A Light in Dark Places
We are holding a launch event on Monday, June 24, 2013 from 7pm – 9:30pm at Paradigm High School in South Jordan, Utah (11577 S 3600 W). Please join us for a wonderful evening! You can find more details about the launch here.
How I came to write this story.
Everyone has no doubt heard about Josh Powell and his horrible actions. His wife, Susan Cox Powell, is still missing and presumed dead while family members continue to mourn the loss of Charlie and Braden.
No one can understand the story better than Jennifer Graves. As Josh’s older sister she watched his downward spiral for years. But she never could have imagined things would turn out this way.
Jennifer is an amazing woman. She has stayed strong in her faith even though all of her siblings have caved in to the twisted control of her father, Steve Powell. She is a wonderful wife and mother and teaches leadership to youth. Most astounding to me is the level of peace that she has found even in the middle of all of this.
On that awful day back in February, 2012 when Josh killed his sons and set fire to his house in Washington, I discovered for the first time that Jennifer was his sister. It wasn’t hidden, I had just not followed the case very closely. She was a friend, mostly because our children were involved in the same educational programs. We always enjoyed seeing each other but it was very casual. As dozens of people poured out their condolences over Facebook, I made the connection for the first time.
I hurried to offer my own sympathy, saddened by the fact that I had never been a good enough friend to understand what she was going through over the last two years. We talked a few times during the next couple of weeks, just quick words of comfort and encouragement. It was about that time that Jennifer’s husband, Kirk, mentioned to me that Jenn was writing and it was helping her process everything that had happened. I offered a listening ear or support if she needed it in the writing process.
Jennifer took me up on the offer and we spent some time chatting. She expressed her frustration with the process. She knew the story needed to be told but writing it was not something she enjoyed. I don’t know which one of us came up with the idea first but we left that conversation with the thought that maybe we could work together.
During our next meeting I made it clear to Jennifer that I did not want to pressure her into choosing me as her co-author. I feel that her story needs careful handling. She had already been approached by two authors who were interested in telling her story, both with more experience than me. I told her that I was happy to help in any area she needed, even if that meant helping her to hook up with someone else, or just giving her feedback on her own writing. We both decided that this was a decision best made by consulting with our husbands and praying about it. That is the way we each find inspiration and we applied it here.
The next morning Jennifer texted me and said that she felt without question that I was the one who could tell the story that she wanted to tell.
I have never felt more humbled than I was at that moment (unless you count every moment I’ve spent working on the book since then). Yes, I am a novice in this genre. But I can tell you this. I am passionately committed to telling the story that Jennifer wants to tell. And that is the most important part.
In the meantime, I am working away. Jennifer supplies the personal details that no one else could share. She witnessed things that no one else saw or did. The story is big enough that the hardest part is just managing the flow. I find myself more of a cowboy than an author, wrangling in and roping the beast.
Jennifer continues to amaze me. We are quickly becoming very close friends and our book is halfway done! The story is so amazing and I can’t wait to share it with you!