has refused to loan her copy out, because she fears not getting it back,
so she directs family and friends to the Amazon link, telling them they have
to read it.
God has affirmed His calling in so many ways, but those messages tell a story
of their own.
What are you reading
right now? I’ve put aside my writing, editing, mentoring until after the
holidays, so I got out all of my Christmas books with the hope I can settle in my
cozy library with a cup of hot cocoa and read, read, read!
What is your current
work in progress? In January, I plan to pick up my Kept For Her (book 2 of the Intended For Her Series) and work on
the self-edits. I had to write a Prologue, and change the first two chapters,
because I had used that portion of the story when I revised Meant For Her – oops. I would love to
have the story ready for a professional editor later in January and start
working with her to get it set to publish in early Spring – LORD WILLING!
Of course, I’ll want
to feature it on my blog when it releases. What would be your dream vacation? A
cabin in the north woods (even if it’s the piney wood just to the north of our
house on our own property – but a cabin would have to be built first – gulp-) I’d
love to have the sound of a stream nearby, a fire in the fireplace, enough
creature comforts that I wouldn’t have to use an outhouse or go without running
water. Lol – I’d take my writing, knitting, some good books to read after
putting in hours of writing/editing. Yes. I write/edit/revise on vacation, because
I love, love, love what I do!
How do you choose
your settings for each book? Since I write about places near where I live,
the settings come fairly naturally to me. I do take author-license by putting
houses where there may be none in order to fit the story, but in my Author’s
Note, I make sure readers know that.
If you could spend an
evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why? That’s
hard to answer. Many come to mind... spiritual giants, authors who’ve really
touched me with their stories, and I’m honestly not sure which one to choose.
Gail Gaymer Martin (author) was used by God to touch my life at a very
significant point, and I’d love to spend some more time with her – catching up and
conversing about our writing. Franklin Graham would be a spiritual giant I’d
love to spend an evening talking to... my husband would jump at that as well.
The man has done so very many things to touch lives in so many different areas.
His work with the men and women of the military with PTSD is phenomenal and
gets very little deserved attention. I’d love to know how he knows which new
thing to begin.
Probably the way you
know which thing to begin. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading? I
touched on that question earlier when I said I’d take knitting on vacation. I
also do crocheting and stamp art. I do very little of it now, because I’m so
caught up in writing and revising my work. I do edit and mentor other writers,
but I even get to do that at the level I used to.
What is your most
difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it? Satan and his
attempt to derail the books God has asked me to write. He didn’t use to bother
me during the writing of my first books, but got irritated by the message in
the novels as I got closer to publication with two of them. My health has been
a big issue this last year, so it’s tough getting my brain to function on all
cylinders. Overcoming the things has been through prayer and the many prayers
of my Journeys To Joy Influencer Team. Those women are warriors. Sometimes, I
have to set a timer, work until the timer goes off. Then I spend some time
walking and praying and maybe getting a cup of coffee or tea before going back
to my chair and resetting the timer. Perseverance is a word God whispered into
my heart for 2019. I found out why before the year was up.
What advice would you
give to a beginning author? I’d give the very same advice Ane Mulligan gave
me back in 2012 or 13 when she said, “Joy, I sense you’re trying to hurry right
to publication. Step back... Don’t rush the process. Enjoy the journey.” She
went on to tell me, “Learn all you can about the writing industry, the
guidelines about the best way to write, but listen to the inner voice, telling
and showing you when you’ve done it well.”
Incidentally, Ane later brainstormed my tag and marketing
brand with me one afternoon. Between the two of us, we came up with FICTIONAL
JOURNEYS TO JOY BY JOY. Most of my novels begin with one or more characters
having faced a detour on their personal journey to joy.
Tell us about the
featured book. Sown In Peace
my first wounded warrior novel. Like my other stories, I researched and read,
and listened to those who’ve been through the issue(s) in the novel. I wanted
to speak to some who’d been there/done that in regards to war, and the Lord gifted
me two amazing men. I thought
I’d learn statistics, logistics, and those
acronyms used by the military, but what I came away with was way beyond those
things. Sown In Peace
is about a female soldier who came home with PTSD
and had no idea what really was going on in her head and heart. The story takes
place in 2014-15, before many of the things were instituted that they have today
to help our men and women coming back from war, having lived through much they’ve
not been really prepared for. She has some interpersonal conflicts with her
family, and that does not help her situation, but God had a plan for her life,
as He does for everyone. She journeys through her issues to find joy.
Please give us the
first page of the book.
“But the wisdom
from above is first pure, then Peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and
good fruit, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness
is sown in peace by those who make peace.” ~ James 3:17-18
Afganistan ~ Foward
Operating Base (FOB)
~July 4, 2014
Heated words pinged against the outside wall of
the port-a-john. Military Police Staff Sergeant Victoria Archer leaned, dipping
her head, trying to catch the rapid torrent of dialogue. Why was the angry
conversation in Dari at a U.S. FOB camp? Men’s voices. Too bad she was suffering
brain-fog. If only she’d studied the local language more.
Spending a lot of time with children in the village
at her last post, she’d traded some English for Dari. Ten-year-old Adiva had
caught on fast, and one of her little sisters, Lina, hadn’t been far behind
her. A grin tugged at her dust-crusted lips. Port-a-johns weren’t as soundproof
as the latrines on stateside bases. Well, unless you don’t count the ones when
in the field at For Hood. Different story with those. She’d have traded any
one of them for her private bathroom back in Three Rivers, Michigan.
That would have been nice.
Tori, back from a forty-eight-hour convoy mission,
had hurried to the latrine area as soon as she could leave after the after
action review, having obtained her post-mission assignment. The AAR had taken longer than normal with two jokers in their
How can readers find
you on the Internet?
Thank you, Dear
Friend, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me. I’m eager to read
it. I have a grandson who came home from Afghanistan suffering from PTSD.
here are links to the book.
https://amzn.to/3hfCufC - Paperback
https://amzn.to/3nXN0KU - Kindle
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