Author, Editor, Lyle Ernst. Dream Taskmaster to the Literary-dreamers, and Champion to the “Indies’ ” successes


When your best buddy puts on Facebook that he has Stage 4 lung cancer and won’t be on Facebook while “fighting the good fight,” a get well card just doesn’t cut it.

lyle-c-hope-and-rbecca

Lyle and I were an “unlikely” couple to become best buddies but we did because we both have this piece of common ground. “At the end of the day, we love people who love to write.” Those who want to be published, want to share their ideas and stories, and those who are willing to WORK to make it happen.  Whatever the hold-up; money, editing, lack of confidence, a need to be “traditionally published only”, and those, like me, who just want to be read so voices and stories of the un-sung heroes and sheroes of the victims and survivors do not die.

(“See how long that sentence was? Where’s my editor when I need him??? Lyle?)

Let me take you back to our first meeting and bring it forward. You might understand us better after you can see our friendship as it came together. 

It was so cold and I was nervous as I grabbed my leather portfolio and hurried to my appointment, struggling in heels across the icy parking lot of the Village Inn in Davenport. So many meetings in my career had been held there, day and night. It was like a “safe place” to meet and not be shooed out the door by staff, many of whom I’d known on a first name basis for almost 20 years.  Confession is good for the soul and makes me admit that my meetings often went on for hours. I am a talker. I am a stickler for research, and I have to know the people I am involved with. With this new man, Lyle Ernst, I was headed into uncharted waters as I entered and scanned the room. Then I spotted him and the wait staff smiled and nodded toward him. “He’s been waiting for you.”

I had seen pictures on the internet when I googled him and had a preconceived notion as to what he was going to be like. However, nothing could have prepared me for “Editor, Author, Lyle Ernst”. The first words out of his mouth were not words; the sound was laughter. “I saw you getting out of your vehicle and didn’t know whether to come help or watch you blow away from the wind.”  Full laughter now.

 

Lyle's laugh is the most identifiable and memorable thing about him. It is infectious and yet reassuring as it comes from a good place and is sincere. Few people have ever gained my trust because of their laugh. Lyle ranks #1

Lyle’s laugh is the most identifiable and memorable thing about him. It is infectious and yet reassuring as it comes from a good place and is sincere. Few people have ever gained my trust because of their laugh. Lyle ranks #1

 

I tried to project my business-like persona but he kept coming up with these side-ways zingers and laughing as though it didn’t matter if I did or not. He had short grey hair that still boasted some reddish-brown top hair. Glasses and a beard made me think they were the only “sedate” thing about him, and his glasses were a necessity but the beard was just that touch that rounded out his “cocky” look. At his side on the seat of the booth was a hat he undoubtedly wore fondly. It was what I called a “cocky hat” and the fact it came from Oklahoma made it all the more notable to an Okie like me. I had already identified him as a “grizzled, rascal of a newsman” and I was not disappointed. He could have been a character in one of my books. 

lyle-with-cocky-hat

In his signature hat, with his eye’s twinkling, we spent so many hours conferring at “our office” (The Village Inn) where he drove the waitresses into fits of laughter, and always ordering a Miller Lite and being shocked “they were out”.

I had already written 4 novels and was here to get his input on how to get them “out there.”  I didn’t write a best-seller, I knew that. But I did write to champion victims and survivors of rape/sexual assault and domestic violence. I wrote to champion the men and women who struggle with those issues, and those who help them and guide the highest risk victims underground. I wanted to “inform” and help people who know nothing about the hurt and pain of victims, to learn to empathize and perhaps be drawn in to help. Mostly, I just needed to be read to accomplish all of that.

I needed Lyle to guide me through the process of publication, perhaps help me write a more appealing cover letter, and most of all, I needed a trustworthy, experienced, and aggressive ally to help me counter the way my work was perceived. Now to find out if he was the one.

Already 60 I knew my viable years as an author were limited. I also was aware my health would be strained to the limits making book signings which are crucial to the success of any author and especially one who didn’t have “time” in the 21st century timeline to traverse the maze of publicists and the hoops one had to jump through just to be screened. I had already had some responses from some of my submissions, but despite a cover letter revealing the clear disclosure that the events in the books were all from real cases though “disguised” through creative fiction, I would receive back good responses but inevitably somewhere it would point out some part in the book and say “this would never happen.” In the beginning I would be indignant and write back “if it was in the book, as the cover letter said,  it has already happened in a real case . These are the voices of the victims/survivors.”

Author pic with books orange

Author Joyce Godwin Grubbs after Lyle Ernst helped her get more than a dozen novels “out there.” He was everything needed; at times editor, at times content reader, at times a sounding board, and at all times, my friend and champion.

 

That was the beginning of a now, 12 year friendship and a most amazing find in my long years of people watching and working with the “good, the bad, and the ugly.” I did not know it then, but I had just scored a lifelong friend that at no time in my years of knowing him, ever exhibited any self-promoting or selfish desires for himself. I had been thrown into the “world according to Lyle.”

When I had a stroke while writing Footsteps Out of Darkness, a memoir with Annabelle Kindig, I had trouble completing some interviews. Lyle to the rescue and he became an important team member and instrumental in helping us wrap up the story in the promised time-line to meet distribution needs for the 40th anniversary of MESA (Moving to End Sexual Assault) in Boulder, Co. He kept Annabelle and I laughing to the very end of a very tense, highly-risky. timeline. 10 months, beginning to end.

annabelle 3 optimists

I believe Margaret Atwood’s quote was the only one that fit our mindset about the completion of Footsteps Out of Darkness; the Annabelle Kindig Story.

An elegant affair which had to change venues to accommodate all who wanted to attend. Ironically it was an overflow crowd with many of the organizers choosing to stand along a back wall for the presentations, to accommodate the over-flow crowd.

An elegant affair which had to change venues to accommodate all who wanted to attend. Ironically it was an overflow crowd with many of the organizers choosing to stand along a back wall for the presentations, to accommodate the over-flow crowd.

LYLE, HERE ARE SOME REMINDERS OF ALL THOSE YOU HELPED AND MANY THAT YOU WORKED WITH, AND ESPECIALLY MANY YOU LOVE; SO FIGHT, LYLE,FIGHT.

lyle-with-matthew

YOUR “BUDDY” GRANDSON MATTHEW; YOUR PRIDE AND JOY.

 

lyle-ernst-cubs

YOUR CUBS, YOU’VE BROUGHT THEM THIS FAR, LET’S GO FOR THE WIN !

lyle-and-pat-at-style

THAT BEAUTIFUL WOMAN WHO LIGHTS UP THE ROOM FOR YOU. YOU TWO WERE CERTAINLY “STYLING” THAT DAY.

lyle-and-tony

YOUR FELLOW AUTHORS LIKE TONY STILL NEED YOUR “TWO CENTS WORTH”

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lyle2

For Lyle, it was never about the money when helping others to write, edit, market, encourage or guide those needing help. He wrote for the love of writing, and did so with gusto. He was a news reporter, a non-fiction and fiction writer and known to most of us as “The River Man.”

YOU AND KIM HAVE MANY MORE BOOKS TO WRITE AND FINISH; the-mida-2

And while many would recognize you more readily in casual clothes, they would love to see you with your books and collections.

lyle-suit-and-book-cases

lyle-bd-collage

AND I FULLY INTEND TO SEE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER OF MY WONDERFUL BIRTHDAY COLLAGES OCTOBER 31 WHILE SIPPING MILLER LITE.

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lyle-3-color-announcement

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AND THIS, YOUR LABOR OF LOVE FOR SO MANY YEARS, READY TO GO; I THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO BE A CONTENT READER AND WORK ON THIS WITH YOU. IT WAS MY HONOR AND A TIME OF FUN AND PRIDE IN SEEING WHAT YOU HAD ACHIEVED. YOU MY FRIEND SHOWED ME WHAT IT MEANT TO WRITE OUT OF PURE LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP.

 

lyle-river-man

Lyle’s love of the Mississippi River is legendary. He also has a love of writing about rivers and their small towns that cluster near them. That is why to many he is known as “The River Man.”

 

And above all Lyle, when we talk about fighting the evil “C” word, keep in mind the words of Robert Frost.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

 

http://www.editorwriterfreelanceauthor.webs.com/

 

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About joycegodwingrubbs2

Some call me retired: I am RE-FIRED. I have written 15 books, plus 3 were written as a "ghost writer". I no longer offer them as printed books having them only available as Kindle Ebooks since my retirement as a novelist. Twelve books are on Amazon.com Kindle eBooks: collectively they are known as The Greyhound Lady Walking suspense series.They are real cases fictionalized into suspense stories to protect identities..( no victim/survivor names were compromised, and workers and locations were protected.) I also co-authored a non-fiction book: Footsteps Out of Darkness: The Annabelle Kindig Story . It is available on Amazon under the name of Annabelle Kindig. I have traveled, written from the heart, and found an audience that appreciates my "platform". The catalyst to writing the novels was the realization that if I died, I would take all my amazing experiences in these real cases with me; and believe me few have lived 5 lives in one. It would "silence the voices" of the victim/survivors whose triumphs are written into these novels. The suspense series was written in part with the collaboration of police woman and sex crime expert Trula Ann Godwin. In addition to the novels, I have written as a ghost writer for a World War II veteran who fought in the South Pacific aboard the USS Maryland in all the major battles. I have also written a non-fiction book recording oral history stories of my family members beginning with the 1930's to present. There are sixty-six "legacy" stories with pictures. It was recently published as a private printing for family and close associates only. I am a published photo journalist having won the 2009 Editor's Choice Award for internet freelance news articles and pictures of the Cedar Rapid's Iowa flood victim accounts and their personal struggles.. My husband and I are in our 52nd year together (only one blip on the marital radar together), and we have adopted three greyhounds; Dex, Big Buddy and Baby Doll. These were the inspirations in the Greyhound Lady Walking suspense series We have eleven grandchildren, 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. My three children live in Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio.
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