Local author given international honours
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This article was published 16/06/2014 (3028 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The past year has been an exciting one for Headingley author Barbara Joyce-Hawryluk.
She was recently onstage in New York City receiving a bronze medal for her first novel, Wounded, at the Independent Book Publisher Awards, part of the annual BookExpo America convention. Wounded is also a finalist in the first book and female writer categories in this year’s High Plains Book Awards, a competition open to authors from 12 states and three Canadian provinces.
“The book caught on a bit faster than I anticipated,” Joyce-Hawryluk said.
Wounded is the first book in the author’s Scarlet Force series. Based on RCMP officers’ true experiences, Joyce-Hawryluk created a fictional account of the work and lives of police members at the Headingley RCMP detachment.
“It’s not strictly a who-dunnit mystery,” she said. “I want to provide a glimpse into police officers’ lives.”
She drew on her 18 years of experience as a social worker and that of her husband, Dr. Garry Hawryluk, a psychologist providing service to the RCMP. She also sought advice from current and retired RCMP members to ensure her writing rings true.
“The feedback I received from RCMP officers and their wives is that they like it,” she said.
Interviewed on June 10, the day that a regimental funeral service was held for the three RCMP officers killed in Moncton, Joyce-Hawryluk shared her feelings of gratitude for the service that all police officers provide and for the courage and selflessness they demonstrate when confronting danger in our communities.
“It’s not fiction. It’s real,” she said.
After launching Wounded in Winnipeg last September, she, editor Arvel Gray, and marketing co-ordinator Jeni Wykes travelled to Calgary where Joyce- Hawryluk appeared at two Chapters locations, two independent bookstores and gave a private reading. The book is available at Winnipeg’s McNally Robinson Booksellers and Chapters stores.
Wounded is the first of a three-part Scarlet Force series, and Joyce-Hawryluk is working on the second novel. “I’m doing the research now.”
She purposely left some themes unresolved at the end of Wounded, and plans to pick up these loose ends in her second novel.
Joyce-Hawryluk is donating some of her book sale proceeds to RCMP “D” Division’s Slain Peace Officer Fund.
For more information on Joyce-Hawryluk’s book, see www.scarletforce.com
St. Vital community correspondent
Andrea Geary is a community correspondent for St. Vital and was once the community journalist for The Headliner.