Q&A with Jean Stringam

Q&A with Jean Stringam. For readers who want to know more about Jean Stringam and her books, this should provide a good start. For more information, be sure to ask.

What do you look for in a good book?
An author who is wise, has poetry in his/her heart, and knows that a story has to have a resolution. If the author can’t figure out what the characters learned or how they changed, I wish them well as they find another profession.

Why do you write?
I want my life to have made a difference.

If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you be?
I’ve worn a lot of hats in my life so far. Some of them were a lot of fun and all of them took a lot of hard work. But, there’s nothing like a book for long-term influence when you think you have something you want the world to hear. So, I’ll write ‘til I’m dead – and then my books will keep on talking. I wrote a song about this! All My Stories

From where do you draw your inspiration?
I read copiously, watch people intently, and love unreservedly.

What has writing taught you about yourself?
That an individual only sees a small slice of the truth.

What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
I’ve learned that you can’t avoid conflict or disaster by being good or right. In fact, the better the person, the more adversity seems to be attracted to him/her. Essentially, you have to choose your value system despite all opposition and based on the character you want to build. If you don’t do the choosing, life will still happen and you’ll end up being somebody you don’t admire.

How do the people in your life seem to view your writing career?
They’re just about over trying to decide who’s who in the characters, which is a relief. They’re beginning to accept that my characters are not stolen from real life (except for the ones that actually are)!

How do you handle personal criticism?
I think about it awhile. Sometimes the personal criticism I receive is uninformed and silly, maybe even a little malicious. But there are those revelatory moments when personal criticism allows me to see a slice of truth through a different lens. I treasure them, whether they make me cry or not.

What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Anything that filters out stimuli seems to be in the “alive but not living” sector. For me, that would include what alters a person’s physical responses such as fatigue, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and excessive food consumption. There are also mind-sets that filter out being truly alive, such as chronic fear, mental illness, xenophobia, and the addiction to pornography. Truly living embodies a simplicity that focuses the best in a human soul.

Would you break the law to save a loved one?
If the law were unjust, I hope I would have the courage to break it. If the law were just, the event would be tragedy and I would mourn.

What are your thoughts?