Today we have the privilege of visiting with Jean Williams. Her middle grade novel, Just Claire, may appeal to more than just the younger generation for which it was written. ClaireLee has to face some tough situations in this story. Let’s take a look.
ClaireLee’s life changes when she must take charge of her siblings after her mother becomes depressed from a difficult childbirth. Frightened by the way Mama sleeps too much and her crying spells during waking hours, ClaireLee just knows she’ll catch her illness like a cold or flu that hangs on through winter. ClaireLee finds comfort in the lies she tells herself and others in order to hide the truth about her erratic mother. Deciding she needs to re-invent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls.
With her deception, ClaireLee weaves her way into the Lavender Girls Club, the most sophisticated girls in school. Though, her best friend Belinda will not be caught with the likes of such shallow puddles, ClaireLee ignores Belinda’s warnings the Lavenders cannot be trusted. ClaireLee drifts further from honesty, her friend, and a broken mother’s love, until one very public night at the yearly school awards ceremony. The spotlight is on her, and she finds her courage and faces the truth and then ClaireLee saves her mother’s life.
Welcome, Jean! This looks like it could be an emotional story. What inspired you to write Just Claire?
My own childhood was wrought with hardships when my mother became ill and began a live-long descent into mental illness. I wanted to write a book I wish I would have had to help give me hope during this time in my life as a child.
I’m sure your own experiences will go a long way toward encouraging young people facing similar difficulties. What do you hope your readers take away from the story?
There is hope and you are not alone in your struggles as a young person.
You know even better than I do how very important that message is! Why did you choose this particular setting, and have you been there?
I chose this setting because it is a real place where my own childhood came to an end, and grownup responsibilities became my life.
It’s a special spot for you, then. Can you give any hints about what you’re working on now?
A sequel to Just Claire with her continued struggles with the Lavender Girls and forgiveness.
Forgiveness is another of those challenging topics! What is one thing you wish you had known before you began writing/publishing?
I wish I had known as a child that I had dyslexia, so I could have learned how to overcome it in my writing before I began the craft of writing. Instead, I wasted the first few years of my writing career being confused about sentence, paragraph, and scene placements. These basic structures were all a scramble in my head, until I understood my backward thinking process.
That would make things difficult! Would you share something that the Lord has been teaching you recently?
Patience, patience, and more patience in all things.
Yes, Lord, please give me patience — right away! 😉 I think many of us could relate to that ongoing lesson. Thanks for taking the time to visit with us today, Jean!
Author Jean Ann Williams, the eldest in a large family, enjoys digging into her fascinating childhood to create stories for children. Having written over one hundred articles for children and adults, Just Claire is her first book. Jean Ann and her husband live on one acre in Southern Oregon where they raise a garden, goats, and chickens. Her favorite hobbies are hiking through the woods and practicing archery with her bow.
You can connect with Jean online:
Just Claire trailer: https://youtu.be/s8x5lJKZFHU
Jean’s blog: http://jeanannwilliams.blogspot.com/
Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Jean-Ann-Williams-848295125269670/?ref=hl
‘Just Claire’ Giveaway:
Jean is generously offering to give away a copy of Just Claire through the Rafflecopter below. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.