Remembering Joyce & Jim Lavene

I am taking this opportunity to remember authors Joyce and Jim Lavene. This husband and wife team wrote novels together. I cannot imagine writing a novel with another person, but Joyce and Jim made it look easy. They shared a love and marriage that spanned decades. Writing as Joyce and Jim Lavene, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant, the duo produced about 50 novels. I have counted at least 47 on their website, but I maybe missed a few.

Joyce and Jim lived here in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. They quietly churned out books and two different years visited Rocky River Readers Book Club to regale us with stories about the characters they created and their writing habits. They could finish one another’s sentences when talking about their books, and I suspect they did that in “real life,” too.

Joyce died suddenly in October 2015 and Jim died just as unexpectedly last week. Their genuine smiles and interest in people will be missed, as will all the novels they would have written if things had been different.

If you get a chance, you might enjoy reading one of Joyce and Jim Lavene’s books. Most of them would be categorized as cozy mysteries. At least for now, their website is still up. The address is http://www.joyceandjimlavene.com/. Their books are listed on the website.

As a novelist wannabe, I appreciated the encouragement Joyce and Jim gave me.

 

Local Author Fair in Kannapolis

Last Saturday I had the privilege of participating in a Local Author Fair in Kannapolis, North Carolina, along with 15 to 20 other Cabarrus County authors. This was the first of what we hope will be an annual event, rotating among the branches of the Cabarrus County Public Library system. I was there to sell copies of my book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

Janet at her table at the Local Author Fair in Kannapolis on April 25, 2015.
Janet at her table at the Local Author Fair in Kannapolis on April 25, 2015.

Joyce and Jim Lavene, a husband and wife author team from Midland, North Carolina, also participated in the fair. It was good to see them again. They have spoken two or three times at Rocky River Readers Book Club and they have been supportive of me as a beginning writer. Joyce and Jim have written several series of mysteries.

Joyce and Jim Lavene, authors from Midland, NC, at the Local Author Fair in Kannapolis.
Joyce and Jim Lavene, authors from Midland, NC, at the Local Author Fair in Kannapolis.

I enjoyed chatting with the Lavenes, Michael and Rose Eury of Concord, and Linda Leigh Hargrove of Kannapolis. Michael Eury has written several books for Arcadia Publishing and is currently writing a book of “legendary locals” of Cabarrus County. Linda Leigh Hargrove has written several novels, including The Making of Isaac Hunt: A Novel and Loving Cee Cee Johnson.

Perhaps at a future Local Author Fair I will have a novel to sell in addition to my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina!