I’d like to introduce you to a Facebook Friend of mine and of The Hound’s, J.C. Wing.
She is one busy lady!
JC. is a writer, editor, proofreader, administrator, publisher, and for 15 years, was a homeschooling mom. Her published works include a warm family series, a goddess in America series, a collection of poetry and essays, a stand-alone novel and a few anthologies.
Let’s ask her about all of the above.
One of your anthologies is a Chicken Soup type book concerning living with autism. Will you tell our readers about it?
The anthology was called Perfectly Unique: The Missing Pieces Anthology, and it was put together by Terra James, who is a friend of mine and a fellow author. Terra has two children, both of whom have autism. She organized a group of eighteen authors who were interested in raising money for Autism Speaks, which is an advocacy organization that sponsors research and supports awareness and outreach activities for autism. All of the stories that were included in the anthology were based around positivity and hope, and the collection was a remarkable one. That book was released on April 1st to kick of Autism Month, and it was available for six months. In October, rights were transferred back to each of the authors, and my story, The Key, is now available on Amazon.
Did you enjoy your experience in being part of a Christmas anthology, Twelve Tales A-Telling? Would you do it again?
I was involved in so much of the development of Twelve Tales A-Telling. I own my own editing company, Wing Family Editing, and four of the authors who collaborated with me are authors I regularly edit for, so that was fun. I served as editor and cover designer for this collection. We based the whole idea of the book on the classic Christmas carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, each of us writing stories for two of the days. My stories were based on the first and ninth days, and I enjoyed writing them very much. We’re a pretty tight group of authors, and I’m hearing some buzz about another anthology in the future. It definitely could happen, but right now I’m not exactly sure when that might be.
I was very active with state-wide homeschooling organizations while I was in Colorado, where most people knew how to do it right. Homeschooling is an excellent form if only to find which learning methods works best for each child. No child needs to be left behind in any subject, and none needs to be bored and lose interest waiting for others to catch up, (if ever). All of the homeschool families that I knew banded together, mixing and matching in groups to have outings, field trips, parties, and classes, (where all ages could attend, depending on interest). We even had our own Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop.
What brought you into homeschooling and how has it affected your life and your children?
We came to the decision of homeschooling before we were even expecting our first child. Public school didn’t impress us – the experiences my husband and I had had while growing up ourselves, and the options we were seeing for our own kids in the future – so we decided that I would stay home and teach them myself. I was excited about the prospect, and I did a lot of research before jumping into it. I was a very dedicated homeschooler, and I followed state regulations and had both of the kids tested every year to make sure we were where we needed to be academically. My husband works a job that has moved us many times within Colorado, but also to North Carolina and then to Germany. Homeschooling turned out to be a good thing for our family for many different reasons, and we always had things going on. The kids were involved in swim team, gymnastics, dance, piano lessons, yoga, sailing camp, art lessons, soccer, playdates … I even acted as a homeschool liaison for Douglas County in Colorado and wrote articles for a magazine called Kids 411. When we lived in North Carolina, we belonged to an amazing homeschool group comprised of about 200 families. We took part in many academic events. One of my favorites was a geography fair in which we studied Greece, baked baklava, and Maya dressed up like Medusa. Maya also competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee the first year homeschoolers were included in the competition. (She won the regional bee and went on to compete at the state level.) I organized many writing workshops for kids ages seven through twelve and taught them poetry and creative writing. The experience was an incredible one for our family. I homeschooled for almost fifteen years. I taught Maya from Kindergarten through her high school graduation. She’s now in her second year of college and was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, a national honor society this past fall. Scott and I were a great homeschooling team from Kindergarten until he got to high school. He was very interested in computer programs such as CAD, and some other things I couldn’t fully support in a homeschool environment, so he began his freshman year at a local high school. Now, he’s involved in NJROTC and is thriving in the public school atmosphere. Both paths were the right ones. That’s the beauty of homeschool … each child learns differently, and needs different things. I believe we did what was best for each of them. I haven’t homeschooled in about a year and a half, and I miss it terribly. If I had the decision to make again, I would definitely choose to homeschool all over again.
[I am very impressed with all that you did, and your children. I am sure t hat had the times corresponded, we would have worked together.My sons ended up in HS and went into JROTC, as well!-T]
You were born and raised in Colorado, (and lived for a while in Germany), yet you set your novel, The Color of Thunder in Mississippi, The Gannon Family series is set on Alabama’s Gulf coast, (with a little Scotland thrown in), plus you have the Goddess of Tornado Alley in , well, ‘tornado alley’. How did you do your research on these places?
I have always been a reader. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t absolutely love to read. My most favorite book is Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and I believe that book is the one that first sparked my love of southern fiction. I also love to learn about new places, and find excitement in the research process. The Gannon Family series started off as one book. Alabama Skye was written for my grandmother, Mimi, who had a remarkable fascination for all things Scottish. She was the one who made me want to learn more about Scotland. My dad and I never had much in common, but he was Greek, and he shared with me his love of Greek mythology. I’ve never been to either place, but I’ll get there to see them in person someday. I spend a lot of time on the internet, but I also do a lot of research from a collection of books I continuously accumulate.
What inspired you to write a comedy series about a descendant of Aphrodite?
I love Greek mythology. I have since I was little. My dad and I never communicated well, but Greek mythology was a common ground for us – one he always loved, and one he was able to share with me. Back in 2014, I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, (National Novel Writing Month). I really don’t know where the idea came from, but I had written two family dramas at that point and thought I’d like to try something different, something light-hearted and funny. I wrote about 40,000 words of the story, then put it aside when I found out my family had to prepare for another relocation. It sat on the back burner for a while, and then I had to go through two big surgeries for my wrist. I got a shiny new wrist joint – and a lot of pain that left me unable to do anything on my own. I got very frustrated and very sad. I’m not a sad person. I’m annoyingly happy and optimistic, so I decided I needed to do something to cheer myself up. I pulled that 40,000 words back up on the computer, fought mightily with a speech recognition program – come to find out, Greek is hard for that kind of software – and I pulled myself through recovery by writing something that made me laugh out loud. Best therapy ever.
Do any of the Gannon Family’s stories reflect your life?
Very much so. When I wrote Alabama Skye, it was for Mimi. I wanted to write a book that celebrated the relationship between a young woman and her grandmother. While I am not Greer, and Mimi is not Sarah, the relationship the two of those characters share resembles the one Mimi and I shared. That series depicts four generations of very strong, capable women. That came my own family as well. I wanted to celebrate that, and I think the Gannon women do that quite nicely. Even the theme of Alice in Wonderland comes from my childhood. I had a love of that movie when I was young, and knew it had to be included. Just like Greer, I lost my grandmother to Alzheimer’s, but I think we both do a fine job of remembering and honoring both Sarah and Mimi in our everyday lives.
Jeff-the-Hound and I are poets. Do you continue to write poetry?
I wrote a lot of poetry in my teens and early twenties. I don’t so much anymore. The poems I chose to include in Acquainted With Butterflies were carefully chosen because I used poetry as a way to get myself through some scary, dark times. Some of them I wanted to share, but most of them I wrote just for me. I knew even back then that they wouldn’t be read by anyone else. Now, I still use writing as therapy, but not in poem form.
What would you like people to know about your work?
I’m interested in so many genres. I do write family dramas, but I write romantic comedies, too. I’ve taken a stab – pun intended – at mystery with a few short stories, and I have a new paranormal series called The Ghosts in Holy City launching later this year. There’s a little something there for everyone, and I just keep thinking of different things to write all the time. I edit all different genres as well, including memoirs and non-fiction. I’m kind of a word nerd. I love it all.
Please let our readers know how they can find out more about you and your works, J.C.
Thank you for joining with us today, J.C. Wing, and good luck with your new series!