Welcome, Justina! I love the cover. Please tell us about The Pawnbrokers Ring.
I have always had a curiosity about jealousy and envy. As the definition of each–jealousy being one of emotions, envy as desire for another’s possessions–each can be one of the heaviest crosses to bear for some people. But what if someone struggled with both to the degree of taking over one’s life? Choices made because of them? Regrets? This story is of one such woman and her target is Adela Seward, who seems to have it all. Mrs. Blackburn is riddled with the outcomes of both jealousy and envy. Jealous of Adela’s love life and envious of what Adela has attained as a business woman in 1830. But what someone sees and believes, in all actuality, is not what the other is experiencing. Does Adela enjoy those things she has earned? And what of her husband, who has yet to return after eighteen years? This novel proves the old adage: “You can only believe none of what you see and half of what you hear.” It also substantiates that we can accomplish anything, especially overcoming passions, with the help of God
Do you write strictly historical or do you write contemporary as well?
I wrote a contemporary mystery several years ago which was well received by editors at publishing companies. Then the last line of the letter was: “Find an agent and resubmit.” You know how that goes when you have never been published before! Perhaps I will rework it and resubmit one day. But I love what goes into the writing of historical books. The things I learn are amazing…and thankfully I have the internet!
What is next for you?
I am now on a three-part story called “Tunnels.” The nightly news one evening brought a small blurb about King George V and Queen Mary. A tunnel ran from Buckingham Palace in many directions where they could travel safely. It was used during WWII to build parts of bombers and numerous other war supports. She was walking in one area of a tunnel one day and encountered a man who clearly was not of royalty, dressed in rags. She asked him what he was doing there and he answered that he had been living there for some years, undetected. What an image. Here comes the internet and research. “Tunnels” takes place in Washington D.C., Moscow, and London. The theme centers on stealing. Is there a time when God could excuse such a transgression? This novel presents three different thefts, reasons and outcomes.
When did you first know you wanted to write and how long have you been writing?
Since the early years of my teens, I consumed English classes. Inhaled them, actually, but could not find what it takes to actually sit down and put stories on paper. I would think of P.D. James and the late evenings and early mornings sitting at the dining room table handwriting her mysteries! So you will ask: how did you finally do it? If you are meant to write, change in circumstances are usually behind it. I found myself living with my 11-yr old son in Northern California near Mt. Shasta back in the mid-80s in a cabin on 1,000 acres in the middle of BLM land—without electricity. The only electricity we had was 2 miles down the road where the landlord kept a small trailer in the middle of a cow pasture next to a roaring river that had long since been emptied of gold. My father bought me a Brother disc typewriter because he said that every job requires the right tools. Every day I drove my son down to the trailer, which also happened to be the bus stop for school, and type all day waiting for the bus to come back and then we would head back up the mountain. Well, didn’t type quite all day. I had a gold pan and took a few breaks! The other pauses to the writing endeavor were forced, when the cows would decide to move closer and use the trailer for a back scratcher. I suffer greatly from motion sickness…
Oh my goodness, what an imagine you’ve created in my mind! I can just see the trailer moving side to side–it would’ve made me sick too! Thanks for sharing with us, Justina.
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What was one of the most lucrative ways to obtain riches pre-electricity?
Justina Prima lives with her husband in Colorado, a full-time hospice nurse and writes as much as possible the rest of the hours of the week. She has a son and daughter in Chicago and three young grandchildren. This is her first published novel, now working on the second. http://justinaprima.weebly.com