Hello Jane! Welcome to Mic And Pen. On June 21st 2021, your latest book The Girl in the Cardboard Box will be released. Congratulations! We want to get to know the author of this gripping story.
Nicola: In your biography, you describe yourself as a California girl. We at MicAndPen and Leoshine.MicAndPen.com are very interested in geographical and cultural descriptions since we are Third Culture People. We have roots in some places, and homes in others. Do you relate?
Jane: I love the idea of Third Culture Kids. My grandkids have been blessed to experience life here in Oregon
and life in a third-world country as missionaries. They’re back in the States now, and fondly remember
their times in the South Pacific. They’re incredibly grounded because of that experience.
First of all, we never, ever use the words “Cali girl.” It’s always California. Let me start by giving you the
difference between a California Girl and an Oregon Girl.
California girls wear flip flops only when the temperature reaches above 75.
Oregon girls wear open-toed sandals, Birks, flippies all year long. Even with puffy coats
Speaking of puffy coats, the only CG who owns a puffy coat lives in Tahoe. But it’s a staple in
every OG wardrobe.
Within ten minutes of moving to Oregon, you must declare your allegiance to either the
Ducks or the Beavers. No ifs, ands, or buts. You’re either orange and black, or green and
Oregon girls wilt when the temp reaches 80. California girls might be wearing a jacket at 75
In California, if it rains, out come umbrellas. In Oregon, No One owns an umbrella.
Nicola: So flipflops and umbrellas are in your wardrobe, but not puffy coats.
Jane: California girls seem to be (from my observation) more fashion-conscious than Oregon girls. Oregon girls are all about Columbia outerwear and flannel shirts. California girls are brand conscious. My preference is Oregon – I’m strictly a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal.
Nicola: Ah, the freedom of jeans and a t-shirt. So much canvas for a work of art. Your first two books are non-fiction, and now you are releasing a work of fiction. Do you have a preference, and why would that be?
Jane: I was encouraged by a publisher to write about my journey during and after my son’s death. He said it would encourage other women with the same kind of loss. From there, it seemed natural to write about the concurrent journey of caring for my parents. After that, I returned to my first love – fiction. My mom never knew that the reason I loved going to church as a kid was that I’d have an entire hour of uninterrupted writing stories in my head!
Nicola: I love that! I couldn’t read or write until I was in grade four, but stories in my head kept me very happy. Are any of your books available in Audio?
Jane: Audio books are the fastest growing segment of the reading world. One of my nonfiction books The Caregiving Season is available on Audible and my novel will be narrated by … me! It should be available by the end
of August. Narrating your own book is intense! I’m hyper-aware of every S and P and potential
mispronunciation. But I’ve heard that people are more likely to purchase an audio book when
the author narrates.
Nicola: Memoirs and personal stories get a deeper, more poignant treatment when the author narrates. In The Girl in the Cardboard Box, you deal with the loss of a child from that personal place. You lost your son when he was thirty after a battle with cancer, and wrote about it in Because of Grace. In order to know the mother, it is often good to look at the child. Would you tell us about him?
Jane: Ahhhh, my son. A mother loves to talk about her kids. Bobby was an amazing young man. We
called him our “Golden Child.” Things came easily to him and he attracted people around him.
His very small inner circle always included others who didn’t quite fit with the social norms. He
had a great work ethic and a subtle but sly sense of humor. He and I often shared jokes that
others didn’t get. I miss him every day and can’t wait to see him again in Heaven.
Nicola: Thank you for opening your heart like that! I feel I’ll recognize him when it comes my turn to meet him in Heaven.
You are also a speaker, inspirer and encourager for women of all walks of life. What does your heart yearn to communicate to them?
Jane: I have spoken to groups about grief over the loss of a child and about adults caring for an elderly parent. I also teach on the craft of writing at writer’s conferences. To contact me, I have a contact form on my website.
My message through my books and talks is all about two main themes: Redemption and
exploring the ‘why’ question in the context of pain and loss. We go through so many hardships
in life and dwell on ‘why.’ My books show that there may not be a direct answer, but on the
road of life, clarity will come.
Nicola: That is a beautiful and much needed message. We do experience hardships. We do dwell on “why”. Thank you for joining us today, and thank you for writing hope-filled, redemptive books that guide us toward the Light.