By Larissa Copeland
For Yukon resident Tiffany Gobble, an 18-month college internship with the Oklahoma Innocence Project lit a spark that ignited into a passion – and now has grown into a novel set to be released this week.
“I became really frightened at the error rate that’s in our system,” Gobble said. “Our criminal justice system is supposed to be our great leveler, but how can it be when there are so many errors?”
According to the OIP, Oklahoma is among the top 10 states in the nation in terms of the number of known wrongful convictions of innocent people.
“It happens here,” she said. “And the realization is that if you have an innocent person in prison, then you have a killer on the streets. That should encourage people to want to fix the system. It could happen to you, it could happen to me – it could happen to anybody. And that’s scary.”
Gobble said she spent her time with the OIP learning just how often human error could factor into the wrong person spending time behind bars.
Over a period of two years, Gobble honed her experiences down into her first book,“Deadly Opposition,” which hits shelves Tuesday.
“I spun several cases together and turned the story into the wrongful conviction of a woman in Texas,” Gobble said. “I based it in Texas because the state has more wrongful convictions than anywhere else in the United States.”
The novel follows a successful private investigator as she works to clear the name of a nanny charged with triple homicide after her employers are killed.
“I wanted to portray how difficult it is for someone who is factually innocent to get out of prison,” Gobble said.
While this is her first book, Gobble isn’t new to writing. She’s written blogs and several things for church, and the act of writing has always come easily for her.
“But I never thought about a book, ever,” she said. “Then my dad asked me what one thing was I wished I could do – and I said I would like to write a book.”
When Gobble learned in January that Electio Publishing had opted to publish her novel, she said she felt nervous.
“I think that’s how everybody is,” she said. “The first time someone puts their blood, sweat and tears in someone’s hands and hears that it’s good enough to be shared with the world, it’s scary. There’s fear of rejection or that people won’t like it.”
Now, she says she has several emotions wrapped up in the book.
“It’s humbling and it’s fun and exciting but it’s scary, all at the same time.”
With this book, Gobble said she hopes to raise awareness of the reality of wrongful convictions.
“I want this to start conversations,” she said. “I’ve interwoven some truth into it, things like cases where people have been proven innocent. I hope people will google some of it and, when they learn it’s actually true, start a conversation about it.”
For more information, visit www.tiffanylgobble.com.