Jocelyn Adams: The Eye of the Beholder

Happy Leap Day!!  It’s a rare day and a rare privilege I have to introduce you to my guest today, Jocelyn Adams, author of The Glass Man, Into the Unknown and Touch of Frost.  She’ll also be headlining an anthology containing a story by yours truly called Tidal Whispers, coming in June.  Shadowborn, the sequel to The Glass Man will release in October 2012.

I’ve been hanging around Jocelyn Adams (hoping her gifts would rub off) since her earlier days of celebrating successes in placing short stories, all the while working diligently on novels and novellas in the background.  Enviably prolific, Jocelyn is foremost a lovely, artistic storyteller with an amazing imagination.  Read The Glass Man and you’ll see even her houses aren’t just structures, but something vivid and awe-inspiring.

I am honored to turn over my blog to her capable hands today as she shares her observations about the similarities between artists and authors.

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Thanks for letting me invade your blog today, Claire!  Nice place you’ve got here.  😉

I’m sure you’re wondering what I’m smoking, comparing artists and author.

Different medium.  Yep.

Different personalities.  Probably.

We both create, though, and put our work out there for interpretation.

Let me explain.

My husband and I took a trip to Paris back in 2001, and although I’m not an art connoisseur, I quite enjoyed touring the Louvre museum.  Even the building itself is spectacular, but most of all I enjoyed the paintings.

It always strikes my funny bone to listen to others fawning over the paintings that, to me, appear to be nothing other than a few blobs of paint on the canvas with a scribbled signature in the corner.

“Oh, Mable,” the man says to the blue-haired woman beside him as he points to a streak through the center, “look how the artist used the striking shades of blue and rough texture here to symbolize the continued struggles of minorities in modern society.”

Say what?

© Ronnie Landfield, The Deluge, acrylic on canvas, 1999. This painting is in a private collection.

No amount of squinting lets me see beyond the blobs.  Here’s my logical thought process.  Isn’t it possible the artist just liked how the blue smear looked against the red and yellow?  Couldn’t it represent water and not minorities?  How did race come into the picture at all?  ::shrugs::  What the hell do I know?  And really, does it matter?  We both gained enjoyment out of looking at the art and that’s the point, right?

Which brings me to similar scenarios I’ve experienced as an author.

I love hearing from readers, be it for writing or publishing questions, or to tell me personally what they thought of my book.  I recently had someone gushing over one of my stories, about how they were deeply touched by the philosophical issues I’d blended almost imperceptibly into the background of the words and how they agreed with the underlying political statements I’d made in the piece.

Um … again, say what?

I quickly snatched up the story and read it through, looking for what the reader could have been talking about.  Honestly, I’m not a deep thinker, nor do I plan anything when writing, where I weave philosophical or political anything into it on purpose, but it thrills me that through someone else’s eyes and mind, they can dig under the surface and find it for themselves.

Another reader will, most likely, take something completely different from it.  So what if I just liked how that sentence flowed and the imagery it created in my head.  Who cares if I chose that word because I like the way it rolls off my tongue?  If someone else gets a deeper meaning out of it, that’s amazing.  So whenever that happens to me, I smile and nod to myself, and say, of course that’s what I meant!  I’m happy you picked up on that.

As a reader, do you just read on the surface, take the story at face-value?  Or do you discover hidden gems woven into the words as you read?

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Thank you so much for visiting my blog today, Jocelyn! A very thought-provoking analogy you shared.  Just a note to the readers, the abstract art above I added so it’s not necessarily what Jocelyn saw or was describing in her essay, just my interpretation.

If you wish to behold Jocelyn’s latest piece of art, may I recommend that you grab a copy of Touch of Frost.

Even the simplest of touches between Will Frost and Lauren McLean are forbidden.

To share love will surely mean death.

Since her granddad’s passing, Lauren has existed a few steps out of sync with the world. Desperate to feel the love only he offered her as a child, Lauren returns to the haven they once shared — a snow-covered cabin at the foothills of the Rockies.

It’s not the memory of her granddad that warms her ice-cold, frost-bitten body after being caught in a blizzard, though. It’s the man in whose bed she wakes.

Along with bringing life to her soul, Will stirs deep-rooted memories in Lauren and brings out the love she seeks.

What Will knows about himself — the secrets of his kind — he keeps hidden, forcing Lauren to search for answers, to question and ultimately put her life, and his own existence, in danger.

In love, though, there is always a way.

Can Will get around the rules? Or will Lauren give up her life simply to have one last touch from Will Frost?

Touch of Frost available now at:

Amazon / B & N

You can find Jocelyn at:

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter

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9 thoughts on “Jocelyn Adams: The Eye of the Beholder

  1. I smiled through the whole of this post because I am EXACTLY the same. I never try to weave in any underlying ethical morals into my story. I just write, write, write as the words come to me and hope I’m creating something someone will enjoy reading. And I have had comments about themes and whatnot, but I never purposely work a theme into my writing either. You’re right, different folk will always see the same piece differently.
    I’m of the team that reads just for enjoyment. Even once I’ve finished I barely consider beyond what I did/didn’t like about it. 🙂

    • I know, I always cringe when I’m filling out a form and it asks for the “theme” of the story/novella/novel. Theme? I don’t deal in no stinking themes. 🙂 If there is one, it’s unintentional.

  2. My hubby and I were in Paris in 2002 and we, too, went to the Louvre and my first comment was : “The Mona Lisa is a lot smaller than I thought.” 😉

    I am a very surface level reader. Always have been. I love finding the nuggets, but honestly, I very rarely do. 🙂 Ah well. LOVE this post!

    • I hear ya. The Mona Lisa wasn’t at all what I thought it’d be, either. There were so many people crowded around it we didn’t even look at it up close.

  3. Great guest post! I don’t think writers and artists are so different; in fact, I see us all as artists, just in different mediums. I like to read for the pleasure of it. If I get some societal/political/other statement out of it, they’ve probably intended for it to be found. At the same time, I do think we can see what a person’s beliefs and interests are through their writing. I did my time in high school and college analyzing text and don’t want to do it anymore!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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