Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jane Kirkpatrick | How Music Heals
Author Guest / September 8, 2021

The poet Maya Angelou once wrote that as a child “Music was my refuge. I climbed inside the space between the notes and curled my back to loneliness.” She was in tune with musician Natalie Curtis of The Healing of Natalie Curtis (Revell). Though not a child when she had a mental collapse before her New York Philharmonic debut in 1897, nevertheless she sought her healing in the discovery of the music of the Indigenous people of America’s Southwest. Her healing reflects what a century later psychologists at Baylor University discovered. They worked with children who had experienced trauma of various kinds: loss of home, death of a parent, abuse. What researchers found is that traditional counseling like I was trained to do as a Clinical Social Worker, was not as effective as movement (dance, woodworking), art (painting,  photography); story — reading and writing them;  and yes, music. These sensory experiences bypass the critical side and reach the amygdala oblongata, the part of the brain associated with emotion that does not shut down when the rest of a body might go into survival mode, which is where trauma sends us. I had my own experience with musical healing. When I…

Jane Kirkpatrick | 20 Questions: SOMETHING WORTH DOING
Author Guest / September 2, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  Something Worth Doing published by Revell. The title comes from a definition of hope by Vaclav Havel, a writer and first president of the Czech Republic.    2–What is it about?  On the surface, it’s about an early suffragist in the northwest named Abigail Scott Duniway and her passion for improving the lives of women in a time when women were to be seen and not heard (1850s-1890s). At another level, it’s about a woman wanting both a career as a novelist (she wrote 22!) and newspaper owner and to be a faithful wife and mother (they had six children!) while maintaining her reputation in a time of great cultural change and the challenges those two goals can have. 3–What word best describes your main character(s)?  Resilient. 4–What makes your story relatable?  Many modern couples struggle with balancing family and callings, supporting each other while facing trials. Long-distance relationships are also prevalent now and Abigail often was away from her home for weeks at a time doing something worth doing. How that worked for them I think will be of interest to today’s readers. There’s also a bit of family tension as Abigail’s brother…

Jane Kirkpatrick | Exclusive Interview: ONE MORE RIVER TO CROSS
Author Guest / September 18, 2019

Welcome back to Fresh Fiction! Can you tell us about your latest release, ONE MORE RIVER TO CROSS? It’s the story of a little-known wagon train trying to find religious freedom in Alta California and their remarkable survival in a terrible winter (in the same place in the Sierra Nevadas that the Donner party encountered two years later – with very different results). It’s incredible to know that ONE MORE RIVER TO CROSS was inspired by a true story. Where did you find out about this piece of history and what brought about writing an entire book about it?  While researching another book I found a footnote that said, “Here’s the cabin wherein 1844-45 8 women, 17 children, and James Miller spent the winter in the Sierra Nevadas.”  Hmm, were they on a vacation? There’s a group of women in this novel who have to survive the unthinkable while taking care of children and keeping them all alive in harsh conditions. Their strength and resilience are inspiring. What sort of research did you do about survival tactics? Did you learn anything about the actual women who went through this journey?  Sheltering each other, collaborating and keeping a focus on what…