Interview With Joyce Oscar

 

                         Co-author of Justice on Hold

                

Joyce Oscar

Joyce OscarJoyce Oscar spent nearly thirty years in the field covering news at multiple television stations. After beginning her career in radio, she was one of CNN’s first video journalists, moving on to anchor and produce news for several television stations. Joyce has been a reporter for the top-rated television station in Atlanta, receiving broadcasting awards, including regional Emmy nominations.

I was recently introduced to Joyce by my friend, Dale Israel. I asked her if I could interview her for the Women's Book Reviews website and she graciously said, "Yes." We met at a Starbucks in Alpharetta on a Tuesday night.

Joyce and Debbie

THE INTERVIEW

Joyce, welcome to Women’s Book Reviews! It is a pleasure for me to be interviewing a local author.

Are you an Atlanta native?

No, I lived in Chicago as a child and moved to the Atlanta area in 1979. I never did like the cold Chicago weather.

What type of work did you do when you first arrived?

I worked for CNN as a video journalist. I moved to Augusta to be an on-air anchor and I also worked as an anchor in Chattanooga for a while. Eventually I was hired by WSB as a reporter and I was very fortunate to have been employed there for about 20 years.

What gave you the idea to write a book?

One of my assignments while at WSB was to interview Don Reichardt who was involved with Public Relations at Bell South. He asked me if I had written any books and I told him that I had thought about it --- had lots of ideas from my experiences as a reporter --- but had never done anything about it. He suggested that perhaps we could collaborate on one together. After that interview, I did not follow up with Don regarding his suggestion. However, a few years later we bumped into each other while we were both walking our dogs at the East Roswell Park. We discovered that we were neighbors in Roswell. Don suggested once again that we should work together on the writing project and this time we both followed up on that suggestion.

Having two authors seems like it might be logistically confusing. How did this work?

Don and I would meet periodically at Café Au Lait to discuss the story line and other specifics of our project. We decided that we would write a screen play that might be picked up by a television station for airing. We would then return to our respective homes and write parts of the screen play. We would send each other our drafts for editing and such. Then we would meet again at various locations to compare notes and discuss the progress.

Can you tell us briefly what Justice on Hold is about?

Grace Gleason is a reporter for a TV station and someone she knows, another female career women, is brutally murdered. Grace investigates the murder as part of her job and she starts to unravel the various clues. She cannot understand why the police seem averse to following the clues and to arresting the logical suspect. Her involvement in the investigation causes the suspect to stalk Grace, putting her life in danger.

Where did you get the idea for the book?

There was a murder that I covered while at WSB which haunted me for a long time. It took place in Atlanta and was never solved. Don had heard about a murder in Arkansas that was similar (but was solved), so we used some information from that story for the novel.

Did you model Grace Gleason after you?

No, not intentionally, but the fact that Grace was a reporter covering a murder logically means that we shared common experiences and outlooks. I named the main character Grace Gleason because I thought it was a name that reflected high moral character. I tried to show Grace as a good and dedicated reporter, but also as an individual with a personal life and family. Grace differs from me in that she definitely takes more risks than I was ever willing to take on my assignments. This certainly makes for a more interesting story!

You mention that you were writing a screen play, but today we are talking about a book that was recently published. Did I miss something?

We tried to sell the screen play, but there were no takers so an agent friend of Don’s suggested that we rewrite our “document” as a book. So…we started all over doing just that. We resumed our periodic meetings and our trading of materials back and forth by email.

Once the book was finalized we began to look for a publisher. The first publisher that showed an interest sent us a contract that was so long and complicated that I got scared off and refused to sign it. Later on, Unlimited Publishing said that they would like to publish the book and their 3-page contract proved to be more palatable for Don and me.

So what have you done to promote the book now that it has been published?

The book came out in the Fall and our publisher, Unlimited Publishing, recently put the book on Amazon, both print and Kindle versions. We have hosted a few book signings since the book was released. One such event was held at Paul’s in Garden Hills and another event was held at the Peerless Bookstore in Roswell. On February 11th, we will have another book signing at the Georgia Rib Company in Marietta at 2:00 PM.

We are really excited about meeting with different book clubs so that we can discuss our book and answer any questions that readers may have. We have made arrangements for Don and me to meet with three different clubs so far. We would love to meet with additional clubs, either in person locally or by phone for out-of-town groups. Please tell your readers to contact me if their book club would like to arrange such a gathering.

Do you have plans to write another book?

Yes, Don and I have actually already begun writing our next book in what we hope to be an ongoing series with Grace Gleason as the main character.

Is there anything else you would like to mention to our readers?

Yes, I want to mention that a portion of the proceeds that we get from the book will be donated to Domestic Violence causes. We feel strongly about the importance of giving back to the community.

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