Happy Halloween!!! Today I’ve got a Meet the Author interview to share with you. I’m talking to the lovely Jeanne Felfe about not acting like a normal teenager, dirt under her nails and her most recent book, Bridge to Us…..
Mostly Women’s Fiction, with or without a central love story
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I grew up in hurricane country, but am now land-locked in the Midwest. When I’m not writing, I can usually be found with dirt under my nails as I tend to more plants than any one human should be allowed.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always been a reader and loved writing as a child. I dabbled off and on for decades until I finally got down to business and finished my first novel.
How many books have you written and published?
1 novel. 1 multi-author anthology
How do you choose the names of your characters?
That depends on the story. In my first novel, the names just floated into my consciousness and all but one name stuck. In one of current WIPs, The Things We Do Not Speak Of, I have a family of Somali refuges and I did research to find names with particular meanings. For instance, the MC, Cadey (pronounced Key-ai-dee and later named Aniela, which means messenger of God) – her name means fair skinned because she’s so much lighter than the rest of her family.
I’ve found that names either just come to me and stick, or I seek out a name with a meaning that fits some attribute of the character.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
Probably Julianne (Jules, Jewel from Bridge to Us) because she’s a nurse and could take care of me when (inevitably) I get sick from some horrid island disease brought on by eating coconuts.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
Hands down, Jodi Picoult Leaving Time is my favorite because of elephants. I spent 9 days in Tanzania in 2017 and saw lots of elephants and their families. Leaving Time is all about the matriarchal society that surrounds elephants. It’s truly a beautiful story.
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
Numbers. I know it sounds strange, but I had a weird obsession as a child. I’d sit and write numbers starting at 1 and going as high as I could. I have no idea how old I was or why I did this.
But the first piece of true fiction I remember writing was in high school. It had a lot of seedy elements and my mom found it and totally freaked out. Although she was also an author, she wasn’t quite sure what I’d written was made up and thought I’d gotten myself into all kinds of trouble. I guess that means I did a good job of portraying the character.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
Many jobs prior to going back to college for a Computer Science degree. After that I spent 30 years in the technology field and retired from a large corporation after 26 years 7 years ago.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
Back to my teenage self to tell her that writing could be a career choice and to follow it if that’s what she desires. I’d tell her don’t wait until you’re older – do it now.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Probably my mom so I could hand her my published novel, Bridge to Us, and show her my success. She was one of my early supporters but passed before I could publish.
What are your favourite things to do?
Watch various TV shows (I’m totally addicted to Shameless and This is Us), hang out with the hubs, or friends, and make things grow. I have a knack for growing tropical plants in the Midwest where they aren’t hardy. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also enjoyable to see what I can produce.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
Almost meeting Micky Dolenz (the Monkees). He was apparently staying in a hotel my high school drill team was in. All the other girls got all gaga over him and raced downstairs. I stayed in the room to talk on the phone with my boyfriend. So not all that strange really, except that I should have acting like the teenage girl I was.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Write. And then write some more. Keep writing. Don’t let life interfere so much.
Name one book you think everyone should read?
Jodi Picoult – A Spark of Light. Regardless of which side of the abortion issue one might stand on, taking a step back to try and see it from the other perspective could go a long way to helping each side be more understanding of the other. This novel does this beautifully without preaching, without condemning, and without making a call for which side is right. Because truthfully, neither side is 100% right.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
Bridge to Us is book 1 in the A Love Lost and Found Novel series. I don’t write traditional romance…I write love stories. Although a love story is the central theme, there’s a lot more going on. It’s all about second chances – chances at new love, chances at rediscovering lost goals.
Julianne has just been dumped by her husband and is trying to find her new normal. She’s trying to reconnect with who she was before she said “I do” and sets off on a path toward something she’d left behind. Jokob is still grieving the death of his wife. He’s so closed off he finds it difficult to consider a new relationship. They meet and fall in love, but life has other plans and Julianne is torn between new love and following her own path.
The easiest place to find it is at http://BridgeToUsBook.com
Where to find Jeanne online: Twitter
Thanks so much for your interview Jeanne! It’s always fascinating to learn about authors and what makes them tick! And I’m very envious of your plant growing ability!
Any questions/comments for Jeanne – you know what to do!
Enjoy your Halloween 🙂