Exclusive Interview with

Joy Harding

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When did you start writing?

All through my adult life I have written for pleasure. That translates into roughly 30 years .

Joy Harding
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What makes writing your passion?

I love to read and I think my love for writing came about because of that love. Writing allows me to create worlds I've either imagined but never read about or to reimagine worlds where integrity and good wins. I am not a fan of the anti-hero or of unlikeable protagonists that are so popular right now. So I write.

Joy Harding
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How long have you been writing?

For publication about 2 years, for pleasure about 30 years.

Joy Harding
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What was the feeling when you published your first book?

When I held my first book in my hand, I was thrilled. It was real. Then I wished my late father could have been here to share the day. My husband came home with roses to celebrate. In the end, I'm glad that others will be able to share Jack's and Liz's story.

Joy Harding
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What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

The skeleton of this story, it’s framework if you will, is rooted in my deep love for the north shore of Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the practice of medicine, and my belief that there are still heroes in this world. More importantly, I’m a Christian and this fictional journey of growth reflects C.S. Lewis's affirmation that 'pain is God's megaphone'.

Joy Harding
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What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

The lack of feedback. This is my debut novel, and I have asked for reviews, or private comments, anything to let me know how reading my novel impacted the reader. My beta readers were wonderful, but since publication, it's been a uphill battle to get someone to talk with me about my book. It sells, but I would still love to expand my fan base and know what or who those fans would like to see more of....or less.

Joy Harding
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How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

I write. I sit down at my computer and I put words on the page. Even if I end up changing those words, I force myself to write.

Joy Harding
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We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?

Well, seeing as I am new writer, my advice is to tell your story. For me, that meant praying, and writing, followed by more praying and more writing. Then I did my research on publication options. For example, I knew I wanted to maintain legal control over my work, which meant that I could only pursue certain options. Finally, prepare yourself for rejection. Keep working towards your goal. Make your finished project the best it can be-for me this meant employing a great editor. Yes I paid for that service, but it made the book so much better. Then bask in the thrill of holding your first book in your hand.

Joy Harding
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If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

Relax and enjoy the time you give to your chosen endeavors.

Joy Harding
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Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

Yes I do. Any negative comments I chose to view as learning opportunities. I understand that not everyone is going to love my book, so those comments, if fair, are invaluable to me in my growth as an author.

Joy Harding
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What is the feeling when you get a good review?

I feel happy. Glad that someone shares my love of the story. I love it when I see specifics about what touched the reader in a review.

Joy Harding
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Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

Yes. I write about what I know. This doesn't apply to all the characters or to all of the story, but there are reflections of my life as you read through the book.

Joy Harding
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Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

I am most comparable to Liz. However, her character is her own, with only echoes of my life coming through.

Joy Harding
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What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

I think they are both extremely important. In the case of Boundary Waters Search and Rescue: Beyond Belief, the cover photo was taken by my husband in Ely, Minnesota. The graphics artists at my publisher added certain elements. I love it because it connects directly to the setting of the book.

Joy Harding
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Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

I connect through Author Meet and Greets, through my Facebook page, and through my website/blog. I love to connect personally with readers. I would love to do more of that, both personally and via email. I also send out a bi-monthly newsletter to those who are members of my website.

Joy Harding
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How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?

It's something lovely when someone shares something positive about my book in front of others. I feel deep gratitude to both that person and to God for allowing my words to touch another's spirit.

Joy Harding
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Who is your favorite author? Why?

Francine Rivers. Her works touch me at a deep spiritual level and satisfy the reader in me with wonderful and meaningful stories. My favorite of her works is 'Redeeming Love.'

Joy Harding
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What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?

I guess I don't dream of getting big. I want to be true to both my calling as a Christian and as a writer. Within those boundaries, I would love to continue writing good fiction that draws other into the story while providing an income of some kind for me. One day I would love my writing to be compared with Ms. River's works.

Joy Harding
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Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?

I would not re-write them, no, but every time I read Boundary Water Search and Rescue: Beyond Belief, I find things that I would change. I think that's pretty normal. I've kept those things that bother me in mind when writing the next two books in the series so that I don't do things the same way.

Joy Harding
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If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?

Probably Francine Rivers, but I really am not looking to be anyone other than myself.

Joy Harding
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