Jale Fancey was born in Ankara, Turkey, and at the age of 10, her family moved to Canada and settled in Toronto. She now resides in Sarnia where she belongs to the Sarnia Photographic Club. Her passion is photography and writing. She is a member of the Lambton Toastmasters, where she is developing skills in leadership and in speaking in front of groups. Although she has her own bookkeeping business, she always finds time for her first passion, photography. Lambton Writers’ Association members greatly appreciate her photo recordings of their gatherings which are posted on LWA’s Facebook page – and shared thereafter on other pages.
J: I would say that I knew I wanted to be a writer when I started to write in grade 9. I used to have a spare class, which was mandatory to attend. To use up my time, I started to write a story about a guy I had a crush on. I don’t think I ever finished it but wrote a lot and I still have that story. Who knows I may even finish and edit it one day. Later in high school, I used to go to the library and read poetry, writing down the ones I liked in a notebook. This led me to start writing my own poetry.
As for photography, I was given a Kodak camera on my 14th birthday and started to take photographs, although at the time they were just family photos. When I was in my 20s, I started to see things differently and began to take more creative photos. My little sister was my model at times, and some still life and flowers were my favourite subjects.
G: How do your previous work and/or life experiences influence your writing?
J: When I wrote my poems, during high school, it was normally about my crush for a guy, or if I was going out with someone, how I felt, and then when it was over, poetry about my broken heart. I do seem to write about my feelings, especially when I write poems.
G: What are the genres in which you write? Do you have a preferred one?
J: I have been writing poetry, short stories and have started a few (perhaps one day) novels and travel books. I like writing short stories best I think.
G: Are you working on a project currently?
J: My project, right now, when I get a chance to work on it, is my dream of publishing my own photography and poetry book. I have started to pick the photos and plan to write poetry about each photo. I have already written some poems that go along with my photos but I have a lot more to do. Because I have been very busy in the last 6 months or so, I am behind in the writing, however I am planning on working on it when I am on my trips in the next few weeks and perhaps on my train ride to see my son and granddaughters in Halifax in August.
G: Do you have a favourite location for writing?
J: I do not necessarily have a special place right now, but then I haven’t been doing a lot of writing for a while. I do plan to make a spot for myself in the house where I can get into “the zone”.
G: What kinds of books do you read?
J: I like poetry books. Other than that, I seem to be reading more non-fiction books these last few years.
When I was younger, I used to be hooked on mystery books.
G: Do you wish to share anything about your personal life?
J: I am very grateful to have 4 beautiful, smart and healthy grandchildren. I am looking forward to the days when I will be able to spend more time with them. I have dreams and goals that I want to accomplish in the next 5 years. They are all about my writing, my photography and motivational speaking.
G: Have you participated in writing contests?
J: I have entered a couple of contests, but would like to enter more in the next year.
G: What works have you published to date?
J: My very first story that was published was in the Toronto Star. They had asked the public to write something about their computers or other technological products. I wrote a story about how I bought my computer and did not tell my then boyfriend.
I have since published poetry in the Verse Afire through the Ontario Poetry Society, and also in the Anthology “A River Runs By It” for Sarnia’s 100th birthday
G: What are your thoughts on traditional vs indie publishing?
J: I do know that these days, more people are self-publishing. I believe that is the trend since it seems to be harder and a longer route to get published in the traditional way. I have not tried either yet, but I feel that my first one will probably be self- published.
G: Anything else you wish to elaborate on?
J: I have been, as I said before, very busy and have put aside my writing for the last 6 months or so except for a few poems perhaps. However, I feel that I must set aside the time to write as that is one of my passions. I remember maybe about 10 years ago, I had wanted to get back to writing, but was busy with a new business I had started. I was at a friend’s small party one Saturday and I was given a Mike’s Hard Lemonade Cooler. When I opened it, inside the cap was a word. It said “WRITE”. I took that as a message and I eventually joined a writers’ group. I still keep that cap by my computer to remind me.