Friday, July 29, 2011

INTERVIEW: Chloe JonPaul (author of This Business of Children)

Good morning, all! It's time for another lovely stop along the The Virtual Book Tour Cafe's literary route, this time featuring Chloe JonPaul, who has stopped by to promote her latest work, This Business of Children.

Chloe Jon Paul, M.Ed., is a retired educator and writer of several published articles and a previous book entitled What Happens Next: A Family Guide to Nursing Home Visits . . . and More. Her many achievements since the age of 55 include the title of Ms. Maryland Senior America (2003); recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship Seminars Abroad award to South Africa (1996); volunteer internship during the Maryland legislative session as a Legacy Leadership Institute graduate (2005); lead facilitator for the Alternatives to Violence Project in prison and community workshops on conflict resolution for ten years; state representative for the National Family Caregivers Association's caregiver community action network (2006-2008); advisory board member MD, Healthcare Commission and the Interagency Commission for Aging Services, Maryland Dept. of Aging; hospice and homeless shelter volunteer; coordinator for the Good Samaritan Project at her church; and a world traveler - all 7 continents!

Before we get into Chloe's interview, let's take a quick look at This Business of Children.

This Business of ChildrenVera Harriss, Deidre Fletcher, Mark Pettingill, and Stu Martel are elementary school teachers in the fictional town of Blevins, Maine whose secret, private lives change dramatically as you read. Vera, who is about to retire, vents her anger during a Board of Education meeting with a speech that brings the audience to its feet. Why does Deidre, an exceptional teacher, leave the job she loves to become a corporate trainer down South? Then there is Mark, the perennial job hunter looking for a corporate position with more prestige and pay but then turns down the perfect offer when it finally comes through. Stu, one of the most popular teachers in the school, struggles with a deep, dark secret that he can only share with Deidre. What causes Stu's untimely death? Vera Harriss, Dee Fletcher, Mark Pettingill, and Stu Martel are eager to share their intriguing secrets and entangled lives with you.

Without further ado, please welcome the lovely Chloe JonPaul!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

♥ Tell us a little about yourself. 
I’ll simply share a few things I’ve accomplished since the age of 50. Otherwise it would be too lengthy (smile). I have three published books since 2003 (2 non-fiction, 1 fiction); I won the Title of Ms. Maryland Senior America 2003; In 1996, I was the recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship Seminars Abroad award to South Africa; I was Lead facilitator for the Alternatives to Violence Project in prison and community workshops on conflict resolution for ten years; I was State representative for the National Family Caregivers Association’s caregiver community action network 2006-2008; I have traveled to all 7 continents of the world –fulfilling a lifetime goal in 2005.

♥ Any interesting writing quirks or stories you would like to share with my readers?
I think the quirkiest story I can share is that I actually trashed this novel after I wrote it.  My good friend Helene retrieved it saying, “You are NOT throwing this away!”  So I took it back, shelved it somewhere, and practically forgot about it until last year when I began seeing things in the news about teachers that are actually in my novel that I wrote back in 1991.  I said to myself: “Wow! Everything I’m reading is actually in my book!

♥ When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first novel?
I have always loved to write – even as a young child but I never really thought about doing it seriously.  As an adult, I wrote occasional articles for small magazines and newspapers.I started writing my first published book in 2002. 

♥ What would you say has inspired you most in your writing career? Or, who is your favorite author and why?
My high school English teacher, Margery Harriss, was a great inspiration for me.  Now, laugh if you will, but Isaiah in the Old Testament and the Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are my favorites.  They contributed to the Greatest Story Ever Told!

♥ What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book?
Perhaps the most surprising thing was being able to get “inside the skin of the male characters – capturing their thoughts, words, and actions.

♥ What inspired you to write your novel?
This came about as a result of having experienced the joys and sorrows of being a classroom teacher as well as the union activist I had been in the past… and as Vera says in the Prologue: “ because the story that claws at my brain and keeps me awake nights has to be told.”

I had lived much of what your readers will discover in reading about the problems teachers face in the classroom. 

♥ Can you tell us a little about your novel?
Vera Harriss, Deidre Fletcher, Mark Pettingill, and Stu Martel are elementary school teachers in the fictional town of Blevins, Maine whose secret, private lives change dramatically as you read.

Vera, who is about to retire, vents her anger during a Board of Education meeting with a speech that brings the audience to its feet. Why does Deidre, an exceptional teacher, leave the job she loves to become a corporate trainer down South?  Then there is Mark, the perennial job hunter looking for a corporate position with more prestige and pay but then turns down the perfect offer when it finally comes through.  Stu, one of the most popular teachers in the school,struggles with a deep, dark secret that he can only share with Deidre.  What causes Stu’s untimely death?

Vera Harriss, Dee 
Fletcher, Mark Pettingill, and Stu Martel are eager to share their intriguing secrets and entangled lives with you.

♥ Where can we find your novel?
If your readers visit my web site, all the major bookstore locations are listed there.
My web site is http://www.chloejonpaul.com/.  I have a fan site on Facebook for This Business of Children.

♥ Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers?
My closing advice is simply this:
  • Identify your target audience.
  • Network with like-minded people.
  • Prepare an outline of what you want to accomplish.
  • Set a date for completion.
  • Think POD: persistence,organized, determined
♥♥♥♥♥♥♥


Thanks so much to Chloe JonPaul for stopping by. If you'd like to follow her virtual journey in support of This Business of Children, check out her schedule on the Calendar of Events page at The Virtual Book Tour Cafe.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this week’s question! I’ve made so many friends in the book blog world and am really impressed with so many blogs it was hard to hunker down and make a choice.

    But I did it! I’m shining the spotlight on a Jersey girl! Hop on over to my blog at http://www.howardsherman.net to find out who she is and discover her amazing book blog.

    Howard Sherman, Implementor
    http://www.howardsherman.net

    ReplyDelete