Joi Copeland

Joi Copeland is the author of Christmas Rayne, Hope for Tomorrow, and Hope for the Journey, as well as Sheriff Bride: Rob’s Story.

Joi lives in Denver with her husband, Chris, and their three children. Connect with Joi on Facebook.

More than a Review caught up with Joi and asked her a few questions. We think you’ll enjoy getting to know Joi better as much as we did!

MTAR: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Joi Copeland: I’m a wife and mom of three boys. I have been a Christian for 23 years. I love to read, write, drink coffee and tea, and spend time with family and friends!

MTAR: What do you do when you are not writing?
Joi Copeland: I’m reading, cleaning my house, taking care of my family’s needs, or working part-time.

MTAR:  What inspired you to write your first book?
Joi Copeland:  My sister, brother-in-law, and husband sat down and told me it was time to use my God-given gift.

MTAR: How did you choose the genre you write in?
Joi Copeland: You know, I didn’t really choose it. I guess you could say it chose me. 🙂 I went to bed one night and woke up the next morning with Hope for Tomorrow in my head.

MTAR: Which book do you recommend for a reader that is new to your writing?
Joi Copeland: Well, I’d say start with either Hope for Tomorrow, my first book in the Hope series, or start with either of my novellas, Sheriff’s Bride Rob’s Story, or Christmas Rayne.

MTAR: What books/authors have influenced your writing?
Joi Copeland: Francine Rivers, Lisa T. Bergren, June Foster, Laura Hilton, Cathy Dangerfield, Julie Arduini, and Penny McGinnis. The list goes on and on!

MTAR: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Joi Copeland:  Where to start? That was my biggest challenge. I don’t have an agent. I just started sending out query letters. I received a lot of no’s, but Comfort Publishing saw something in me and took a chance.

MTAR: Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
Joi Copeland: Not yet. Hope for Tomorrow was my first book I’d ever written.

MTAR: What was your favorite chapter (or scene) to write and why?
Joi Copeland: Probably in my third book in the Hope series. It isn’t out yet, but it’s about Arthur and his battle with coming to Christ. Love that old man!

MTAR: How did you come up with the title?
Joi Copeland:
With Christmas Rayne, I wanted a play on words. It was a lot of fun to think of that one.

MTAR: Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
Joi Copeland: Yep! I’m going back to Camden and Sunshine pretty soon, from Christmas Rayne. Expect to see their story develop.

MTAR: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
Joi Copeland: It was from one of my amazing critique partners. She told me the place I was headed in my current novel wasn’t a great one. Not in those words, mind you. But she was right! I stepped back and re-thought of where I wanted the story to go. I love that I have amazing people in my life like her!

MTAR: What has been the best compliment?
Joi Copeland: One person told me my writing drew them closer to Christ!

MTAR: Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Joi Copeland: So much! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for picking up any of my books. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am. I’m blessed by your encouragement, criticism, and support.

MTAR: What would your fans be surprised to know about you?
Joi Copeland: I was born with an extra thumb on my right thumb. It was removed when I was a baby, but I have a scar and a lump where it used to be. My mom said it was cute and had a nail and everything.

MTAR: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Joi Copeland: Forgiveness is a big theme. God is a god of second chances. Love. So many in each of my novels. 🙂

MTAR: What books have most influenced your life most?
Joi Copeland: The Bible is the biggest one.

MTAR: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Joi Copeland: Can I have more than one? 🙂 I’d say my critique partners: Julie Arduini, June Foster, Cathy Dangerfield, Penny McGinnis, and Laura Hilton.

MTAR: What book are you reading now?
Joi Copeland: Sing by Lisa T. Bergren

MTAR: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Joi Copeland: Quite a few that are new to me! JoAnn Durgin, Tiffany Colter, Darlene Franklin, and many more!

MTAR: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Joi Copeland: My current work is called Letters of Love. I wrote it because my Nana gave me letters my Papa wrote her while in WWII, stationed in China. So, while the letters are real, the story surrounding them is not. 🙂

MTAR: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.?
Joi Copeland: Susan Fryman and Teresa Lilly.

MTAR: Do you see writing as a career?
Joi Copeland: Yes I do. 🙂

MTAR: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Joi Copeland: I have to choose one, huh? Well, one of my favorites is Diane Moody because she shocks me every time I read one of her books!

MTAR: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Joi Copeland: Remembering everything about the characters. Then, once the book is done, saying good-bye to them.

MTAR: Through your research do you typically learn something new from each book you write?
Joi Copeland: I do learn something new. Mostly, it’s about writing styles. But I love learning new things with each setting my books take place in!

MTAR: What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?
Joi Copeland: My favorite genre is women’s fiction. My favorite them is probably about love and forgiveness.