Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

THE PURSUIT OF WEALTH
Monday, December 16, 2019 by DEBRA COLEMAN JETER

 

PLEASE WELCOME

DEBRA COLEMAN JETER

TO

HAVING THE PRIME OF MY LIFE

 

Thoughts on the Pursuit of Wealth:

Why I Wrote The Ticket

 

In novels, television, and movies, you often see people who risk everything -- their freedom, their families, their lives -- in the pursuit of wealth. People are willing to steal, kill, etc. for it. When I read or watch these works, I typically think, "How foolish! I'm so thankful that's not me", or even "I would never do that." Yet I also have to admit how much of my own life is consumed thinking in some fashion about money. How many minutes of the day, or days of the year, do I waste agonizing over money in one fashion or another? But would wealth really bring an alleviation of problems, or create new ones? I wrote The Ticket to explore how the sudden acquisition of wealth might affect a family struggling to get by. To learn more about the fictional family I create in The Ticket (who win the lottery on a “gift” ticket), check out the book trailer at https://vimeo.com/50187275.

My parents were children during the Depression, and they knew what it was like to have very little in the way of material things. Yet they never look back on that time as being anything other than blessed. Still they are very careful with money. I got to thinking about how easy it is for people of our generation to get obsessed with wealth and the things it can buy. People sometimes risk their families, their freedom, even their lives in its pursuit. But would it really bring happiness?

I wanted to explore this issue. I pray about having success with various things I’ve worked on as a writer (if it’s God’s will). When my son was a child actor, I prayed that he would be successful, but I qualified that wish. I wanted him to land a big role only if he would be able to handle success and fame. I did not want him to fall prey to the types of problems child actors sometimes encounter.   

There are at least two important messages in The Ticket. One is that wealth might not bring all the good things we sometimes envision and might create more problems than it solves. The second message is to treasure the moments with your loved ones; we never know how long we will have them in our lives.

The Ticket deals with some tough, realistic issues. The situation referred to in one controversial scene—where a sexual predator makes advances to Tray—is one that arises all too often, and I think it’s important for young women or boys who might face something like this in their lives to know that it’s not their fault. They are not alone. They should not feel ashamed. Ideally, I’d like for my book to open a dialogue within families about how to handle such a situation should it arise.



I don’t mean to give the impression that only bad things happen to Tray in The Ticket, or that the controversial scene lies at the heart of the novel. The Ticket is about a family that wins the lottery. While the win itself doesn’t provide the happiness they long for, good does come to Tray in various ways. A new girl at school turns out to be Tray’s dear friend. A boy she has a crush on begins to pay her some attention. Her relationship with her dad is strengthened. And, little by little, Tray becomes a more confident young woman who believes in her ability to survive the tough things that sometimes come our way in life.

ABOUT THE TICKET

It is 1975, an ordinary year for an ordinary Southern family. Like thousands of other teenagers around the country, Tray longs to be part of the popular set at school. Tray’s mother lies in bed most days with a headache, and her bipolar tendency toward extreme highs or lows veers more and more often toward depression. Tray’s grandmother, who lives with the family, still grieves the loss of her husband. Then something extraordinary happens. A down-and-out friend of the family buys an extra lottery ticket. He gives it to Tray’s dad as a thank-you for driving him to buy the tickets. And what do you know?

ABOUT DEBRA COLEMAN JETER

Debra Coleman Jeter’s first novel, The Ticket, was a finalist for a Selah Award. Her short story, “Recovery,” won first prize in a competition sponsored by Christian Woman. She is a co-writer of the screenplay for Jess + Moss, a feature film that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and captured several international awards. She loves to be in the water—whether snorkeling, water skiing, boogie boarding, or just floating around—which may explain the setting for her newest series, Sugar Sands. She lives in Clarksville, Tennessee, with her husband, a retired veterinarian.

The trailer for The Ticket:  https://vimeo.com/50187275

www.debracolemanjeter.com

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/njjeter/the-ticket-a-novel/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/debra.c.jeter

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DebColemanJeter

The Amazon page:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1941103863/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

https://www.amazon.com/Debra-Coleman-Jeter/e/B00UDTPPC6%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

 

 

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Comments

Nikki Wilbanks From TN At 12/13/2019 12:01:55 PM

Thank you for sharing this post!

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