Wednesday, September 26, 2007

By C.S. Bezas

Life is tough at times. Therefore, it's encouraging to read of individuals who bless the lives of others and who help make our earthly experience a little more gentle.

Such an individual is Jewel Adams. She is the author of several books. The most recent is titled, Against All Odds. Jewel was kind enough to share a few thoughts with me. I think you'll enjoy reading her words.

C.S.: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is something that those who know you might not know?

JEWEL: Well, I was born and raised in Asheville, NC. My husband and I have eight children, all of whom I have home schooled. Let's see, something people don't know. Well, everyone tells me that I don't have an accent at all, but if you standing close by while I'm on the phone talking to one of my relatives, the southern drawl snaps right back in.

C.S.: You have several books out. What has been one of the hardest things for you as a novelist?

JEWEL: Getting used to rejection:o) Having my work picked apart, even though I know it's usually for my own good and the good of the novel.

C.S.: What has been the easiest?

JEWEL: Coming up with story lines. My imagination usually works overtime. Sometimes that's good, sometimes it isn't.

C.S.: When you begin a writing project, how do you start? How does it start?

JEWEL: Subjects also come easy for me because I've had so many experiences, some good and some bad. But for me, the first paragraph is everything. If I can't draw a reader in with the first paragraph, then I feel like I've failed.

C.S.: How disciplined are you as you write?

JEWEL: It's funny but I have two specific time during the day that I write. Noon til 2:00 and after 9:30 at night. Those are the times that my family says I'm 'in the zone.' Once I'm there you can't talk to me because I literally do zone everything else out.

C.S.: What kind of responses have you received from readers about your novels?

JEWEL: So far everyone has loved them. I keep all the emails I get, and when I'm feeling a little down or unsure about my writing, I just pull those out and it gives me an instant boost.

C.S.: What other kind of creative projects do you have going? Or are you strictly a novelist?

JEWEL: I'm pretty much just a novelist. I am working on a YA romantic fantasy right now, which is totally out there for me. I love fantasy, but I never thought I would attempt to write it myself. My project, however, is not your normal fantasy. The book is called "The Journey," and it is set in another world and based on life and the choices we make. I excited to see how it turns out.

C.S.: What do you believe sets you apart from other writers?

JEWEL: Most of my books deal with interracial couples. It's what I know and I'm told you write about what you know:o)

C.S.: If you were to name one gift the Lord has given you, what do you feel that is?

JEWEL: It would have to be the gift of imagination. Without it, I know I would never have been able to get through so many things I've had to deal with in life. I'm grateful for that gift.

C.S.: What do you view as the purpose for gifts and talents?

JEWEL: To touch the lives of others, as well as ourselves.

C.S.: Do you have a favorite scripture? Something that helps you on difficult days?

JEWEL: Actually, I have two favorites. Revelations 3:21 and 2 Nephi 31:20 Both talk about overcoming and enduring to the end.

C.S.: If there were one thing you would tell a new writer or somebody seeking to better their personal gifts, what would it be?

JEWEL: Just think positive. You're going to face opposition, but you can do anything you set your mind to.

C.S.: What kind of helpful resources are there for LDS writers?

JEWEL: Well, there are writer's groups, LDStorymakers for one. It's pretty neat getting feedback and tips from other authors. There are also books written by LDS authors that offer tips and suggestions on writing.

C.S.: Do you have any favorite writers? Favorite books?

JEWEL: Oh, yes, but there are too many to mention. I would have to say though that my two top favorite writers are Richard Paul Evans and Chris Stewart. My top favorite books are "The Last Promise" and "The Great and Terrible" series.

C.S.: What does your family think about your books?

JEWEL: My oldest daughter is a total romantic like myself and she loves them. My husband has never read my books, even though I've told him that my male characters have his attributes, they're just a little younger and have more hair. (Laugh) The rest of the kids just know their mom writes books.

C.S.: How did you first begin writing?

JEWEL: I started by writing a book about my life. After that, I started doing fiction and giving some of my female lead characters some of my experiences. That way I'm able to share a little of myself, only my characters are a lot more interesting.

C.S.: Any final thoughts?

JEWEL: You know, I just love writing, and if I never got another book published, I would keep doing it. There's just something magical about giving life to people who only exist in your mind.

We at wish Jewel and her family the best. May she continue to bless the lives of many! For more information, visit Jewel Adam's website.

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