G: Hi Jewell, I’d like to ask you about your book, Where the Birds of Eden Sing.
j: Oh, you mean the one that’s selling like hotdogs at a vegan convention?
G. Oh, don’t worry about that. It will sell. Don’t get discouraged.
j: I like your confidence.
G: That’s what you need, and maybe a little business acumen. But wait, I wanted to ask you why you wrote it. I loved it. I liked your take on life. I liked that you used your life experience to add to the saga of a family. You had a book published under the name of Joyce Davis, why did you use a nom de plume with this one?
j: Indiana Jones or Dr. Henry Jones Jr., which do you like better?
G. Ah ha, you have a point.
j: Indiana named himself after his dog. So did I. Jewell, my beautiful Shepard Malamute cross, so filled my heart, that I named myself after her.
G. I love it. Okay, where did you come up with the character Miss Sara Rose?
j: It’s been so long I hardly remember why the name came to me, but I remember hearing a publisher say that all heroines need to be young and beautiful. Out of rebellion, I decided to write about a 65-year-old woman, a retired school teacher, unmarried, alone. She isn’t young, but she is beautiful, I couldn’t resist. A friend told me, “A spinster lady? That won’t fly.” Yes, it will. Everyone wants their life to be meaningful and exuberant, no matter what age. Sara goes for her dream--to ride a river in Africa, you never know when you step into the unknown. Her motto: “When you start weaving, the gods will provide the skein, worked for her.”
G. And Patrice, I adored her.
j: Sara’s Granddaughter, a child of Africa. You know how we grown-ups can effort something, then a young one comes along and writes her own story. That’s Patrice.
G: I got a kick out of the Reverend Creswell dinner, where he tried to woo Sara, and she had no part of it.
j: Somehow, that dinner and the encounter of the evening seemed familiar to me, not that I had ever witnessed it. It had the flavor of times past, of people I’ve known, of small-town America—like a contractor who uses a slide rule, and always wears a white shirt with the sleeves rolled to the elbow and a pen in his breast pocket.
G: There was the Riverboat Captain, his and Sara’s romance was pretty hot, and his boat, The Rocinante, what a pair.
j: A broken-down old tub named after Don Quixote’s horse. See what happens when you start weaving…
G: There’s Book II, and another Sara, a young one, a namesake of the first. She and Ryan had quite a love affair, but Sara Rose was no slouch either, pretty amazing for a 65-year-old woman.
j: I began writing about Sara before I knew how a 65-year-old woman would feel, but when I got to be 65, I knew I was on track. Sometimes when you think life is winding down, you find the best is yet to come. When Sara Rose met Clyde Dales, the painter on the pier, I had no idea, his painting would become illustrious, sought after, and wrought with intrigue. The Great Powers That Be have tricks up their sleeve.
G: Why did you self-publish after you found a publisher with your book, The Frog’s Song?
j: Once I had a manuscript picked up by a publisher, I didn’t need the ego hit of someone liking me. I wanted Where the Birds of Eden completed and published in my lifetime. It took two years from acceptance to publication with The Frog’s Song, and then an author needs to promote their own book. I figured I might as well do it myself. I wanted to give my characters life and to see if my little bird would fly.
G: I believe it will. Thanks, Jewell, I appreciated talking with you.
j: My pleasure Thank you for your interest in me, and Where The Birds of Eden Sing.