Sunday, April 20, 2008

Meet Jane Downing Nelson

Tell us about your heroine --- the female lead in your book.

She is actually an anti-heroine if you consider that she commits the murder that sets the story in motion. But like many stories, you have sympathy for the anti-hero because of the life that created them.

What's her name?

Jane Downing Nelson

Why did you pick that name?

I don't actually recall how it came to be. But when I was thinking up various titles for the book, I remember thinking how I could use Jane for Jane-e-ology (which rhymes with genealogy) as an apt description of the book - the story is the history or study of Jane.

Give us a brief description of how she looks.

She is from Texas so her hair is always naturally highlighted, especially around her face. Her eyes are blue, clear and confident. In many other ways, she is your typical pretty American mother who looks worn out at Wal-Mart, but who cleans up to a nine if she's going to a party.

Is there anything unusual about her appearance?


Who does she love? Why?

Jane loves her husband, Tom. That is certain. He has drawn out her softer side, which wasn't really nurtured in her childhood. I think this is why she was drawn to him.

Does this person love her?

Immensely. This is the heartbreak of the story - loving someone whose mind is no longer her own. How do you love someone who doesn't really exist anymore? This is what her husband grapples with.

Tell us about her family.

This question makes me smile. Why? Because it is the heartbeat of the book. JANEOLOGY is the story of Jane's family. The chapters alternate through past and present and reveal eight of her ancestors. Who they were, what they did and how they were raised all trickled down into Jane's DNA. To say anymore is to begin writing the story for you again (which I would do except Ms. Leigh has space requirements.) Suffice to say, ask yourself about your own family. You would have a story about your mother, your father, your grandmother, your grandfather and so forth. These are the stories that make up JANEOLOGY.

Where is she from?

She is from Texas, born and raised. And it shows. There's a certain can-do moxie about her spirit. This spirit propels her in both good and bad directions.

Does her hometown affect her behavior, thoughts and attitude?

That's something I hadn't thought about before. Perhaps. Texans have a certain wide open attitude. That there is enough room - physically and mentally - to do things in a big way. So, yes, I think that living in Texas must have affected her worldview.

What does she want out of life?

To be known. To have one person really understand her.

What's her biggest secret? (Only share if it isn't a spoiler in the story.)

That she had murderous/post-partum impulses before she acted upon them.

Did you write more than one story about her?

Actually, yes. I wrote Jane from several perspectives and ages. One of those - Jane at age nine - appears in the story. And it is one my favorite chapters in the entire book because I think it stands alone.

How would she describe you?

If she were to describe my day job as a stay-at-home mom she would say, “I completely understand what a tough job it is. Call me if you want to go garage- saling next weekend.”

If she were to describe my job as a novelist she would say, “You are too sympathetic to my husband. Do you realize all the things you DIDN'T see about him? Don't ever call me.”

Is there anything else about your heroine that we need to know? Feel free to share.

Jane is a complex, dark, hurting individual. She surfaced in my writing because of all the tragic stories I have heard about mothers who kill and my quest to understand why and how this was possible. I believe I gleaned a few answers to this question by knowing her.

Please provide your website link.

What is the link to buy your book?

It was wonderful to meet her. Thank you for bringing her to meet us.

1 comment:

  1. I love this idea of Sharing Your Heroine! Karen did a great job with Jane of Janeology. I'd be interested in doing the same for the heroine of my story, Courage in Patience. It releases in September; it's the story of Ashley Nicole Asher; it's a story of hope for those who have endured abuse; it's everyone's story.
    Please check it out and contact me at, if you would be interested in hosting Ashley Nicole Asher, my heroine.
    Beth Fehlbaum, author
    Courage in Patience, a story of hope for those who have endured abuse
    Chapter One is online!