Quality Book Reviews Interview with Jeanne Gray author of At The Bus Stop
Jeanne Gray is the author of two books, which includes:
Where are you from?
Tell us your latest news?
I just gave birth to two lovely and phenomenal books, “Dumb Things People Say”, June 2006 and “At the Bus Stop”, September 2006
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing when my husband was diagnose with Lung Cancer, 2004 after he died about 8 months later; I used writing as grief therapy. This really worked for me. I was focus on writing instead of crying every night. Hence, two books in one year.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
At age 14, many moons ago.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After I published my two books.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My husband’s death. I wanted to write about how hard it is to be a caretaker and work 40 hours a week outside the home. But, at the time it was too hard to write about it. It hurt to bad. Writing Dumb Things People Say, was inspired after I realized that people were saying really dumb things all the time and no one really knows they are making these dumb statements. The statements are said with compassion but it just comes out dumb. It made me laugh and that’s what I needed at the time.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote both books in the year 2006. I’m 56 and I finally know what I want to be when I grow up. An Author.
Who or what has influenced your writing?
The death of my husband. I just wanted to get so much out and didn’t know how. With God’s gift and blessing He put it in my spirit to write.
How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
My environment had nothing to do with my writing.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m still trying to find it.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
Novels and children’s stories
How did you come up with the title?
My first book, Dumb Things People Say – Just listening to people from work, home, streets and television. My second book, At the Book Stop – Inspired from the grace of God.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My novel is based on many characters that meet up daily at the bus stop. However, I suppose the main message is to look at your on life and be thankful for what God has given you.
How much of the book is realistic?
None, but it sounds like it really can happen in these people lives.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not at all.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Inspirational books by quite a few well-known authors.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Joel Osteen, Bishop E Bernard Jordan, Paula White and Joyce Meyers.
What book are you reading now?
The Laws of Thinking by E. Bernard Jordan
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
What are your current projects?
Writing children stories (ages 4-12). I have already written about 10 stories so far, I am compiling them together to be published as one book with many stories. Hopefully, by next year I will be finish.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Close friends and co-workers.
Do you see writing as a career?
It’s possible, right now it is a Passion that I have found late in my life. I love it. Writing really makes my heart smile, when I am being creative. Plus, I find writing really relaxing.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes, At the Bus Stop – I would add about 10 more characters.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Yes, I was truly inspired by God.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Yes, At the Bus Stop deals with many characters that I meet at the bus stop daily and they start talking about their life experiences. If this were a non-fiction book, I would still be writing. People’s lives are very interesting there is no one story alike. It may sound similar but it’s not. The struggles, successes and love of life or lack of it are all different in each individual.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
No, I think my passion for writing makes it flow easy and I am excited about every character I write about. I can picture the person, the places and people they talk about. It’s all so real to me.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Bishop E Bernard Jordan, how he incorporates the secret of the universe with scripture. It’s phenominable.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No. I just let my imagination do all the work for now. Or just listen carefully at Dumb Things People actually say. However, I would really love to start traveling. There’s so many stories out there to write about. Especially, non-fiction genre.
Who designed the covers?
A great friend, L. Dean Gordon, author, film and television producer.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Creating more characters for At the Bus Stop. Trying to remember and record all of the dumb things people say on a daily basis.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Stop saying dumb things. Example: It’s snowing outside and you are sitting at the kitchen table having your coffee and looking out the window at the snow and either your kids or spouse asks, Did you know it was snowing out? Duh? See what I mean? All of these dumb questions are meant well it just comes out dumb when you really think about it.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Yes, stay focus. Make time for your writing. Turn that darn TV off and concentrate. Also, if you get writer’s block, no matter what just jot something down and look at it later, your thoughts will come but you must have peace and quiet so you can stay focus.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for your support. I am truly greatful.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It varies with subject matter, research (if any), and how much time you give to your project. Either you have a passion for writing or you don’t. There is no specific time. You want a quality project so it may take some time.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? After dinner, I go to my home office and create. Not every night but when I am inspired the most. Don’t write when you are tired. Your mind may wonder off in outer space. That’s only good if your are writing about space.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I must have peace and quiet, no radio, no television, no kids in my ear, no phone calls.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? At the Bus Stop – from my imagination. Dumb Things People Say – from everyday life.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?Enjoy each day of my life because I know that tomorrow is not promise to me. Keep a positive attitude about everything.
What does your family think of your writing?
Let’s see, They gave me a big coming out party, so I’m sure they are proud of me. Especially my daughters, grandchildren, sons-in-law, sisters and my mother. It was a fantastic party fit for an Author.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How easy it was for me to create each character.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? Two. Both because each one is a different genre. There’s Humor, Dumb Things People Say and there’s my novel, At the Bus Stop.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they? Just stay focus and discipline yourself.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? Yes, they liked both books. Some of my readers noted that even their children really enjoyed reading my Dumb Things People Say book. One reader commented that At the Bus Stop was so easy to follow and so realistic that I should think about making it into a play or movie. That was such a great compliment. It made my heart smile.
Do you like to create books for adults? Not books talking about sex a lot. One of my characters in At the Bus Stop, Fantasy, is a professional lady of the evening. I don’t go into sex. It’s clean and not over the top. I want my grandchildren to be proud of me and I want to write books they can read without being embarrassed.
What do you think makes a good story? A believable one. When you can actually picture yourself seeing each character and following there lives. You find yourself wanting more and not wanting the book to end.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Be a wife and mother. Of which, I have accomplished.
How do you feel overall about self-publishing?
I think it’s a great opportunity to see your work come to life and people actually will buy it.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of promotion for self-published authors?
It’s a great feeling when people ask for your autograph. It’s a kind of natural high as if you were told you won the sweepstakes for a few million dollars.
What do you feel is one major benefit to self-publishing your book?
You have total control of your work.
Would you encourage or mentor someone to become self-publish?
By all means. I am doing that now. I have advised many potential authors to start getting serious about their work. Take control and just do it. I even suggest various websites to help them get started. I love helping people, I believe if God help me, I can at least reach back and help someone else.
It’s never to late to pursue your dream, age is just a number use it to your advantage.