Thursday, January 22, 2015

Interview on Joy DeKok by Cynthia Hickey



 Joy started writing as a little girl. She carries a large purse so she can take her journal and an assortment of pens with her in case a moment to jot comes along.
Joy and her husband live on thirty-five acres of woods and field in Minnesota between Rochester and Pine Island. She’s been married to Jon for thirty-plus years. They enjoy their many nieces and nephews. Their dogs, Sophie and Tucker, keep them company when they explore the land riding their John Deere Gator or while watching the many birds that visit their feeders. Joy enjoys time with her family, holding hands with her husband, lunch with friends, hot coffee, reading, bird watching, personal Bible study, and amateur photography.
She has nine books in print and including her first general audience (suspense) novel (the first in The Northern Lights Series) featuring main character, Olivia Morgan.
Faith is a vital part of Joy’s life. When she was sixteen, Joy asked God to find her and He did. Although most of her books fit the Christian market, Between the Lies is where Joy proves she is a Christian who writes rather than a Christian writer.
When did you decide to pursue writing and eventually publication?
When I was a little girl, I loved seeing words on the pages of my books. I dreamed of seeing the words I was going to write on the pages of books someday. But I put all of that away after an especially negative comment by an adult when I was a teenager. My husband knew about my buried dreams and one night he came home from work and handed me three writing magazines. He said, “Why don’t you quit your job and make your dream come true?” Terrified, I threw them at him. He graciously picked them up, handed them back to me, and asked me the same question as if I hadn’t thrown that momentary tantrum. The next day, although we couldn’t afford it, he had a desk and my first word processer delivered. I started my journey into writing for publication trusting his belief in me when I couldn’t believe in myself.
 
What is your writing process like?  Do you write daily?  Are you a plotter or a pantster? 
Writing is like breathing for me – a little on the essential side. Although I try to take Sunday off, I find myself writing in my journal.  I’m happiest when I get to write, at least a little bit, everyday. When it comes to the planning and writing, I tend to plot and then the story takes on a life of it’s own and I do the best I can to keep up.
 
What is your favorite part of the writing process?  Least favorite?
My favorite part is when I get the idea and know it’s a keeper. My least favorite is when I hit a snag in the rewriting – a part I might love, but that has to be changed or deleted.
What is one of the most interesting things you’ve discovered in your research? 
While writing Between the Lies, I needed to know how to become an FBI agent. So, I called the local office and let them know who I was and what I wanted. That Special Agent talked to me for awhile and then passed me on to another who was even more help. The learning part was interesting and talking to guys who really do this was just plain cool.
Please tell us about your latest release. 
  Between the Lies is my first mystery/suspense. The idea came to me years ago, and stayed with me. The main character, Olivia Morgan, is not your normal, likeable heroine. She has a past she’d rather keep hidden, but there’s a dead guy in the elevator who knew her secrets and things get worse from there. For Olivia, facing the past is the only way she’s going to be able to walk into her future. She uses her artistic talent to remember details others might miss and the authorities are watching her. Will her art free or convict her?
Who or what inspired this special story? 
The idea came from something I read on the Internet about a missing young woman. Then, an idea so ugly I thought it couldn’t happen popped into my head. I thought there was no way, but did some research and there it was – my bad guy. I wrote fast and furious only to discover I’d started with book two. I remember thinking, “A series? Good grief!” I set it aside for awhile thinking there had to be a way to use what I’d written as book one, but there was no way. For fun, I sat down with my journal and asked Olivia some questions. Her answers became book one.
Is there anything else you would like to share?  What will you be working on next? 
The new book in the series is Beyond the Lies and is book two – sort of. I did the detailed outline, but the characters had other ideas. The woman I thought was the victim wasn’t. The one who was shocked me.
I’m also in the planning process of a new novella series called The Missississppi Queens. This story was inspired by some women I observed in a Caribou while writing, Raccoon Tales, a children’s book I also have in publication. The women were so real and open about their lives, they impacted everyone around them. So far there’s no murder involved, but a writer never knows until she gets there.
Can you tell us something about yourself that few people may know?
If I could do any other job than writing, I think (lack of experience and study makes me unsure) I’d like to be an archeologist. Wouldn’t it be something to tell the stories of the past from the evidence left behind?
What is your most treasured possession?
Jon’s parents, and recently my mom, have passed from here to heaven. There are so many things in our home that matter more because they are gone. But as much as I enjoy these temporary treasures, they aren’t it.
The possession that matters most are my wedding rings. Jon and I have been married thirty-eight years and I wear the original set he gave me. As pretty as they are, I cherish what they represent every time I look at them: us.
If you had to leave your house suddenly, what is one thing you would grab, other than family and pets?
External hard drives. Two of them.
Photographs. I’m in the process of scanning as many as I can – old family ones up to the current ones. I hope to get them all (over 5000) on a single large extra hard drive.
And on a second smaller drive, my complete manuscripts and my current novel projects.
Thank you so much!  Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
 
Personal Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/joy.dekok
Personal Blog:  http://www.joydekok.com/
Author Blog:  http://1writersway.com/
Leave a comment for a chance to win either a print or an ebook copy of Between the Lies.

13 comments:

  1. I do enjoy a good mystery/suspense.. I'd like to read your first one..
    dkstevensneAToutlookDOtCoM

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  2. I love how you developed both of your books and I would SO like to own my own print copy of Between the Lies. Thank you for this interview and giveaway!
    Blessings,
    Connie

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  3. I have not read any of your books but im wanting to and this looks so good i hope i win
    Shirley jcisforme@aol.com

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  4. I have been looking for a Christian mystery book; I'll have to read your work!

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  5. Mystery/suspense is my favorite genre! I would LOVE to read BETWEEN THE LIES.

    psalm103and138[at]gmail[dot]com

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  6. I read Between the Lies. An excellent book by an excellent writer!

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  7. I'm intrigued and looking forward to reading this! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  8. Thanks everyone! We'll let you know when the drawing takes place. Thanks, John Robinson - you're the best!

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  9. Thank you for this opportunity. I love suspense & I love it even more when the characters take on a mind of their own. clSwalwell@gmail.com.

    In Him,

    Cheri :).

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  10. Your books sound quite interesting - the type I enjoy reading! We thank God for supportive spouses!
    Janice
    pjrcmoore@windstream.net

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  11. Looking forward to reading this one.

    Thank You, Kristie Porter tklove nest (@) ao l. com

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  12. Thank you all so much for entering the drawing! The winners are. . .Print Copy = Connie Ebook = Carol Kane! Carol your ecopy will be on its way to you in a few minutes. Connie - I need you to email me your address (joydekok57@gmail.com) and it will come directly from Amazon to you. Thanks again everyone - this was fun!

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  13. Congratulations to the winners! It has been a pleasure having Joy as a guest on our blog.

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