Storytelling has always been in my DNA, thanks in part to my grandfather's genes and thanks also to my mother's decision to read books to me every night before bed. As a young child, I drew pictures and put them to stories. Drawing and storytelling were my earliest passions, but it would take me nearly sixteen years to come back around to them. Thanks to my wife's kindness in buying me a sketch pad, my first love of drawing is being rekindled once more.
After completing my undergraduate studies at Clarks Summit University in 2008, I attended the University of Wales Trinity St. David where I received an M.A. in Ancient History and Classical Studies.
In 2016, I went on to create Fiction Forest Books, under which I've been able to publish various fables and illustrated stories. Some of these (The Lion's Pride, The Fox Hole, and The Big Cat Spat) have even been used in school curriculums throughout North Carolina over the past few years.
In early 2017, I felt the lull of intellectual complacency start to set in again and I decided to pursue a second M.A. Degree in English Literature at Middlebury College. I also began teaching Humanities to high schoolers, which, coupled with my own academic pursuits, continues to provide the mental stimuli needed for growth as a poet and artist.
In 2019, I created a second publishing arm called Theophany Tree that I've devoted to the publication of devotional works related to the Life of Christ. I recently illustrated my first book through that label called Marvel at the Mystery, which you can find on this site.
Most importantly, God has graced me with a beautiful wife, Megan, who has bravely brought into the world our two precious children, Micah and Skye. Kids were not on our immediate radar five years ago when Megan and I stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon in 2014 saying our marriage vows, but God always writes the best stories. I'm learning through the wild journey of parenting that often life's greatest treasures are adventures shared together.
I'm author and artist J.S. Davey and I appreciate you taking the time to check out my work. Parents often ask me, "What is the age range for your books?" But I believe childlikeness is qualitative, not quantifiable. In fact, as an adult, some of the best and most profound books I've read are categorized under the elastic genre of 'children's literature': books like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Little Prince, The Princess and the Goblin, and The Giving Tree. Good stories have the ability to transcend generational lines and, while they may not be for everybody, they are for anybody. That's why I continue to stand with the late great George Macdonald in claiming that "I do not write for children, but for the childlike, whether they be five or fifty."
With that as a backdrop, here are three mission-statements that articulate my vision for writing, painting, and publishing:
First, I aspire to write literature that promotes timeless virtues of humility, contentment, and love of neighbor. I consider it an honor to take the baton from better proverbialists and parabolists such as Aesop, Solomon, and the Teacher of teachers, Jesus, and continue that long, historical tradition of didactic storytelling.
Secondly, as a way to season the meatier, harder-to-chew tones of wisdom literature, I try to spice up my stories with a lot of wit and whimsy. Books like A Cheesy Book (an answer to G.K. Chesterton's statement that "poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese") and Black Jack (a funny story about the world's craziest-ever dog) represent this dichotomy. "There is a time for everything," Solomon wisely said, and that is definitely the case with reading.
Lastly, I aspire to help others less fortunate than myself without making readers pay a premium for it. Some small businesses today give proceeds to a charity or cause but then raise retail prices in order to accommodate their own losses. For me, I want to make books as affordable as possible without making compromises in production, artwork, printing, or pricing. Quality comes first. Affordability comes second. Giving of proceeds comes third. Profit comes last.
Writing, painting, designing, and printing high-quality hardcover books is a time-consuming, energy-zapping, money-guzzling endeavor, but the truism still stands: the prize is worth the price.
Just as trees in a forest grow from a single seed and then spread out to plant many other trees, so also stories are constantly reproducing themselves. Historically, the art of storytelling has unified and distinguished cultures, nations, and ideologies. Ultimately, I believe that our innate love of literature exposes the wonderful truth that we ourselves are part of an ongoing story. Our own lives are little chapters in God's ever-growing journal called History and we imitate God's creativity as we craft little worlds and stories of our own.