Friday, March 16, 2018

Q&A with Eckhartz Press Author Beth Jacobellis ("Cameo")

Beth Jacobellis' book "Cameo" is available for pre-order now! It ships on March 23rd. I recently got a chance to pick Beth's brain about her incredible accomplishment.

Rick: The cover of your book says "inspired by a true story". Without giving away too many details of what happens in your novel, can you tell us a little bit about that true story?

Beth: The Chicago radio industry is a central part of the storyline and is where I've spent most of my career for the better part of 20 years! There was a major event that happened within this community in 1994 that altered the lives of many people I know. It was a horrible tragedy that inspired me to write a story about the cycle of life as opposed the finality of it. I wanted to challenge everyone's entire belief system, providing an explanation that gives comfort in knowing that just because someone is gone from your life, does not mean their soul is.

Rick: One of the critical characters in your book is an infamous local psychic. Is that a world that interests you, and do you believe in their powers?

Beth: I do! The spiritual world is THE most fascinating thing to me. I feel as if I'm constantly trying to convince people that there IS more to life that's not so black and white. I believe we all have varying degrees of intuition and we need to pay more attention to it.

Rick: The title comes from an important (to the plot) piece of jewelry. Talk a little about your love of jewelry, and how that influenced you in writing this book.

Beth: I actually started making jewelry after my first daughter was born, as a stress reliever! What I didn't know at the time is my Aunt and my Grandmother had also, made jewelry which kind of explained why it came so naturally to me. I was always very drawn to antique jewelry. Knowing that every piece belonged to someone at another point in time intrigued me and seemed like the perfect tangible thing that COULD connect the past to the present. Hence, Cameo was born.

Rick: Every novelist says that his or her book took years to write--but yours really did take many years. The first draft was written more than a decade ago. What made you take it off the shelf, rework it, and send it off to a publisher all these years later?

Beth: When I originally thought I was finished, I did try to get it published. After at least 30 rejections letters, I took a very long break. When I started wanting to try again, I realized I had lost the entire document on my computer. I did have a printed copy (thank God) and decided to accept the situation as a sign that it wasn't actually done. My life was in chaos at that time and re-typing it in a new computer was the most I could do. Another three years went by and it was actually my daughter who said, "I'm so sick of telling all my friends you wrote a book and you are doing absolutely nothing about it." Here we are.

Rick: You've mostly worked in (radio) sales in your professional career. I know you love your job and what you do, but what does writing give you that you can't really get in your day-to-day job?

Beth: Writing gives me the ability to create something that could change someone's perspective on how they view life. I wanted to make a difference when I set out on this journey. Cameo will hopefully, accomplish this. My job gives me the tools to help my clients business. Writing gives me a chance to help someone heal.

Rick: What do your kids think now that mom is a published author?

Beth: They are very excited. However, they are also, excited about the weekend:-). My kids are the inspiration for everything I do. It's all about their happiness, security and above all, love.

Rick: Tell us all about the book launch party.

Beth: There is a book signing at Teasers Pub in Chicago on March 23rd at 7pm. I have never done this before so, this will be an adventure!