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The Discovery of Joy & Yvonne Erwin

Yvonne Erwin
 Product Details   I am thrilled to introduce you to Yvonne Erwin
today, one of the sweetest gals I know. She welcomed me into our community
writing group right off the bat and made me feel welcome when I didn’t have
clue of what I was doing. Thanks to her, I kept going.
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Yvonne’s parents
later moved to Chicago where a sister was born. Her father was set to attend
seminary and later received his accreditation as a pastor. A move to Montana,
and Wisconsin, then to eastern Pennsylvania followed where a brother was born.
Yvonne then ended up in Missouri at the age of 19 because her father became pastor
of two churches.
Not long after, she married, had two sons (one with
a disability), and worked in a shoe factory on an assembly line. 
abandoned the desire for further education because, even with being married,
being the main breadwinner in the household, fell to her. More often than not, she
was the only breadwinner in the household. There just wasn’t money or time to
pursue any kind of degree. The marriage ended when sons were eight and six. And
then, the shoe factory closed. Faced with having to reinvent not only her life
but her sons, she moved to low income housing. Finally able to attend school,
she received a degree as a legal assistant. With pride, she graduated #1 in her
class. After working for an attorney, she made the move from Mountain Grove to
Springfield. That career now has spanned 20 years.
Having read some of your background and your book, I know it
sounds silly for me to ask this question. What inspired you to write this book
about three women in Springfield, Missouri?
About ten years ago, I was in Barnes & Noble,
looking for something to read, something outside of what I had been reading,
something new. I looked down at the
display table and saw my hand was resting on The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue, by Barbara Samuel, and I knew I
had to buy that book right then and there. I am a big fan of Barb, and I’ve taken some online writing classes from her and I read every book she writes. She
inspired me to get with it and write. I wanted specifically to write like Barb
does, write about women’s issues, women’s problems, ups and downs, because I
understand that. I wanted to write my own version of The Goddesses.  One day it
hit me, You can write a book like
that. You have some life experience, you’ve been through some tough stuff. You
have the material. And so, I began to write.
You work full time. How do
you find the time to write
That’s the tough question, isn’t it? When I worked
at the shoe factory in Mountain Grove, I got up every day at 5:00 am to get
ready for work. All these years later, I can’t kick the habit. I worked on an
assembly line for thirteen years, hard to kick that routine, but, I’m an early
riser by nature (have to see the sun come up), and so if I can get some writing
time in early in the day, that’s great. But, I also find that an hour or so
before bedtime, my book will come back to me, and I’ll be able to spend an hour
or so writing before bed.     

I think this book sets my path as a romance writer
or a women’s fiction writer. That’s where my heart is. I believe in women’s
issues, and I think they can and should be written about.
How do you go about creating
characters and a story line? Do they just spring into your head or do you have
to observe, ponder and research?
They pretty much spring into my head, sometimes in
the middle of the night. But also, I also tend to be an observer – I eavesdrop
on people in restaurants, stores, etc. Sometimes I’ll hear things that I find I
can use for a character. I observe people for face, build, mannerisms, until my
characters come to life with a face, personality, etc.  In writing The Discovery of Joy, I had to go deep into each character,
consider her age, her socio-economic status, her education, her core values. Then
I let each character speak out. And it’s different with each one, because your
voice at seven years old is different than at eighteen and then it’s different
again at thirty-five, and so on. So, I had to be conscious of where each woman
was in life and let her speak from her place, not mine. I had to let each
develop. They can surprise you sometimes. For example, when I was writing the
book, Julie drove me crazy. She just would not behave. If I said, “Okay, stop
acting like that,” she’d just look at me and do what she wanted to. When she
finally hit a wall and said, “Oh, this isn’t working for me,” and turned the
corner, then I started really falling in love with her and I found out how
sweet she really is, down deep.
What has been the best and
worst advice you have been given about being a writer?
 Well, it
seems a lot of people want to tell you being a writer is hard and it’s
virtually impossible to be published. Depending on how you look at that, it
could be good advice (spurring you on to find an alternative and be published)
or bad advice (daunting, discouraging, and so you abandon your effort).  And while there may some truth to it, I don’t
believe being published is an insurmountable obstacle. There are just too many
options out there now for anyone who truly wants to be published. I would
encourage anyone who has the dream to follow through, whatever it takes. Now, I
think the best advice I’ve been given is two-fold: (1) DON’T QUIT, and (2) Hire
an editor.
If your book was a movie, who
would play the main characters
This is a great question and I’m enjoying it because
a friend and I were talking about this very thing the other day. When I wrote
the book, I saw Lindsay Lohan as Julie. Lindsay was younger then and didn’t yet
have the duck lips. Physically, hair, complexion, face shape, eyes, they look
similar. Now Lindsay’s had a lot of bad press for bad attitude, not being able
to follow rules, being less than a lady and other things, so, Julie’s attitude
can be formed from the image of Lindsay. So, let’s go to Andrea, beautiful,
blond, but abandoned arm candy for a callous man, who could fit that bill.
Physically, Yolanda, from “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” reminds me a
little bit of Andrea; however, Yolanda is not an actress so…is there a younger
Elke Sommers out there? When I think of Claudine, I vacillate between Holly
Hunter and Amy Adams. I like both of them for different reasons but I think
Holly Hunter is more Claudine than Amy Adams.
So what is next for Ms.
Yvonne Erwin?
I am starting work on my next women’s fiction novel.
I’m thinking of a story of sisters, tension, misunderstandings, hurt, and more
food. There was a lot of food in The
Discovery of Joy
, sorry folks, you’re gonna gain weight with the next book
Let’s hear something about The Discovery of Joy by Yvonne Erwin!

How does one reinvent their life? Rebuilding a life
from scrap takes courage. When three separate women, Julie, Andrea and
Claudine, find themselves at their lowest point, to what lengths will they go
to rediscover themselves, and in the process, discovery a spring of joy
erupting from a dry rock?
Need to touch base with the
fabulous Yvonne Erwin? Join the rest of us on her media outlet sites.
I am also on Goodreads, and LinkedIn.

I already have my copy of The Discovery of Joy but tell everyone
else how to get their copy.

Discovery of Joy
is available on amazon and also on Barnes&Noble.
The e-book version is $2.99, print version is $11.99. A read and review would
be most welcome!

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