Friends, I’m beyond excited to share with you that Jaime Jo Wright is in the WordyNerdyBlog house today! Her latest release, The Curse of Misty Wayfair was so outstandingly, fabulously great I might break my rule of “never read the same book more than once” just to read it again! I will add the warning that there were times I had to make sure all the lights in the house were on. Yes, it’s THAT good! I could ramble for hours about this book. But, suffice it to say it has skyrocketed to my Best Top 10 EVER Reads. And if you’re still unsure, here’s my review and an excerpt .
About The Curse of Misty Wayfair:
Left at an orphanage as a child, Thea Reed vowed to find her mother someday. Now grown, her search takes her to Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin, in 1908. When clues lead her to a mental asylum, Thea uses her experience as a post-mortem photographer to gain access and assist groundskeeper Simeon Coyle in photographing the patients and uncovering the secrets within. However, she never expected her personal quest would reawaken the legend of Misty Wayfair, a murdered woman who allegedly haunts the area and whose appearance portends death.
A century later, Heidi Lane receives a troubling letter from her mother—who is battling dementia—compelling her to travel to Pleasant Valley for answers to her own questions of identity. When she catches sight of a ghostly woman who haunts the asylum ruins in the woods, the long-standing story of Misty Wayfair returns—and with it, Heidi’s fear for her own life.
As two women across time seek answers about their identities and heritage, can they overcome the threat of the mysterious curse that has them inextricably intertwined?
READY?? LET’S DO THIS!
Now onto the good stuff. Grab a cup of coffee, hot cocoa, tea…whatever you love best and follow me! You’re not going to want to miss a word of my interview with her.
SHAREE: Jaime Jo, welcome welcome!!!! I’m so grateful for the chance to talk with you today. The last time I hosted you was during the launch for The House on Foster Hill back in November 2017. So, I’m guessing a lot has happened since that first book. Can you tell us what some of the highs and lows have been since the release of The House on Foster Hill?
JAIME JO: Oh gosh!! There’s so many!! Most of life is filled with highs because, really, in the midst of trial, God has a way of plopping blessing after blessing into your path. Since the release of my first novel, I’ve written three more, I’ve gone on about six different trips throughout the nation, I watched my son graduate Kindergarten, I taught my daughter how to make a latte, we adopted a little rescue kitten who turned out to be a Flamepoint Siamese and my “therapy” cat during a super hard summer of illness, and we made strides in my autoimmune struggles and managed to keep hospital visits to simply visits and not stays!
SHAREE: I’m nodding my head emphatically. I love God’s faithfulness in those trials. He shows up on time, every time and his shoulders are so broad. What a compassionate Savior we have! Friends, you’ve got to see this beautiful kitty that Jaime Jo is talking about. Check out her Facebook page!
SHAREE: The Curse of Misty Wayfair is book three (and no spoilers here) but friends I’ve gotta tell you, it’s…wowzers! It’s fantabulous! I was pleased to see your quote from Nellie Bly as the book opens. I find her fascinating, but for those who may not know a lot about Nellie Bly, could you share a little bit about what attracted you to her story?
JAIME JO: For sure! Nellie Bly was truly a woman not of her time. She was a journalist in the late 1800’s which in and of itself, would technically be enough to raise brows. But she also had suspicions of the abuse that went on behind closed doors in asylums, so she took it on herself to be admitted to an institution for 10 days. It was a breakthrough, undercover investigation from which she narrowly escaped not being rescued from. As sane as she was, the doctors and nurses firmly believed she suffered from a mental illness (all without Nellie acting!). After her release, Nellie wrote an expose titled “Ten Days in a Madhouse”, and while not 21st century politically correct terminology today, it was taken very seriously (as it should have been) then. It was after her expose, that things began to change in asylums. Slowly. But change, they did.
SHAREE: She was an amazing lady with lion-like courage. Just goes to prove it only takes one person to start change. May we all be so bold to help those hurting.
SHAREE: I loved that you addressed depression which is much more common today than it was in poor Thea’s time, but still an area of misconceptions. What is the message you hope readers gain from The Curse of Misty Wayfair in respect to depression?
JAIME JO: This is a sticky-wicket of a conversation for me. For some reason, it seems to be a point of contention, specifically in the world of faith. I think often, those of us struggling with depression or anxiety are challenged to pray more, read the Bible more, increase our faith more, etc. While those elements are ridiculously important, they’re that way for anyone–not just someone with a mental illness. There’s a stigma of weakness–mental weakness–that surrounds depression and/or anxiety, when in fact, there’s much to prove it can be chemical, hormonal, genetic, etc. I know not everyone will agree with me, but I firmly believe that while God allows some of us to bear that thorn in the side, He also provides relief to us through the miracle of modern medicine and psychology. As fellow friends, family, and Believers, showing grace and not challenging the authenticity of the sufferer’s faith, is so critical!!
SHAREE: You’ve got my AMEN, and I’m so glad you’re boldly speaking out on the matter. There is no shame in depression. I love that God uses everything, even those thorns to help others.
SHAREE: Memento mori is another interesting topic and you wove it into the story with great finesse. To the modern reader, this is something that might be morbid. What would you say to that person to explain the logic behind Memento Mori?
JAIME JO: The logic behind these types of photographs truly was to freeze in time the last memory of a loved one. It was never meant to be morbid or “gothic”, but rather a keepsake–a treasure! Many held it dear to themselves much like they would a lock of hair or a piece of clothing. To remember, to feel close to, and to never forget the ones who had gone before.
SHAREE: In a world of social media and selfies, this actually makes a lot of sense.
SHAREE: As a new writer, I still struggle to balance home (family, household things, etc.) with work and writing. What advice would you give to someone like me who is still trying to juggle everything and write?
JAIME JO: Best piece of advice I can give is to stop looking for ideal time to write. There’s something in every writer that wants stretches of time to ponder, type, edit, ponder, type, and ponder some more. But in reality, if you wait for those times between the normalcy of life, you’re going to maybe get one chance a month to write. If you’re lucky! So, as a writer who works full time, has two kids in school, juggles church responsibilities, and has an autoimmune disease, I’ve learned to “sprint write”. Writing in 10-15 chunks of time, maybe 4-6 times a day. Lunch break, on my phone while I’m waiting in a parking lot for school to let out, etc. It’s not ideal, but if you truly have a passion to write and tell stories, you’ll push forward with whatever time you have. Waiting for inspiration, a perfect setting, silence . . . it’s not typically realistic. I wince, because I love it. LOL! But it’s just not realistic. LOL.
SHAREE: I think that’s great advice. For all or nothing thinkers like me, it lets us off the hook of believing we have to have entire days to write. Do what you can, WHENEVER you can and get those words in. Love it!
SHAREE: Do you struggle to find topics to write about or are you bubbling over with story ideas all of the time?
JAIME JO: Oh gosh. I think I have at least twenty more books in my head as we speak!
SHAREE: Well as a huge fan of your books, I can’t tell you how relieved I am to know I’ll be reading more Jaime Jo Wright books for years to come!
SHAREE: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about The Curse of Misty Wayfair?
JAIME JO: That’s it’s not your typical “ghost” story. I know some readers are very hesitant because of the “ghostly” elements, but I encourage you to pick it up anyway. You may find that it’s very easy to reconcile your beliefs to the curse that is Misty Wayfair. 😉
SHAREE: OOOOH yes! (she says grinning conspiratorially). The Curse of Misty Wayfair DOES NOT disappoint.
Jaime Jo, thank you so much for joining me today! Friends grab a copy and leave a comment if you’d like to be entered in the drawing for ONE copy of The Curse of Misty Wayfair. (US ONLY)
FOLLOW JAIME JO:
Web site: www.jaimejowright.com