Today we’d like to introduce you to Joanna Volavka.
Joanna, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I have wanted to be a writer for most of my life. I “wrote” my first book when I was four: my mother hand wrote the text I dictated onto a series of illustrations, then “bound” it together with staples. She’s still got that book somewhere, I’m sure.
I grew up in the southeast US and went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, coming away with an undergrad degree in English lit and writing. And then I did the thing any aspiring writer does– I got a job at a zoo. Actually, I may be in the minority there, but I do know that almost everyone who writes or otherwise creates art has some kind of other job, and that we often have some of the more interesting life experiences because of that. Ask any writer what their most interesting “day job” is and you’ll get an array of responses.
That being said, I’m also passionate about conservation and animals and nature, and I spend much of my free time engaged in the outdoors and environmental education. And I’ve got a pretty significant geeky side, too: ask me what my top 5 geek loves are and I’ll probably wax poetic about everything from Star Wars to Lord of the Rings.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am a writer. This means everything from blog posts to short stories to full novels. I am always looking to find new perspectives, or a new way to examine what on the outside might seem like a normal life event with the idea that there might be something else going on. Changing the cause of an “everyday” (albeit significant) life incident allows me to push ideas about forces within and outside of our control. Also, I just enjoy the quirks that make people unique, and the stories that we tell to ourselves to try and make sense of the world.
I like stories that are a little off-beat and have something of a creative twist to them, which has drawn me into the science fiction genre for a long time. My first novel, Threadwalkers, is about a girl who finds you can travel through snags in the fabric of Space time to alter the past and affect the future.
How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
I think real success is in finding connections through art. As a writer, I want to connect with readers, and with other writers. Success is found in perseverance and patience; art is hard and usually thankless, so it’s important to create for yourself first and take joy in that. But there is also joy in sharing and connecting with others as well. Art gives your insight into how other people think, into how they experience and perceive the world. It’s the only way to really feel how someone else feels, because we still don’t have the technology to read one another’s thoughts (thank goodness!).
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can find me online at www.joannavolavka.com and you can buy my novel, Threadwalkers, on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Threadwalkers-Joanna-Volavka/dp/1947048112/) or from Barnes & Noble (https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/threadwalkers-joanna-volavka/1127376541).
I also blog at Geek Girl Pen Pals, where you can see my writing about geek culture:http://geekgirlpenpals.com/author/joanna/
- Website: joannavolavka.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joannavolavka/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joannavolavkaauthor/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/joannavolavka
- Other: https://twitter.com/joannavolavka
Self; cover of Threadwalkers, published by 50/50 Press; book signing photo by K. Reyes