Darlene Jones is a retired educator and writer. A graduate of the University of Alberta she was a teacher, principal, second language consultant, and staffing officer with Edmonton Public schools. Her multiple roles included second language curriculum development for secondary students. After retiring she continued to provide educational workshops for teachers in the province of Alberta.
Her career began as a volunteer with Canadian University Services Overseas. She taught school in Mali and it was the plight of the Malians that inspired her to write her first novel—science fiction—described by readers as a “think piece.”
She continues to write fiction that incorporates topics such as world affairs, aging, and Alzheimer’s, with the added mix of adventure, romance and humor.
If you could change one thing about our world, what would it be and why?
Oh man! I thought I’d write a book to answer this question. One book became four and now you want me to answer in one paragraph?
There are so many things that need changing. Equal distribution of wealth, excellent education for all, an end to religious and tribal enmity, no more drug use and abuse … This list could go on and on, but if you’re going to restrict me to one thing, I have to say I would like to see an end to all wars and armed conflicts. So much blood shed for what purpose? Do I think it’s possible to stop war? Pessimistically, no. Realistically, no. But wouldn't it be nice?
Don’t get the idea, by this answer, that my books are heavy and dismal. They do deal with the worlds woes, but they have adventure, a few fight scenes, humor, and of course a love story for what's a novel without the love interest?
Why does your daughter hate your book?
“Argh! I hate this!” It’s my daughter speaking. My heart sinks. She’s reading my first novel. Surely, it’s not that bad. “Why?” I ask. Do I really want to hear the answer? “It’s a great story, Mom. I’m totally into it and then, bam, I read a part and I see you. Jolts me right out of the story.” Well, that makes sense, I guess, since this reader knows me so well. But I start to worry a bit when I hear similar comments from close friends. Oh, no, I think. I've done something terribly wrong. Or have I? My daughter’s comment gets me thinking. If we knew the authors of the books we read, would we be saying the same thing? To what extent do authors reveal themselves in their fiction? Can authors completely distance themselves from their writing? Would we want them to? Recently Jim Ainsworth wrote a piece on Venture Galleries (http://ow.ly/kNT4c) about the importance of making connections with others. He quoted Professor and writer John Dufresne who says, “A book should offer hope. It should lift up the reader. It should give the reader a reason to live—should he need one. Life is not easy for any of us, but the pain of loneliness is often unbearable. The writer is saying, among other things, ‘You’re not alone.’” And what better way can a writer say, “You are not alone,” than by imbuing their stories with the strength and gift of their presence?
I had the good fortune to read this book before it was published and highly recommend it. From the sheltered life in Ontario, Andrea crosses the continent to the rugged world of West Coast British Columbia. This story sucks the reader in with a humorous and intriguing look at the lives of commercial fishermen. The reader is caught in Andrea’s life as her decisions lead her down a path she could never have anticipated. Soon you are sitting on the edge of your chair, tense with worry about Andrea. And the ending!? All I can say is that there had better be a sequel. The mechanics are solid, the imagery vivid and the emotional impact will have you rooting for Andrea.
I had an opportunity to read this book prior to publication.
Purchase has done it again. Brought us another riveting love story laced with danger and intrigue. This time the setting is the wilds of the Baja Peninsula. The author creates a vivid picture for us of the terrain and climate with its own danger from bad roads, cows on the highway, the desert itself, and bandidos.
Sylvia, running from her husband and a life threatening letter, finds peace and solace fleeting in the campgrounds of the Baja. First a drunk man tries to molest her. Then she loses her passport and wallet. Then she finds Kevin. He too is on the run. The two fall in love/lust or perhaps it’s the other way round.
As their relationship grows greater dangers emerge. First from the secrets they keep from each other and then from their spouses who are in hot pursuit.
Purchase knows how to paint a glorious picture of the setting and hold us spell-bound by the action. A great read
on Feb. 27, 2013
I had the good fortune to read Julia’s Violinist before publication. One woman’s struggle to survive and protect her children in the aftermath of WWII is a war story with a difference. In her novel, Purchase focuses on Julia’s determination and her strength of will. Despite all that she endures, she is a survivor. It’s Julia who holds her family together during the horror of reprisals and the deprivation of deportation and internment.
But Julia’s violinist is above all a story of love—for children, parents, siblings and the three men in her life. You will cry for Julia, you will root for Julia, you will cheer for Julia, and above all you will come to love Julia.
This is not just one woman's story, but the story of many women, any one of whom it would be an honor and a privilege to know.