I’m Darlene Jones. Like most people, I play many roles: daughter, sister, student, traveler, wife, mother, reader, educator, body boarder, camel rider (yes, it was a hoot), writer, and more recently and most enjoyably—grandmother.
As an author, I’m often interviewed for blog visits. I was once asked at what age I was happiest. I have to say now. I’m retired and I’ve discovered that after building a career and raising children, I can put myself first. That’s not as selfish as it sounds. It just means no alarm clocks and ample time for writing.
Almost every interviewer asks what inspired my books. The answer is easy. I worked in Mali as a CUSO (Canadian University Service Overseas) volunteer. At that time the country was the fifth poorest in the world. Try to imagine going from the comfort and ease of life in Canada to a world without.
Malians had little in terms of material goods and modern conveniences. A kerosene lantern or two, and for the lucky few, a bicycle. Malians lived as they always had. I hadn’t just traveled to the other side of the world. I had traveled in time. In spite of the hardships the people endured, they were friendly, kind and helpful. The memory of the children’s wide warm smiles still warms my heart.
It was easy then, to write about what I wanted to do most—wave a magic wand to make things better for Malians. My novels create a fictional magic wand to make the world a better place. Of course there’s action, adventure, and a love triangle too.