Brown, Joan K. 1935-
Brown, Joan K. 1935-
Born April 11, 1935, in Charleston, SC; daughter of George A. (in sales) and Selina D. (a homemaker) King; married Charles Richard Redd, May 28, 1956 (divorced); married Benjamin H. Brown, December 22, 1979; children: (first marriage) Donna Redd Rideout, Kimberly Redd Walker, Richard Michael Redd. Ethnicity: "African American." Education: Graduated from St. Augustine's College, 1956; University of Pennsylvania, B.A.; Duquense University, graduate studies, 1974-76. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Episcopalian. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, writing, traveling, surfing the Internet, playing the keyboard, dancing.
Home and office—741 Woodland Ave., Westville, NJ 08093.
Writer and educator. Elementary schoolteacher, in West Virginia, 1963-66, Pennsylvania, 1966-79, South Carolina, 1979-80, New Jersey, 1980-86, and Pennsylvania, 1990-93. Dorothy's Technical School, Maple Shade, NJ, instructor for medical assistant course, 1987-89. Community volunteer for the Heart Association, the Cancer Drive, and Children's Diseases.
National Educational Association, Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society.
The Future Teachers of America, Outstanding Teacher's Award, 1974.
Looking in the Mirror (fiction), Author House (Bloomington, IN), 2004.
Joan K. Brown told CA: "I had an interest in writing when I was in grade school. Often I wrote stories and plays as an educator and my students would often discuss and act out many of my creative writings. At my age I have a wealth of information stored in my mind, from my family, friends, and students that I have taught in the past. I usually begin my writing in my mind and I develop the story and the first few pages before I sit down to make the outline and then I begin writing. I use the computer as opposed to writing in long hand.
"Looking in the Mirror was supposed to have been a nonfiction book as a legacy for my children and grandchildren. My oldest granddaughter, Dayna, suggested that I change the manuscript to fiction, then the book would be more interesting. After retiring as an educator I wanted to learn how to do new things and writing this novel was a product of one of my accomplishments. The novel is intergenerational and can be enjoyed by all adults.
"In the book June, the main character, is born and reared in a middle-class African American family in a southern city. She had more than she needed of material things and her parents protected her from the evils of segregation that was the norm in those days. It did not take June long to assess her family and conclude that her family was dysfunctional. Alcohol was the drug of choice and sexual abuse was pushed under the rug. She married her college sweetheart and became a victim of spousal abuse. Then handsome Harrison enters her life. Will there be a change in June's life?"
The most surprising thing Brown learned as a writer is to "seek help and have someone edit your work. I did everything myself (for financial reasons). Secondly, double check the first copy of the book, many times the final copy does not appear as the writer directed." She also learned that marketing the book is important, it is a business. Her concentration was on completing the book and finding a publishing company that would accept her manuscript. After having a few book signings, she realized that the public was just as excited about meeting her as she was in conversing with prospective readers.