Jane Lowy is an enthusiast of 19th century British literature, who has loved writing since childhood. She also enjoys singing/songwriting/electric bass guitar playing and is certified as a cytogenetic technologist. Jane lives in Houston with her husband, David, and their son, Orion.
Stephanie: Hello Jane! Thank you for chatting with me today and congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion. I must admit when I saw the title of your book I thought it was a humor book of sorts. I was pleasantly surprised to read the book description and to discover your book is Literary Fiction. Please tell your audience about Wobbly Barstool.
Jane: Thank you for having me, Stephanie! I feel very honored to have received the BRAG Medallion for Wobbly Barstool and am delighted to have this opportunity to discuss my novel.
While the book is certainly infused with a fair amount of humor, that is only one of its many ingredients. Pathos, adventure, complex exploration of familial, romantic, and platonic relationships, and a bit of mystery are also included in the mix! I tried to create a fun, intellectually stimulating and genuinely moving story that follows the title character as he grows and develops from birth to early adulthood in nineteenth-century England.
Stephanie: Character development in a story is important. Please tell me a little about Wobbly. What are his strengths and weaknesses?
Jane: Wobbly is anything but! He is a staunch friend and is unwavering in his purpose of winning the woman he loves despite numerous impediments and the passage of years. He does, however, tend to be a little too trusting and assumes that everyone is as honest and open-hearted as he – at times to his misfortune. Wobbly is also blind to his own abilities, though readily recognizing those of others, and must blunder through as best he can until he discovers his place in the world and his true worth.
Stephanie: I believe you touch on a few emotional and moral themes. Were there any challenges to writing some of the scenes or the characters personalities?
Jane: I tried to place myself in my various characters’ shoes as I wrote and would often become elated, tearful, or frustrated as they did during the course of the story. It was fun experiencing life through the different personalities of my many characters and to focus on each to sufficiently differentiate between them all. I did find it difficult to live in the principal antagonist’s head and heart, because it is such a terrible place to be! It was always a relief when the scenes involving Mrs. Baddonschilde were completed so that I could relax and be with friends again.
There are some moral and ethical themes in the story. The challenge in the final scenes was to delicately present a particular moral dilemma in a way that was thought provoking and that dealt with the ramifications and benefits of a controversial choice. I wanted readers to question (just as the characters and even the author did) whether or not they would feel comfortable with the decision made, given the outcome, and to draw their own conclusions as to its morality in that instance.
Stephanie: What was the inspiration for your story?
Jane: My husband David and I were seated at the counter of a diner, when he began to tip back and forth.
“Wobbly barstool,” I said.
“Sounds like a Dickens character,” he said.
Stephanie: Why did you choose the Victorian-era for the time frame of your story?
Jane: As my inspiration involved attempting to formulate a novel that evoked Dickens’ writing to some degree, Victorian England was the natural setting for the book.
Stephanie: How long did it take to write your story?
Jane: I began writing when my son was four years old, working at irregular intervals over six years to do the first draft, then spent the next three editing it with my husband. Our son is in his teens now!
Stephanie: Who are your literary influences?
Jane: Charles Dickens, first and foremost, as well as other nineteenth-century British authors such as Anthony Trollope, Jane Austen, and the Bronte sisters. P. G. Wodehouse is also a big influence.
Stephanie: What book project are you currently working on?
Jane: I am currently working on a kind of sequel to Wobbly Barstool that focuses on another of the Barstools and is set in the Edwardian era. It will be written in something of a different style from Wobbly and should be interesting. Still early days on that one though!
Stephanie: Will you self-publish again?
Jane: Definitely! I love the freedom of self-publishing and the creative control that it gives me. I think that self-publishing allows more creative, greater quality work to emerge than might ever be considered from the largely commercial viewpoint of traditional publishing. Sad but true! The trick for indie authors is to find a way to adequately publicize their work, of course. I am grateful to you and indieBRAG for helping authors do just that.
Stephanie: How did you discover indieBRAG?
Jane: I believe it came to my attention through bookbaby.com. Readers were kind enough to recommend my book for the medallion.
Stephanie: Where can readers buy your book?
Jane: The hardcover version can be purchased at my website:
The ebook version can be purchased in various formats:
Visit me on goodreads:
twitter.com @JaneLowy or @WobblyBarstool
A message from BRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Jane Lowy, who is the author of, Wobbly Barstool, one of our medallion honorees at www.bragmedallion.com . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion TM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as Wobbly Barstool, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.