I won the Epsilon Sigma Alpha International Award in Iowa, and finished in the top five in international competition. This was in recognition of a non-profit organization I co-founded to work with: the homeless, addicts, mentally ill and special need people. My many years of work as a trained advocate on the crisis lines, shelters, and as a nurse in adult and child psychiatric residential care, have provided unending opportunities for materials and unique insights.
I am a published photo/journalist and recipient of the “Editor’s Choice Award 2009" for contributions as a freelance writer for the internet news network. (CMN).Cable Muse Network and also contribute to the Cable Box Blog. I won publication of two winning non-fiction contest essays in the Quad City Times (circulation 67, 467) in consecutive years. I have done online technical writing for private corporate companies for their products, marketing, and political contributions. As a speaker, I have also been a ghostwriter for other speakers.
My life has led me to many intriguing experiences with politicians, criminals, and being privy to the integral workings of the “shadow world” that exists around us in our cities. I am honored to be among those to whom much trust was given by the people of the streets, and was protected by the “code of the street people” as I helped those who walked on “the wild side.”
I have completed eight novels ( romantic/suspense and mystery/suspense). All eight are on Amazon Kindle Ebooks. My novels are stand-alone manuscripts though known collectively as the “Greyhound Lady Walking” series.
I write strong ensemble stories, with lead characters that are often “damaged” but they never give up. They sometimes fail, but always achieve their goal and learn more through the process. I present strong female and male perspectives. These books are “insights” into a “shadow world “most people do not even know exists yet it is “happening” all around them as they live and sleep. The integration of real life cases, fictionalized assures the reader a powerful read. I invite you to join them in experiencing a literary walk on the wild side.
Intriguing, indeed. What a wonderful service you provide, and I'm certain that rich fodder for writing surrounds you.
What books came along at just the right time to influence your reading/writing?
What are your writing goals?
I want people to read my books for the second time then apply the “ new knowledge” to their lives. I call my novels “WAR stories for men and women”. Women, Adversity, Romance. In each book, a strong, lead, female character is overcoming adversity against great odds. I deal with issues of domestic violence, rape/sexual assault, child abuse, male rape, gang rapes, and recovery issues victims’ face in their sexuality. In each book are positive solutions, innovative new programs, and “possibilities” of new approaches to saving high-risk victims. Oh, and did I mention they are filled with humor?
What is your most rewarding experience during the writing process?
I had a content reader call me and want me to drive her to the location of the book so she could volunteer to work with “the program of the Monday Night Flight Club”. She had to see that place, and become a part of that work. I had to remind her it was fiction. However, it validated my goal is being reached; to get people into the hearts and minds of victims and cause them to become proactive in caring and supporting victim issues.
Tell us about your latest book. Is it available in print, ebook, and Kindle formats?
The Greyhound Lady Walking series (of seven novels) is on Kindle as is my mystery suspense book, Mysteries of the Dogwood Diaries. Synopsis: A legacy is left through generations of women who write in the Dogwood Diaries translating oral history to the printed word. The loss of one of the women and her diary is the catalyst for the determined family matriarch, Marguerite McKenna to find them, to preserve her family and its legacies. She summons Blaine Stryker in a public and not so subtle way.
Blaine Stryker has distinguished herself in investigative reporting and is a Pulitzer Prize nominee when her childhood nemesis summons her. Having gone underground in her youth, Blaine fights to protect her new identity but is forced to pay an old debt to Marguerite’s granddaughter and the indomitable “Biddy” who once helped save her life. This is complicated by the federal agent from Texas, Walker Rhoades who believes she is complicit in crimes against Ms. McKenna and murder. Blaine and Walker Rhoades will have to unite to solve five mysteries in the book to prove her innocence.
Do you think your writing has improved since your first attempt? If so, in what way?
Definitely grittier, and I go right to the heart of the matter. I write more about the story and less with the concern of whether it is entertaining. More about whether it is faithful in telling the essence of the truth about the events and feelings of the character. I found it became more than entertaining. It became life affirming to allow readers to walk on the wild side and be an integral part of the struggles and triumphs.
Were any of your books more challenging to write than the others? If so, why?
The most challenging book for me was Mysteries of the Dogwood Diaries. It was my first variation from the “Greyhound Lady Walking” series, and the eighth book. It is pure mystery and suspense, and the others were real cases fictionalized. I just had to put them all in context, but Dogwood Diaries was one hundred per cent imagination.
How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?
No doubt, my life experiences working so many years in active victim services, and creating an organization to put high-risk victims underground certainly contributed. I was fortunate to work with my sister who was a decorated, pioneer policewoman and a sex crime expert. She went on the force after being raped in her home after the birth of her fifth child. We collaborated for more than twenty years, until she succumbed to breast cancer.
After hours of intense writing, how do you unwind?
I spend time with my husband and greyhounds. I also mentor seniors to get them “techno-savvy” on the Internet and Kindles.
Any current projects?
In November I am doing NANOWRIMO for the third time. Two of my books are the result of being a winner in 2008 and 2009, For those who are not familiar, it’s the international challenge to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in 30 days. I loved it and The Monday Night Flight Club was my first, and Mysteries of the Dogwood Diaries my second. Of course the rule is: write with no editing until December. They are actually two of my favorite books.
Facebook account is: Joyce Godwin Grubbs
Twitter account is: GrassrootAuthor
Joyce, I have enjoyed interviewing you. I wish you well with your writing, your foundation, and your worthy endeavors.