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by JC Pinkerton
Janice it is a great honor to have this opportunity to talk with you. I'm sure your fans here at EightteenHundreds will be thrilled to see your interview. When you wrote your debut novel, True Women, did you have any idea it would be such a success and even a mini-series for TV?
Every family has wonderful stories and I think that is the common thread and success of my books. People identify their own family stories with my books and that is why I under gird them with so much research. It is the truthfulness of voices in the stories. You are right; I had no idea that my family story would be made into a mini-series.
Your great-great grandmother was Euphemia Texas Ashby King, who many fell in love with after seeing the mini-series. Do you think any of her strong character comes out in you?
My mother uses a quotation that I believe came from Euphemia. She says " American women are strong because they know they won't melt if they are rained on." The saying "they won't melt if they are rained on" describes the ability of American women facing problems and tragedies and coping with them. I hope that I have some strength as Euphemia and certainly after the recent murder (car jacking) of my son, I marvel at the strength of Sarah who outlived 8 of her 9 children. How on earth did she do it?
Janice is it true that while collecting family recipes your research kept growing until it turned into the novel, True Women? I find this fascinating!
My plan was to collect family recipes to comply into a notebook and give it to my son, Wayne (who loves to cook) as a wedding present. My mother reminded me she had an old hand written cookbook that 3 different women has written in so I decided to do a one page essay on each of the women - all of it turned into the novel, True Women.
Just so our readers will know, your novel, Hill Country is the sequel to True Women in which you write about your grandmother, Laura Hoge Woods. Is it true that your grandmother was hoping to one-day write a book called "Hill Country?"
My Grandmother was an avid writer and she wrote about her experiences, poetry and did large amounts of research to present papers for large organization like churches and UDC (United Daughters of the Confederate). I don't know if she ever planned to be a world famous novelist, but I do know (because I knew her well) she often talked about her experiences in the hill country and would preface her storytelling with "Well, in the Hill Country", thus and such happened.
For our reader's information your latest novel, Will's War, will be available in March 2002. This book is based on the trial of your grandfather, Will Bergfeld and German immigrants suspected of being anti-American. While researching for this interesting book, did you find it disturbing that immigrants were treated so unfair?
Yes. Some of the current events of today are shockingly parallel to those of World War I and World War II. We must be extremely vigilant and outspoken about protecting individual rights and due process of law regardless of what our personal opinion about the persons charged, actions or political beliefs might be. Remember the famous German saying "I didn't speak up when they came for my neighbor and there was no one left to speak up when they came for me." The finest tribute we can make to the people killed on September 11th is to protect the individual rights of all human beings. After all, that is what the terrorist would like to take away from us.
I understand your mother is a local historian for Seguin, the setting for your novel, True Women. Does she enjoy helping you do research for your novels?
Yes, my mother is a marvelous scholar and she lives in the house of Bettie King who appeared in two of the novels. She is opening her home to the public to help me launch the new book, Will's War, on two afternoons - Saturday, April 6th and Sunday, April 7th, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. I hope all of my fans come to Seguin, Texas to meet my mother, tour the King Homplace (920 E. Court Street) and visit with me.
Can your fans expect to see more historical novels from you?
Yes, there are wonderful stories to tell. I am working on a Woods family story, a Windle family story and a Creek Indian story.
Do you have a website where your fans can visit and learn more about your work?