Monday, February 11, 2008
A Q&A about the central character in the novel JANEOLOGY.
Is Jane the heroine of JANEOLOGY?
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 may find that though you cannot excuse her actions, you have sympathy for her because of the life that created her.
Why did you pick that name for her?
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.
What does Jane look like?
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.
What is her occupation?
She was an ER nurse before she had her kids. Then she had the toughest job in the world: a stay-at-home mom.
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 attracted 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. 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 attitude?
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?
Like most people, she has two secrets: one from childhood and one from adulthood. Her childhood secret is that her mother once abandoned her at a grocery store. And her adult secret is 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 novel. And it is one my favorite chapters in the entire book because of the way her innocence begins to bend.
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.”
What else should readers know about Jane?
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.
Is JANEOLOGY available now?
It will be released in April, but you can pre-order it now.
Where can we find more information about JANEOLOGY?
Visit my website:
Posted by Karen Harrington at 7:30 AM