Date Published: 7/27/2019
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Claire Blackwell can’t find that damn white light. Thanks to a mishap at an intersection, she’s dead and stuck somewhere between Heaven and what seems like Hell as she is forced to watch her husband and children unravel without her. While she struggles to find answers for her limbo state, her family begins to see her, offering what she believes, is a gift of second chances.
As she navigates through this new, untouchable world and the challenges it creates, she is forced to face some sad and potentially dangerous truths. Determined, she works to mend her relationship with her family, but her stubborn teenage son refuses to acknowledge her, and when tensions escalate with his long-time bully, her inability to control the physical world around her leaves her fearing for her family’s safety. With her time running out, she must find a way to save them before the progress she has made is lost and she fades from this world forever.
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
The hardest part of writing for me is resisting the urge to edit and revise as I write. I’m always tempted to go back and fix things which ultimately slows me down and keeps me from moving forward on the story. When I wrote Shoes on the Stairs, I completed the bones of the story from beginning to end in one month. What was great with writing this way was I didn’t get bogged down with word choice or technical issues, allowing me to write freely. The story I’m working on now is not flowing as quickly because of my continual editing along the way.
What songs are most played on your Ipod?
I generally don’t listen to music when I write. If I do listen to music, it’s always something instrumental so the lyrics don’t get in the way of my writing. It’s kind of like not being able to pat my head and rub my stomach at the same time.
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
Yes! I belong to San Diego Writer’s Ink that offers classes, special events and critique groups. I’ve been in the same critique group for over 5 (or maybe 6) years. While some of the writers have come and gone, my mentor has remained. I believe I’ve learned the most about writing through this read and critique group.
What book are you reading now?
I’m reading a few right now. A non-fiction book, Trudge by Lori Oliver-Tierney, The Winner’s Circle by PJ Colando, and the audio book for Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty.
How did you start your writing career?
Years ago, I awoke from a dream with a story in my head and immediately sat down to write it. I had never written a short story or novel before and had no reference as to where to begin, but I couldn’t stop the urge to get the story down on paper. It was that dream that started my writing journey and has led me to where I am today. What inspires me to continue writing is the feedback I receive from my readers who are touched by my words and go out of their way to tell me.
The story I’m working on now is a thriller about a mother who is forced to make an impossible choice to save her young son. It’s a little like Indecent Proposal meets Fatal Attraction. I’m working on this story as my thesis for my MFA in creative writing.
About the Author
Jan Steele grew up in the burbs of Chicago and after thirty-two years of shoveling snow, moved to Southern California with her husband and children. She has taught everything from Kindergarten through high school but found her passion for writing years later while living as an expat in Asia for four years. She’s a contributing author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Miracles and More (2018), shares a blog with her sister-in-law, and is an MFA student at UC Riverside. In addition to writing, she loves to travel, volunteer, watch college basketball and sunsets. She’s also passionate about shedding light on the lasting effects of bullying.