I’m so excited to have Wisconsin author Jaime Jo Wright with me on the blog today. She’s one of my very favorite authors and I just know you’ll love her too! Jaime writes split-time novels that are spooky and suspenseful. Her latest book, The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus released this month and I have to say, it’s my favorite one yet! I know some of you are wondering, so let me assure you that there are no scary clowns in the book. Whew!
A couple of weeks ago I shared a video book review. If you missed it, you can watch it here. But now we’re in for a special treat. Cue up the calliope and let’s get this party started!
Josie Siler (JS): Let’s start with the basics. Can you tell us briefly about yourself and your family?
Jaime Jo Wright (JJW): Well, I live in Wisconsin (big surprise 😊) and have two lovely kids I call CoCo and Peter Pan. I’m married to my Cap’n Hook and we just celebrated our 20th year of marriage. By day I’m a Dir. of HR & Organizational Development. By night, I’m a mom. In between all that, I’m an author, and on free days I’m just a rabid reader like the rest of us!
JS: My grandpa used to say, “We’ve gotta have a little fun every now and then. Well, we do, don’t we Josie?” I always loved that! So let’s have a little fun. What are 10 random, silly, weird, or fascinating things about you?
JJW: Hmmmm . . .
- I bow hunt—or used to. Writing takes most of my time now.
- I love ants—I used to have an ant farm.
- I despise avocados.
- I’ve traveled to 9 countries other than the USA, so far.
- I tried being in fashion for one day. Did a runway show and promptly ran away.
- I love running barefoot in the mud.
- I absolutely love frankincense essential oil.
- I don’t like carnations or sunflowers.
- I used to rock climb with my husband pre-kids—like complete with harness, ropes, etc.
- I’m known to break out in song when a popular lyrical phrase is inserted into general conversation.
JS: All of your books are split-time or dual-time novels. I absolutely love this genre and your first book, The House on Foster Hill, is the one that got me hooked. Have you always written these types of books? What got you started in this genre?
JJW: I blame Colleen Coble. One day she suggested I write split-time and so I did. It really was that uneventful.
JS: Follow up question, is there another genre you’d love to write in some day?
JJW: YA mystery.
JS: Tell us about your latest, The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus.
JJW: It’s about a circus. A ghost. A dead person. LOL! No, really, it is actually about those things. It’s based off of the Ringling Bros. Circus wintering grounds where I grew up, here in Wisconsin. I love all things circus and what better place to be haunted than abandoned circus grounds?
JS: What inspired this book and these characters?
JJW: Well, as I mentioned, I grew up in circusville. Elephants were a common sight in the river nearby, I played at the circus on a weekly basis, the calliope sang me to sleep . . . it’s as much in my blood as it can be without actually being circus kin.
JS: One of your main characters, Chandler, has an autoimmune disease. Chronic Lyme Disease is something that you and I both live with. How did your personal experience with this illness influence Chandler’s character?
JJW: I think it honestly made Chandler’s character easier to write because I did draw so much on personal experience. I also wanted to bring awareness to something even the medical community is reticent to recognize as chronic, even though it has its own acronym. There’s very little to no insurance coverage for the “non-existent” existent PTLDS. So it’s important for me to do what I can to bring more awareness and hopefully, change, in the medical community for the accurate treatment and support needed for this autoimmune disease.
JS: How does Chronic Lyme affect your daily life?
JJW: In the past, I struggled with fairly regular non-epileptic seizures. These weren’t the type that come on out of no where, but induced by exhaustion, high stress, or body overdose of poisons like sugar/gluten and undernourishment of things like iron and magnesium. Currently, diet, medications, and other things like strict daily routines, keep me pretty level. My typical day is fairly uneventful but by 2 pm I’m often very exhausted.
JS: Living with chronic illness gives us a unique perspective on life. How has this illness shaped who you are as a person and as a writer?
JJW: I think it’s brought awareness to myself of the need to ask for and accept help. Much like Chandler, I’m not one who asks for help of any kind. I won’t even ask for help carrying in the groceries let alone starting a GoFundMe for myself. So, asking for help has been a huge struggle and the humility to recognize when I need to accept my own limitations.
JS: Do you have any words of encouragement to share with others who are suffering from chronic illness or other trials in life?
JJW: Fight it but don’t fight it. In other words, while you don’t want to cave to the disease and not do what you can to be as healthy as possible, also accept that it is a part of your life. Sometimes I think the fighting its reality lends toward more unnecessary pain and anxiety.
A huge thanks to Jaime Jo for taking time to answer my questions and share her heart with us. Now what are you waiting for? Pop on over to your favorite bookstore, online retailer, or library and get The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus and all of Jaime Jo’s other books. But don’t read them if you’re home alone at night unless you’re very brave!
Come one, come all, to an exclusive interview with the amazing and talented Jaime Jo Wright! #BonaventureCircus #JamieJoWrightTweet
The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus
The Bonaventure Circus is a refuge for many, but Pippa Ripley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the “Watchman,” she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa’s search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.
The old circus train depot will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance, and its future rests on real estate project manager Chandler Faulk’s shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot’s history, she’s also balancing a newly diagnosed autoimmune disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to the unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than even an abandoned train depot could portend.
Yup, it’s just as amazing as it sounds. Happy reading, friends! If you have a comment for me or Jaime Jo, drop it below. We’d love to hear from you.
Until Next Time,