Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Jewel of a Woman

Several years ago, I met a woman who immediately struck me as one of those people who is beautiful both inside and outside. As I got to know her better, that impression only grew. There are people who go through so much that you wonder how God could be so cruel. Until you realize that are such choice spirits that they manage to turn every stumbling block not only into a stepping stone, but into a bridge for others to cross the rivers life throws at us right along with her.

Jewel Adams is a jewel in every respect. You can't spend any time around her at all without seeing the radiance. A little over a month ago, she sent me a manuscript to blurb for her. As I began to read, two things became apparent. The writing was almost poetic in its beauty and pacing, and the story felt much more personal than other novels I had recently read. I was happy to give her a glowing review, and now I'm happy to let the rest of you meet her (although I know many of you already have.)

By the way, this is an actual interview. It took place over the internet, not in a scenic grotto somewhere in Europe, while eating unpronounceable food.

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you become a writer, what books have you written, etc?

I'm originally from Asheville, NC. I moved to Utah in August of 1989 and this has been home ever since. I'm a stay-at-home mother of eight, and with five still at home, writing is sometimes a challenge, so when I'm working on a project, I'm pretty much a night owl.

Growing up in the situation I did, my mind was always working. My home was one of abuse, so I was always imagining myself somewhere, anywhere but there. Eventually, I was able to get some of my feelings down on paper. I started writing poetry in high school, despite language being my worst and least favorite subject. At that time, I never thought I would write a book, but when I moved to Utah, I met another author who kind of gave me the bug. My first romance novel, "Elise's Heart," was published in 1998 and that was the beginning of a great love for me. Since then I've had five more novels published. "A Heart That Endures," "Dreams of Venice," "Dreams and Blessings," "Mercedes' Mountain," and "Against the Odds." All are romance novels. Four of those are now ebooks on my website. Oh, and now language is my favorite subject:o)

I loved reading your latest book. Tell us a little bit about it.

My new book is called "The Journey," and it's the kind of book I never expected to write. It's a YA romantic fantasy about how important choice is. The setting is a world similar to ours only in a different time. It is about a young woman who is required to leave her home for a time and go on a journey of discovery. She encounters both good and evil along the way. I can't really say more without giving some of the story away, but suffice it to say, nothing can prepare her for the opposition she encounters. The story teaches that there is a consequence for every choice we make, but at the same time it teaches that agency is a gift.

What inspired you to write a fantasy?

Well, I hadn't written a YA novel since A Heart That Endures and I felt it was time. No, correction, God let me know it was time. I thought things were tough when I was a teenager, but the youth today face things that just blow me away at times. I would never want to be a teenager in today's world. I don't think I could handle it. That being said, I know the youth are into fantasy big time these days and that was one of the reasons I wrote this novel. But the main reason was one that hits closer to home. We have a teenager dealing with some very painful issues, and one of those issues in particular, is being brought on by her choices. She is very much into fantasy and I thought what better way to reach the youth than share my thoughts and hopes for them through something they love?

All books have some personal connection to the author, but how does it affect your writing process when a book is more personal than normal?

You know, in some ways it's easier to write because you have so many thoughts churning in your mind that you just have to get them down on paper, but at the same time, you don't want to say so much that you make your reader go, "Whoa, boy is she gone." I've seen that bubble pop up many times in each of my teenager's mind from time to time. It's that "Mom's on one today" bubble :o) I have to remind myself that I want to grab my reader, not scare them away.

This is the fifth book that you've self published. Why?

Sometimes I get a story in my head that I feel so strongly about, I think it's worth putting the money behind it. Of all the books I've self-published, this is the most important one to me.

Since you've also published other books traditionally, how does this compare? What have you learned?

Oh, my goodness, this whole publishing thing has been one big learning process. I've really come to love self-publishing because it gives me so much more control. Of course, it's more work, but not too much more than having books published traditionally. The biggest difference is money, so if you're going to self-publish, you need to really believe your book, and, depending on how far you want to take it, have a good marketing plan in place. I've created my own publishing house this time, so it has truly turned into a business for me now.

What do you get out of writing?

I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes when I've finished a book. I love lifting the spirits of others, making people laugh or cry, or think. Plus, it's always fun to escape to the world of one of my characters for a bit and zone the kids out when they get a little too crazy, which happens often:o)

What advice do you have for other writers?

I meet so many people at signings who say they are writing or want to write a book, and I always tell them to go for it. My mother was an alcoholic until right before she died at 49. She was an extremely talented person. She was a singer, writer, painter, and guitarist, and she always talked about how she would like to write a book, but she never did. So, if that's your dream, then do it. You have nothing to lose, and you learn and grow through the whole process. Also, joining a great writers group like, say, the Storymakers is a great move as well.

What's next?

Well, right now I'm working on the second book in the Journey series and it is coming along pretty well. This story will continue to stress the importance of choice, but it will be more about change and how change within ourselves can affect the world.

What do you think of Rob Wells?

He's a sad, strange, little man.
(I didn't actually get a chance to ask Jewel that last question. But I can only assume that is how she would have answered.)
You can read more about Jewel and her books at


At 4/28/2008 11:48 AM, Blogger Anne Bradshaw said...

Brilliant interview. And Jewel really is a brilliant jewel. Can't wait to read this book.

At 4/28/2008 12:28 PM, Blogger Annette Lyon said...

Great interview--if not as . . . uh . . . colorful as "Rob's "interviews."

You described Jewel perfectly--you can't be around her and not feel her energy.

At 4/28/2008 12:33 PM, Blogger Liz Adair said...

This was a great interview. Makes me want to read the book. I signed up to review and blog about it, so maybe I'll be able to. Thanks for the good introduction here.

At 4/28/2008 8:17 PM, Blogger Julie Wright said...

love this!!! And I am certain jewel would have said exactly that about rob

At 4/28/2008 9:45 PM, Blogger Jennie said...

How nice to see and hear more about Jewel. She's a terrific person.

At 4/28/2008 10:46 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

I can't wait to read J. Adam's newest -- intriguing for sure. You nailed her in your blurb, you know. Like you, I am truly a fan! Thanks so much for the interview -- loved it.

At 4/28/2008 11:53 PM, Blogger Carole Thayne said...

Jeff, thanks for telling us more about Jewel. She is amazing.

At 4/29/2008 4:06 PM, Blogger Marsha Ward said...

Jewel is amazing. Thanks for the interview so more people can get to know her and her books.

At 5/05/2008 1:20 AM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

Congratulations on your new book, Jewel! Great interview :)


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