Novelist Jax Frey joins me today to chat about her new women’s southern fiction, Gumbeaux Love.
During her virtual book tour, Jax will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!
Born in New Orleans, Jax came into this world with a sense of celebration of southern culture, food, family and fun. Translating that celebration into her writing and onto canvas is her true calling. Her colorful art depicts everything from her dancing Gumbeaux Sistahs paintings to her popular line of original Mini paintings of southern icons. Because over 25,000 of the mini paintings have been created and sold into art collections worldwide, Jax holds a world’s record for The Most Original Acrylic Paintings on Canvas by One Artist from the World’s Record Academy. Jax art and gifts can be seen at www.artbyjax.com.
Jax is also the co-founder of the Women of Infinite Possibilities, an empowering women’s organization started in Covington, LA, where Jax lives today with her loveable, tornado-of-a-pug named Lucy.
The Gumbeaux Sistahs’ series of novels is a work of love for Jax. After painting the Sistahs for many years, she finally gives voice to these women characters who have something to say and constantly make Jax laugh when she writes about them. http://www.gumbeauxsistahs.com/
Welcome, Jax. Please tell us a little bit about your new release.
Gumbeaux Love – The adventures of the Gumbeaux Sistahs continue! Five, fiery Southern women – Judith, Bea, Helen, Dawn, and Lola – wage wars against their unique problems using their improbable friendships, hilarious evil-genius schemes, strategy sessions with oh-so-many cocktails, and a shared passion for good gumbo.
Single, Southern artist, Judith Lafferty, casually confesses to her Gumbeaux Sistahs that she is occasionally lonely and would like to fall in love again. Seriously – you’d think she would know to keep her mouth shut around these women by now. The sistahs tackle her problem along with their own with their usual unreasonable, extreme plots and schemes, including a kidnapping, a cupid costume, trying out pick-up lines at the cheese counter, and blind dates from hell. In helping out their friend, the sistahs help each other out as well and bring to light the many flavors of love in all of our lives. Be ready for twists, turns, laugh-out-loud times, and heart-wrenching moments. You’ll be sure to recognize yourself and your close friends in the unstoppable sistahs.
What inspired you?
You have to know, first, that I’m an artist. Years ago, I created a series of paintings called The Gumbeaux Sistahs. They were images of strong, supportive, loyal women having a great time together. About two years ago I realized that the Sistahs had a story to tell – not just a visual one – a real-life, words-on-paper story. I had no choice but to write it.
Excerpt from Gumbeaux Love:
Dawn opened her eyes and saw daylight streaming into the high den windows. “Is it morning already?” she thought. She realized that she had never slept all night on the couch before, but then Dan was not there to call her upstairs to bed. She glanced at a clock and saw that it was late, almost nine o’clock. The world was well and truly awake and starting the day without her.
She started to get up and head for the kitchen and coffee, when her eyes flew wide open. Her computer was still open. A feeling of pure dread covered her from head to toe, and she whispered, “Oh no, no, no, please no! Please let me have deleted that post before I fell asleep.”
Her eyes searched the screen and found it still on her Facebook page with fifty-two likes underneath, and a comment from one Rocky Breaux that simply read, “Challenge accepted.”
What are you working on next?
I started on Book 3 of The Gumbeaux Sistahs novels which will be about the magic that holds our lives together. It may be my favorite of the series yet! Should be out next summer.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was about ten I teamed up with a neighborhood friend and we hand-wrote a newspaper called The Mithra Street Messenger. We only put out one issue because our moms shut us down. They didn’t like our ‘Crimes Section’ of the newspaper which mostly featured the injustices heaped upon me by my annoying brother. But I caught the bug early.
Do you write full time? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
My day is broken up to about half writing and half painting these days. I can manage the time how I want because I work for myself.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I wrote the first book in the series in coffee houses. Since Covid, I now take a cup of coffee with me, drive to a shady spot by the river, and write there sitting in my car. I can’t seem to write worth a darn at home!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Barbara Streisand. Yep, that’s about it.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Only that every character in my book is based on someone in my real life. The Sistahs are close friends of mine. Even the villainess is a one-time boss of mine! Even the pug is a rascal that I know!
Thanks for being here today, Jax.
Thanks for hosting me on your blog!