Local author Janice McDermott will be at Standley Lake Library on Thursday, July 12 at 6:00 pm to discuss her book, What Would Your Father Say? My Journey to Hope and Light
. Her memoir leads readers on a sometimes sad, often jubilant jaunt through her young years in a long-gone rural Iowa. Poverty, the death of her young father, and stints in an orphanage, a foster home and a convent all propel her to an adulthood where she finds peace -- with herself and with God. Janice's stories -- of smoking nuns, illicit fudge, wash day, sibling rivalry, learning to drive, secret viewing of White Christmas, working at Ray's Drive Inn, and searching for diamonds in the privy -- engage the adventuresome and the quirky sides of all of us. And they reveal why her mother so often declared her father would be "turning over in his grave" if he knew what they were doing! Readers will find hope, faith and trust in "a Power greater than we are" as they travel this journey with her.
We asked Janice to answer a few questions about her book and her life.
JCPL: Why did you decide to tell this story?
Janice: Even when I was a little girl and I was living this story I thought it would be a good story to write. I actually wrote most of the story twenty-four years ago when I first moved to Denver. I had a very interesting neighbor that told me many fascinating things about her life. I asked her how she knew all these things. She told me she went to a palm reader in Boulder so I quickly made an appointment with the same women. She said I had to write my story. Even though I argued with her I came home and sat down and started to write. It was easy and fun and cathartic.
JCPL: What can you tell us about your writing process?
Janice: I find great joy in writing. On my journal I have this quote from an anonymous person: " I only know what I know when I write it down." That describes the writing process for me. Whenever I am confused, upset, frustrated or want clarity I always grab my journal and start writing.
JCPL: What are some of the responses you’ve had from readers?
Janice: Almost everyone says they love reading my story. Some readers relate because they grew up poor like I did. Others grew up in the Midwest and others have been raised Catholic. A few readers have been in the convent and love comparing notes about that chapter.
JCPL: What do you do when you aren’t writing?
Janice: I love riding my bike, crocheting, reading, meditating and doing yoga. I am a life long learner and LOVE reading any book that will help me in my life coaching work. I am committed to continue working on my own healing so that I can help others to heal.