A Light in Dark Places, The Susan Cox Powell Story

Emily, how long have you been writing? 

I’ve dreamed about writing since I was a child and used to sell my homemade picture books to my obliging relatives and neighbors. But I didn’t get serious about it as a craft until about six years ago. It became my lifeline during a bout of serious post-partum depression and I’ve been committed to it ever since.

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

I was born and raised in Utah – lived here all my life.

How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it? 

Sometimes an idea just won’t leave you alone. When it keeps me up at night and I find myself making constant little notes about it – then I know it’s something I’m going to pursue.

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

That’s a tough one. I think Shannon Hale has been my greatest inspiration. I think she is a classy lady who writes BEAUTIFULLY and is absolutely hilarious in person. Also, my two critique partners, Julie Bellon and Jordan McCollum are both amazing. They have helped me grow up as a writer.

What is the name of your book? 

A Light in Dark Places


Tell us more about it. Perhaps a back cover blurb.

In December, 2009, Susan Cox Powell was reported missing from her home in West Valley City, Utah. As law enforcement tried to piece together what had happened to Susan, her husband, Josh Powell, became the only person of interest in the case.

For Jennifer Graves, Josh’s sister, the nightmare started long before Susan’s disappearance. From her experiences growing up in the Powell family to the terrifying moment when she first started to believe her brother was a killer, she relied on her faith to stay strong. She devoted herself to the safety of Susan’s boys, Charlie and Braden, whom she hoped to be able to raise as her own. When the boys were murdered by their father in February, 2012, Jennifer was more than devastated, but she had to believe there was a reason for it all—including the deaths of her beloved nephews.

In A Light In Dark Places, Jennifer shares her struggles and her triumphs. In coming to terms with such tragedy she finally was able to embrace the truth that we all have the power to choose our own path—and there is always hope, no matter how dark things may seem.

Is there a book trailer for your book?


Do you have a favorite character, why?

Since this book is non-fiction it’s a bit different, but writing Jennifer’s story has been amazing. She is the most heroic person I’ve ever known in real life.

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

This book has changed me as a person just in the process of writing it. I find myself thinking so much more deeply about the way my actions affect those around me. It is my hope that anyone who reads this book is going to come away with the realization that they have the power to choose their destination in life, regardless of the choices of others.

Do you have any advice for authors trying to break into the industry?

It is so hard and can feel so lonely at times. You may feel as if you are spinning your wheels in the mud without making any progress. Reach out to other authors. Get involved in a writing group or critique group, even if it’s just online. Find people who have similar goals. It helps when you realize that you are not alone. But in the end, the only thing you can do is just keep writing. Don’t get married to one idea or one character above all else. Get married to the goal you want to accomplish and write, write, write until you get there!

What are your new years goals?

I’ve had some major health issues in the last few months so my writing has slowed down a bit, but my new year’s goals all center around breaking through my own personal barriers. I want to write something I’ve never done before -  new genre, a new format, something completely different. It’ll be a challenge but I’m up for it.

Our best to you Emily. 🙂

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