For sixty years after World War II, death has haunted the entire Vanderveer family.
Death lives within the soul of Jakob Vanderveer, who vowed to be a silent keeper of secrets. He believed this would be a loving way of keeping his family safe. The shadow of Jakob’s missing four years, his adolescent survival of the horrors of Jappen kampen (Japanese concentration camps) hit his familywith a terrible cost.
Then one day Jakob calls his now adult daughter, Luce Vanderveer Lewis. Her scientist-brother, Alby, has been hiding his ongoing drug addiction and has overdosed…again. With the openness of her father’s phone call, old yearnings pull at Luce…to learn about her father’s three and a half missing years in Japanese Concentration Camps.
As the family gathers with Alby’s doctor, Jakob is coaxed to reveal the past. With Alby’s recent near death, he can no longer profess that secret keeping created a healthy family. First Jakob speaks in his usual generalizations regarding the horrors of war and too many deaths. Slowly he touches on the day the Japanese declared all boys fourteen and younger were “men.” This day started the events that eventually left Jakob all alone among thousands of men.
With the telling of this story, a seemingly cast-iron wall begins to crack. Jakob’s real life account of what is behind his anxious and controlling ways leaves Luce shaken by greater understanding, love, and a new awareness of her own struggles—growing up across three continents.
Neither Luce nor her parents can ever return to their first homes or their lost childhoods. Yet, in Following Shadows, they find a journey of healing in which they discover that the past, rather than destroying, pulls everyone to the light of home.
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Janneke Jobsis Brown whose book Following Shadows moved me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love historical fiction/history but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight for Janneke Jobsis Brown, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Janneke Jobsis Brown will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Janneke Jobsis Brown!
Janneke Jobsis Brown was born in the Netherlands, twelve years after her parents each survived World War II. Growing up in the Netherlands, Iran, Utah, and Texas, Janneke found that books became her best friend. Janneke is a psychotherapist and enjoys the “airhead” lifestyle authors can get away with.
Nature is a sanctuary for Janneke, the grubbier the better. Companionship with family and friends, whether kayaking, camping or hiking, feeds her soul.
For thirty years Janneke has worked in private practice counseling, chemical dependency treatment, rehab facilities, and schools. Her greatest interest has been understanding trauma and healing. Only recently did Janneke intuit that her fascination with all trauma resolution came from her own family’s inter-generational trauma. Following Shadows, Book I of the Finding Home Series has been well received by all generations impacted by World War II. Book II, “working title” Finding Light, is slowly being birthed now. As usual the story is down, but the final editing –aargh. Janneke has published articles on First Lady Betty Ford, Panic Attack Recovery and Anxiety, and responds to readers promptly.
Now, how wonderful does Janneke Jobsis Brown sound?! Janneke Jobsis Brown is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of Janneke Jobsis Brown’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and Janneke Jobsis Brown, I hope that you enjoy Janneke Jobsis Brown answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Please tell us more about yourself.
I’m a life long writer/reader, and recently finished my own dream novel: Following Shadows. I live in Northern California, and enjoy being with family, out in nature, and working in my private psychotherapy practice. The common thread in my life is looking for meaning, and understanding both times of joy and sorrow.
After years of making sure my “day jobs” were secure enough to bring in income, I am thrilled to be a published author. I recently made the decision to leave my salaried School Therapy work to enjoy a varied self-employed career.
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
I grew up across three continents, in a very international family. In 1964 my mother, father, sister and I emigrated to the U.S. from the Netherlands (Holland).
My childhood was full of joy, loss, inter-generational pride, and inter-generational trauma. I was always attracted to WWII stories, and came to realize that it was because my grandparents and parents had lived those years. My father and his family virtually never discussed how growing up in “Paradise,” in Indonesia (the Dutch East Indies during WWII) also meant surviving almost 4 years of Japanese Concentration Camps during WWII. When the Japanese invaded the Dutch East Indies, Singapore, Burma and other areas, many civilians were imprisoned in these camps. The death, brutality, starvation and forced labor of these camps was horrific.
My father always told us that what he experienced during these years (was too horrible to talk about. His father, like approximately 1/4 people in the camps, died from starvation and harsh treatment. Although my Dad wanted to protect us, the lack of words left a big hole in our lives, and in his own life. I always knew that I would need to write about those years, and soon discovered that historical fiction was the best format to do so.
Following Shadows is one of only a few books I know which present fiction of this time and place. There are many meaningful memoirs of this time, and virtually no novels.
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
Write every day. Write in your truest words. Use writing prompts. If you easily have a plot or story in you, feel free to outline it, and write as you go. However, if like me you started with an epic story and no outline, just write. By writing daily, I came to feel “in the zone,” and characters and events eventually emerged into a strong story.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
That it takes the reader into a different world, and that this world is so intimate that although the story seems to be about a handful of characters that it feels it is about the human condition –all of us, a vast cast of characters.
What is your writing process like?
I am much more verbal than visual. I need to remind myself to think visually and be the reader’s eyes. Writing every day, at the same time of day is the most reliable way for me to “lay the story down.”
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
Both. I do know, that as far as I can tell, no writer would produce, or finish without a schedule. I have found that as I write, the “critic” inside points out in nasty, haughty tone, that my writing is no good. Yet I can pick up that same writing later and see that is is good, and reaches the reader.
Writers, myself included often speak about the challenge of making it through the first 20 minutes (when “the critic” and distractions are the most active) . Once I make it through those first, dark 20 minutes, the writing starts to shine.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I read copiously, all the time. As a child, once I learned to read, I would read the backs of cereal boxes, anything at all.
My favorite authors include John Steinbeck, Elizabeth Berg, Ann Tyler, Khaled Hosseini, and many more.
Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
I’m working on Book II of this series now. The working title is Following Light. I hope that it will be released in early 2019.
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Janneke Jobsis Brown! If you have liked what you have read about Janneke Jobsis Brown and are interested in learning more about Janneke Jobsis Brown and reading Janneke Jobsis Brown’s work, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,