Interview of Jennifer Graves, Josh Powell’s sister

Jennifer Graves, Josh Powell’s sister, said “the nightmare started long before Susan’s disappearance.”

Jennifer, how long have you been writing? 

This is the first book I’ve worked on.

Tell us where you were born and where do you live now.

I was born and raised in Spokane Washington and I currently reside, with my husband and five children, in West Jordan, UT.

Washington nice. What make you want to write this book?

I really started into the process in January 2012 though I had the impression that I should write the book in January 2010, about 3 weeks after my sister-in-law’s disappearance. At first I was afraid of the idea and had no idea what to really write about. Should it be about Susan’s disappearance? About Josh and Susan’s troubled marriage? I tried to follow through with the impression but found stumbling blocks in my path each way I turned and I finally set it aside. In January 2012 I had the impression come to me strongly again and decided I shouldn’t ignore it. I started to write. It was not the best quality for sure but I was finally writing.

I bet that was very hard for you. Did the story flow once you started the book?

In February 2012, my nephews, Charlie and Braden, were murdered by their father, my brother, Josh Powell. It halted my writing progress for a time as the grief overwhelmed me.

It is quite understandable. How did you overcome this obstacle?

Emily Clawson, my co-author, and I came together shortly after this tragedy and it was through working with her that I finally came to realize that I needed to tell not just Susan’s story but my story too.

What kind of impact do you expect your works to have in the reader’s lives?

 Susan Cox Powell’s story has had a tremendous impact not only on my community but on the nation and even the world. People in numerous states and countries have contacted us through Facebook talking about the impact that it has had on them. We even had a visitor come all the way from Ireland to one of our awareness events! I felt people would like to hear some history and understand, as much as anyone can, why this happened, what led to the tragedy of Susan’s, Charlie’s and Braden’s deaths. Perhaps we can prevent more tragedies in the future if we recognize the signs.

Great thinking. Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?

Emily Clawson, my co-author. I couldn’t have completed this project without her. I did very little of the actual writing. She is the brains behind putting the words in order. She has amazing talent! Though I am grateful to be able to have gone through this process with her. My actual writing skills have greatly improved as we’ve moved through the writing process and editing process.

What is the name of your book?

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A Light in Dark Places

So befitting. What are your new years goals?

My New Year’s goals started this last New Year and are continuing. My personal health took a huge negative hit when Susan disappeared. I’ve made great strides in improving my health with exercise and better eating habits. Those goals will continue into 2014. In addition, this school year I am mentoring a youth scholar class called TJYC 3 and I’ve set a personal goal to keep up with the class’s assignments for myself too. I love learning!

Good for you Jennifer. We wish you our best…

 

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