Joylynn M. Ross now writing as
BLESSEDselling Author E.N. Joy (EverybodyNeeds Joy)
BLESSEDselling Author E. N. Joy is the writer behind the five book series, “New Day Divas,” the three book series, “Still Divas,” the three book series, “Always Divas,” and the forthcoming three book series, “Forever Divas,” which have been coined “Soap Operas In Print.” Formerly an Essence Magazine Bestselling secular author writing under the names Joylynn M. Jossel and JOY, when she decided to fully dedicate her life to Christ, that meant she had to fully dedicate her work as well. She made a conscious decision that whatever she penned from that point on had to glorify God and His kingdom.
After thirteen years of being a paralegal in the insurance industry, E. N. Joy finally divorced her career and married her mistress and her passion; writing. In 2000, she formed her own publishing company where she published her books until landing a book deal with a major publisher. Under her company she has published New York Times and Essence Magazine Bestselling authors in the “Sinner Series.” In 2004, E. N. Joy branched off into the business of literary consulting where she provides one-on-one consultations and literary services such as ghost writing, editing, professional read-throughs, write behinds, etc… Her clients consist of first time authors, Essence Magazine bestselling authors, New York Times bestselling authors and entertainers. This award winning author has been sharing her literary expertise on conference panels in her home town of Columbus, Ohio as well as cities across the country.
Not forsaking her love of poetry, E. N. Joy recently published an ebook of poetry titled Flower In My Hair. “But my spirit has moved in another direction,” E. N. Joy says. Needless to say, she no longer pens street lit (in which two of her titles, If I Ruled the World and Dollar Bill, made the Essence Magazine bestsellers list. Dollar Bill appeared in Newsweek and has been translated to Japanese). She no longer pens erotica or adult contemporary fiction either, in which her title written with New York Times Bestselling Author Brenda Jackson, An All Night Man, earned the Borders bestselling African American romance award.
You can find this author’s children’s book titled The Secret Olivia Told Me, written under the name N. Joy, in book stores now. The Secret Olivia Told Me received a Coretta Scott King Honor from the American Library Association. The book was also acquired by Scholastic Books and has sold almost 100,000 copies. She also has a tween/young adult ebook titled Operation Get Rid of Mom’s New Boyfriend. Elementary and middle school children have fallen in love with reading and creative writing as a result of the readings and workshops E. N. Joy performs in schools nationwide.
E. N. Joy is the acquisition editor for Urban Christian, an imprint of Urban Books in which the titles are distributed by Kensington Publishing Corporation. In addition, she is the artistic developer for a young girl group named DJHK Gurls. She pens original songs for the group that deal with messages that affect today’s youth, such as bullying.
You can visit BLESSEDselling Author E. N. Joy at www.enjoywrites.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1.) What are some of you inspiration that cause you to continue to write?:
I have been writing since the days of elementary school journals and rainy day writings. I started out just writing poems, then graduated to short stories. My first self-published book, Please Tell Me If the Grass Is Greener, was a mixture of poetry and short stories. Well, actually it’s poetic short stories; short stories told in a rhythmic flow. Kind of like a Dr. Seuss book for Grown-ups-LOL. I love La La Land. Growing up, my escape from reality was the La La Land I invented with pen and paper. So, I guess that is truly what inspired me to pick up the pen for the first time and begin to take a genuine interest in writing. It was an escape. Some people use drugs, some people use alcohol, some people use sex to escape while other people might use guns. I used a pen and the wonderful English vocabulary. I’d always been a reader, as that was another escape of mine. Ramona the Pest, Nancy Drew and those Little House on the Prairie books were my favorites. But then one day I got my hands on one of my auntie’s grown up books, which was Black Girl Lost by Donald Goines. It was the first book I’d ever read with main characters that looked like me. With characters that walked, talked and thought like me. I just remember sneaking the book out at night time and reading it while laying in bed. I was so deeply enthralled that I felt like I became that little girl who was lost. I just remember closing that book upon the final chapter and saying to myself, “One day I’m going to write a book that does that to people.” Achieving that feeling among my readers is what truly inspires me to keeping penning tales.
2.) What age did you discover you wanted to be a writer?
Like I mentioned before, writing for me started at a very young age when we had to keep journals in elementary school. It was like a sixth sense to me-manipulating words into something that could toil with a person’s emotions and at the same time sound so believable that I myself would forget it wasn’t a reality but only fiction.
3.) What separates you from all other Christian Writer?
There are Christian fiction writers and then there are Christians who write fiction. There is Christian fiction, then there is what some consider to be church fiction or church drama. You have some authors who didn’t necessarily set out to write Christian fiction, but they were placed in that category by either their publisher or the book stores simply shelve them that way. And of course you have the writers whose work is categorized as Christian fiction but they do not write for a Christian fiction imprint, which means they are not necessarily writing with any type of guidelines. I can’t speak for any other Christian fiction author or author who either chose or by default was placed in the Christian fiction category, but I am a Christian fiction writer who writes for a Christian fiction imprint. That is my choice on purpose.
I’ll be the first to admit that yes, I have a ghost writer; the Holy Ghost! I take dictation from the Holy Spirit when I write my stories. My Holy Spirit does not curse nor does He describe explicit sex scenes for me to deliver to God’s people…not even in the name of “keepin’ it real.” I write Christian fiction, not inspirational fiction, not faith based fiction or anything else. Christ is in what I do “CHRISTian” fiction. I’m not worrying about “keepin’” it real. The Bible is as real as it gets and if the Holy Spirit didn’t instruct the authors of the Bible to curse people out and describe explicit sex scenes, then why on earth should He start using me to do it now? So my concern is not about “keepin’ it real” for the world as much as it is keepin’ it holy for the Kingdom. My ultimate goal is, yes, to please the readers, but I must first please God.
P.S. Maybe Peter did curse. But even the author of the Bible didn’t feel the need to write the actual curse words.
4.) What is your favorite book out of all the books you have written? My favorite book that I have written so far is I Ain’t Me No More, which is book one of the “Always Divas” series. When I started this book five years ago, at the time, I was so displeased with who I was. The problem was, I didn’t want to admit who I was, which was an angry, hurt and bitter person who had internalized and held onto those things, circumstances and situations that had made me that way. Doing so gave me an excuse to be mad. If I held onto what so and so did to me umpteen years ago, it justified the way I could treat so and so today. You can’t quit it if you can’t admit it. So I had to take a for real-for real look at myself in the mirror, tell that reflection staring back at me just what I thought about her, and once I turned away from that mirror, make a conscious decision to leave her behind. I declared that I would do everything in my power to not be that person anymore…because she was disgusting and I hated her. If you go through life hating who you are, displaying love to others (heck, even like for that matter) is next to impossible. I had dealt with so much hurt and pain in my life that it ultimately became my normal. So if you wanted to fit into my normal world, you had to bring the hurt, bring the pain. When I got into church and got saved, I thought I was fixed. I was still broken though. It takes more work than just showing up at church every week and running down to the altar for someone to touch and agree with you or lay hands on you to get fixed. The main character in I Ain’t Me No More, Helen, is mad, bitter and angry at the hand she was dealt in life. Her problem; does she want to be fixed or is she so comfortable with pain that she wouldn’t know how to live without it? Plain and simple: Helen is not that likeable. As a matter of fact, the last book I wrote, The Sunday Only Christian, the main character in that one wasn’t so likeable either. So as God kept giving me these unlikable people as main characters, I got scared. As an author there was a fear that if readers didn’t like my main character, then they wouldn’t like my book. So during prayer I expressed to God my concerns. His reply: “This book is not for people to like the main character. This book is for people like the main character.”
5.) What played a real role in your choosing to be a Christian Fiction Writer?
I ultimately turned my pen away from writing street lit, erotica and women’s lit filled with sexual tension in order to serve God with my talent. God has always been there keeping, watching over and protecting me, but it wasn’t until I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior did I acknowledge just how much God loves me. Now I live to glorify Him in everything I do, including my writing. So I’m now not only proud to be a Christian, but proud to be a Christian who writes Christian fiction. In writing in the Christian fiction genre, I try very hard to keep my mind clear; to make sure I’m in tune with the Holy Spirit when I’m writing. But I’m going to tell the truth and shame the devil; I’m human, so just like in every day life, when it comes to my writing, I do sometimes allow my flesh to rise up and do its own thing. I have written things that I thought the reader might want to read without consulting the true author. Do I get convicted for it? Yes, via readers’ emails and reviews…and some of them, unlike God, have no mercy. So I try my best to stick to ghostwriting…Holy Ghost writing that is. When I dedicated my life to Christ, a great deal of things changed for me and in me. I couldn’t do some of the things I used to do. I couldn’t say some of the things I used to say and I couldn’t go some of the places I used to go. Well, I soon found that I couldn’t write some of the things I used to write. That’s what prompted the change in the genres I chose to write in. Joylynn M. Jossel the author is retired for good. Are the Joylynn M. Jossel and JOY books still available? Yes, they are. They can still be found and ordered in bookstores and are in pretty much every online bookstore. My die-hard fans can even still find Joylynn at www.joylynnjossel.com. That’s part of my testimony, my history and foundation as an author.
6.)Where do you see yourself in 10 years in your career? In ten years I see myself writing just my own books. Right now I truly enjoy being the acquisition editor of Urban Chrisitian. I love being a freelance editor and helping people to tell phenomenal stories and to hone in or their craft. I dearly enjoy doing literary consulting in which I help aspiring authors and vets alike get their stories from their head onto paper, aiding them in getting published, right down to marketing and promoting their books. I love both the adult writing and publishing workshops as well as the Kreative Kids writing workshops I instruct across the map. It’s an honor to agent several writers who are now living their dream as published authors by traditional publishers. I do some of the most amazing ghostwriting projects that allow me to have an alter ego. But ten years from now, it will be all about me and what I choose to pen and when I choose to pen it. I will have made my mark in the literary world with all the hard work I’m putting in now, sometimes going days without sleep or operating off of three to four hours of rest. Ten years from now I’ll still be writing, because I need it to breathe, but I will be spending much more time with my husband, kids and perhaps I’ll have a grandchild or two by then. Ten years from now, I’ll be reaping the fruits of my labor in every way I could have imagined.
7.) What do you want your readers to get from your books?
Latley I’ve found myself writing about charcters that some readers might love to hate. These characters are often special because readers don’t expect them to be so flawed. Some of them are flawed to the point where you want to close your eyes and say a prayer for them your own self. That’s just how realistic my characters and thier life situations are. Either you know someone like them, or, which might be even scarier, you are them. While readers are raising eyebrows and shedding tears for some of my character’s choices in life, they are at the same time yearning for them to just get it. Readers will ultimately want my characters to win at this challenge called life, and in doing so, my prayer is that readers will walk away willing and able to meet people like my characters exactly where they are at and not judge them or continually revisit where they’ve been.
Out of all the divas at New Day Temple of Faith, Unique has to be the most colorful one–she and her mother Lorain, that is. Never one to hold her tongue in the name of keepin’ it real, it’s no surprise that Unique has not been saved all her life. It’s safe to say that Lorain wasn’t born on the church pew either. Let the church folk tell it, the apple hasn’t fallen too far from the tree when it comes to Unique. Lorain–once known as the tight skirt, V-neck blouse, too much makeup-wearing leader of the New Day Singles Ministry–claims she’s there to look out for her daughter and try to keep her in check. But how in the world does Lorain think she can even begin to keep her daughter on the straight and narrow with her own crooked life?Some might say Lorain has failed miserably as a mother when Unique ends up in jail for three counts of murder. One who would agree is the woman who raised Unique while Lorain was out living her life freely. As an all-out war takes place between Unique’s birth mother and the woman who raised her, will Unique have any support while she fights for her life behind bars? Will all forsake her while they are too busy with their own agendas? Only God holds the answer to this one.
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Mother Doreen thought she’d never love again after the death of her first love, so when a pastor from her hometown proposes, she sees it as a gift from God. As the founder of the Singles Ministry at the New Day Temple of Faith, her departure is bittersweet for the single saints she’ll be leaving behind. Mother Doreen is a little nervous embarking on her new role as a pastor’s wife, but everyone agrees that she will make the perfect first lady. After all, no one has known her to be anything other than a perfect Christian. When her imperfect past comes to the forefront, however, her image is shattered. Even with the support of all the single ladies, it’s going to take the hand of God for this fairytale wedding to happen. Otherwise, Mother Doreen’s happily ever after might quickly turn into a sadly never ever.
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What kind of woman wants a man so badly that she’d be willing to lie to get him? What if that lie includes denying the fact that she has a child?
Deborah Lewis is that woman. The suave debonair Lynox Chase is the man Deborah wants. He’s the man Deborah has wanted for years, almost had, but decided to give her ex a try, leaving Lynox hanging. With her ex no longer in the picture, Deborah is willing to eat crow and go claim Lynox. She can’t help but worry if he will be forgiving and take her back, but figures after two years, he’s had time to get over it.
The chase turns into more of a marathon for Deborah. Just when she thinks she’s near the finish line, she learns that a woman with kids is a turn-off for Lynox. She finds this out before ever getting the chance to tell Lynox that she had a child by her ex. Can Deborah turn off being a mother just long enough to get Lynox to fall in love with her again?
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