Warm December greetings from Marti Pieper in Seneca, South Carolina, where our temperatures are cold enough to let us know winter is on the way but no doubt warmer than those where today’s interview subject lives in Colorado. I’m delighted to welcome author Jayme H. Mansfield to the CAN blog today. I know she has much to share with us!
Welcome, Jayme; please tell us about the book we’re featuring today.
Seasoned is more than a love story—it’s a human story. Eighty-year-olds Essie and Lou are widowed and lonely after long marriages. After online dating brings them together, each must decide if past secrets will keep them from a second chance at love. Through grace, forgiveness, and restoration, it’s never too late to start living the truth and embracing that love knows no age.
Intriguing! What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired to write Seasoned by the special, later-in-life love relationship my mother enjoyed with a wonderful gentleman for over a decade. Both had lost their spouse after long and happy marriages. Well into their eighties, they were fortunate to find and embrace a second chance at love. Their relationship was an inspiration and testimony to the truth that loves knows no age.
That’s so sweet. And why did you write Seasoned?
At the core, I wrote this book because I found myself at yet another challenging juncture of life—facing the reality that my mother is now old, and I too am aging. Yet, despite the reality of time marching on, gratitude for the past and present, and grace and hope for the future, remain. This book was written to celebrate the power of love and a reminder it’s never too late to start happily ever after.
Amen! What would you say is the primary focus of your book?
It’s a reminder of grace. It’s a tale about second chances to love and to be loved. And more importantly, it’s never too late to start living the truth.
Those are all important. What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?
Forgiveness, hope, redemption, and love resonate in each of my novels. The beauty of these reoccurring themes is that they are initially unintentional and unplanned. Instead, along the characters’ journeys, life happens and “humanness” plays out. Each of my novels also include a “painterly” theme, emphasizing the transformative power of art. The original art book covers of my novels are a beautiful testimony.
I agree; they are beautiful! Why do you love writing?
Writing takes me to my most real and thoughtful place. It allows me to unearth, wrestle with, embrace, and celebrate dreams, hopes, passions, and even fears. It can be an extremely difficult task, yet the most natural for me—an intriguing mixture of my calling despite life’s challenges, yet something I would be empty without.
How has being a writer impacted your relationship with Christ?
Christ knows just where to meet each of us. When I write, He whispers to my heart and soul. It’s in those hours at the computer or the subconscious storytelling wherever I might be, that I laugh, cry, ponder, dream, and praise along with characters as we all discover who God intends us to be.
Amen! Do you have an unfulfilled dream?
My heaven on earth is a breathtaking area in Wyoming where I ride horses in the wide-open, grassy plains. It’s the most special and sacred place for me where I dream big and smile wide. Someday, I hope to have a home there—a place to write, paint, and of course, ride!
That sounds lovely. What talents do you have aside from storytelling?
I am passionate about painting, particularly my big and bold acrylic on canvas floral abstractions. I have owned an art studio for 25 years where I teach many art mediums to children and adults. You can see my work, referred by many as “art filled with joy and hope,” on my website.
I love that you are an artist in multiple ways! Do you have a “day job” or a previous career? Does it influence what or how you write?
I taught elementary school for 20 years, “retired” for three, and am now back teaching elementary art (getting the last kid through college has a funny way of changing things!).
I continue to run my private art studio, instruct, and sell my paintings. The transformative and inspirational power of art is present in all of my books—a part of me that is infused in my storytelling.
Do you have pets, and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?
Great question! We have two golden retrievers, Bella and Millie, who run the roost! On many days, they are my quiet, underfoot companions as I write and paint. Often, they are my distractors—tennis balls dropped on my lap, doors nudged open for walks and daily squirrel- chasing adventures, and rambunctious dog-wrestling matches on the rug behind me … not much has changed since my husband and I raised our three sons!
Tell us about your next project.
Things aren’t always what they seem—and for thirty-eight-year-old Olivia Danford, her own life is starting to unravel. As an acclaimed expert in art forgery detection, she’s called in by a notable Washington, D.C., museum to investigate a purported Modigliani portrait. The forensic testing and mysterious provenance of the Girl in White reveal much more than meets the eye. Olivia is drawn into her past, where she must decide if a half-truth is a still a whole lie … and if a lie eventually reveals the truth. Portrait of Deceit is the first book in a contemporary fiction series.
Thank you so much, Jayme, for taking time to share your passions and joys with us today.
For His glory,