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Headingley writer draws on experience as social worker for first novel

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A Headingley writer’s first novel has grown from being a gift for her family into a serious venture.

"It’s sort of snowballed into something much bigger," said first-time novelist Barbara Joyce-Hawryluk.

The long-time Headingley resident credits her editor, Arvel Gray, with helping to turn her family project into a public literary offering.

Joyce-Hawryluk will launch her crime novel, Wounded: A Scarlet Force Novel, at The Gates on Sept. 18 at 7 p.m.

This will be followed by a launch at McNally Robinson (1120 Grant Ave.) on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m., and another at the Chapters store at Polo Festival (695 Empress St.). After those events, she will promote her book in the Calgary area.

"I wanted to start with a local launch," said Joyce-Hawryluk.

The novel tells the story of a female constable and her husband, a major crimes investigator. Their police work stirs up ghosts from their past lives, leading them into a trap set by a psychopath.

After working as a social worker for 18 years, she said she felt inspired to begin writing fiction about four years ago. Experiences from her career and those of her husband, Dr. Garry Hawryluk, a psychologist providing service to the RCMP, helped to lead her in the direction of writing about the work and personal lives of RCMP officers.

"I want to provide a glimpse into police officers’ lives," she said.

Wounded is the first of a three-part Scarlet Force series, and Joyce-Hawryluk is already working on the second novel. Some of her book sale proceeds will be donated to the RCMP "D" Division Slain Peace Officer Fund.

More information on Joyce-Hawryluk’s book will soon be available online at her own website,
www.scarletforce.com, which is currently under construction.

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