November 22, 2010 Interview Questions #9, #10 and #11

Thank you to Romance at Heart Magazine.  Here are my answers to their next 3 questions about my Goodbye Lie series.

- How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

I will never tell. I will say that some of the goofy scenes MIGHT be patterned after my personal "Lucy moments." I'm always writing about those crazy times in my newsletter (read my Gracious Jane Marie Newsletter archives at ) and now in my new Gracious Jane Marie Blog Blog Blog at .

- When did you first think about writing?
Here is the quick version. My husband lost his job. We were going to move from our home in Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida. I was heartsick. I was working at the local Christmas shop in our delightful seaside Victorian historic district. I thought writing a book would be a good way to remember our little town. When completed, I would put it in my daughter’s hope chest for future generations. So, since I love Victoriana and romance and mystery and suspense, I asked myself how hard could it be to write a book? That was 4 books in the series ago. (All 4 are written with Mark of Man and Sand and Sin coming as soon as they are edited.) Before I could begin writing, a man in a yellow slicker raincoat entered the shop selling his catch of the day, fresh shrimp. He had craggy skin, although he was probably only in his 40s, gorgeous blue eyes like those of a husky dog and auburn curls for which any woman would kill. When he left, I said aloud, "Jane Marie, you have your first character, his name will be Catfish, and he's going to be in your book.” And he is, in The Goodbye Lie!  (PS We returned to Fernandina two years later!)

- Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
Between one and two years what with the inclusion of life, death and politics (my husband was mayor of Fernandina Beach, Florida) plus keeping up our 800 plus page website and newsletter/blog blog blog and making all the tie-in crafts, etc. Rest assured, writing is my first love, after God, my family and my country.

November 14, 2010

Where Do Secret Pebbles™ Go?

Everybody loves Secret Pebbles™ because the secret in the pebble is what the giver and the recipient share.  I got to thinking. Who can say they didn't have Secret Pebbles™ in 1889, the year in which my historic novel Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow is set. So, just before my manuscript went to press, I wove Secret Pebbles™ into the story in four places.  The last place I tied in the pebble in, I was literally typing and crying, I was so moved.

So moved, too, are those who find the same sweetness and "ahhh" factor in Secret Pebbles™ that I do as I hand paint each of them, and we're talking hundreds and hundreds.  I've heard many a loving comment as to where they will end up.  Here are only a few fine examples that touch me:

The customer picks a verse and a pebble
 and it all goes into a clear ziplock bag,
then a white organza drawstring gift pouch.
  • I'm going to have my 50th wedding anniversary.  They are throwing me a party and I want to give a Secret Pebble to both my bridesmaids."
  • "I'd like you to paint 100 Secret Pebbles™ in my daughter's high school colors, green and yellow, for  favors for her Sweet Sixteen Party!"
  • A returning customer said, "A few months ago, I told you my husband and his son weren't speaking. He gave a Secret Pebble™ to his son and now they're talking!"
  • "My neighbor watched my cat for me."
  • "As a thank you, I put a Secret Pebble™ on the pillow of my dinner hostess to find after I leave." What a great idea. I now do this.-jmm
  • "My friend has cancer."
  • "I'd like a cross and angel verse for my sister who is going through a job loss.  She needs to be reminded she's not alone.
  • "My son is depressed because he'll be in boot camp during the holidays and I want him to know he's in our hearts."
  • "I need six for my girlfriends.  We may be in our 50s, but we're having a slumber party.  I want to put one on each of their pillows as a surprise."
  • "My friend is 92 and she lost her son.  I want to give her a pebble that doesn't remind her of her sadness, but that lets her know we all care about her."  The giver settled on the may angels watch over you verse.
  • "My husband is serving in Afghanistan and I want a red, white and blue heart for his pocket."
  • "My friends and I are going to Ireland next year and I've been looking for something to give all of them. A green heart or rose would be perfect."
  • "Can you paint hearts in peach and white for my wedding reception favors?"
As you can see, the reasons for giving Secret Pebbles™ are many and varied.  Those heartfelt reasons only increase my love of the pebbles and make me want to paint more!

To order Secret Pebbles™ for your special occasion, contact me at graciousjanemarie@yahoo.

November 9, 2010 Interview Questions #6, #7 and #8

Thank you to Romance at Heart Magazine. Here are my answers to their next 3 questions about my Goodbye Lie series.

 -Do your fans' comments and letters influence you in any way?
Certainly they do. I would be foolish not to listen to the fans. Having said that, if they want me to unite say, Carolena with the ax murderer two houses down the street--Well, I might and I might not. No tellin'. Where would the fun be if I didn't give readers lots of surprises? I know I've done my job when I hear a reader say, "I never saw that coming!"

- Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?
Folks have been very kind so I have lots of favorites, really. One is because it surprised me. It concerns the race of one of my characters. I wrote it one way and several folks have told me they think she is another race. It is because of her dialect. You will have to guess just who it is ...

- Why did you decide to write romance novels?
Because you are supposed to write what you like to read. I'm a girl and I like romantic things.

November 7, 2010

235th USMC Birthday

My husband, Bruce Malcolm, a former Marine, with friend Cal Atwood, an Iwo Jima Marine,
at the USMC birthday celebration in Fernandina Beach, Florida

Thank you all military men and women. 
We are grateful for your protection.