Author Spotlight with Chloe JonPaul
K.S. Hello and welcome to the blog. I am very excited to have you here. Why don’t we start off with a small introduction? Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ll simply share a few things I’ve accomplished since the age of 50. Otherwise it would be too lengthy (smile).
I have three published books since 2003: 2 non-fiction, 1 fiction
I won the Title of Ms. Maryland Senior America 2003
In 1996, I was the recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship Seminars Abroad award to South Africa
I was Lead facilitator for the Alternatives to Violence Project in prison and community workshops on conflict resolution for ten years
I was State representative for the National Family Caregivers Association’s caregiver community action network 2006-2008
I have traveled to all 7 continents of the world –fulfilling a lifetime goal in 2005.
K.S. Any interesting writing quirks or stories you would like to share with my readers?
I think the quirkiest story I can share is that I actually trashed this novel after I wrote it. My good friend Helene retrieved it saying, “You are NOT throwing this away!” So I took it back, shelved it somewhere, and practically forgot about it until last year when I began seeing things in the news about teachers that are actually in my novel that I wrote back in 1991. I said to myself: “Wow! Everything I’m reading is actually in my book!
K.S. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first novel? * see below
I have always loved to write – even as a young child but I never really thought about doing it seriously. As an adult, I wrote occasional articles for small magazines and newspapers.I started writing my first book in 2002.
K.S. What genre do you write?
My first 2 books are non-fiction and the novel would be considered literary fiction.
K.S. What would you say has inspired you most in your writing career? Or, who is your favorite author and why?
My high school English teacher, Margery Harriss, was a great inspiration for me. Now, laugh if you will, but Isaiah in the Old Testament and the Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are my favorites. They contributed to the Greatest Story Ever Told!
K.S. What does your family think of your writing?
My family has no interest whatsoever in my writing and I no longer share anything with them. I’m certain that I am neither the first nor the last in this category.
K.S. What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book?
Perhaps the most surprising thing was being able to get “inside the skin of the male characters – capturing their thoughts, words, and actions.
K.S. What inspired you to write your novel?
This came about as a result of having experienced the joys and sorrows of being a classroom teacher as well as the union activist I had been in the past… and as Vera says in the Prologue: “ because the story that claws at my brain and keeps me awake nights has to be told.”
I had lived much of what your readers will discover in reading about the problems teachers face in the classroom.
K.S. Can you tell us a little about your novel?
This is what is on the back cover:
Vera Harriss, Deidre Fletcher, Mark Pettingill, and Stu Martel are elementary school teachers in the fictional town of Blevins, Maine whose secret, private lives change dramatically as you read.
Vera, who is about to retire, vents her anger during a Board of Education meeting with a speech that brings the audience to its feet. Why does Deidre, an exceptional teacher, leave the job she loves to become a corporate trainer down South? Then there is Mark, the perennial job hunter looking for a corporate position with more prestige and pay but then turns down the perfect offer when it finally comes through. Stu, one of the most popular teachers in the school,struggles with a deep, dark secret that he can only share with Deidre. What causes Stu’s untimely death?
Vera Harriss, Dee Fletcher, Mark Pettingill, and Stu Martel are eager to share their intriguing secrets and entangled lives with you.
K.S. Where can we find your novel?
If your readers visit my web site, all the major bookstore locations are listed there.
K.S. Do you have a website, fan site, or Blog that we can visit?
My web site is www.chloejonpaul.com. I have a fan site on Facebook for This Business of Children.
K.S. Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers?
My closing advice is simply this:
* Identify your target audience.
* Network with like-minded people.
* Prepare an outline of what you want to accomplish.
* Set a date for completion.
* think POD: persistence,organized, determined