Joel D. Fisher was born and raised in Southern California. His father graduated from USC, served in the Army and was employed by the California State Lands Commission. His mother worked for the Pacific Maritime Association before meeting his father, then stayed home to raise Joel and his four siblings. She later continued her education, obtaining a master’s degree in kinesiology and became a science teacher.
While growing up, Joel enjoyed summers swimming and going to the beach with his family. With the encouragement and example of his father and youngest brother, Joel became an avid surfer in his early college years. He began his college career at Long Beach City College, later transferring to California State University Fullerton where he majored in engineering with the hope of eventually becoming a fighter pilot.
“I’ve always had an interest in fighter planes and jets. I think it’s fascinating how man and machine can become one unit, both depending upon each other. I always thought the fighter planes of World War II clearly demonstrated this idea. It’s very similar to the idea of a writer’s thoughts and their pen. The two become one to create written works of art. During WWII, man and machine created the art of killing each other in various ways; with the writer and his pen, the art reaches for the thoughts and hearts of men.”
After Joel’s brother Luke died in a tragic car accident in January of 2004, he lost interest in becoming a military pilot and changed his major to math. He also transferred to California State University Dominguez Hills where he graduated and met his future wife. Joel still suffered, however, from the loss of his brother and immersed himself in video games as his escape from reality.
Video games became a major priority in his life, even to the point that his relationship with his family suffered, especially with his wife. “I found myself at a crossroads. I realized that if I continued down the same road I was on, I would lose my wife. I desired to go down the road of recovery but I just didn’t know how to do it.” Joel reached out to Jesus for help. “He counseled me to give it up. But I didn’t want to and I found myself in a tug-of-war with Him. He whispered to trust Him and that it was going to be okay. I finally obeyed and let go.”
Joel unexpectedly found himself with a lot of free time. “I asked Jesus what I should do with my time. He whispered to repair my relationship with my family and do something for myself, something I could enjoy and would be beneficial.” As Joel began the process of restoring his relationship with his wife and family, he gave more attention to diet and exercise so that he could live a healthier, fuller life. “This was a real struggle for me. I had to walk when I first started which was very humbling. But Jesus was there and when I asked Him for help He told me, ‘Learn to walk first, then you will know how to run.’ I walked with all that I could, even to the point of speed-walking. From a speed-walk I eventually was able to jog a little and a little turned into a mile, then 2, then 3, and more and more.”
After receiving a breakthrough in his health, Joel asked Jesus what was next on the agenda. Joel felt in his heart that he should write a book and to use the imagination he had gained from playing video games. Unsure of how to start, he used some of his brother Luke’s old notes he found as a springboard to go forward. After three years, Joel finally published his first fantasy book in 2013. The main characters were based on he and his brother Luke’s personalities and conversations.
Joel republished his first book in 2017 after having to start from square one when his publisher went out of business. He continues to draw inspiration from the works of his favorite authors, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. “My earnest desire is that my stories will not only be fun to read, but that readers will be able to make a connection with one or more of the characters and learn a life lesson from them. If only one person is able to make that connection, then I’ve accomplished what I’ve been created to do.”
Quote: "When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place."
Source: “Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C.S. Lewis” (2008)
Quote: "Give us the best of your art. We crave it, we hunger for it."
Source: Speech at Boston University from Leonard Nimoy (May 19, 2012)
...the writer and his pen... reaches for the thoughts and hearts of men.