My guest today comes all the way from across the pond. It is a delight to have Life in a Box author, Jodee Neathery, on ‘Patricia’s Pen’. Jodee has come along to talk about writing.
Jodee Neathery on Writing
Writing…there are formulas, warnings of “always do,” like show don’t tell and “never do,” like start with the weather. Writers can use pie charts or snowflake patterns to create their novel, follow progression charts to build suspense, outline, or fly by the seat of their pants, to name a few options. We can become realistic writers setting our story in an actual location, tale writers charming the reader with beautiful language, or yarn writers proficiently telling outrageous lies that the reader believes, or I guess a combination of all of the above.
Writing is emotion, not an equation with a single solution. It’s that gray area that makes it an art by giving authors the freedom to find what is extraordinary in the ordinary or what is universal, meaningful, and human in the uncommon. My Nana, a born storyteller, instilled a sense of wonderment and endless possibilities in me at an early age. Her animated tales, especially the one about being a distant relative to one of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting, had me polishing my tiara for when it was my turn to be a royal. Nana embodied Oscar Wilde’s quote, “A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” I credit her keen perception and sense of humor for the person I am today and for what I have been able to accomplish.
My five-year writing journey to publication began with a story pouring from my heart, but after a person whom I highly respected read the first fifty pages declared it unpublishable, I could either give up or do what it takes to realize my dream. Life in a Box, published July 2017 is a character driven work of literary fiction asking the question, how much would you sacrifice to hide a secret? The novel alternates between a contemporary timeline and the 1900’s through the 1940’s and by the last chapter we learn the cost of protecting those we love. When you are fortunate to have a built-in base of colorful characters hanging on your family tree, it’s both fun and rewarding to create a story that salutes their uniqueness. I mourn they never witnessed me seeing the dawn before the rest of the world, but I suspect they held a heavenly book-signing party in my honor.
My new novel, A Kind of Hush, detailing how life is seldom a tidy affair exploring if there is a gray area between right and wrong is almost complete. A family of four is enjoying a summer outing when tragedy strikes…one parent survives along with their teenage daughter and young son found hiding in the nearby woods. Was this a tragic accident, or something more heinous, and if so, whodunnit and whydunnit?
My deepest gratitude to Patricia for allowing me to share my story. If you have any connections with the House of Windsor, please tell Elizabeth II I’m still waiting for her to ring me up. Tiara ready and willing to travel.
It was a pleasure, Jodee, and please do come back once A Kind of Hush has been released.
If anyone out there can help Jodee with connections to the House of Windsor, I’m sure she’ll be forever in your debt!
About Jodee Neathery
JoDee Neathery, born in Southern California, moved to Texas at the age of five. Midland, a postcard of small-town America, was populated by dreamers and doers and the friendliest people on the planet. Little girl under the covers dreams to dance on Broadway, become an author, sing like Streisand, and marry Paul McCartney all fell short with the practical side of making a living emerging into a career in banking and public relations recruiting. With retirement came time, her writing dream materializing into a novel, Life in a Box, loosely based on the colourful characters hanging on her family tree.
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