Joy Voigt (Daniela), born in Mexico, has spent the better part of the last two decades traveling and learning across many places on the globe. Deeply passionate about the intersection between the primordial human experience and her spiritual journey, she has spent much of her life living in Buddhist Temples and meditation centers. A massage therapist by trade, she finds much of her expression through multiple mediums such as writing, making music, dancing, weaving and floral sculpture. Joy’s main interest in life is learning the art of true listening.
Please visit http://www.mandalasproject.com for updates on upcoming releases, as well as other offerings.
Describe yourself in five words
Open, curious, intrigued by life
What fact about yourself would really surprise people?
At the core, I am a very shy person even though many folks think of me as open, confident and bold. And, this book itself is quite surprising. If you met me, you’d never think I’d write a dark fiction and I too never expected to have quite a lot of darkness come through in my writing. But there you go.
How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
I am quite curious about fear. I find it to be a goldmine, usually. Beneath its rough façade, if I keep my ear to the ground on it and stay humble, it usually reveals some deep untapped resources within myself.
What scares you the most?
Letting fear fester inside me.
What makes you happiest?
Why do you write?
Because I deeply enjoy it and learn so much about myself through the process. I find writing accesses parts of myself that no other medium are able to tap into.
Have you always enjoyed writing?
Yes, even as a little girl I’d spend a lot of time coming up with lyrics in my head and found quite an ignited part of me when doing so. As I said, I am quite shy so writing really suits my introverted need to express myself.
What motivates you to write?
I can’t say that I do much in the order of self-motivation. Inspiration usually gallops into my world in the most unexpected of moments and it’s one of those things where I either get on the ride with it or it quite literally passes me by, in search perhaps, of someone willing to listen and take the adventure.
What writing are you most proud of?
My latest novel, ¨Fox Woman Dreaming¨ and a poem I wrote while being in a long winter retreat titled, ¨The Bounty.¨
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
It’s not exactly being proud of it since I didn’t do much to deserve this, but I really appreciate that there seems to be a seemingly great store of kindness that is always on tap for my friends and for people I care for. I really appreciate that about myself.
What books did you love growing up?
I was a big Nancy Drew fan and my dad introduced me to Greek myths when I was quite young so I’ve always had some gravitational pull toward them, even as a young one.
What do you hope your obituary will say about you?
Answered the call when friends asked for help.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I grew up in Mexico and have lived in many, many places across the globe. I currently reside in a small emerald island of the coast of Washington called Friday Harbor.
How did you develop your writing?
I’d say it’s a two part recipe: Firstly reading a ton – I’d read so much that, to this day, the librarians of many of the places I have lived in are close buddies of mine. Secondly, needing an outlet to understand chapters of my life. Although principally writing fiction and poetry, writing has become a kind of self-discovery tool that keeps me coming back for more. In many ways, I would say that I feel courted by words and it’s not so much that I am doing the writing but more that I have gotten a front row seat to the wild and almost mystical world of language.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
I find marketing to be the area I know the least about and hence sometimes deem it as hard. But calling it hard makes it sound like it is undoable, or at least that’s how I interpret it. I’d call it the area that I am most in the state of continuous learning.
What marketing works for you?
Interviews seem to really work for me.
Do you find it hard to share your work?
Only when I make it about myself. Otherwise, it feels quite organic.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
Oddly yes! And they are quite the fuel to my fire. I’m not quite sure what I did to deserve such incredible people in my life but I am forever grateful to the close circle friends and family that I have.
What else do you do, other than write?
I am a bodyworker by trade and a musician by enjoyment.
What other jobs have you had in your life?
That’s a very long list.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
Uh-oh. Only one? I’d choose Dance but would sit in the back of many a physiotherapy class and epistemology course.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
I often get hit with a chapter of a book or poem while I am far from any writing implement so I memorize as much of it as I can and have actually sprinted to my computer to catch the words before they fly away.
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
My friends, deeply. I would be a crust of a human being if it weren’t for the amount of love, support and care that I have received continuously over many years.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
I have fun and like myself throughout the whole process.
It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
My campaign is a bit of a learn as I go methodology. Maybe not the best strategy but it’s kind of my only choice at the moment.
Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it?
¨Fox Woman Dreaming¨ is a dark fiction that explores the subject of repression, utopia and the wild human spirit. It follows the story of Sybil, a Dreammaker who lives in a world where people have been tailored to be the Perfect versions of themselves, disallowing any of the more uncouth and wilder sides of the human psyche to be around. Sybil works for the Company, a corporation that sells dreams to Consumers, manicuring reality with a very particular set of morals. It is when Sybil discovers that there is more to her than a Good and Correct person that things get a little strange and so begins her journey into discovering more about her humanity and, ultimately, her own voice.
I wrote it because I needed to grapple with my own understanding of being Good and Correct. Morality is a place of great inner questioning for me. I lived for about two decades in a state of discipleship and, as of late, I am exploring what it is like to embody what I have learned and what it would look like for my own voice to take root within me.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I deeply enjoy beholding nature, that is one of the most relaxing things I can do. That, and watching YouTube videos of animals being rescued. I am a big sucker for that.
I have a 28 day pre-sale link available with special perks for folks buying the book before it is released.
My website: www.mandalasproject.com