A saucy Guest Post from Darlene Jones is next up on our Passion Guest Post Series. I love Darlene's desire to change the world through her art. Please welcome Darlene.
The first thought that often pops into our minds when we hear the word “passion” relates to love and sex. We don’t always link the forces that drive us to do the things we do as passion. And yet, it seems to me that passion is the central core of our thoughts and actions.
I also believe that our writing reflects our passions and they are revealed when we see them on paper. This came as a bit of a shock to me when I looked back at what I had written. My first book grew from, of all things, insomnia. When I couldn’t sleep, I told myself stories. They certainly didn’t help to solve the problem and there came a time when I felt compelled to write the story down (another passion in disguise?)
My intent was to write an entertaining novel of magic and romance. I didn’t know it would grow to four books before the “happily ever after” ending. Nor did I know that my books would touch on a number of serious world issues.
Going back to book one and rereading them is an exercise in discovery. I see that teaching and teens play significant roles in each. I was an educator and most of my career was spent working with grades seven to nine, so I guess that’s not so surprising.
I criticize anyone who denigrates teaching. Teachers get the whole world started. And I refuse to accept the answer, “I’m just a teacher to the question, “what do you do?” I believe all children should have a solid education base and I wish I could wave a magic wand to make it so. Yes, I’m passionate about education.
In also rant about war, the media, rich versus poor …. If I were to make a list, it would be a long one. I’ve found that my passions are linked to human welfare and many of them are much too grand for any one individual to solve, but we can impact the whole if we make our own little corner of the world a better place.
I recent survey asked people to rank the things they looked for in their fiction reading. I was surprised to see that “learning something” was number one. On reflection, I realize that the books I love best are ones that teach me something. In Domingos Angel I learned about conditions in Spain during Franco’s rule. In The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor I learned more about Canadian history. In The Winter Pony (an amazing story told from the horses’ point of view) I learned about the trek to the South Pole. The list could go on and on, but what is most interesting is that the books I learned something from are the ones most vivid in my mind.
None of this is to say that my books are preachy, but I do try to get readers thinking while they are being entertained. Perhaps that’s yet another passion.
My latest release is EMBRACED
A long time ago, I lived in Mali. Every single day, I wished I could wave a magic wand to relieve the heart-wrenching poverty. The story line of my books reflects my desire to wave that wand and make the world a better place. If only wishes could come true. And of course, every novel needs its love story, so along with the sci-fi magic, I’ve added the requisite romance.