"If you don't do what is in your heart, what is your passion, you'll never be happy."
Listen to the Shadows and you'll find that there's Nowhere to Hide from the dynamic persona of Joan Hall Hovey.
For more than 20 years, since she sold her first short story to True Confessions, Ms. Hovey's voice has carried loud and clear from the printed page and from local theatre stages, in productions such as Waiting for the Parade, The Incredible Murder of Cardinal Tosca and Arsenic and Old Lace.
She was also nominated for best supporting actress in her role of Agnes in The Shadow Box at the New Brunswick Drama Festival.
She's written countless articles and short stories, which have appeared in such diverse publications as The Toronto Star, Seek, The Atlantic Advocate and The New Brunswick Reader, while her short story Dark Reunion was selected for the Canadian Anthology, Investigating Women.
And with two suspense novels to her credit - Listen to the Shadows and Nowhere To Hide published by Zebra Books, (both now available at iUnverse.com) - Ms. Hovey is fervently at work editing her third novel.
Things are a lot different this time around, however. Ms. Hovey has begrudgingly introduced the technology of computers to her craft, pushing aside her beloved and trusty typewriter.
"It's certainly a new adventure in learning," she says. "I literally penned and edited the first two (novels) on my Smith-Corona."
And she now has her own Web site. "Publishers and agents definitely want that presence. Books are big business on the Net," she says.
"I've come kicking and screaming into the 21st century, but here I am."
Ms. Hovey writes from the home she shares with husband Mel, "in a little room, surrounded by books and confusion."
Her view includes "lots of lovely tall pine trees and the beautiful Kennebecasis River. It's a wonderful source of inspiration when I'm not writing," she says. "It brings peace to the soul and quiets my mind."
But the view is lost on her when she's writing, she says. "The river is at my back. My mind is fully absorbed by characters and scenes; I'm living in a world of the imagination."
Mrs. Hovey's mind is also absorbed by other authors, characters and scenes. A long-time Stephen King fan, she also enjoys Francis Fyfield, Rohinton Mistry, Joy Fielding and Ruth Rendell, an author to whom she's been compared.
When not writing, reading or acting, Mrs. Hovey teaches writing courses and workshops, and does some public speaking. And though publishing her novel was "a dream come true ", Mrs. Hovey claims her family as her finest production. She has four grown children who are "off making their own way in life, and eight gorgeous and brilliant granddaughters."
But where does she find the time to devote to her passions?
"You make the time," she says. "If you don't do what is in your heart, what is your passion, you'll never be happy."
And although she says that writing "is a precarious business, and not for the feint of heart, since so much that happens is in the hands of others," she feels "truly blessed to be working every day at what I most love and need to do." She's especially happy that she followed her heart when she looks back at "those awful nine to five jobs you hated but did to pay the bills," she says, which for her included hulling strawberries, waiting tables and grading eggs.
EVENING TIMES GLOBE
Nowhere To Hide
"...Chilling. You won't be able to put this one down - guaranteed!"Rendezvous magazine
Listen To The Shadows
"When you read this one make sure all your doors and windows are locked and all the lights are on."Pam Stone, Myshelf.com
Books available at online bookstores, or by special order.