Q&A with Jan
About Carriers of Genius
Q: How did you choose this concept?
A: When I had my son, I became curious about the impact other mothers had on their son’s lives.
Q: What surprised you about these men?
A: Each man played music or was exposed to it, and most of them relied on their intuition to explore creativity. Several of the men disliked the rigidity of school and some couldn’t see the benefit at all.
Q: What did you find amazing about these women's stories?
A: I was shocked at the influential role each on played in her son’s life. Mothers are underrated and barely covered in history.
Q; What motivated these women to raise their sons in the way they chose?
A: Some were motivated by money, some by inherent ability, and some by a desire to shape their sons into a field they could not enter due to not being a man.
Q: Do any of the women remind you of your mother? How?
A: My mother pushed me. So did the mothers of Einstein, Gershwin, Hughes, Rockwell, Rogers, Roosevelt, Wright, and Astaire.
About Writing Carriers of Genius
Q: What was the most difficult part of your research?
A: When I uncovered conflicting facts, I found it hard to decide on definitive sources. Scholarly research can be frustrating.
Q: Why did you pick these men?
A: I felt each man was a genius in his field and I felt a kinship with all of them.
Q: In this book you interview the mothers. Was it hard to put yourself in that position?
A: I’ve worked in radio and television so it wasn’t difficult. The hard part was switching from myself to the other women, so I wrote the mother’s information first, then added questions and reshaped it.
Q: This book took you fifteen years to research and write. What was your motivation?
A: My high school English teacher clearly preferred two students whose writing skill was light years from the rest of us. Leftover competition pushed me, along with a desire to learn about women from the past.
About the Paranormal Aspect
Q: How did you time travel to visit these mothers?
A: The same way I worked on murder cases. I gathered my energy, concentrated, and accessed a special part of my brain. Sometimes I had to wait until I heard from the women or until I felt a strong connection.
Q: What was it like to be there?
A: I smelled and sensed the women, and felt their pleasure and pain. With my eyes, I saw them as hazy or wavy, but my other senses stayed keen.
Q; Were they put off in any way by your appearance, or wonder who you were?
A: No, they knew I was there to interview them. Their perception was that I was there as a person in real time.
Q: Did any of the mothers or sons have a strong intuitive ability?
A: Whitman’s mother Louisa knew things before they happened and had prophetic dreams, Wright’s mother Anna was clairvoyant, and George Carver said it was easy for him to foresee things.