Ever since she was a little girl on a farm in rural Iowa, Jennifer M. Pitkin's heart has been filled with wanderlust and adventure. She started writing at an early age, and has never stopped. After exploring Italy, Ethiopia and South Korea, Pitkin's desire to transport others to those places and to raise awareness of important humanitarian and social issues took hold in the form of her second novel, Watchmen for Morning. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Iowa State University and her Master's Degree from Pacific Oaks College. Her areas of both professional and personal interest and research include: adoption, global orphan care, Interpersonal Neurobiology, social justice and humanitarian aid work. Her adventures never stop as she raises her four small children with her beloved husband in Iowa. Pitkin will be releasing three more books within the next year - connect with her online to stay updated! Links: Facebook Twitter Website
Now, on to meet my character.
What is the name of your character?
Jack Harmon is the hero of my novel Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story. I’m in love with Jack in spite of our age difference because he is a true romantic hero, a real gentleman, a breed of man that is slowly dying out. Let me explain. Jack is 80 years old, and he’s the sole caregiver for his wife, Sara, who has Alzheimer’s. Theirs is the story of a disappearing generation, the World War II generation, where people stuck with their marriages through all of its ups and downs (often through sheer will and determination), unlike their children’s and grandchildren’s tendency to dissolve marriages when situations change, calamity strikes, or boredom sets in. In my work as a nurse, I've witnessed many men caring for their chronically and even hopelessly ill wives, and I appreciated their loving care and dutiful attention. I talked with them about their feelings and tried to bring some of that into Jack’s character. So often, when we think of caregivers we think of women – wives, mothers, daughters – and I wanted to explore the role of male as caregiver.
When and where is the story set?
Blue Hydrangeas is set in the fictional town of Falmouthport, on Cape Cod, in contemporary time. I chose this setting because I love the Cape, and although every town and village there is unique and lovely I created a fictional town so I could have complete control over it and make it what I needed it to be to meet the needs of my story. I plan to visit Falmouthport again in subsequent books, including a sequel to Blue Hydrangeas, which will be the love story of Jack and Sara's grandson, Derek.
What should we know about your character?
Jack is a World War II vet, a medic, who worked as pharmaceuticals salesman and made some excellent investments that allowed him to buy Sara the house of her dreams. In their retirement they operated it as a bed and breakfast called Blue Hydrangeas. He is devoted to his wife, her protector, her lover, and the keeper of her memories. He also suffers from heart disease, and sometimes puts his own health and well-being aside to meet Sara’s needs.
What is his main conflict? What messes up his life?
Sara’s Alzheimer’s has messed up his life! They never saw it coming; there was no family history or any other indicator that his beautiful, talented artist wife would have this disease. His main conflict is keeping his promise to Sara that they will remain in their home no matter what the disease brings, although his son and most everyone else think otherwise.
What is the personal goal of your character?
Jack is determined to prevent Alzheimer’s from destroying his wife, their marriage and their life together.
Where can we read more about Jack?
I’ve done my best to make my Jack's story available to readers on many platforms: ereader, paperback, and audio. You can find it by visiting My Book Store