Please welcome Jeanette Baird Vaughn, a strong woman who writes about other strong women. I take every chance I get to promote stories about strong women. I’m married to one of the strongest. Jeannette is a mom, a nurse, a sheep farmer, and a great writer.
So tell me, how long have you been writing?
I was first published in 1985, at age 21 with a newspaper article regarding dying with dignity. From there, I was published in a number of nursing journals and magazines. However it was writing for my Master’s degree, that I found my voice. I wrote a screenplay about men in nursing, Angel of Mercy. And bam…I was in love! Have been writing in reality based fiction since then.
Flying Solo looks to be an intriguing story based on the cover description. Tell me about the story.
Nora was born and raised in The French Quarter of New Orleans. She marries money way to young. The sedate life she is required to live just doesn’t match her adventurous spirit. So, she takes flying lessons on the sneak. When all hell breaks loose as her marriage falls apart, she resorts to stealing his plane in order to get her children back.
You say it was based on a true story. How do you know this person?
I met her in real life about 15 years ago. When I heard bits and pieces of her powerful story, I was intrigued beyond belief. I just had to hear how in the heck, as her first official act as a pilot she went about stealing a plane! And wanted to know why?
Nora is a unique character. She wants to be strong and independent, when in the story do you think she achieves this?
Nora was a woman of the 1960’s. The woman’s movement had not taken place yet with women’s lib and bra burning etc. Catholic girls were expected to get married and have babies, not careers. This just didn’t fit Nora at all. She had too much of the wanderlust for that. She constantly defied the norm, in just about everything she did. I think she first found liberty when she first learned to fly. But it wasn’t until she broke free from her jerk of a husband that she finally started asserting herself. When she steals the plane as leverage, that seals the deal.
New Orleans is a city with such a unique culture of jazz, food and traditions of the deep South. How is it that you knew the area so well?
All of my family is from New Orleans. I grew up around the sites, smells and sounds of the The French Quarter. Mardi Gras, jazz greats, mufallatta sandwiches and po-boys. It was a joy to be able to include much of that in the book to bring the reader as close as possible to experiencing it there. Just to make it real.
This story was set in racially turbulent New Orleans of the 1960s. Why do you think Nora’s relationship with “the help” in her home transcended that?
Although Nora grew up in the South, due to her own Cajun mixed background she just did not see color. People were people. The genuineness and kindness she found in the maids in the story and their brave “will to survive no matter what” resonated with her. It was hard for her to deal with the racial slurs projected onto her even by her own husband. Her friendship and later reliance on the maids assistance for her “escape” from her marriage belies her belief that people are all just people. Equal in every way.
Some of the language used in the book is strong, and some of the content quite salacious. Was that necessary?
I wrote the characters as I saw them. Nora was not married to a nice gentleman of the South. She was married to an ogre So sure, some of the language is harsh, but in character. When she has an illicit affair, I wrote it as I saw it unfolding before me. I wanted to put the reader in the moment, just like I did when I wrote about the cockpit and aviation scenes.
The trailer talks about how sometimes in life the choices we make have devastating consequences. Do you think Nora learns from hers?
I think in the denouement of the story, she finally does. In fact, she has to prove to herself just how strong she really is. I think she finally realized the effect that some of her choices had on her own children.
Flying Solo is definitely not a romance, but a look at what certain choices one might make in life complicate and effect relationships. Talk about Nora’s choices and the outcomes.
Nora wanted true love more than anything. But as happened in the story, some loves, no matter how powerful are star-crossed and not to be. That is a harsh reality to except, especially for Nora who believes if you want to do something….just do it!
Were you happy or sad to see what happened at the end?
Not to spoil the plot, but the end always gets me. I cry each and every time.
Why should readers go out and buy a copy of this book?
Mainly because it is a salacious page turner. However, the bigger reason is to celebrate one woman’s powerful journey. It’s a story that gives hope to women out there that need to make a change for the better. If you can dream it, you can do it!
Thanks for sharing with us, Jeanette. To buy Flying Solo, click on the following link.
To buy my books go to www.bwetterman.wordpress.com, click on the page for the book you want, and follow the prompts, or click on this link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Fifth-Step-ebook/dp/B0099XL3OQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1349359340&sr=1-1&keywords=bill+wetterman.