Imagine a Writer’s World and an Editor Who Loves to Edit; Experience counts, rapport makes the difference.




LYLE ERNST WAS A TRUE ENIGMA:  His motto was, Experience counts, rapport makes the difference.

Rarely do you hear any writer say they love to edit, but if there was a business called “Editing ‘R’ Us”, Lyle Ernst would be the CEO.

No matter the content, or genre, he was there for the writer. He made himself available personally and one to one with any author he worked with.  His patience was part of the package deal when he was working with clients and his passion kept them on track. No such thing as writer’s block in his world. His fees did not reflect his talent and ability, but rather the fees told the story of a man who loved the written word and wanted to mentor and encourage any writer, of any level, to keep writing.

orange book pic 2


Imagine saving a lifetime of accumulated writings and thinking when you retire it will all come together and you would be published. I was such a dreamer. I found myself incredibly frustrated when I wanted to submit my works to editors, and found the expectations of submissions had gone “high tech, and meticulous”. Those weren’t anywhere close to describing my writings.

 I met Lyle at a writer’s conference and immediately contacted him.We met at his favorite business office, the Village Inn in Davenport, Iowa. I showed him my writing and my dilemma. I couldn’t even imagine trying to get queries, synopsis, and chapters ready for my novels submissions.

For his part, he admitted to being a little amazed at the number of completed books I had written and immediately set out to help me formulate a plan to reach out to publishers/editors ,and agents. He did some “Reality Therapy for a Writer 101″ per Lyle Ernst, and helped me through.

Today, Lyle has done edits on seven of my 15 books and helped me find “pro-bono” editing for my military book to salute pre-deployment issues on behalf of soldiers being deployed to Afghanistan. He helped me realize content needs and basic editing needs,  and was a resource for seeking out editors, agents, and submission planning. I don’t know where I would be without him, but I think the word “unpublished” would cover it. He helped me engage my writings into a photo journalism sideline, creating areas to fill my need for more “immediate gratification” than novels bring.

The thing that stands out is that you could multiply my experience by scores of other writer “wanna be’s” and struggling writers who needed the mentoring hand of an experienced and caring man. Thus, the “Literary Godfather” Lyle Ernst came to be.

I wanted to give this testimonial  so others  know he was the ‘real deal’ and for anyone beginning their career as a writer there was no one better. He created a very high bar in “paying it forward”. And so I salute Author Lyle Ernst for his caring beyond himself to mentoring other authors. I personally wish to thank him, knowing that without his intense encouragement and leadership, I would not be published today.

Lyle was many things to many people: I offer this photo album of pictures for those who knew and loved him, and for those who would have wanted too, had they known it.


The “River Man” loved all rivers, but the Mighty Mississippi was his passion, and in particular, the area of Prairie du Chien.


Lyle was one of the co-founders of the Mississippi River Writers and it was a catalyst to even more mentoring and expanding his involvement in helping writers “take the plunge.”


With the many hours he devoted to editing and mentoring, he still had time to fulfill his love of writing and his favorite writing partner was Ojibway author Kimberly Sigafus (McIver). Awards found there way to their writing series.


Lyle and Kimberly had just finished their release of the second book of the Mida series.



Lyle was one of the most avid readers and in many genres. How he was able to consume the volumes weekly that he did only added to the mystique of this Author, Editor, Mentor, Reader, Workshop presenter, News reporter, photo journalist, and husband, father, and friend extraordinaire.


Our last words are of thanks to Pat Jeffers Ernst. Thank you Pat for the many hours you shared Lyle with all of us. Thank you for your gentle spirit and loving care on his behalf. You my friend were the one who gave him encouragement, inspiration, and as he always said, “She’s my best content reader,” (and we all know how he valued and was inspired by that.) He credited you with his life’s success as you stayed at his side encouraging and believing in him.



About joycegodwingrubbs2

Some call me retired: I am RE-FIRED. I have written 15 books, plus 3 written as a "ghost writer". I no longer offer the novels as printed books, having them only available as Kindle Ebooks since my retirement as a novelist. Twelve books are on 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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