She shares her insights on her book and some advice
(Stay tuned for a follow-up book review post of Tilda’s Promise!)
I am a member of the Friends of the Library Book Club at our local library. Occasionally we have the joy of hosting an author and on May 22, Jean P Moore visited with us and shared about her book Tilda’s Promise, which was our latest book selection.
The Friends of the Library book club meets every other month at our local library. We discuss the current reading selection, giving each person a chance to share their thoughts on the book, and discuss questions led by Rich, our librarian.
The conversation around Tilda’s Promise was stimulating. People shared their thoughts on the book, about their personal grief, and about their thoughts on gender-confusion. It was a beautiful thing to talk about the book while having input from the actual author of the book.
Tilda’s Promise is a novel that deals with heavy subjects in a tender way, with characters that are well-developed and knowable. Tilda herself is an empathetic and strong woman that I found to be both likable and inspirational. She is not a particularly religious woman and she’s dealing with the terrible grief of the sudden loss of her husband and doing so while dealing empathetically with the difficult life circumstances of those around her.
You will remember her journey.
I found the book to be most similar in style with Eat, Pray, Love, although the protagonist in each book handled their grief differently — both were on a quest of self-discovery and healing. I found the pacing of the book to be a bit on the slower side, to allow for the story to be told in real-grief time, giving time for the characters and their stories to unfold, deepen.
Moore was, herself, an empathetic, genuine, thoughtful soul. Her kindness and openness about her writing were touching to me. I asked her how she preferred to write, and she described how she used Word for her writing, emailing segments of it to herself for safe keeping and to guard against document loss.
I enjoyed hearing her describe how the characters of her book lived in her head while she was writing. How she cried with them.
She expressed a joy about coming to book clubs such as ours and being reminded that we are still a nation of readers that love to come together and discuss books.
When I asked her about what inspired her to write Tilda’s Promise, Moore had this to say:
My inspiration came from what I was observing around me: the losses my friends were experiencing, the deaths of spouses and in one very tragic instance, the death of an adult daughter. These made me realize that our time on this planet is fleeting. At any moment we may be touched by the death of a loved one. I wanted to explore how one goes on after such loss, how does one find meaning?
There are continuing education classes to take in writing, art, music. I think by finding our talent and expressing it, we learn more about what it is to human. Such expression can be deeply illuminating and satisfying.
I wanted to see and to express how one find’s purpose in life after experiencing life shattering loss.
I also asked her if she had any advice for other writers, such as myself, and her answer was eloquent and helpful.
My advice to writers on their journeys is to stick with their passion. If you are a writer, you will know that you have to write, no matter what. You will develop a tough skin when it comes to rejection; you will not be discouraged. You will also know that writing is at its heart a form of communication, one being to another. You will strive to find your audience. And when you finally begin to have publishing successes, you will be helpful to others who are trying to follow the same path.
The evening, the refreshments, and the open conversations were a memorable and invigorating. If you’re not a member of a book club I hope that you will find one. This nostalgic activity could be just what your soul needs on your reading journey to add a richness that cannot be matched. I am so grateful that I got my introverted self to step out of my comfort zone and into the conversation. I encourage you to do the same.
Moore’s closing remarks were: We’ve all read and heard that we don’t read books anymore, but when I visit book clubs, I am always so touched by the appreciation for books. These groups give me hope that in our communities, in our homes and libraries, we are still engaging in deep and rich discussions of ideas.
My advice to writers— Writer–You Need to Own it
Thank you for reading, Christina