The stage is set. Purple banners flutter as they tried to escape the plyboard wall they are stapled on, nudged by the gentle wind in the park. White foldable chairs arranged in rows rest on the lush green grass rejuvenated by the recent bout of showers. Please take a seat or stand if you wish. I am happy for such a great turn out.
Today, I am hosting a pageant. I am a little bit unfair because my pageant will only have one contestant. Fix your face and just ask the question: what kind of pageant is that?! Well, because she is a league by herself. No, it’s not because she has a disability. It’s because of the writing boundaries she has surpassed, her level of creativity that helps her to publish 18 books, and her ability to see limitless boundaries to the inspiration that life itself offers to write stories. Though mostly housebound, she sits in her office watching people pass by, creating stories of the life they have lived or the experiences they have had, using such to spark inspiration for her next book.
Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, introducing…the purple-haired wheelchair user, writing new worlds at every moment, Joey Paul!
I can imagine the applause you give as Joey rolls her wheelchair up the ramp on to the stage. Not only is it a wonder that the stage is wheelchair accessible, she is amazed by the fact that she is actually in a pageant dedicated to her. Growing up in the UK, she has never been privy to watching a pageant based in the country.
She exudes great confidence as she responds to questions I ask. Isn’t that what they do at typical pageants?
- What’s the most memorable event of your childhood?
“Oh I have so many, but they all seem to be health-related! LOL! I think one of the bigger ones was in my bedroom when I was about three. It was a small box room. At Christmas, my dad was stepping over all the toys to put me to bed. I also remember seeing ‘Santa’ at one point as an older kid. It’s a hazy half-asleep memory but I swear it happened!”
- What is your pet peeve as an author?
“I don’t think I have any other than some of the advice going around like, ‘You have to write every single day to be valid.’ That’s just the route to burnout and I do not like it!”
- Tell me the top three things on your bucket list.
“Go on a writing retreat (that’s accessible); go on a book tour; write 40 books…I’ve drafted almost 32 but I count write as basically being published.
- Trapped on a deserted island, what would you take with you?
My phone so that I can read and reach out to people to rescue me. Even if it doesn’t have a signal, I’d still be able to read books!
- Tell me of your most embarrassing moment or something unique about you.
“How about both? I have webbed toes on both feet and for a long time, I thought that was normal. For a embarrassing moment: I was talking to my doc, and he said that I was really prolific, and I said, ‘Nah, I’m not popular. I didn’t know what prolific meant!’”
Finally, I ask…
Tell me about your most recent work in three sentences.
“This would be Cramping Chronicles: The First Twinge (which is due out October 13th!) So here we go:
Newly disabled Jessie Oliver has the ability to feel other people’s physical and mental pain; it’s not fun. Starting a new school for accessibility reasons, she terrified of not having any friends. Then she meets a girl in the canteen, and all she can feel is pain and the start of a crush. The only problem is that the girl hates her.”
I am absolutely awestruck! Joey, I hereby sash thee, “a writer extraordinaire.” Continue being an inspiration to many; you are an ambassador to the ideology that writing has no bounds.
Want to know more about Joey? Check out her contacts and a few of her book covers below. Drop her a line and maybe you might be an inspiration to another one of her great books.
Sheryl : )