Jayne Amelia talks with amazing, astounding and ever persistent Gay Courter.
Gay Courter is the author of 7 bestselling novels with over three million copies in print worldwide including The Midwife, The Midwife’s Advice, Code Ezra, River of Dreams, Flowers in the Blood, and The Girl in the Box. Her non-fiction works include The Beansprout Book and How To Survive Your Husband’s Midlife Crisis, and I Speak for this Child: True Stories of a Child Advocate, which was nominated for a Pulitizer Priz for non-fiction. She is also a distinguished travel writer. www.gaycourter.com
Gay has served as a volunteer in the Florida Guardian Ad Litem program since 1989 in which she acts as the court appointed advocate for neglected and abused children. Her book about her experiences, I Speak For This Child: True Stories of a Child Advocate, brought national attention to the cause. She has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Day One, NBC Weekend Edition, and in Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitorand other national publications as an expert on these issues and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Gay has also received the Child Advocate of the Year award in Florida for her work as a Guardian Ad Litem, the Sharon Solomon Child Advocate Award from the Florida Center for Children and Youth, and special recognition from the Florida Chapter of American Women in Radio and Television, Inc. for her work on Where’s My Chance? The Case for Our Children, which also won an Emmy. Gay received her second Emmy from the National Academy of Arts and Television Sciences, Suncoast Chapter, for a series of public service announcements called Solutions for America’s Children. She has been selected as one of the 10 most admired women in Citrus County twice—in the community service and arts categories.
In 2004, Gay, her husband, Philip, and daughter, Ashley, jointly won the Angels in Adoption from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and nominated by Congresswoman, Ginny Brown-Waite.
Gay is married to her collaborator in documentary films, Philip Courter. They have produced almost hundred films on child welfare topics and specialize in media about children’s issues and strengthening family. Clients include National CASA, the National Council of Family and Juvenile Judges, the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, and the North American Council on Adoptable Children. The Courters have two sons, Blake, a specialist in computer design development and engineer; and Joshua, an ethnographic filmmaker and builder/designer. In 1998, they adopted Ashley, then age 12, who spent 9 years of her life in Florida’s foster care system in 14 different homes. Ashley’s bestselling book about her experiences is called Three Little Words and is in development as a feature film.
Together the Courters continue to work professionally and personally so that other children will not be lost in the system like their daughter was.