Only a clever writer can see and capture in words the unseen colors of everyday events. Xlibris author J.C. Wing is definitely one as she reveals the intense shade of a lighting’s crashing sound in her book The Color of Thunder recently published by Xlibris Publishing. We feature this gifted writer behind the historical fiction that hopes to leave readers more than the gift of reading.
Literary flair shaped by life experiences
“The Color of Thunder is the sum of a combination of things…thoughts, feelings, experiences and interests that I’ve had throughout my lifetime. For many years, I was interested in the southern United States…probably because I’d only briefly visited and it was an unknown. I’d grown up in Colorado with mountains and snow, a dry climate and cold winters. I was intrigued by the southern humidity, the flora that thrives there, the ocean and the southern way of life. I began writing The Color of Thunder before actually experiencing much of that, at least not more than brief visits on vacations, but by the time I’d finished the book, I had lived in North Carolina for a number of years and had spent time in many other southern states as well. I felt like I was able to express the southern feel of a place like Mississippi much better after having lived in one.
The religious aspect of the book also comes from my childhood. I grew up in the Baptist church and, like the main character, my faith was tested when our family suffered a devastating loss with the death of a child. I, too, began to question my religion as Faith does in the book. While it was emotionally tumultuous, she, as well as I, came to the same personal conclusions and eventually found peace with not only our beliefs but within ourselves.
History did not interest me much as a child, but the older I get the more intrigued I am about what made our world the way it is today. I was not born until the early 1970’s so the time frame in which The Color of Thunder is set is not familiar to my own life. That is one of the biggest reasons I chose to write about it. I wanted to learn about something I had not experienced and so therefore jumped back into the heart of the Civil Rights Movement. It was an exciting, sad, scary, interesting time in our country’s history.”
Love of books hones writing
“I love to read. I’ve loved to read since I was a young child and spent a great deal of time planning what book I was going to read next. I read all the popular children’s literature growing up; Nancy Drew and Madeleine L’Engle, Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary. When I was in ninth grade, my English teacher had us read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and I was amazed. That book is still my all time favorite and I’ve read it many, many times. I’m a fan of Dean Koontz, Karen White, Sarah Addison Allen and Patricia Cornwell but truthfully, I read so many books by so many different authors that I could hardly list all of my favorites here. I believe that my most beloved author of all is James Lee Burke. His Robicheaux novels all take place in New Iberia, Louisiana which is intriguing to me, but it’s his writing style that has me hooked. His prose is absolutely lyrical and I get positively giddy when I know he has a new novel being released. I don’t know if any of these writers have influenced me or not…I do know that I enjoy them and am constantly looking for their new books as well as discovering new authors and their work all the time.”
About the Xlibris book The Color of Thunder
“This story is about a young girl growing up in a very unsteady time in our nation’s history. Faith is bright and curious, inquisitive and soft-hearted and when she sees things happening around her that frighten her, things she doesn’t understand she questions them; tries to understand why they are the way they are and desperately hopes to change them for the better. She is given a unique opportunity through her brief friendship with Ruby, a young black girl, and, although she is struggling with her own relationship with God, her father and the world at large, she takes what she learns from this unexpected connection with this new friend and sets her life on a better course while also helping what’s left of her family move forward as well.”
Inspiration behind the Novel
“There were so many things that inspired me to write this book. I had a very difficult relationship with my own father throughout my life and he was the basis for Jacob in my story. The two of them are very similar characters and yet also absolutely different from one another. The questions I had growing up about religion were also an inspiration. As a child I’d read passages of the Bible in Sunday school and spent a great deal of time with my grandmother who was, and still remains, very strong within her faith. As an adult, I was able to study much more thoroughly on my own and ask the questions I was afraid to ask about religion when I was younger. I chose to set my book in the 1940’s and 50’s because I felt like it would give me an opportunity to discover and explore more about this interesting part of American history and was fortunate enough that all of these things came together and I was able to use it all to create what eventually became the Linsey family.
I began writing this book back in 1998. I then began a family with my husband and the project was put on the back burner while he and I raised our children. The idea of it, however, kept poking at me, reminding me that it was there and I knew that one day I would need to finish it. It took me about a year and half to write it once I sat down and got serious about telling the story.”
Her Words to Readers
“I believe that a lot of bad things happen in life. We are faced with many decisions that need to be made, trials and tribulations and events in which we have no control and people who frighten or challenge us. I also believe that we are given many wonderful things as well; people who touch us, make us think, help us grow, and events that also shape and change our lives for the better. While we may have very little if any ability to foresee or direct many things that happen in our lives, we can decide how they will affect us, how we are going to deal with them and how we can allow them to help us become people we can truly be proud of. This is what I would like to convey with The Color of Thunder. We take from life what we choose and either allow it to destroy us or to make us strong. It is within our power to become who we wish to be.”
Happy Self-Published, Xlibris Author
“I have actually had many favorite parts about self-publishing. From the very beginning, the people I’ve worked with at Xlibris have been enthusiastic and friendly. There was a big time gap between when I bought my package and when I actually submitted my manuscript. I’d even moved from the US to Germany in that time, but the process was remarkably smooth. I will always remember receiving the galley proofs of the cover for The Color of Thunder. I’d submitted a photo and what the design department did with it was amazing! Everything has happened so quickly and I have been very pleased with the entire experience. What a ride it’s been so far!”
Her Words to Hopeful Authors
“Just keep writing! Make sure your work is exactly the way you want it to be. Don’t rush yourself and make sure you’re happy with it and know that there are so many ways you can get your work out there now. There is no stopping you!”
Second Novel Alabama Skye Underway
“I truly love the Linsey family; Faith, Hope, Grace and Luke, but I think I’ve done well to tell their story. I have no plans to write a sequel to The Color of Thunder but I am in the process of writing a second novel called ‘Alabama Skye’ that I’m very excited about. Part of it takes place on the Isle of Skye in Scotland and part of it takes place in a fictional town called Kelby on the Gulf Shores of Alabama. I plan to have a couple of chapters up on my personal blog at very soon. I have also begun a rough outline for a third novel as well, however this one is not yet titled. The story takes place in Germany, specifically in and around the beautiful and historical Speyer Cathedral, and has many interesting characters in it…including the ghosts of the famous Frederick Barbarossa I, Holy Roman Emperor, his wife, Beatrice and their young daughter, Agnes.”
Book Promotion in Vogelweh Base, Germany
“I am an American living in southwestern Germany. My husband works on Ramstein Air Force base and the opportunities for marketing or promoting my book here are very few. I am, however, taking part in an author’s discussion on the Vogelweh base on February 7th between four and six pm. I have been asked to speak about my experiences with self-publishing and will be doing some self promoting at that time. I do have a marketing team at Xlibris who have been doing a wonderful job on my behalf, and hope to get the word out about The Color of Thunder and my other upcoming novels through them as well as through my blog and word of mouth.”
Visit J.C. Wing’s personal blog at http://www.jcwingblog.blogspot.com/ to know more about the author and her works.
Learn how to exploit self-publishing with must-read writing, editing, and book marketing tips at the Xlibris Writer’s Workshop.