Let’s Chat! With Joyce Valdois Smith

Welcome, everyone!

Joyce Valdois Smith is our author guest this week. She writes historical romance and children’s picture books. (Valdois is her maiden name, which she figures makes Joyce Smith a little more distinctive.) 

Joyce, I understand where you’re coming from. Davis is a very common name. And Linda? Forget about it! It was the most popular name in the U.S. Census the year I was born, so there have been Lindas everywhere I’ve gone. Until it “aged out,” that is. 

Readers, Joyce is offering *Romance Along the Rails as a giveaway–print or digital, winner’s choice. So scroll down and join the conversation, everyone.

*P.S. Congratulations to Perrianne Askew, winner of Joyce’s historical romance, Romance Along the Rails!

Now, Joyce Valdois Smith in her own words …

Who Is Joyce Valdois Smith?

Joyce Smith_author_Kansas
I
grew on a wheat farm in Kansas, the youngest child in the family with three older brothers. I graduated from nurses training and attended one year of Bible College before I married my soulmate, Bob. We have four married children and twelve amazing grandchildren. I worked as a Public Health and School nurse then retired to care for my parents. My father had Alzheimer’s Disease.

Joyce Smith-and-family

Joyce Valdois Smith’s Writing Journey

I began to write when I was about 40 years old. I took the writing course, Institute of Children’s Literature, and joined a small writer’s group. I also began my first novel based on the Harvey Houses along the ATSF railroad and the Harvey Girls.

Joyce Smith_railway
A
t the PIW writer’s conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Multnomal Press offered me a contract. But due to the pressures of caring for my parents and fear of not meeting the deadline, I broke the contract! I later finished the novel, which I entitled “Tables on the Prairie”, but after many discouraging rejections and life trials, I quit writing for about 15 years.

Joyce Smith_author
M
y books and stories waited in my computer.
In the summer of 2015 my son encouraged me to begin writing again. I revised and edited my historical romance novel, and it was released in January 2018, Romance Along the Rails

Some Tidbits About Joyce’s Books

Joyce Smith_Romance-RailsRomance Along the Rails takes place in 1885. Elise Dumond, the heroine, is a Harvey Girl in Kansas and the hero is a surveyor for the ATSF Railroad. The sequel, Home For the Heart, which I am currently working on, takes place in 1900 and also follows the Harvey Girls. Elizabeth (Liz), who was a four-year-girl in the first book is the heroine in Home For the Heart. I plan to write two others in the series, one in 1920, which takes place in New Mexico or Arizona, and the last one during WW2.

I also published a children’s picture book, Grandpa Forgot My Namein November 2017. I had written it as a memorial to my father and my husband’s mother who both died of Alzheimer’s. My desire is that it will help children, who have loved ones with dementia, deal with the disease.

I also have other children’s books waiting to be published. The next one, A Christmas Treasure Hunt, should be released in November  2018.

Insight From Joyce Valdois Smith

My favorite Bible verse concerning my writing is Habakkuk 2: 2-3.

And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” (NKJV)

The Lord gave me this verse when I was so discouraged about ever being published. His timing is always right. Never give up on your dreams.

How to Find Joyce and Her Books

Joyce Valdois SmithFacebook 

Twitter

Instagram: rgjlsmith70

Blog 

Email

Romance Along the Rails

Grandpa Forgot My Name

Grandpa Forgot My Name

~ ~ ~

Lord, we applaud and praise You for always showing up at the right time. We frail humans are persistent in our expecting Your answers in OUR timing rather than Yours. Thank you for proving Yourself faithful in Joyce’s life–and in our own–even when we struggle to force Your time clock to match ours. Now, would you bless Joyce as she endeavors to be a faithful witness to Your goodness?
Bless every single word she writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

6 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! With Joyce Valdois Smith

  1. Alison Boss

    Thank you, Joyce, for sharing your writing journey! Waiting is always the hardest part, but the Lord is faithful! I am so glad you persevered with your writing! I can relate to caring for your parents who battle with Alzheimers disease. My father passed away after struggling with advanced Dementia, and my Mother-in-law is currently battling Alzheimers. It is so sad to see their state of mind decline.

    I LOVE historical Christian fiction! It is my favorite genre to read. Your book, Romance Along the Rails, sounds like a wonderful read! God bless you as you continue to write for Jesus!

     
     
    1. My mother experienced dementia in her last few years. It was hard on everyone. (But I have a funny story or two also.) PS: Someone posted in Facebook today that President Trump recently announced $425 million for Alzheimer’s research.

       
       
  2. Thank you. I would love for you to read my books. Alzheimer’s is a brutal disease. I wish they could find a cure. I pray II Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

     
     
    1. Amen, Joyce.

       
       
  3. Perrianne Askew

    I admire your diligence in continuing to write. I’ve enjoyed other Harvey Girls Novels. Your flexibility show in writing children’s books also. I’m happy you’ve adressed Alzheimers disease. It is terrible and we lost my grandmother to it many years ago. Congrats on the new release and upcoming books!

     
     
    1. I feel the same way about Joyce’s diligence and devotion in continuing to write. I’m eager to read about her Harvey Girls.

       
       

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Let’s Chat! Author Penny Haavig

Welcome, Everyone!

Penny HaavigPenny Haavig is our guest author this week. I haven’t met Penny in person. But after visiting with her via this interview, I want to move next door! What a friend, wife, mother, and grandma she must be! 

Penny’s first novel—Laugh, Clown, Laugh—is coming out soon. So you’re the first to be introduced to her and her novel. Penny’s roots extend to Queens and Long Island, New York. And her historical novel, Laugh, Clown, Laugh, is set in Brooklyn against a backdrop of vaudeville. How intriguing is that? 

Now, gather ’round as Penny shares a bit about herself, her life journey, and how Laugh, Clown, Laugh was birthed. Also, she’s offering a special giveaway. So, check it out below.

**Congratulations to Anne Rightler, winner of Penny’s soon-to-be-released novel—Laugh, Clown, Laugh!** 

Penny Haavig’s Roots

First, I was born and raised in New York with roots in Queens and Miller Place, Long Island. However, I spent most of my life in upstate New York, an hour from the beautiful Adirondacks mountains.

Our house in Miller Place was situated on a cliff that overlooked the picturesque Long Island Sound. Even now, I can remember running down the cliff to the beach where my Dad taught me how to swim. To say the least, it was daunting to dodge the horseshoe crabs and jellyfish, but once I got the hang of it, I loved it.

A Love of Horses

Penny HaavigBecause my dad was an equestrian, his love for horses fell on me when I was three years old. A pony man visited Richmond Hill, where I spent the first five years of my life. My first pony ride was on a black and white pony. The Christmas after, Dad surprised me with a black and white handmade rocking horse. My love of horses stuck for decades. Who would have known, that after all these years, I would be the proud owner of a black and white Pinto/Arabian horse. My mother would say to my dad, “She’ll grow out of this, Henry.” I guess not. 

Penny’s Bitter and Sweet

I am a retired pre-school teacher and was blessed to own a day care center for over ten years.

Penny HaavigI met my first husband Guy in 1969, and we had two beautiful daughters, Tiffany and Tonia. Everything was going fine until sudden tragedy struck our family. My husband died of a heart attack at the age of 54. We were married thirty years. My life started to unravel, but God kept me together. (Click to Tweet!) My girls were still in their teens, so it was very hard for them.

Because Guy knew the Lord as his Savior, I know he is rejoicing with the saints for eternity and I will see him again when I get to Heaven. Praise God for the gift of eternal life in Jesus. 

God’s Intervention

However, God intervened a year later and brought Tom, a handsome Norwegian, into my life. Because he had the bigger business and family, I sold everything in New York and moved to Minnesota. While both girls were on their own, leaving them was bittersweet. Although the miles still separate us, I know God protects them. And now, we’re a blended family with seven children and 13 grandchildren.

Penny Haavig’s Life of Faith

Penny Haavig

I came to know Jesus as my Savior and Lord at age 13. Now we’re members of Alexandria Covenant Church, a great gospel preaching church where I have taught pre-school Sunday school and VBS.

Penny HaavigAt present, I’m a part-time clown with the alias, DancingDot. In addition, I started the SONSHINE Club, a children’s ministry at our church for kids, ages 5-12. We go out into local nursing homes and present the love of Jesus via games, readers theater and music.

Also, I was Children’s Theater Director at Central Square Cultural Center for the past five years.

Penny Haavig’s Writing Journey

Penny Haavig
Berto: LAUGH, CLOWN, LAUGH

My first novel, Laugh, Clown, Laugh, is five years in the making. My mother and grandmother suffered with mental issues, but the facade of vaudeville and theater covered up their bewildered hearts. (Click to Tweet!) Consequently, they both had nervous breakdowns, and their stories inspired me to write this book. 

Penny Haavig
Violet: LAUGH, CLOWN, LAUGH

In addition, I met many amazing authors along the way, including Susie May Warren who was the first one to encourage me at a writer’s workshop and retreat. And I pitched to agents at two conferences, but to no avail. Also, I had the book professionally edited twice and revised and revised. Is it ready now? By the grace of God, it is!!

While I wasn’t as persistent as fellow authors and there were many set-backs, every time I was ready to throw in the towel, God said, “What are you doing?” Because God would NOT let me give up, countless prayers, tears, several edits and revision, and perseverance have carried me through. As a result, I’m self-publishing this book, which will be in my hands soon. 

Penny Haavig
The Band: LAUGH, CLOWN, LAUGH

What’s Up With Penny Haavig Post-Laugh?

In conclusion, I’ve completed the rough draft of the sequel to Laugh, Oddballs Matter, which is based on my mother’s story after she came to know the Lord. Next, a third book in the series will be based on my life. While emotional and mental issues can rob a person of their identity (Click to Tweet!), I pray my books will help someone who is hurting on the inside. (Click to Tweet!)

How can you find Penny Haavig

Facebook

Email

Penny’s Giveaway

Because I’m looking for folks to join my Amazing Dream Team, the first five to sign up via email at pnhaavig@wisper-wireless.com will receive a complimentary paperback book when released.

~ ~ ~

Dear Lord ~ First, You created a perfect world and gave Your creation the freedom to choose good or evil. Because humankind chose to disobey, ushering in imperfection and a fallen world, we suffer in myriad ways, not the least of which is mental illness. However, Your plan to bring us back into a state of perfection through Jesus Christ is marvelous. As a result, your daughter, Penny Haavig, is using the imperfection of her family’s past to create stories to help readers who are hurting inside. Bless each word she writes for You. ~ For Jesus’ sake

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37 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Penny Haavig

  1. Kay Harth

    SO Happy for you Penny!! I enjoyed reading this interview and I can’t wait to read your book! 🙂 Congratulations!

     
     
  2. Shirley McCoy

    Penny, I’m so thrilled that the time is getting closer when I’ll be able to hold your book in my hands and enjoy reading the final story. I’m so happy you didn’t give up and persevered. Laugh, Clown, Laugh should be appealing to so many people! And I’m already looking forward to your sequels!

     
     
  3. Helen Widman

    Hi Penny. Love the photos and the amazing article. This will be a quick read, because I know I won’t put it down until I’ve read the whole book. Congratulations and may God bless everyone who reads your thoughts, feelings and the many happenings that led up to this writing ❤️

     
     
    1. Penny

      Thank you Helen. You’ve always encouraged me with “Ebony finds a friend.” Little did I know God would lead me down a road of writing two novels. Linda Davis did an excellent job laying out a great article. I’m blessed to know her! God bless, my friend.

       
       
  4. Marilyn R

    Penny, a wonderful testimony with God’s blessings and love even during the dark times. So thankful God never fails His children. I look forward to reading Laugh, Clown, Laugh. Everyone needs laughter in their life. Blessings.

     
     
    1. Penny

      Thank you Marilyn! I appreciate your kind, encouraging words so much. May you be showered with blessings.God bless!

       
       
    2. How great to see you this week, Marilyn. You always encourage us. God bless you.

       
       
  5. Diane Jamison-Richards

    Reading your bio was so interesting, Penny. I’m so glad you listened to God’s nudgings. May God bless you (and many others through you) on this journey.
    Diane

     
     
    1. Penny

      Thank you Diane, your words will keep me motivated! God bless!

       
       
    2. Hi, Diane. Welcome to the blog. I agree…I, too, am glad Penny listened to God’s nudgings. Can’t wait to read her novel. I hope you’ll come back.

       
       
  6. Lila Killoran

    Hello Penny…..I cannot wait to get my hands on your book. You are an amazing person and we are so grateful yo know you.

     
     
    1. Wonderful to have you in our circle this week, Lila. I can’t wait to read Penny’s book too! Your words are so encouraging. God bless.

       
       
    2. Penny

      Thank you Lila,hope to see you and Skip soon. I’m glad we’re friends. God bless!

       
       
  7. Anne Rightler

    What a wonderful journey God has led you on. Looking forward to reading your book!
    Thank you, Linda for sharing about it.

     
     
    1. Penny

      Thank you Anne. If you would like to be on my AMAZING DREAM TEAM, please email me at pnhaavig@wisper-wireless.com. You’ll receive a complimentary book in turn for a review. God bless!

       
       
    2. Welcome, Ann. So happy to have you in our circle. It’s a privilege and pleasure to share Penny.

       
       
  8. Paulette DeFoe

    Penny, how excited we are for you. We are traveling and read this on FB while driving. Very proud of you!!! Dave & Paulette

     
     
    1. Penny

      Thank you!! It’s been a five year journey, but God kept me moving forward! Enjoy your trip and God bless!

       
       
    2. Welcome, Paulette. It’s so great to see such support for Penny. It boosts my spirits too!

       
       
  9. Janina

    How exciting, Penny! I’m looking forward to reading your book. So proud of you for following your heart and passion for writing! You’ve got this! Love you!

     
     
    1. Hi, Janina. Thank you for joining in the applause for Penny. I hope you’ll visit our circle again. 😊

       
       
    2. Penny

      Aww, thank you Nina! Your support means so much to me! Yes, with God, I do have this! Love you back!

       
       
  10. Penny, such an amazing life journey for your family and what a gift it will be to many who need to read exactly what the Lord has encouraged you to write. For such a time and purpose… all in our Loving Father’s Hands. God bless. Love you, Dorothy

     
     
    1. Penny

      You’re a blessing to me Dorothy! Thank you for your inspiring words of wisdom. God bless, dear friend!

       
       
    2. Welcome, Dorothy! I love your words of encouragement to Penny at “such a time as this.”

       
       
  11. Linda Pollino

    Pen, this was a beautiful write up on you and your book. It’s been a long road for you, but I believe it’s about to happen ! Praise the Lord! It’s a great read and I do believe you are going to touch many people with your story….God’s Blessings ❤️ Linda and Joe

     
     
    1. Hi, Linda. Thanks so much for joining us and leaving such an encouraging message.

       
       
    2. Penny

      Thank you dear Linda! You were one of the first to read in rough draft. It has been a long journey but I’ve learned so much. Linda Davis gave me this amazing opportunity to share without an actual book. I’m thankful for her too.

       
       
  12. Becky Smith

    Sounds like a great book and I am looking forward to reading it. I enjoyed this interview and all the fun pictures!

     
     
    1. Hi, Becky. Great to see you with us this week. You’ve encouraged us!

       
       
    2. Penny

      Thank you Becky. God bless. If you want to be on the team, email me.

       
       
  13. Hello, Penny. It’s so great to learn about your background and your books! Thank Linda, for sharing Penny’s visit with your adoring readers! 🙂

     
     
    1. How wonderful to see your beautiful smiling face, Caryl! You’ve encouraged Penny and me both, dear friend. (Aren’t Penny’s life story and her novel idea intriguing?)

       
       
    2. Penny

      Thank you Caryl. This is an amazing stop on thus incredible journey.

       
       
  14. Sounds like a great premise for a book. Congratulations!

     
     
    1. I agree, David. Can’t wait to read Laugh, Clown, Laugh. You’re entered in the drawing 🙂 Thanks so much for joining the conversation.

       
       
    2. Penny

      Thank you David! I thank God for editors who glean and clean the important scenes. God bless!

       
       

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