Today I’m thrilled to welcome Jazzy Mitchell.
A Kernel of Truth
Jazzy here. I’m excited to talk about my latest book, Musings of a Madwoman, which follows three women as they navigate life, love, and the effects of a meteorite. This story was a labor of love, and pieces of me can be found throughout its pages. Like many writers, I take some of my life experiences and repurpose them in my stories. If a conversation, experience, or feeling makes an impression on me, it might find its way into the pages of my book. I’ve joked with friends and family how anything they say or do is fair game. That also holds true for the words I say and the actions I take. I thought you might like to know the background for one of the scenes which appears in MOAM.
In chapter two of MOAM, Patricia recounts how she presented a bouquet of roses to the object of her affection, Rudi Singlewood, at one of Rudi’s Broadway shows. This leads to Rudi showing up at Patricia’s book-signing event a year later. Although the rose-giving comes up several times in the book, I don’t include too many details. This is how my true life experience played out.
About eighteen years ago I traveled to New York City with some fellow teachers after the school year ended. I was excited to watch Patrick Stewart act the lead part in an Arthur Miller play, even if he was portraying an adulterer. We had front row seats, and I knew I was going to love the hell out of the show.
Close to the theater, I saw various bouquets displayed outside a flower shop. In a flash of inspiration, I purchased a dozen red-edged coral roses and brought them to the play. I was excited by the thought of giving them to an actor I admired. Throughout the show, I could smell the roses’ enticing scent, and I wondered how to present the flowers to him. Should I send them with an usher to his dressing room? Wait at the stage door after the show? I’d never tried to give a celebrity flowers before. Once the leads came onstage to take their final bows, I recognized my chance and took it. Extending my arm, I offered the bouquet to Mr. Stewart. He in turn offered it to the leading lady on his left before turning to repeat the action to the actress on his right. Both waved it away, shaking their heads while sporting coy smiles. I shook my head, too. Those roses were for Mr. Stewart, not them. He turned back to me and bowed low to the ground before, with a smile and a wink, he jogged off the stage, flowers in hand.
People approached me after the show, convinced my flower-giving was a prearranged publicity stunt. It wasn’t. A few weeks later, I received a handwritten thank you card on his personal stationery. I’d slipped my business card into the bouquet before thrusting it in the air, and he surprised me by taking the time to write me a sweet note. I still have that correspondence. It reads, “Thank you for the lovely flowers. I am so glad you enjoyed Mt. Morgan—and me. All the best.”
Did I write a book about him? Did I ask him to become my pen pal? Did I date him? No, those were all events which occurred in MOAM. Yet, my experience served as a launching pad for Patricia and Rudi’s first meeting and subsequent romance.
Why insert a real event into a book of fiction? Several reasons come to mind. To memorialize a memory for all posterity. To process my feelings regarding an event. To teach myself something I wasn’t able to learn at the time the event occurred. To relive the feelings attached to the memory. To explore the “what ifs.” To see whether the real life person involved in the scene ever reads the book and recognizes the event. To have some fun.
In MOAM, Patricia writes about some of her real life experiences in her best-selling romance, Star Light, Star Bright (Make My Wish Come True Tonight). Her book turns out to be autobiographical to a great extent, and it serves as one big love letter to Rudi. In her book she expresses her feelings for Rudi, and in an unexpected twist of fate, those feelings are accepted. Patricia ends up navigating a romance with an actress who turns out to be quite different than the person Patricia created in her mind.
This theme of recognizing the authentic person—the genuine uniqueness of an individual—by discounting the public persona, plays out several times through the three lead protagonists’ storylines. It’s a journey they take together and a journey other characters take with them. Interspersing small bits of my reality within MOAM is my way of taking the journey, too.
SciFi / Paranormal Romance
Three women’s lives interweave as they struggle to navigate life and love. And the effects of a meteorite.
Patricia Steitz, a successful romance writer, is flabbergasted when Rudi Singlewood shows up at one of her book signings and initiates a summer romance. She worries that the fantasies she’s harbored regarding the world-renown Broadway actress may prevent her from accepting who Rudi really is. She relates her fears to her best friend, Marcia Struthers, a successful Manhattan litigator.
Knowing that Patricia has dreamed of Rudi for years, Marcia urges her to give the actress a chance by getting to know who she is behind her public persona. While working a high-profile case, Marcia must confront her resurging feelings for lead opposing counsel, Lexie Yamin, and the appearance of an unrequited love. All is not as it seems, however, as Marcia deals with unexpected physical changes and developing mental abilities after an encounter with a meteorite. Marcia’s not the only one dealing with changes induced by an extraterrestrial rock, though.
Kiernan Connelly, who has received intriguing letters over several months, begins to question her lifestyle. Her casual sexual relationship with Rudi and passable acting career no longer fulfill her. As Kiernan makes changes in her life, she finds herself dealing with the strange reality of being able to hear others’ thoughts. Could it be related to her close encounter with a meteorite?
MEET THE AUTHOR
Jazzy Mitchell loves to tell stories, whether in the classroom or on paper. She taught English in the public schools of her hometown for a decade, giving back to the system which helped her so much. Besides writing, Jazzy teaches real estate law, writes fanfiction as Jazwriter, and facilitates energy work through her business, the Lightarian Institute.
Her debut novel, Lost Treasures, received an Honorable Mention for the 2016 Rainbow Awards and was nominated in three categories for GCLS’s 2017 Goldie Awards: Debut Author, Traditional Contemporary Romance, and Cover Design. Jazzy’s newest novel, Musings of a Madwoman, was published in mid-June 2018.
Jazzy lives in Portland, Oregon, enjoying life with her wife, three children, and two dogs.
CONNECT WITH JAZZY MITCHELL
Thanks so much for stopping by today.