Baby boomer “Buba” Pauline Daniel knew that she was on to something when friends and family were up in arms that she hadn’t written her weekly ‘Tuesdays with Jack’ Facebook post.
And, when they asked if everything was all right after missing several consecutive posts, she knew that she had struck gold.
Daniel, a Nelson-based certified life coach, used those posts and community feedback to fuel her debut novel, Tuesdays with Jack, for which readings and book signings are slated for Oct. 20 at Bookland Vernon from 12-3 p.m. and the Vernon Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library from 3-5 p.m.
“I’m still wrapping my head around ‘author,’” Daniel said. “It feels amazing. It feels surreal.”
Since Jack’s birth in 2011, Daniel has spent every Tuesday with him. Whether it’s taking him to gymnastics class or making whipped cream, the grandmother — or buba — grandson relationship thrives on Daniel’s Tuesdays with Jack. The pair’s adventures later became the subject of Daniel’s obligatory Tuesday Facebook post.
“Before you knew it, it had a following. It was just the power of love and Facebook,” Daniel said.
After approaching a publisher with the idea, her debut novel was born. On Jack’s first day of kindergarten — Sept. 6, 2016 — Daniel began writing. And, six months later, she was ready to submit her work the week before her 65th birthday.
“It was really anticlimactic. It was kind of lonely. I don’t really have the language for it. It was an empty sort of feeling,” Daniel said of penning the final line. “I was surprised how depleted I felt. It was intense. It was really intense.”
In addition to being her debut novel, Tuesdays with Jack also denotes an embarkation into a different flavour of writing for Daniel.
“This was my first attempt at anything like this,” Daniel said.
Prior to the novel, Daniel’s previous writing largely consisted of a regular coaching column in the Nelson Star.
“I don’t think I could have done it without the editor I chose,” she said. “Everyone who helped me with this book brought love to it. It just adds to the layers.”
After the launch of the book earlier this year, Jack has revelled in the spotlight.
“Jack signed books (at the book launch). His mom said he liked being famous for a while. I adore this kid,” Daniel laughed. “He thinks that every 10 years I should write about him.”
“If you’re a grandma or want to be one, this book will amuse you.”
However, while Daniel has nought but fond memories woven through the pages of her debut novel, she said that Jack’s book is now finished.
“We decided that I’m no longer going to actually put verbatim what he says (in my work),” Daniel said.
Inspired by the success of her debut, Daniel said she has ideas brewing but nothing is currently in the works beyond a potential title.
“Right now, I’m still in love with this book,” Daniel said. “It’s a book just about love. It was a desire in my heart that was planted there and supported by people. When it wouldn’t go away, that was my cue to listen.”
Tuesdays with Jack is available for purchase online through tuesdayswithjack.com and at the two Oct. 20 book signing events.