Joanna Ruth Meyer

Appearing Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Joanna Ruth Meyer has lived for the greater part of her life in the Phoenix Metropolitan area, but likes to think she has a Northern soul. She was born in Michigan, lived in Northern Arizona from ages four to eleven, and spent her college years in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She prefers winter to summer, rain to sun, and forest to desert. She currently resides in Mesa with her husband and son, a stripey feline, an enormous grand piano, and a lot of books. She goes north as often as possible, to drink her fill of the woods and daydream about tree sirens.

A classical musician from an early age, Joanna holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance, and can play a little violin, guitar, and mandolin. She has worked as a bookseller and an accounting assistant for a small publishing company, but her longest-held job is piano teacher—she started teaching at fifteen, and hasn’t stopped. Good music always makes her cry.

Joanna wrote her very first story at the age of seven—it was about four female “mystery solvers” and a villain in a gorilla suit, and remains unfinished to this day. At thirteen, she was published in Stone Soup, a magazine by and for kids, and the following year won fourth place in the National Written and Illustrated By… competition. She kept writing all the while she was (reluctantly) growing up, and the discovery of National Novel Writing Month in 2005 compelled her to actually finish a novel. Many of her books, including Beneath the Haunting Sea and Echo North, began life as NaNo novels.

In her books, Joanna loves creating worlds and mythologies, and exploring stories that move her, that capture deep truths, that make readers feel things. She would happily write thousands of words of meandering scenery descriptions and pretty sentences—luckily, her agent and editor force her to have plots, too. Her biggest writing-related fear is running out of ideas, but every time she thinks that’s about to happen, she pulls out a notebook and somehow jots down three or four new ones, so she’s probably safe for awhile yet. One day, Joanna aspires to own a rambling Victorian house, with creaky wood floors and a tower for writing in, and a forest beckoning just outside the window.

Joanna Ruth Meyer