Please allow me to take this opportunity to introduce to you a good friend of mine and fellow Author, Joyce Godwin Grubbs. It just so happens that this interview coincides with the pending release of her 11th book, "Riding the Fifth Wheel of Suspense" which I feel is her best novel yet. Number eleven in the Greyhound Lady Walking series it will be officially released on NLT 12 January 2012 as a Kindle eBook on Amazon.com.
In this convoluted mystery, the story follows an elderly author and her rebelliously reluctant personal assistant, as they travel the country on a clandestine mission. Kidnapping, murder, and betrayal are intertwined with the unexplainable interactions of Hopi Indian mystical beliefs. Men will love this story because the action and momentum carry through to the very the end.
So thank you once again for giving me this opportunity to introduce my good friend Joyce Godwin Grubbs, who not only writes great books, but she also bakes great cookies!
1. What is your full name and title of your work(s)?
I write under my own name: Joyce Godwin Grubbs. Collectively my works are known as the “Greyhound Lady Walking” suspense series. I am also a photo journalist freelancing still, and a blogger. Again, I write under my own name. I figure if I went to all that work, and devoted all that time, there should be no question as to who wrote it and who is responsible.
2. Please tell us about the body of your work and how does that relate to “The Night of the Purple Lollipop!”
That is a true story of one of the events in my sister’s life. She was a pioneer police woman in Davenport, Iowa: second woman on the force. She became an officer and sex crime expert after being raped in her home following the birth of her fifth child. She was angry her case was bungled and poorly handled by the all-male officers. She had been a stay at home mother until then, and after that event, went back to school studying criminal justice, organizing the first rape support group for victims in Iowa. Later she became a decorated, controversial, officer and dynamic advocate for women and victims of domestic violence and rape/sexual assault.
I was a nurse working as an advocate for victims, and our “paths” and “cases” often intersected. She was the “writer” in the family and a poet and artist. We collaborated about the future writings we would someday do, but her breast cancer finally ended the collaboration.
It was left to me to present the body of work and stories collected over twenty years. The venue I chose was translating real cases into suspense novels and fictionalizing the victims to protect their privacy. My published works in novels are: Loving Pride; Greyhound Lady Walking; Three Times A Woman; A Woman’s Revenge is Love; If This Isn’t Love’ Before Your Very Eyes; The Monday Night Flight Club; Mysteries of the Dogwood Diaries; The Wrong/Strong Side of the Tracks; Jason’s Love is W.A.R.; and coming out on kindle this week, Riding the Fifth Wheel of Suspense.
3. What is one thing you would like your readers to know about you?
Though I cover tough issues these books are funny, warm, exciting, fast paced suspense that both men and women appreciate. I have men who contact me specifically about some of the characters and encourage me to “keep writing.” Many appreciate the “odd characters” which are always based in a real person scenario like: Momma Bets, Rooster, Minnie Rae Swofford, and the “throw away kids”, Birdie Banks Baxter, and the unforgettable, Presley. Even the “evil doers” like Snake, Bristol, Legion and Ratouille’ are appreciated.
4. When did you know that you wanted to become a writer?
I wrote as a child but never wanted to “become” a writer, as I thought I was one. LOL. I wanted to be published in later adult years, but not because I was in it for ego or money, but I knew that my books had much to say in that I have lived a most unusual life and done audacious things as I met unbelievable people. I have been “taken in” by street people, and protected by gangs and had a confidential informants status with certain detectives. Yet I am, for the most part perceived as a “little Midwestern grandma that should be home baking cookies.” It cracks me up.
5. In your writing style and methods what is your greatest strength?
Without a doubt my ensemble characters and the fact I don’t write by “formula”. I often tell folks I am not a novelist, but a storyteller. I don’t take kindly to being told I have to write like a robot, and when I took it into my own hands to tell my stories, the feedback was wonderful and validating in more ways than I can even express. I quickly became tired of editors and agents saying, “You need to change this; it would never happen” and I would remind them that the cover letter says these are real cases fictionalized to protect identities, but not the stories. I would say to them, “What part of “real cases fictionalized” do you not understand.”
6. How would you describe your creative process?
How do you approach long term goals on a daily basis? First, I must tell you I have hundreds of stories in my head to tell so it is just a matter of deciding what to tell next. I am odd in that I start with a “title” that to me has meaning for the content to come. Honestly, I am one of those “it just flows” kind of writers. I think that is why I like the annual NANOWRIMO challenges to” write a novel in thirty days” then edit it afterwards. I have done it four times and three are published. This year one of my grandsons challenged me to do a Y/A book so his friends could finally read one of my books, so I did. It was a totally new genre; for me and still in the hands of the content readers. Apparently I just love to write and when I do, it always comes faster than I can write it.
7. What are the biggest obstacles you find to creativity, writing?
How do you overcome them? Any obstacle I would have to creativity would usually be connected to distractions around me. If I can get to a place of no interruptions, I can “flow”. Having to take time out for things is very hard and my mind is always back at the computer. But when you are a grandmother of eleven, there are things you must do, need to do, and want to do outside of writing; and family tops everything.
8. What is your next project? Is it a novel?
I am finishing up with the content readers on my first Y/A book: The Wards of Kilbourn Hill. My next book will be my second biography as a ghostwriter. The first one was for a World War II vet and my first non-fiction and I did it as a ghostwriter as well. I loved it and the experience.
Funny enough, I just took a trip to Nashville as the guest of my youngest daughter and her two children and it was a return to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel where I had researched the hotel for “Mysteries of the Dogwood Diaries”. I met a young man who works there and he inspired the story line for that novel. We returned to visit with him and some “Grandma Date Day” time with two of the grandchildren. While there I was contacted by a woman who wants me to write her biography (the second non-fiction ).
Her name is Annabelle Kindig and on her eleventh birthday she was kidnaped with her best friend in Boulder, Colorado; handcuffed and driven to Sunshine Canyon, there she was assaulted and both were shot and left for dead in three feet of snow. Though she was left in the snow a victim, she rose as a survivor and her life was made to count for something and for helping victims become survivors, like her. Now fifty, she is ready to tell her story and because of my work with victims, she chose me.
9. Tell us more about your sister Trula Godwin and the foundation! And how can our readers find out more about it?
The Godwin girls’ initiative through the Trula Godwin project: Is to bring about the publishing of written materials that champion women and their issues. And to publish materials that encourage the services and future development of programs serving victims through the transition of becoming survivors.
When my sister died of breast cancer after twenty-eight years on the police force, I started an organization in her name. The Trula Godwin Project is unique in that it is neither a foundation nor non-profit as those would require a “paper trail”. It is a conduit to putting high risk victims underground and maintains an underground mail system for victims. 100% sacrificial funding and 100% volunteer.
Recently due to my personal health issues I have had to suspend the underground placement part of the program but the project still serves as a conduit to connect victims and help them escape successfully. In addition, we maintain the mail program for now.
Once people read the Greyhound Lady series, they understand more about the risks to victims, and also the traps and the innovative ways victims can be saved and helped by ordinary people. You can read more by going to: http://wwwltrulagodwinproject.webs.com/
10. How can our readers find out more about your writing? Are your books available as eBooks? Where can we order your eBooks? My books can be found on Amazon.com Kindle eBooks, and through my site. http://www.joycegodwingrubbs.webs.com/
Marguerite Marrs Godwin : Shown when there were no services or shelters for victims and women in need.
Joyce Godwin Grubbs (Future author) of the Greyhound Lady Walking Series.
Trula Ann Godwin(Standing left) Future pioneer policewoman , decorated and champion of women’s rights and issues. Instrumental in changing the Statute of Limitations for Rape in Iowa, and a sex crime expert on the police force.