Welcome back, Jayme. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Actually quite a bit! I enjoy writing in first person POV and I can’t help but experience the trials and celebrations along with my characters. A common thread in my books is visual art and my own passion in that arena plays out the lives of many characters. Many readers have said my writing has a literary flair and I suppose that’s the lens through which I see the world.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’d have to say agreeing to be dropped off by a supply helicopter on the top of the
Eiger Mountain in until the pilot could
return. I’m here to tell the story, so at least it had a happy ending! Switzerland
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Apart from my wildly imaginative stories as a child and my love-struck teenage diary, penning Chasing the Butterfly (that initially was only for me with no intention of publication), opened my heart to the passion for storytelling.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
So many that it’s a budget line item that’s been hard to wrangle—historical fiction, contemporary women’s fiction, biography, the Bible and Christian living, art history, technical art and writing books, and children’s and young adult classics. Toss in clean romance and strong female protagonists and I’m set for a good read.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
As much as I love people and lean toward being an extrovert, I definitely need my alone time—time to write, reflect, and talk with God. Since I love to take on new things, I’ve had to work hard to realize my limitations through a good dose of humility and honesty.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
For historical fiction, unearthing meaningful names from past anecdotes, books, and documents is like striking it rich—so exciting! The names have to sound right—have the correct beat—when read aloud. For RUSH, I used many of the actual names from my family’s history, including my great-great grandmother, her husband, and son.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I’d be fibbing to say publishing books doesn’t tickle-me-pink. However, the satisfaction that my husband and I have raised three boys into respectable and good men is the biggest accomplishment. We aren’t a perfect family (and I haven’t met one yet), but we love and value one another—cheering each other on in this wild life.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A horse, of course! I grew up riding and wished for a horse every time I blew out birthday candles (and still do). If I can’t own one, I may as well be one. There are several horses in my neighborhood, and I’m continually awed by their grace, strength, and beauty.
What is your favorite food?
Chewy, oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies are my love … my nemesis. I boldly admit I adore them beyond the moon and stars. Well, maybe that’s a stretch, but I can’t resist them.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I had it in my mind for a long time that I was failing as a writer because I didn’t write everyday and rebelled against a set word count—give me a number to meet and I didn’t want to write. Obviously, I was only deterring my own progress. When I realized it was okay to write in longer, power blocks that didn’t necessarily occur every day, I found my stride. Sure, there are times when a deadline looms and I kick into high gear. But for me, allowing wiggle room to write a great deal one day, and maybe none the next, is not the end of the world. I just have to make sure I don’t put myself out to pasture too long and instead, get back in the barn, saddle up, and ride (write!).
Tell us about the featured book?
Chasing the Butterfly has a dear place in my heart—not only was it my first book—but it was written because I had to write it—yes, it was one of those! In the past, I had traveled extensively in
, so it was the perfect place
to put a young artist struggling with tremendous losses, the aftermath of World
War II, and becoming who God intended her to be. It’s a beautiful story told in
first person through the eyes of an artist—sensory and descriptive in that
readers say they were transported to the poppy and lavender fields of France Provence and the allure of . Paris
Here’s the back cover copy for more insight: From a vineyard in the south of
the sophisticated city of ,
Ella Moreau searches for the hope and love she lost
as a young girl when her mother abandoned the family. Ella's journey is portrayed
through a heartbroken child, a young woman's struggles during the tumultuous
times surrounding World War II, and as a reflective adult. Through a series of
secret paintings, her art becomes the substitute for lost love--the visual
metaphor of her life. But when her paintings are discovered, the intentions of those she loves are revealed. Paris
Please give us the first page of the book.
I learned to run that day, really run. I gathered my scattered papers, knocking over the glass holding my new paintbrush. The blue-tinted water pooled around my knees and soaked the hem of my dress as it filled crevices between the stones on our front porch. I ran across the lawn and on to the gravel road leading to the center of town. It didn’t matter that the bottoms of my bare feet stung from the jagged stones.
I couldn’t stop. If I did, I’d never find her—she’d be gone. My long hair tangled and caught in the tears streaming down my face. Pushing it out of my eyes, it flew out behind me like a windstorm. My pale yellow sundress twisted between my legs and threw me to the ground. I lay there trying to breathe, then pushed myself up, hiked my dress to my waist, and ran full stride down the center of the road. My head was down, determined—running for my life.
I raised my head in time to see Papa’s car swerve onto the soft shoulder and skid to a halt. Except for the strained car engine, there was silence. I froze, gripping the hem of my dirty dress with one hand and my crumpled paintings in the other. Silhouetted by the setting sun, Papa leapt out of the car and ran to me. I tried to focus but my eyes were drowning.
Wow, Jayme. Your words are wonderfully lyrical. I haven’t read my copy yet, because of writing deadlines. But I must read the rest of your story soon. I have read Rush, and loved it. And I love the covers. I’m assuming you had a hand in them.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Visit Jayme’s website: www.jaymehmansfield.com to join her newsletter.
Jayme’s blog http://bit.ly/2FwTiL1
Amazon Author page: http://amzn.to/2BFZbU5
Goodreads Author page: http://bit.ly/2nu0dgQ
Thank you, Jayme, for sharing this book with me and my readers.
Readers, here are links to the book.Chasing The Butterfly - Paperback
Chasing the Butterfly - Kindle
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