Thursday, April 8, 2021

# Guest Posts

One Writer's Oath: Inspiration is Truly Where You Find It by Kathleen Jae @kathleenjae2 #Guest


Kathleen Jae has been writing in one form or another for almost twenty-five years. Her greatest success story is her daughter, Katie, whom she refers to as “my hero,” and their journey is chronicled in Kathleen’s first book, From Prompting to Shaping to Letting Go: My Love Affair With ABA and How Being a “Bad Mom” Helped My Daughter With Autism Succeed. In past lives the author has been a proofreader, editor, newspaper reporter and columnist, newsletter writer for a wildlife organization and writer of stage plays and screenplays. She considers her six-year stint as a home-based behavioral program director in the ’90s her most difficult, albeit important, job and is counting the days until all autism-related ABA therapy positions go the way of the dodo. Two of Kathleen’s short stories made it to the finals of the 2017 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award competition.






Amazon author page:

One Writer's Oath: Inspiration is Truly Where You Find It

By Kathleen Jae


My family and I had made Sanibel Island our vacation destination for 20 years when it hit me. 

The “it” in this situation was an idea, a concept so clear I couldn’t stop mentally plotting the details. I was amazed, as I still am today, that a true story told by a kayaking guide would inspire me to write my first novel.   

Until that time, the thought of writing more than a few pages terrified me. I had written short stories years before—two works to be precise—along with two stage plays and two screenplays. I have never been able to interpret the significance of that! 

I was eager to start writing, so a few days after we returned home, I produced a few typed pages of notes. I had already decided on the critter for the principal character, a choice I made that day listening to the kayaking guide. My notes comprised a few characters, the problem or dilemma and a vague idea on how the protagonist would solve it. Then I began what was to be several days of research. A week in, I realized that one of the two settings of the story, the red mangroves along the coast of southwest Florida, would not make a realistic backdrop for the characters I had envisioned in my book. In fact, only a handful of my characters would naturally be found there.  

Now had a dilemma. Thankfully, the problem was short-lived, for during my investigation I learned salt marshes exist as a transitional community between mangroves and freshwater marshes. I was back in business! 

Once I moved the setting of the second part of the story and adjusted the criteria for my research, my characters felt at home (well, all except one), and I was free to outline the rest of the book. 

The manuscript I first created five years ago was naïve, clumsy and disjointed. Several drafts later, Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery has become a fictional work that fills me with pride.  

I still remember sitting in the kayak, staring at the red mangroves while listening to the guide. I will never forget my feeling of excitement at the prospect of writing a novel, and the experience confirms my belief that inspiration can be found wherever you happen to be. 

About the Book:

Kathleen Jae
Twenty Paws Publishing
213 pp.
Middle Grade Fiction


After a series of terrifying events, Elanora is transported to a strange neighborhood where the only way to get about is by water and the only food to eat is the grasses of the marsh. When she discovers that the water level in her new home is falling, she suspects humans are the cause and puts together a plan to save the creatures who live there.

Will Elanora persuade the colony and swimmers to overcome their fear of the unknown and embark on a dangerous journey to their new home?


Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery features interesting animal characters with distinctive character traits and personalities who can absorb the middle-grade reader. The salt marsh environment is sufficiently detailed to become a character on its own, with its ebbs and flows. The self-contained world created stands on its own with a microcosm of both conflict and friendship… A child or even an adult reader of this book can identify with and applaud the book’s characters… all in all a very good read. 


Amazon → 


Kathleen Jae is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card


One Printed Canvas Bag

Included in the canvas bag printed with the Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery book cover by Etsy shop owner BAGANDTOTE1: One plushie muskrat (Beathas, Lachi and the rest of the colony); one plushie chipmunk (Elanora); one plushie gray squirrel (Nara); one roseate spoonbill (Moira and Muireall) photo transfer hanging by Etsy shop owner FeelinGroovyPhotos; one framed manatee (sea cow) art print by Etsy shop owner SammWehmanArt; one cormorant (Pelles) printed tea towel by Etsy shop owner HearthandHarrow; one yellow-crowned night heron (Morven) signed printed note card by Etsy shop owner BlueHenCraft; one set of 5 vintage bobcat (bullycat) postage stamps by Etsy shop owner AxmxZ; one red-tailed hawk (defyer) applique iron-on patch by Etsy shop owner PatchParlor; one diamondback terrapin (Ùna) vintage, upcycled and hand-soldered glass pendant with ball-chain necklace by Etsy shop owner ObjectFound; one reusable shopping bag adorned with assorted forest animals including red fox (oppect), white tailed deer (Damhan), rabbit (quidge) and owl (marauder); one bird-watching notebook with blue jay (Jae) on front; two signed copies of Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery and two Elanora bookmarks.

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive $50 Amazon Gift Card & one winner will be chosen to win tote bag with goodies.
  • This giveaway ends midnight April 30.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on May 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!


1 comment:

Kathleen Jae said...

Hello Dorothy! Thank you for participating in my Virtual Blog Tour for Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery via Pump Up Your Book! I really enjoyed writing the blog post and love your site!

Follow Us @soratemplates