1. Who is your favorite character?
I absolutely adore Jenna Chamberland.
2. Why is he/she your favorite?
You know, the reasons she’s my favorite is a very layered answer. I guess, from the very start, her voice was the clearest to me. This is her family, her story. Although I knew I was writing The Milestone Tapes, this novel was always Jenna journey, she was lingering in every phrase even when she wasn’t the primary voice anymore.
3. How did you come to create him/her?
I don’t think I created Jenna, I think Jenna created herself. As a first time novelist, this experience was incredibly strange ... but Jenna took over. Any thoughts I had on her life or story took a backseat to her own free will.
4. When did he/she first enter your mind?
When I conceived the novel she was there. There had to be, at the center, this brave soul who would be strong enough to face the end without thinking only of herself ... she had to be able to get beyond that small framed looking-glass.
As a writer, I can tell you, a lot of characters live in our heads and the sad truth is we won’t be able to tell each of their stories in our lifetimes ... we have to play favorites.
5. Where was he/she given life in the creative process?
The Milestone Tapes begins with a prologue. And it was then that she came to life and took the helm of this ship. Prologues aren’t always the best place to start a book, but I knew that it was where this story began. She and I worked that out, and then worked backwards. I always thought maybe I’d delete it ... but I never found that strength. It was her coming into crisp focus for me and there is no undoing that.
6. What do like the most about him/her and what do you dislike the most about him/her?
I love the way Jenna loves. She isn’t a small woman in any way. She loves big, believes big, fights big. It’s an admirable quality and it works in her favor almost all the time. I guess you could say that the way she looks at the world is beautiful. Dislikes ... Jenna can be, at times, a little too selfless. I only realized this in the second edit as I was reading through some of the conversations she has with her family ... sometimes I wish she’d be a little more “what about me?!” ... but that’s just not her nature.
About the Book
Jenna Chamberland is in the last stages of her life. After a battle with breast cancer that has spanned out three years behind them, her life is ending. Jenna is now faced with finding away to leave hope behind. She knows what’s coming for her family; her husband Gabe will be left alone to raise their daughter, Mia and Mia will be cast into the world without a mother. Jenna’s now tasked with chopping life down to 10 tapes, to pass on her stories and history and memories and hope. Knowing someday Mia will take from them what she needs to know. It’s her final act as mother, hedging her bets on her daughter.
Years later the story reemerges as Mia is sixteen. Her life, again, is changing all around her, from every direction. All she wants is her mom. Jenna reemerges on the thin film of the cassettes to guide her daughter gently into a dauntless future.
The book begs the question, can the love between a parent and child remain when life no longer does?
Price: eBook: $3.99,
Buy Links: Amazon, Kindle
About the Author
Ashley Mackler-Paternostro lives in Chicago, Illinois with her husband and their three dogs. When she’s not being held captive in her home office writing, she is an avid traveler, flea market enthusiast and avid reader. The Milestone Tapes is her debut novel.
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