Lisa Joye

Lisa JoyeLisa Joye was born in Fairview Park, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. There were no fences when she was growing up and she and her brother could run from one end of the block to the other by cutting through neighbor’s backyards. Summer afternoons were filled with launching apples in full backyard battles, riding bikes up and down the block, playing house, school or tag in the trees of each other’s yards. There were block parties and bike parades, movies shown in front yards on white sheets and evenings spent catching fireflies in jars. The local swimming pool was another favorite hangout where Lisa lost her two front teeth and has a harrowing story of jumping off the high dive.
Fall in Ohio would bring huge piles of leaves and countless squirrels. Backyard battles transitioned from apple launching to acorn flinging. Winter held the promise of snow suits, ice forts and snowmen, which would stay frozen for weeks. Neighbors gathered for hot chocolate and Lisa’s father made sled runs in the backyard, hosing the long winding course with water for that extra burst of speed. Neighbors gathered together to decorate the largest pine tree in the neighborhood, singing carols and hanging holiday ornaments. Spring brought the promise of summer. Almost every house on the block had kids the same age and Lisa and her roaming gang of friends were never bored and always close to finding trouble.
When Lisa was 10 she moved to California to be closer to her mother’s family. The long drive across the country was a pivital time in her life. Her childhood days faded and the journey towards middle school began. California was very different than the Midwest. Fences existed everywhere. Gone were the careless days of wandering the neighborhood freely. The Bay Area as lifestyle was completely different than the one in a small suburb of Cleveland. Lisa would go to six schools before she made it to high school. Eventually her family would leave the bay area behind for a more small town feel in Northern California. There were no more block parties and sled runs, but there were endless days of sun. And sun meant long days outside and sports. Friends were now found on the field.
As a young child Lisa was always reading. Books could travel anywhere. In a backpack, in a back pocket, in the basket of a bike. She spent long hours hovered over books of all topics. Going the library was the highlight of her week. She loves the smell of books, the smell of libraries. Walking through the doors of any library, large or small brings her incredible joy. Lisa wrote her first story The Ghost of the Gray Wolf when she was 12.Lisa Joye When she was 13 she won an essay contest in the Sacramento Bee newspaper and was given a $50.00 prize for a piece titled I Remember. Lisa always kept a journal, wrote poetry and short stories in her free time.
Lisa received her BA in English Literature and became a high school English teacher in Auburn, California. She married her high school sweetheart, who is also a teacher, and they relocated to Portland, Oregon to raise their two sons in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Going to the library is still the highlight of her week. She began writing her first picture book after a trip to the Portland Zoo. Her son Calvin asked her to tell him a story as they zig zagged their way through the zoo and back to the car. Now the stories, inspired by her two boys, just keep pouring out. She has no choice now but to write them down!

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