Q: Enduring Times was inspired by your mother's life--how do your character Jennifer's experiences resemble those of your mother?
A: My mother was a very strong, kind woman. Her children were always her first concern. I tried to look back and remember how she handled life, the things she said and did. She never let us feel afraid. She always stood before us as our protector. We relied on her for everything, knowing she was there and would take care of us. I tried to portray that in Jennifer. We learned quickly what upset our father, and left him alone.
Q: How was the book's title chosen, and what does it signify for you?
A: While writing my book these words came into my mind, "How did she endure all she went through? I decided to call my book Enduring Times.
Q: Did you need to do any research to write the book, and if so, did you learn anything that surprised you?
A: Yes. I researched how times were back in the early 1900s…were there wood stoves, ice boxes, what kind of cars, telephones, cost of a trolley cars, etc.? I researched the country of Colombia, the natives, life in the jungle and the Great Depression. Nothing about my research really surprised me because I had heard stories about this era many times, so they were like clear pictures in my mind.
Q: What role do you see religion playing in the book?
A: In the beginning, religion was just a small part of my parents’ lives. Then things changed. The reader sees they both believed in the same God, but in different ways. Jennifer doesn't give up her religion, but clings to it, for the strength she needs. My father’s religion was something she put up with to keep the marriage together. We were brought up to believe in God and his miracles.
Religion in the book serves as book a source of conflict and comfort for the family.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I have a new book in mind titled As Time Goes By that will carry on with Jennifer's life and then focus on her daughter Faith's life.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: One of the most difficult aspects of my writing journey was my proximity to the characters involved and how intimately I knew their stories, hardships, and motivations for their actions. I hope I’ve created a story that is both an accurate reflection of their accomplishments and struggles in life and a story with which modern readers will be able to relate.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb