The below information, pictures, author bio, hobbies/personal interest information, news, and interviews are provided for the general public. Official, downloadable Word and PDF files of Joseph's biography, interviews, and book promos can be found in his Press Kit.
Joseph Edward Clay was born in Newnan, the county seat of Coweta County, Georgia, a small town south of Atlanta, on April 28, 1960. Joseph is the second son―but also the oldest as his older sibling died only months after being born―of John Tillman Clay and Virginia Imajo Coalson Clay. Growing up, Joseph went by the name of Eddie and spent his time playing baseball, studying martial arts, and riding dirt bikes. When he wasn’t being a daredevil he could be found in Newnan’s fabulous Court Square, sitting on the wraparound porch of the courthouse and playing checkers with the older men of the town. He never won a game but loved listening to the stories those wise men told of war, politics, love, broken hearts, and ghosts. Those men taught Joseph that the truth is sometimes too unreal to believe, and in that case you improvise. From these chats Joseph acquired a knack for spinning tall tales that are more believable than the truth.
Joseph attended elementary, middle, junior high, and high school in Newnan. However, he didn't get to graduate with his classmates, as in September of 1977, at the age of 17, he was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident involving a tractor trailer and another car, while traveling north on Interstate 85 between Newnan and Atlanta. His first hospital stay was for 8 months. The last reconstructive surgery on his left leg, ankle, and foot was completed in 1985. During this time Joseph completed his studies and obtained his GED. From there he furthered his education by obtaining a degree from Carroll County Vo-Tech, known today as West Georgia College, in Drafting and Design I and II. That led him to his first real job in the engineering field, with General Dynamics, submarine division. Joseph had to obtain a DOD (Department of Defense) clearance for this job and was informed that, since Eddie was not on his birth certificate, he would have to be called either Edward or Joseph. He chose Joseph, and has been called that or Joe ever since.
Throughout the years Joseph has expanded his education by attending Auburn and then later Georgia Tech, acquiring the degrees and certificates he needed to excel in his profession, and taking private pilot lessons. By 1993 he was Chief Engineer for a company in Alpharetta, Georgia. That was the year his health took a turn; he had his first heart attack and was diagnosed with Graves’ disease with a hyperthyroid, which led to thyrotoxic periodic paralysis (TPP). This disorder was treated by burning out the thyroid gland with radioactive iodine. This solved the TPP and hyperthyroidism, but the damage to his heart was done. Joseph continued to work in the engineering field till 2014, when health issues forced him to hang up his boots and hard hat. Joseph has written a blog about how he moved from engineering to writing, titled ‘Numbers to Words: My Journey from Engineering to Writing’.
In 2009 Joseph’s doctor recommended he try something therapeutic to help with stress. That was when he began dabbling in writing by starting a Wordpress blog that covered everything you’re not supposed to discuss: sex, religion, politics, and more. The blog was titled Mind Over Matter – My Mind is the Only One That Matters. When Joseph decided to pen a novel, his writing consultants suggested he pull the blog due to the controversial material it covered. When the blog was discontinued at the end of 2013 it had 3,313 followers. In 2013 he published two pieces of flash fiction, and in 2014 he became a full-time author after publishing his first novel, Demons of the Jungle, in May of that year.
Joseph has been married and divorced three times and has six wonderful kids: three boys and three girls. He and his family currently reside in Nashville.
Hobbies - Personal Interest
Joseph loves to watch baseball and his favorite team is the Atlanta Braves, no matter how well or badly they play. His favorite time of year is summer, when he hikes nature trails and takes photographs with his 35mm and digital cameras. During spring through early fall you can find him on the golf course at least once a week; in the winter he is at the local bowling alley in Hendersonville with his family. Joseph believes in keeping the mind clear and free of negativity. His love of horseback riding and taking out the Harley as much as the weather allows keeps his senses sharp; he has always maintained that you never see a Harley or hitching post in front of a shrink’s office. For relaxation he enjoys crossword puzzles, the performing arts and his favorite music, the blues. But for him nothing can beat drinking a nice smooth glass of bourbon (George T. Stagg or Booker’s), straight up, while smoking a Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur Dark Knight II cigar.
Joseph works with several non-profits in the Nashville area and sits on the board of directors for the Matthew 2535 Initiative. He is an avid coin collector and a member of the ANA and the NGC Collectors Society.
Joseph looks forward to expanding his writing skills and furthering his education by taking courses that are related to creative writing. In the meantime he’s very happy to continue telling his tall tales!