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Author Interview - Joy Lynn Goddard

I am pleased to have Author Joy Lynn Goddard as my guest this week.

Joy is an accomplished writer in the young adult genre though more recently, she has collaborated with her husband, Dan, on adult fiction.

Thank you, Joy, for participating in my interview.

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you - in what way and what was the name of that book?

Although I’m an avid reader now, I wasn’t much of a reader as a young child. I rarely picked up a book! My teachers and parents were always telling me to read something and that annoyed me, so I refused. However, I also preferred running around and having adventures to curling up with a book. I was more likely to build a fort and pretend I was being held captive there by an evil witch than read about a similar adventure in a book. That said, I remember my Grade 8 teacher reading Moonfleet by J. Meade Falkner to the class, and I loved the book. It was dark, scary, exciting.

2. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

Harper Lee, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Linwood Barclay, Alice Munro, Gillian Flynn

3. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?

Writing is like having a movie playing in my head. It’s very entertaining. I love movies! What I don’t like about writing is that after I’ve edited my manuscript for the umpteenth time, I have trouble letting it go. Enough, already!

4. Where do your ideas come from?

I can find ideas from almost every waking moment—from strangers or people in my life or from the places I’ve been, including an ordinary trip to the bank or grocery store as much as an exotic locale. I get ideas from the Internet, newspapers, books, journals and magazines and then combine and stretch these ideas, changing them to make them my own. When teaching, I got ideas from ordinary kids and situations in the classroom and schoolyard.

5. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

I often create characters from my imagination, but I also develop characters by combining the traits of people I know personally or from the media.

6. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

My husband and I are working on a novel about a contest to sell an old Inn in vineyard where a murder has taken place.

7. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

My first YA novel, Daredevils (along with its teacher manual by Ruthanne Finnigan) won the Ontario English Catholic Teacher Association (OECTA) provincial Best Practice Award in 2005. Additionally, in recognition for our contribution to literacy, which involved my Northview Tales series--Daredevils, Hello, my name is Emily, Charlie’s Song--we received the OECTA AWARD of Merit in 2009. The books are read in schools in Ontario, BC and Alberta.

A Little More Personal

8. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?

I can think of an embarrassing/ funny moment that happened when my husband and I were in a noisy coffee shop once. We were discussing the plot of a story for our anthology Buyers, Liars, Sellers and Yellers –in particular, how to kill off one of the characters—when the room fell silent. Everybody near our table was staring at us, some clearly disgusted. With the waiter’s help, we were able to explain that we had been plotting fiction, not fact, and everybody had a good laugh.

9. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

Salmon Point, Prince Edward County. The entire county is paradise.

10. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?

One memory has influenced my writing more than the others. I grew up in all-white neighbourhood, school and town. In my early years, I never met anyone who didn’t resemble my family, neighbours or friends. My mother, a nurse, didn’t drive much, especially on blustery winter days, so she found herself taking the bus to work at the hospital in a town thirty minutes away. When she came home that night, she had a stranger with her, an African American woman. Apparently, the bus driver had given the woman a hard time because of the colour of her skin and had refused to let her off at her bus stop, which would have forced her to back track several miles in a blizzard, and in the dark, to get home. Outraged, my mother had blasted the driver—she wasn’t one to hold back—and had brought the woman to our house to have dinner, then my father drove her home. As a child, I didn’t understand the driver’s perspective. It made me feel sick. It didn’t make sense—and it still doesn’t!

11. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

Reading. Walking. Listening to music. Biking. Hanging out with family and friends. Watching a movie.

12. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

I met Pierre Elliot Trudeau when he was prime minister. I was a reporter covering a local Liberal candidate’s fundraising picnic when the prime minister’s helicopter landed in a farmer’s field nearby. I remember every detail of the day. The prime minister seemed much smaller than I had imagined—for in the papers his presence was large—and he had his signature rose in his lapel and wore a navy pinstriped suit. As reporters tend to do, they rushed up to him asking questions and demanding to be heard. I tended to stay back when the others moved forward, for I didn’t like getting up into someone’s face. As a reporter, my shyness often got in my way. But that day, it worked in my favour. Trudeau walked past the others towards me and asked if I had any questions for him. He was charming and friendly, and I was dumbfounded!

About the Book: Moonshadow

Lauren Prescott’s family secrets were buried long before she was born, during the sixties era when her great-grandparents took in a runaway girl from an Indian residential school. Her ailing grandfather, who was a teenager back then, now longs to find the girl—Rose Hill—to right a wrong before he dies. He’s ashamed of how he treated her because he recoiled from the racist climate of colonialism of the time. Haunted by the past, Lauren risks everything to go after the truth for her grandfather—even her life!


JOY LYNN GODDARD is one of Canada’s top novelists in the young adult genre. Drawing from her experiences as a teacher, she has written a picture book, a middle-grade novel and five coming-of-age novels, beginning with the award-winning Daredevils. A former journalist, she has had copious articles and short stories published and more recently teamed up with her husband Dan to write an adult anthology, which is a parody on the real estate industry. Moonshadow is her latest collaboration with Dan. They divide their time between Guelph and Prince Edward County, Ontario, where she teaches and writes, he’s in sales and volunteer work, and they spend time with family. Learn more about her by visiting


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