CULTIVATING CREATIVITY: Showcasing the County through her writing

Joy Goddard and Daniel Pike

By Kiki Carr/Quinte Arts Council

Prince Edward County has been an inspiration for many writers. For Joy Goddard, with her husband Daniel Pike, she captured this spark in The Keepers, her newest book; an upmarket contemporary fiction steeped in mystery and love. It’s the story of financially struggling Beth who lives on her family’s vineyard with her granddad and aunt in the old farmhouse, her troubled son Alexandre, and a writer from New York named Richard who is living in Beth’s guest house for the summer. This emotional read takes you through a journey of relationships, the triumphs and pitfalls of running a winery, mixed in with a dead body found on the property. It’s the perfect story to keep you turning the pages.

Goddard wrote this novel with her husband, who assisted in research and preparation. Together, they visited wineries, learned about the industry and explored the surroundings.

“As a proud Canadian, I love to showcase the beauty of the country through my writing, and what better way than to take readers on a tour of Prince Edward County,” says Goddard. “It’s a foodie’s dream, a wine lover’s first stop. But I’m drawn just as much to the people, especially the farmers, who are the keepers of the land.”

Goddard is a retired teacher and now full-time writer who offers writing workshops and editing services. Most of her days start in her home office with the door closed at 8:00 am. The business of being an author is not always all about writing, and sometimes involves working on her blog, doing office work, editing, and preparing for teaching.

In her author’s note Goddard writes that if she could help “just one ‘Alexandre ’find his voice, my efforts would be well worth it.” Her goal is for her readers to find faith in the message: “if society lifted the stigma surrounding mental illness, sufferers would seek help and find hope.”

“Teenagers are notorious for hiding their feelings from adults for many reasons. They are afraid of getting punished for their actions. They are ashamed of themselves. They believe they are invincible. They are asserting their independence. As a teacher, I couldn’t count the times I heard parents say to me: ‘Who is this kid? I don’t know him or her anymore,’” says Goddard. “It is our responsibility as a society—as each other’s keeper—to take the shame from mental illness so that our kids will reach out when they need help before it’s too late.”

Now that The Keepers is on bookshelves (found at Books and Co. in Picton, and available on Amazon in eBook and paperback), Goodard is ready for her next adventure. She is currently working on a non-fiction book on “How to write a novel” to help aspiring writers get started. She’s also planning future writing workshops throughout Quinte and Prince Edward County. Find her at joygoddard.com.

This article was originally published in the Fall issue of Umbrella magazine, available now.