Welcome back, Jayme. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I’m a storyteller (birthed from what I prefer to call tall-tales told as a child) and hanging out with my imagination is a favorite pastime. For me, fiction comes naturally, especially when history, art, and elements of love intertwine.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Amen to that! The others include marrying my husband nearly 28 years ago and the births of my three boys. Of course, bringing home our female Golden Retriever was a milestone among a house of males.
How has being published changed your life?
It didn’t happen immediately, but after committing to write more books, I stepped out of my twenty-year career as an elementary classroom and art teacher. Even though I’m convinced that, “once a teacher, always a teacher,” the extra time opened up several writing opportunities. I still tutor and teach art at my long-time studio, but my focus is writing—and I love it!
What are you reading right now?
A giant stack! Actually, I have two stacks but they are colliding into one, very Jenga-like tower. One stack has books about art forgery, art theft, and art history in preparation for my new series. The other stack has a special little gem, out-of-print long ago, but one of the best books I’ve read – Pioneering in the San Juan by George Darley. It’s his account as a Presbyterian minister going into the wild areas and mining camps in remote
in the late 1800’s. Colorado
Sounds interesting. I love reading books written in different historical eras. What is your current work in progress?
Ah, a little spoiler above … I’m taking on a contemporary series that’s laced with twists and suspense. Even though it’s not historical, the story of a famous 20th Century Modern painter is key in the plot and draws in the past. Delving into a new genre has been both challenging and exhilarating.
What would be your dream vacation?
Just the other day I was day-dreaming about resting under a palm tree and running my hands and bare feet through white sand—sounds pretty nice right about now! But, after a little nap in the sun and a dip in the ocean, send me off to the south of
for delectable food and glorious scenery. France
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Interesting question … I believe my characters dictate the setting. Chasing the Butterfly grew out of my travels to
images and sensory details filled the pages—and it was the perfect place for
Ella to “become.” RUSH is about my
great-great grandmother’s participation in the Oklahoma Land Run of 1893 so
that setting was a given. With my current work, I choose settings that I know
or have access to get to know. I’m a visual kind of gal, so putting myself in
the place is important to my story development. France
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I am a painter and that hobby brings me immense joy and relaxation. I also love to travel, play tennis, walk with my dog, and ski the beautiful
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
In initial drafts, I tend to write free form and descriptions and dialogue get long and complicated. I have to step away from my writing, often for several days, and then I read it with new eyes and voice—always making for much better writing! What I may have thought was eloquent, witty, or crucial, is better chopped and diced.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
If you are inspired to write, believe in yourself, take it on, and be patient in the process. I admit, writing books is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, but it is gratifying to know that God uses authors for his glory.
I grew up hearing about my “Oklahoma Grandma” and her participation as a young, single woman in the 1893 Oklahoma Land Rush. The time seemed right to tell her story. Fortunately, my family had stacks of letters, documents, and photographs that became the seeds of my research. Even though her story is fictionalized, it is largely based on truth—even many of the surprises! She was a strong woman—her faith, perseverance, and trust in God helped her survive and flourish in a wild and unwelcoming frontier.
Here’s the back cover blurb for a little more:
Mary Louisa Roberts won the race of a lifetime … or so she thought.
In competition with desperate homesteaders, ruthless land seekers, and a sheriff determined to see her fail, Mary rides out on a horse to strike her claim in the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1893. When she finally thrusts her flag into the dirt, 160 acres becomes her own. But with that claim, she risks more than she could ever imagine. A naïve school teacher and young mother abandoned by her hard-drinking, gold-seeking husband—whom she believes to be dead—Mary is faced with letting go of a past riddled with loss, hardship, and reminders that a woman isn’t capable of surviving on her own.
Daniel McKenzie, an illustrative journalist sent on assignment to document the race, has his own past to forget. Bound by a lost love and guilt from a haunting event in the streets of
, he wonders whether he will ever know
happiness again. Boston
Will Mary’s and Daniel’s stubborn and independent spirits keep them mired in the past? Or will two broken hearts find forgiveness and love in the wild plains of the
Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
Mary ~ Alone,
, July 14, 1893 Missouri
I can’t stop shivering when I sleep alone.
As I pulled the threadbare quilt higher, daybreak peeked in the window. Morning already, and he didn’t come home again last night. Disappointment and relief played tug-of-war in my mind. But what kind of wife did that make me, relieved my husband didn’t come home?
My eyes followed a crack in the ceiling that ran like a river going nowhere. My hands rested on my flat belly, wishing for it to swell again with a baby. But that was nonsense. There was no new life in me. How could there be when I felt as though I were dying inside? Besides, having another child wouldn’t make things better.
Tossing the quilt aside, I slid out of bed. The floorboards creaked beneath my feet. Despite the heat, I still wore Tuck’s grayed wool socks, slipped on last night before crawling into bed. When darkness fell on
my hope was that my husband would come home—at least for our son’s sake. But it
was to be another lonely night. Adair County, Missouri
I pulled my shawl from the iron hook and wrapped it tightly around my bare shoulders and thin, cotton nightdress. The logs from last night’s cooking had burned down hours ago. Only a faint glimmer of red pulsed from the ashes, determined to gain a last breath. I used the poker to rustle the fragile remains, urging them to life once again. A small flame darted, then receded as quickly as it had lashed out, reminding me of my own hurt and anger that was squelching the love I once had for my husband. But love was a requirement, wasn’t it? Especially for our son, six-year-old Wesley, who lay sleeping in the other room.
I, Aaron “Tuck” Roberts, take you, Mary Louisa Johnston, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do us part.
The promises were made nearly ten years earlier when the leaves were brilliant, and I was twenty-two. Like so many others, my husband’s sights—as well as my own—were focused on eventually heading west for a chance at a better life. Now, the words he promised played over and over in my mind, slowly losing momentum like the record on the phonograph, winding down, then silent.
The window felt cool as my head rested against the glass. “He’ll be home soon,” I whispered, wiping away tears that lately came too easily. Outside, the dirt road took on an auburn haze—the mid-July sun promising a new day.
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
Readers, here are links to the book.Rush - Paperback
RUSH - Kindle
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