Even though she was one of those odd kids who loved research paper assignments, Jeanne says her dad was her actual inspiration for writing. He’d always said he was going to write the next great American novel, but ran out of time, dying suddenly at age 58.
When Jeanne retired from her career in communications, she took up the flag and spent many happy months writing her first novel, My Second Wind. It is a testament to her love of all things West Texas, with a little romance and mystery thrown in. Main character Maggie blogged the entire novel once a week for a year in real time beginning in March 2011. It can be found here in its original form. The updated, third-person version is now available at Amazon.com in e-book or paperback format.
“This book was not only a tribute to my dad, but great therapy. I never realized what fun it was to kill somebody off… in fiction, of course!”
When Jeanne’s goddaughter Shayne committed suicide, the author began a journey through Shayne’s journals to learn what she could. The result is Softly As I Leave You, a painful labor of love. One third of the novel is actual unedited journal writings by Shayne that give a fresh, first-person insight into mental illness.
“Shayne was such an amazing young woman. Hopefully, her own words can bring hope to others who suffer as she did.”
Jeanne’s next publishing venture was Compass Boys, a West Texas tale from the 1950s about two young boys growing up and facing the ugly truths of racial prejudice. It was published in late 2014. It was followed in early 2015 by Overalls, Oatmeal & Dreams, another middle-grade adventure, this time set in Iowa. She is currently working on sequels to both young readers’ books.
Jeanne S. Guerra (rhymes with Sarah) is a graduate of Texas Tech—Go Red Raiders.
Books in order of publication:
|Softly, As I Leave You: A novel about mental illness & hope. Based on the journal writings of Shayne, a victim of suicide.||2013|
|My Second Wind||2013|
|Compass Boys: Adventures in 1950s West Texas||2015|
|Overalls, Oatmeal & Dreams||2015|