Today, I post about Countenance, by Joy Ross Davis. See original post here.This is her debut novel, published earlier this year by Ecanus Publishing. Joy refers to her book as “paranormal”, but these days, that genre conjures up images of vampires, werewolves and zombies, all of them so overdone that the majority the reading public is exhausted by it. I think the content of this book can more aptly be described as “supernatural”.
The author and I shared some conversation recently, and I now share with you a few tidbits on how this story came to be:
§ Where did the idea for Countenance originate?
The idea came from a voice I heard while standing on my porch one night. It said, “Countenance.” From there, the story ideas took hold and by the next morning, I knew all of the characters.
§ Why this story?
Countenance came at a time when I needed relief from the grief of losing my mother. It kept me sane and occupied, and the story blends all the elements of my family and experiences.
§ How long did it take you to write it?
I wrote it in eight months then spent another four months with an editor to revise and polish it.
§ Do you believe in angels and demons (bright spirits and dark spirits) and were you taught to believe as a child?
I do most certainly believe in angels and demons, but I was not taught that as a child. I was discouraged in those beliefs, but when I was six, I had an experience that cemented my belief in angels.
§ Do you believe you’ve ever had encounters with either side?
Oh, most certainly. I believe that when I was a child, an angel saved me from a deadly lightning strike. Lightning struck at my feet just as an angel appeared and told me to run. I ran and suffered only minor blisters from the strike. When I looked back, the angel was gone, but the ground where I had been standing was completely charred.
§ I know you told me some people refuse to read Countenance because of its supernatural theme. What do you say to those who think your story is “of the devil”?
This sort of makes me laugh. I know that some people choose what to read based on their beliefs, and of course, that is their right. But I would say to everyone that Countenance is a work of fiction. It is not intended for any purpose other than to entertain…and possibly uplift. I really don’t believe that a work of fiction can test anyone’s faith.
§ What’s next?
Next on the agenda is finishing the sequel, which takes place in Ireland.
My original idea was that Countenance would be three books: one in Tennessee, one in Ireland, and the last in Tennessee. But, that vision has changed a bit. I still see it as three books, but there will be more blending of the characters and places. The major characters from the first book will remain in all three books with a deeper look into the family history and a few extra ghosts and angels sprinkled throughout!
Getting it Together for Historical Fiction (by JudyAnn Lorenz)(original post here)
Joy Ross Davis brings more angelic storytelling to her readers and the Angel Pack! Set in Ireland, 1938, Emalyn’s Treasure tells us of a young woman with a heightened spiritual experience which contributes to the ‘treasure’ that she has kept close by, yet hidden from all, since she was a 6 year old child. Her encounter with lightning and a protective angel lies at the foundation for the treasure story.
Emalyn has led a privileged life during a tumultuous period in Irish history that we seldom hear about. Civic improvements for water and electricity were becoming accepted and expected, although resisted by some people. Assessment costs and resistance to change sparked civil disorder. I especially enjoy a story where I can learn — a factoid here; a skill there! Our Author’s research is extremely active for this book; the descriptions of politics, available appliances, clothing, decor, architecture, and hospitably take you right into 1938!
Our Emalyn is still a young spirit, becoming more mature and generous by the day. How blessed the man and woman who find their matching ‘swan’ to become a life’s companion as Emalyn and husband Owen have done. Joy Ross Davis brings her gentle story-telling to Emalyn’s Treasure as we would expect, with some twists and turns that keep it from being at all saccharin sweet! Indeed, tragedy marks high points in the story and leads to the finale.
Emalyn’s Treasure has no ghosts. Angels are present to take on earthly appearances, protecting and guiding the characters through their activities. Lives are transformed subtly. Supportive characters Fiona and Percy become more mature. I perceive the potential for follow-up stories, but as a skilled author, Joy Ross Davis brings this story to a sensible end without a cliff hanger ending that seems to just drop off that cliff.