Welcome to Writers4Higher
This issue, Writers4Higher features
Jill Fletcher Palaez
Hi. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!
1. Tell me about yourself. Your book, your life, your inspiration.
The author, my mother, Jill Fletcher Pelaez was born in 1924 in Puerto Rico, and she died at age 88 on July 2, 2012 in Tallahassee, FL. She had an insatiable zest for life and broad interests, encompassing art, music, dance, writing and history. She was especially interested in the Civil War, the end of which became the setting for her novel.
Mom worked on her first and only novel for 20 years and had not yet found a publisher for it. In May 2012 she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and within two weeks WiDo Publishing had offered her a contract. She was thrilled to know that her work and her protagonist, Tench — whom she dearly loved —would live on after her.
Mom didn’t live to see her book in print; but she knew it would finally see the light of day this month. We are thrilled for Mom, but also for the world, that her book, The Day is a White Tablet (WiDo Publishing), is now available to entertain, to teach and to uplift all those who read it.
2. Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?
Since Mom isn’t with us any longer, I’ll just let you know about her past writing, which was primarily in the realm of children’s literature. She was the author of Donkey Tales (Abingdon Press 1971), a children’s book of short stories set in Spain. She also contributed articles and short stories to Ideas and Images (a text book of the American Book Company), and to magazines, U.S. Lady, Humpty Dumpty, and Highlights for Children.
3. How do you use your talents/time to help others?
Mom’s altruism never waited for the grand gesture. All through her life, she had a way of making each person who crossed her path feel important. She wanted to hear everyone's life story, and when people spoke, she gave them her full focus and attention. For example, in 2004, when my Mom was 80, she and I went on a trip together to visit my oldest daughter in Hawaii. I will never forget the attention Mom attracted as we traveled. She embraced and became friends with everyone. The manicurist at the nail salon, the clerks at the dress shops, the waiters at the restaurants, the people we met at shows we attended, the passengers on the airplane, the flight attendants, and my daughter’s friends—all became her instant friends. She exchanged e-mail addresses with everyone.
As a little girl, I remember living in Needham, Massachusetts for a year while my Air Force father was on duty there. All of our friends became her friends. Everyone loved my mother. She would gather our friends around her and teach them the hula, listen to their problems, and get to know them in profound ways. When we moved, the neighborhood children gave HER the going away parties!
Mom also cared deeply for others less fortunate. In her older age, she and her friend and companion (she never liked calling him her boyfriend!), would seek out the homeless in the community so they could buy a meal, or give money, or help in some little way. She could never say no to any organization that solicited her financial help. She generously gave to numerous organizations, everything from the American Red Cross and the Wounded Warrior Project to the Wilderness Society and the March of Dimes.
Her biggest contribution, in my opinion, is the love and time she devoted to her family. When she could no longer drive, she became my housemate. I built onto my home so she could have her own space, a lovely suite. Her encouragement and love made my life richer then and makes my life richer now, especially as I prepare to introduce her book to the world.
Would you like to find Jill Fletcher Paleaz?
Check out the links to this talented author:
Thank you for sharing this book and insights on your wonderful mother. Oh, how I wish I could have known her! Through her writing, and the love you and your family hold for her, she will live on. My best to all of you.
Fiction with a Southern Twist