Joy Lennick was separated from her parents by the onset of World War II with her two brothers. Evacuated to live with a kind aunt on a mountain (Hare) in Wales, what to do? She sought solace through reading and joined the local (Merthyr Tydfil) library. Very soon, she became totally besotted with words. Via candlelight, The Bros. Grimm attempted to frighten her from her nightie and she still recalls a few nightmares…but Hans Christian Anderson, Charles Dickens, et al soon introduced her to the sheer variety and magic of stories. She was hooked. (An account of her life during the war years can be found in her delightful memoir ‘My Gentle War’ which is spliced with excerpts from her father’s war diary.)
Pitman’s College learning shorthand and typing. An office-based career followed for several years, her favourite job working as secretary to Kaye & Ward, a well-established publishers in the City of London.
Love came knocking…and she was married in 1953 to Eric Sydney Lennick, a fascinating, multi-faceted character if ever there was one… ‘Dire circumstances in the country’ led them to Canada, where they lived and worked for eighteen, enjoyable, months. Returning -‘homesick’ – to the UK, they settled down and had three, beloved, sons.
Two business ventures followed, as shop-keepers and hoteliers. And, all the while, Joy read and ‘scribbled.’ Lame short stories and iffy poems led to slightly better ones…and Kogan Page Ltd., of London commissioned her to write a book about hotel life! Running Your Own Small Hotel (two reprints) and she was off. Next came the factual Jobs in Baking and Confectionery, and the updating of two of their own books.
‘Life’ again took over – while Joy ran a poetry group and had several articles and poems published in various anthologies. Too quickly, retirement loomed and they decided to spend another chapter in Spain. Joy then joined the Torrevieja writing group and won the first International Short Story Competition run by the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) with her short story Worth Its Salt. The couple joined the U3A group and Joy became a group leader for creative writing, soon after linking up with the writing group WordPlay, now known as Writers’ Ink. (There is, shortly, to be an online ‘off-shoot called the Ink Spot Newsletter.)
Over the past few years, Joy has written: Hurricane Halsey, a true sea adventure; adapted From the Prairie to Passchendaele, the true biography of a brave young man who lived the hard life of a farmer and faced the horrors of World War 1. She then edited the hand-written memoir of her husband Eric S. Lennick: A Life Worth Living, covering his years in the East End of London during the blitz, also the time spent in Bury St Edmunds and his conscription into the Army after the war.
A novel came next: The Catalyst. Based on the horrendous bombing of a London train by a terrorist in 2005. It is a true story, while the characters are fictitious.
Joy with husband Eric, has recently published a slim volume of humorous poems and jokes, which they hope will ‘keep the doctor away!’ She then collaborated with writer friend, Jean Wilson, and they produced a book of varied short stories called Where Angels and Devils Tread. This busy writer has also had many short stories included in various anthologies and won a few prizes for her poetry. She is at present working on a new novel: The Highs and Lows of Leticia Dombrowski.
To contact Joy, please use the form below.
As a minor member of WordPlay, Joy has helped, and is helping me, enormously, in editing, suggesting and recommending various approaches for me to take, when writing my screen plays.
Joy is an inspiration to us all. A prolific writer with a great imagination and good sense of humour. All praise to Joy…A Gentle War is slice of history, personal and funny yet informative. A great read.
Thank you both for your kind words.
Joy… Could you possibly get in touch please? I was hoping to speak to someone you are in touch with. Many thanks, James Hanning (mobile 07836 268438)
Hi Joy, you have a fabulous view of the world around you set a great example for those that visit here and read your posts. Keep up the great work and thanks for all your support as it is greatly appreciated. Connecting with so many wonderful people who spare their time to help me has been a truly amazing experience and very humbling.
I have read Joy’s two books, ‘A Gentle War’ and ‘The Catalyst’ and have enjoyed them both. I am member of her U3A writing group (University of the Third Age) and she inspired me to write my book ‘A Twist of Fairy Tales’ as she set members to write a modern version of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, and from this tale – my book grew. I have dedicated the book to her. Many thanks, Joy, for ‘liking’ my blog about my latest book ‘Where Lies My Heart’.
Thank YOU Kathy. Interaction between sincere writers is invaluable. Write on….
Hi Heather Hoather, I really can’t believe I didn’t thank you for your kind words way back! I do hope you are still sharing your lovely voice with the public? Long may that be. (Mine’s worse than caterwauling…) Best wishes. Joy x
Dear Joy… really I do like to meet you, I’d like to speak about writing… I envy that gift, I’d tried sometimes but when I re-read it I feel under the dumps.
And as well I’d like to met you in the University in Torrevieja, I’m Spanish but living about 800 kms. away… my city is Barcelona. Me gustaria leer tus historias pero no tengo Amazon o lo que sea, están editados en España? Lo buscaré..Many regards!!!!!!!
Hola Rosa, Muchas gracias. Mi Espanol es muy mal. Lo siento! I’ll write in English if you don’t mind…I can understand many Spanish words and phrases but have difficulty in conversing and writing it. As for writing itself, I’ve always loved it: poetry, short stories, whatever, and have had five books published. BUT, there is always more to learn and that fascinates me: knowledge.
I had poor schooling and didn’t take my A level English Literature exam until I was 66!!
You live in a beautiful city! We only visited it once but fell in love…So vibrant and exciting.
Now, how about you? What do you like to write? Do let me know and if I can help in any way, I will be happy to. Best wishes. Joy x
If tou come back to my city… let me know it… we can meet. I don’t mind if you write in English, I’ve studied it for many years!
I’d lite to write many different themes, life… travelling, but I repeat sometimes I have an idea in my head but when I beguin to write… I don’t know how to begin. I have a “friend”, English but living in Mayote (a very small island near Mozambique) and I’m amazed when I read his themes in his blog.
Don’t bother about your age…. I’m 78!!!!!!!!! XXXXOOOO
Hola Rosa, Who knows, we may come to Barcelona again one day. I’d love that; such a beautiful city. Gracias por your reply. We visited Madrid in May for a birthday treat, and again, quite a stunning city! We need to be cloned – such short lives and so much to see and do…But we are most grateful for what we have experienced. Take a look at my eldest son’s posts . He is a first-rate writer and has a great sense of humour, which is vital in the terrible times we live in. The address is http://www.halfbananasblog. Do keep in touch, and here’s to good fortune with your writing. Best wishes. Joy x
So glad to find you in the blogosphere, Joy. And much more delighted to read about you and come across your books. I think people who have been introduced to books since an early age are among some of the most fortunate beings. I too began reading when I was 8 or perhaps 7. Ruskin Bond, Enid Blyton, Aesop’s Fables, Panchtantra, etc. were some I got my hands on then. But the hunger never satiated.
So happy to have an fellow-reader around. Loads of love to you. 🙂
You are such a busy bee, Joy! Very exciting – your success as a writer and all the stories you have lived! I assume the Passchendale (Passendale) in one of your upcoming books is located in Belgium?
Hi Liesbet, Thank you for writing. The Paschendaele book was written by a friend’s grand-father, which he asked me to adapt. ‘Fred Knight’ was born in Kent,UK, (late 1800s) emigrated to Canada aged 17 and served in World War I in Belgium and France. After losing his right arm, he retrained and returned to the UK. He typed the m/s with a head device as he had Parkinson’s disease which left his left arm near useless.. Quite a man! Have you any more trips planned? Best Wishes.
That’s a fascinating story and a heroic tale! I actually have another trip to Belgium planned in June, Joy. I’m always on the fence about these, since Mark and I never fly anywhere fun for a holiday, and my money always goes to flying home. Yet, it is nice to see my friends and family each time. But, since my parents are moving this year, it might be a while before I go back after this upcoming trip.
Other than that one (and a trip east for annual check-ups), we have no real plans except for changing our lifestyle up a bit in the summer. 🙂
Hi Liesbet, Apologies! Just catching up…have been frantically busy, writing-wise. Did you make Belgium in June? The sunshine seems to have spread nearly everywhere – hope it’s reached you!
Keep in touch. Cheers! Joy x
Hi Joy! I’m actually in Belgium right now, for another week. Yes, the weather is glorious. The drought seems to have spread everywhere as well (except in New England). Keep on writing!
Hi Liesbet, More delays. Thank you for your last reply. We went to the UK for over a month this time.
The plan was to get away from the humidity in Spain and… it was just as humid in the UK for a while. Sod’s law! What are you writing at present? Apart from my weekly newspaper column and stuff for my group Writers’ Ink, plus keeping up with the ‘media’… I’m trying to write a more serious novel: “The Highs and Lows of Leticia Dombrowski.” Upwards and onwards. xx
I’m still working on my memoir, but I haven’t touched that project all summer, since my husband and I moved into our camper van full-time. And, when one spends all day sightseeing, driving, hiking or biking, there is no time left for writing. That’s what winters are for. 🙂
Hi Liesbet, Sounds great fun. Do hope you keep a diary and take photos. Have you a ‘great plan’ or are you going where your senses take you? Whatever, it’s a great opportunity for a writer. Who knows who you are going to meet or exactly what you’re going to see? (That sounds like ‘life’ anyway…but with more options…).Enjoy. x
We have a very loose plan of where we are going and what we want to see. Traveling is my life, so I have uncountable memories, experiences and encounters (with people and animals) that would make fantastic stories. But, life is too short for that. If I were to write about it all (which I do to a certain extent on my blog), I wouldn’t have time to live my life all over this beautiful planet. I take hundreds of photos every week (imagine my photo archive after being a nomad for 15 years) and have been writing a daily diary since I was 14. 🙂
Very impressive. That’s the way to do it. Of course, you have to really WANT that sort of nomadic life, but the rewards are more than fantastic I always wanted to have a more settled life and children; I managed three, great, sons. Boring to many ? Oh no, not me. They each were/are the biggest blessings of my life… BUT i’m also fascinated by travel, people,and WORDS.Somehow or other I’ve managed – by marrying a like-minded, special man – so, luckily, despite the odd pitfalls… it’s worked out well. If possible, we should all follow our dreams. Compromise comes in to it, of course, but we should at least try! Follow your yellow-brick road, Liesbet, I sincerely hope the going will be smooth and fascinating.I’m sure it will. Sincerely. Joy x
Thanks, Joy. Xx
Thank you so much Joy for stopping by my Blog and loving my Art! Thank you for your kind words I appreciate you very much! Also you sent me an order, did you try to order one of my Holidays Art Prints? If yes…please let me know which one? 🙂 Hugs Carolina
Dear Asha Seth, I can’t believe, looking back, that I didn’t reply to your sweet comments ages ago!! Tut tut..I do hope that you are well and enjoying what life dishes up…Hopefully, the tastiest of dishes! Best wishes. Joy xx
It’s so interesting to me how the twists and turns of life that are often beyond our control can lead us in wonderful directions as if the outcome was meant to be. Wonderful to learn more about your journey, Joy, and how your experiences contributed to your writing and stories. Happy Writing! ❤
Thanks Diana. I am an ‘ancient groupie of good writers’ ie YOU…and truly love it when i come cross an author who has the touch of magic, and you certainly have that, ma’am. Hugs xx
That’s quite a CV!
Thank you ‘BitaboutBritain,’ I feel I’ve hardly scratched the surface…It’s fun though! x