Born in Georgia, Joy lived for twelve years in a small town where she could walk or bike anywhere, and spent a good deal of time reading and playing outdoors or swimming. She attended high school in Augusta, Georgia. After she graduated from UNC–Chapel Hill with a BA in English, she traveled in Europe, worked briefly on an archaeology expedition, and went treasure hunting off the coast of Honduras. She exercised thoroughbred two year olds near Ocala, Florida, and lived on a farm with horses for eight years near Hillsborough, NC. Joy moved to the coast of North Carolina where she freelanced for a local newspaper and taught at the community college. Moving to Hawaii in 1992, she taught English and literature there until 2000. She enjoyed sailing, swimming, and hiking while she lived in the islands. She now lives in Chatham county with her animals and enjoys the Haw River, local music, and her friends. She was always intrigued by goddesses and spirituality and considers herself to be an eco-feminist. She draws much inspiration from nature.
Among her qualifications for fiction writing, she earned an MA in creative writing at UNC-Wilmington and taught English and literature in community colleges in Hawaii and North Carolina from the 1980s until 2014. She worked as a news reporter for a couple of weekly papers, and freelanced off and on, where she focused on the environment and nature. Her writing credentials include the column “Today’s Woman” for the Wilmington Star News and articles in Tidewater magazine and Honolulu magazine. She served as a commentator for Hawaii public radio in the late 1990s. She is a member of the NC Writers Network.