We figured we should kick off our blog with introductions. This week it’s time for G. S. Norwood stories.
She’s the younger Weird Sister behind Weird Sisters Publishing. Yes, we know the legend says there were three, but we figure there’s enough weirdness to go around with just Gigi and Jan (who actually are sisters in real life).
Of course, three authors’ work did inspire the creation of the company. We suspect Warren C. Norwood would’ve laughed to learn he’d someday be an “honorary Weird Sister.”
As Gigi has often pointed out to her nephew and niece, Tyrell E. Gephardt and Signy Gephardt, life is full of odd twists and turns. No essay introducing G. S. Norwood and her varied career could fail to reflect that–but in some ways her life has been remarkably consistent.
An early grounding in the arts
Gigi and her sister were more or less doomed to a life as arts professionals. Their mother was an art teacher. Their father taught drafting and design. All G. S. Norwood stories spring from this fertile ground.
Since her older sister was a seriously amazing visual artist with a beautiful soprano voice, Gigi went into theatre and instrumental music, where there was less competition.
She got her BFA in Theatre and Interpretation, but dropped out of band when she realized she’d have to get up really early all summer long and march. Being a night owl with kinesthetic dyslexia, she understood that marching band would not play to her strengths.
Writing, however, was a constant. She took her first stab at storytelling when she was four. The story didn’t have a strong plot, and the characters were a little sketchy, but it had something to do with horses and ghosts—subjects she still enjoys. And who knows when they might resurface in G. S. Norwood stories?
Another constant: the family always included at least one animal, usually several. They were mostly dogs and cats, but an early home adjacent to a wooded area introduced snakes, box turtles, a nest of hatching lizards, at least one Black Widow Spider, and many more. Connection to the natural world was another early theme in her life.
A consistent arts orientation
As a professional, Gigi has written political speeches, press releases, brochure copy, radio commercials, and feature stories for a major regional newspaper.
Her community leadership connections and newspaper work also brought her into contact with local police. She has volunteered in two law enforcement offices, and made friends in law enforcement. They now help her enliven her police characters, and create realistic portrayals for current and future G. S. Norwood stories.
After a stint in the corporate healthcare world she fled home to the arts. She’s written grant proposals for the Van Cliburn Foundation, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and many others. She is currently back on the production side of the desk as Director of Concert Operations for the Dallas Winds.
Married for seventeen years to writer Warren C. Norwood, she has written a number of novels, short stories, and blog posts. Deep Ellum Pawn grew out of her affection for the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, and her working knowledge of musical instruments, regional folklore, and all the other odd bits of stuff that have piled up in that store room behind the pawnshop.
IMAGE CREDITS: All images in this post are from the family archive, owned by Jan S. Gephardt, G. S. Norwood, and the Norwood-Gephardt family. All rights reserved. If you wish to repost or reblog any of them, please include an attribution and a link back to this post.