Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Author Interview: Joy York: The Bloody Shoe Affair @JoyYorkAuthor

Joy York grew up in Alabama. She is a graduate of Auburn University. She had a rewarding career in retail management. She was an active volunteer in her community, holding positions on nonprofit boards supporting education, including an elected four- year term on the Hudson City School Board of Education in Hudson, Ohio. She was inspired to write when she began creating stories to entertain her young son. Although the story and characters are fictitious, The Bloody Shoe Affair was inspired by Joy’s childhood visits to see her cousin in rural Alabama who was the daughter of the county jailer. Joy now follows her passion of writing fulltime.

Your real name and pen name?
My legal name is Joy Shelton-York. My pen name is Joy York which many people call me as well.

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood

Many of my best memories are visiting my grandparents on their farms in north Alabama. It was great to play with my cousins getting into mischief by annoying the pigs, chasing chickens, playing in the potato house and helping to round up cows. The wonderful southern food was another bonus. My mother got skipped on the southern cooking gene. My daddy would take me rabbit and quail hunting with him on the farm.

About your education?

I graduated from Tuscaloosa High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I received my BA is Sociology from Auburn University and a Minor in Communications.

What career did you plan during your education days?

I wanted to help people as a social worker when I was in school. I wanted to join the Peace Corp when I graduated, but was turned down because they were only taking people with technical degrees. Unable to find a job in social work, I looked at retail. Retail management was where I spent most of my career.

What languages can you speak and write?


What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?

I believe there are several important people that inspire you through-out your life that come at different phases. My daddy was probably the one that had the biggest influence on my core values and the direction my life would take. Although he died in an accident when I was five years old, he instilled honesty, integrity, hard work, perseverance, and the importance of education and helping others. I think my first words may have been “War Eagle,” so I had to go to Auburn.  My Mother inspired independence, self-reliance, unconditional love, and to take risks for what you believe in.My husband, Terry, has inspired me to believe in myself and follow my dreams. My son, Collin, has inspired me to dream big. Spiritually, my faith in God has always sustained me.

What hurts you most in this world?

Seeing children suffer or not have opportunities to have the resources to have a healthy and happy life.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?

Growing up without my daddy. We were very close and it totally upended our lives for years. My mother suffered with depression so it was extra hard on her to raise us alone. Thankfully, she had a good career as a Registered nurse.

If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?

Leonardo Di Vinci It would be amazing to be in such a creative and intelligent mind for a day.

What is your favorite genre and why?

Mysteries and thrillers. I love the excitement and to try to figure them out.

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?

When my son was young, he loved me to tell him stories. I made up all kinds of fantasies and adventures.  As time went on, I began to write them down.  I discovered a love for writing.  I joined several national writing associations and local writing groups. I attended conferences, found resources to improve my skills, got lots of input from other writers and editors, and wrote about things I loved.

Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?

The Bloody Shoe Affair: A daring and thrilling adventure with the jailer’s daughter is my first book. It is self-published. It is over ten years in the making because of my demanding career.


In this mystery set in 1968, Christi, a shy and awkward teenager, never expected to get sucked into helping her cousin, Lily, the “double-dare-you” daughter of the county jailer,  try to solve the grizzliest murder the town of Roselyn, Mississippi, had ever seen. Then again, Christi had been entangled in her misadventures before. So a whirlwind week of spying, lying, crawling through tunnels and sneaking into the jail should have come as no surprise to Christi.

Lily, a vivacious prankster, loves adventure. It’s not hard to find when you live in a house connected to the jail. Christi, a city girl, is self-conscious and afraid of everything. Still, she’s drawn to the excitement and adventure that Lily always seems to provide. Christi arrives for a visit in time to help her cousin discover what happened the night Lily observed a county deputy drop a pair of women’s bloody shoes from a bag. After a chance meeting with the accused, they learn new information that sheds doubt on his guilt. Seeking justice, Lily sets a plan in motion that takes them on an adventure of risk and surprising twists. They not only discover unexpected truths about the case, but about themselves as well.   

What are your forthcoming writings?

I am working on a sequel, The Jailer’s Daughter’s Revenge

What genres you write in and why?

This book is a historical Young Adult Mystery. I want to encourage young adults to be engaged and enjoy reading. Adventures and mysteries are things they don’t get to do themselves. The emotional issues teenagers face are timeless.

What keeps you motivating towards writing?

I love writing. You can create wonderful, colorful characters that begin to write themselves. The possibilities are endless.

If Writing a Book is taken as a project, What are the key essentials you take care of in Project Management?

Having been in management for years, I have taken on projects as large as opening a multi-million dollar store to developing a yearly budget. This is a totally different kind of project.

My book started with characters I loved and making sure they had clear voices. I had a story in mind and a setting that I was very familiar with. I wanted to have a well-developed plot with exciting twists and turns to engage my readers and keep them interested.  I didn’t start with an outline as many writers do. As I wrote, I made sure I stayed true to who my characters were and getting to the ending I had in mind. As I wrote, the ideas came, changed and they led me to the exciting ending I hoped. Many people have told me they felt like they were part of the story. That is amazing for me as a writer. My next book is a bit more systematic that the first.

How do you plan, schedule and monitor your writing commitments?

I get up in the morning and get ready for writing like I would if I had a normal job. I write all day. If I get stuck, I do research on details and update my social media. Sometimes I have to walk away and come back with a different perspective. I also seek feedback from other writers or an objective reader. The important thing for me is to stay consistent to a schedule.

What are your future plans?

To continue to write.

What is generally your preference in reading – a paper book or ebook? And why?

I read both, but I love the feel and smell of a paperback book.

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?

Likeable characters with clear voices that the readers will root for
Exciting and well-developed plot
Engaging and entertaining story
Story that people can relate to

How much real life goes into a fiction writing?

This story was inspired by my relationship with my cousin who really was the county jailer’s daughter. It was also inspired by my real rural family and memorable events in my life.

Is a high level of imagination important to have for an Author?

I think imagination is very important. A story has so many directions it can go in. It takes creativity to see the possibilities and decide the best way to take your story.

Your dream destination on Earth?

England and Scotland. I’m really into genealogy.

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?

I was born in Gadsden, Alabama. My family is Scotch/Irish, English. We visited Ireland last year and loved it. It was green and beautiful and one of the friendliest places I have ever been. I have been to Canada around Niagara Falls and to Vancouver; both were beautiful. I’ve also been to Mexico a few times and love the people, the beaches, and the majestic ruins. On cruises, I have visited St Thomas, St. Johns, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.

Your favorite time of the day?


Your zodiac/ sun sign?


Your favorite color and why?

Blue –it is cool and fresh

What is the last book you finished reading? What is the current book you are reading?

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart  just finished
DeadlineJohn Sandford  reading

Your favorite book and why?

There are so many!
The Lord of the RingsJ.R.R. Tolkien I couldn’t put it down. Wonderful adventure with such intricate detail. Colorful characters.
The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown A mystery with puzzles! Fascinating!

Your favorite movie and why?

Jurassic Park- I love dinosaurs
Field of Dreams – The impossible becomes possible

Your favorite celebrity and why?

Don’t really have one. I like real people.

Your favorite food?

Anything with shrimp

Your favorite sports?

College football- Auburn preferred, but will route for Alabama if they are playing someone else.

What is the force that drives you?

My family, friends and faith

What comes to your mind when you think of India?

Beautiful fabrics

Some quickies: Sun or Moon, Laughter or Smile, Morning or Evening, Coffee or Tea, Mountain or Sea, Long Drive or Short Drive, Silence or Conversation, Water or Fire, Air or Earth, Mars or Jupiter, Tulip or Rose, Red or Blue, Left or Right, Glance or Stare, Fame or Money, Boy or Girl, Day or Night, Tree or Plant, Love or Passion

What three words come to your mind for each – 
Technology- convenient, but isolating
Life-full and happy
God- love and forgiveness
Humanity-basically good people
Terrorism-destructive people
Racism- intolerant bigots
Childhood Abuse- disgusting, heart-breaking, betrayal
Love- faith, family and friends
Parenting-  love and patience
Old age- wise but fragile

The first thing you do in the morning after waking up?

Say good morning to my husband and our two Golden doodles Zack and Bailey

Last thing to do before sleep?

Say my prayers

If one fine morning you wake up and find your sex changed to the opposite, what will be your first reaction?

I was perfectly happy as a woman.

State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote

You’re only limited by your imagination Donna Dow

The last line of your autobiography would be…

Her family was her heart.

The title of your autobiography would be…

A Story of Love, Integrity and Determination

Links & other relevant details:
ISBN-13:ebook 9781483549651   paperback book 978-1-63192-822-6
Twitter handle:JoyYorkAuthor
Goodreads author page:
Amazon link:

Any other links:

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