From the Literary Mind of Darlene Jones
January 7, 2017
The Story of When The Sun Was mine.
When high school graduate, Brittany Wright, gets a job cleaning at Happy Hearts nursing home, she is terrified of old lady Flo and desperately wishes she could be in college instead. As an unlikely friendship develops between the two, Brittany discovers that Flo is in grave danger.
But, from whom and why? As Flo’s Alzheimer’s worsens, Brittany scrambles to save her. But, ironically, it may be Flo who saves Brittany.
For a read that will have you on the edge of your seat, get your copy of When the Sun was Mine now.
Question: Tell me about your newest book and what was the inspiration behind your writing it?
Darlene: When the Sun was Mine. I diverted from science fiction after writing the Em and Yves series to a contemporary tale about an old lady in a nursing home, who may or may not have Alzheimer’s, and a young girl who tries to help her.
I don’t remember the initial spark that set me on this venture, but it’s actually logical. I’m not an old lady yet, but getting closer than I would like. And I was an educator for over thirty-five years so young people figure in all of my writing. It wasn’t until I reread my books recently that I realized the kids are as important the in my stories as they were in my life.
Question: Why and when did you decide to become a writer?
Darlene: I remember wanting to be a writer ever since I was a kid. But it wasn’t until I wrote some “fan fiction” a number of years ago that realized just how vital writing was to me.
I rarely read short stories. Novels were my love so it was natural that I would try writing a novel. Initially, I had one book in mind, but the characters and plot took over and I needed four books to complete Em and Yves’ story, which would make a great TV series.
Question: What book has been the greatest influence on you and your writing and why?
Darlene: Hundreds of books have influenced me. I try to emulate those who write well, tell a good story, and get me thinking. One survey said that readers of fiction liked best the novels that they learned from. That’s true for me too.
I had the great good fortune to attend a week-long writing workshop with Robert J. Sawyer. I wouldn’t be working on my seventh book if it wasn’t for him. He is the kindest most generous of individuals and a natural teacher.
Question: Where do you find ideas for your books?
Darlene: From life experiences. For example, living in Mali many years ago inspired the Em and Yves science fiction and romance series. I wanted so much to wave a magic wand to make life better for Malians. I couldn’t do that, but I could create that sort of magic in my novels.
Question: Where do you find ideas for your characters?
Darlene: From what I observe of people and from my own life. Friends have told me they see me in my books. Again not something I did intentionally, but is likely natural and makes me wonder how much of the author is in the books I read.
Question: How would you describe your writing style?
Darlene: Direct and to the point, not flowery or poetic.
Question: What do you consider the most difficult part of writing a book?
Darlene: Getting the first draft on paper. Sorting out the ideas and incorporating new ones that pop up as I do an outline. Once that’s done, I write brief notes for each chapter, adjusting the outline as needed. Then I flesh out the chapters. I don’t worry about detail and refinement at this point. I just want to get it all down.
Once that first draft is done, I can start on the rewrites and editing, which for me are the most fun. My writing partner and I send chapters back and forth for critiquing as many times as necessary to get the story to the point of publication,
Question: What are your current projects?
Darlene: I’m working on a sequel to When the Sun was Mine. To say more would be a spoiler.
Click HERE to read more about When The Sun Was Mine.