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Joya Goffney Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Joya Goffney is a young adult romance author best known for her debut novel “Excuse Me While I Cry Ugly.”
While she currently makes her home in Austin Texas, she was brought up in a very tiny conservative town in Eastern part of the state. She grew up very poor even though she was very sheltered as a child.
As such, there are a lot of things that she has not experienced as she has only been out of Texas once when she went to Colorado. She has also never been on an aeroplane.
Goffney is a Sagittarius, Capricorn rising, loves making music and of course writing. She self diagnosed herself as being afflicted with social anxiety which she has learned to live with.
In her earlier years she studied psychology and has a bachelor’s degree in the subject which makes her an expert of some kind. She also loves to have dance parties and also takes road trips alongside her friends.

Goffney’s relationship with her husband started pretty much like that of her lead character Quinn. When she was a high schooler, Blake, her husband, was her biggest nemesis as they were often gunning for the one top spot in the ranks. This soon resulted in a lot of anger, resentment and sheer hatred and she would tell everyone how much she despised Blake.
To make matters worse, he would often do and say mean things to her and mix these up with random moments of humor that would have her letting out peals of laughter. She would often forget why she despised and hated him when she was laughing and her feelings for him bounced back and forth over the years.
He was a lot like her and was often referred to as black on the outside and white on the inside (an oreo). Because of their often similar experiences, he could understand her at a level no one else could.
When they were in senior year, she wrote a list of several very personal challenges she had been dealing with and showed them to him. She felt like he was a person she could share her secrets and fears with and similar to Carter in her novel he helped her face up to her fears.
It was not long before the resentment started to die down and become love.

Joya Goffney has never been a compulsive writer of lists like Quinn. Nonetheless, She loved to compile a list of the many social challenges she had to deal with at the end of every year.
In her earlier years she wrote about meaningless tasks such as going a day only singing or not speaking. It was not until she was in senior year that she started writing more important things to her lists. She included things such as finding new friends and getting her first kiss.
She has never regretted going after the items on her list though she wishes her first kiss would have been with Blake rather than some nondescript racist white boy. Moreover, it was from her list making activities that she got the inspiration for Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry.
In 2018, Goffney was feeling incredibly stuck in her job and hated her apartment which was full of very noisy neighbors. Her life was also not going as planned and she thought it would be good to make a list just like she had done in high school.
She also felt that she wanted to be brave and the only way she thought would be appropriate was to write about someone brave.

Goffney sprinkled pieces of herself throughout Excuse Me While I Cry Ugly. One striking similarity is how Quinn and Carter get together is just how she met Blake, her husband that she has now been with for nearly a decade.
She had written a to-do list and over time finally managed to achieve the goal of finding love. Grandma Hattie is inspired by her grandma and the many fears she used to have about her state of mind. Olivia is a character that she believes would have been an ideal self while the racism incidents are inspired by real life events in Joya’s life.
She has said that the novel helped her deal with the many emotions she had when her grandmother died and the disappointment and hurt which comes from losing a friend. As romantic, sweet and funny as the novel is, it is an exploration of courage, fear and pain.
She hopes that the message in the story sticks with the reader long after they have put down the novel.

In “Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry” by Joya Goffney Quinn a high school senior finds her journal missing. She had started writing her yearly list and now the person that took the journal is blackmailing her into completing it.
From the outside it does seem as if Quinn has the best life as she is well liked at the private school, comes from a rich family and has been admitted to her parents alma mater – Columbia.
But she has been acting all along and she uses her journal to let go of the motions and pressures around her fears and secrets since she does not have the strength to confront them directly. The biggest secret is that she never got into Columbia and that she has never felt like she belonged in the mostly white school where there were only five black students.
When Carter, her crush, takes her journal by mistake and misplaces it, it sets off a chain of events that could destroy Quinn’s life. The person who finds the journal is threatening to expose everything on social media unless she completes her “Before I Graduate List” he found in the journal.
Since Carter was responsible for the loss of the journal he offers to help expose the blackmailer. Goffney writes a novel with excellent character development as she explores issues of class and race. At its heart, the novel is about teaching people about developing the courage to take risks and be honest which results in freedom which usually follows from becoming authentic.

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