Freedom to Explore

J. Penrod Scott Author Interview

HERE WITH THE WINTER follows a mom and her two children that return to her hometown in hopes of starting life over after the death of her husband. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I grew up in a village similar to the story’s town of West Emmette, Ohio. Looking back upon that setting now, having raised our daughters elsewhere in a large city suburb, I understand what my hometown provided. As children we were able to safely roam independently by foot and by bicycle, and experts today are talking about the value of that freedom to explore and to figure out direction on our own. (I enjoyed a 2020 book titled FROM HERE TO THERE by Michael Bond, which discusses that topic.)

The setting of West Emmette also features the importance of friendships with neighbors and the support of community, including school and church, the local physicians and piano teacher. Of course the foundation for this new home also includes a puppy and a kitten.

You might notice subtle, quiet ‘blankets’ through the pages. One is water. Another is the sky. Another, music.

What character in this story do you most relate to and why?

Walter is a minor character in the book, but he is most interesting to me. I think the reader has the freedom to fill in the blanks for this young character. Life around him is changing, and he must cope.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

In the story, a newspaper editor helps the main character Jessie begin a new career as a local correspondent. This is interesting because the editor extends the thoughtful gesture to give Jessie a chance and teaches her how to begin. Learning how to begin any task or job is exciting, and many people around town and around the world quietly teach another person something new, with little fanfare but with great importance.

Also, this is not a theme, but it was important for me to provide a tale that is relatively short in length but rich in structure. Women of every age can relate to HERE WITH THE WINTER, but it was important for me to attract young people and, in particular, boys. They will find marbles, baseball, sledding, construction, dogs, tools, and a nurturing school. And a plain book cover.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am working on a sequel to HERE WITH THE WINTER, and I am brushing up a novelette I wrote long ago – about a pilot. Of course, I suppose all of us have that box of poems we would love to see illustrated for children.

Author Links: Website | GoodReads | Instagram

The residents of West Emmette, Ohio welcome back Jessie Conrad, who moves to the newly constructed Meadow Drive. It is 1960, and Jessie and her two young children join old friends and new in the challenging days of building a life without their husband and father. They have left behind important friends but have the counsel of wise townsfolk, including Jessie’s father, Henry, the town patriarch who collects clocks and rifles.
Henry, however, is suddenly under the watch of the confused and jealous son of one of his long-time friends, a young man who is obsessed with acquiring one of Henry’s most prized possessions.
A well-crafted, lyrical novel set in a bustling township, Here with the Winter threads together – through letters, music, seasons and the land itself – a charming story of building in the early Sixties

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on March 27, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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