Joy was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in Los Angeles. She started her singing and acting career at a very young age, having won the Los Angeles Times talent contest at the age of six. She appeared in numerous plays and music venues until moving to Nashville quite a few years ago. She was accepted into The Nashville Symphony Chorus and sang with them for five years, and was included in their CD, Celebrations In Song. She continued to appear in plays and independent films, having garnered a best actress in a leading role nomination by The Nashville Scene. Upon inspiration from her songwriter husband, Pat Flanakin, she began writing her own songs of which two have topped the charts as No. 1 on the Broadjam website. She says she has found her new passion in writing songs. She also recently started writing children's books which are available at Amazon Joy Flanakin.