Friday, June 10, 2011

Can Talent be Inherited?

Hi World!

You know...I volunteered to be the overseer/nag of the Alaska RWA BLOG. I figured it was the least I could do. (literally). Weirdly enough - I've been bugging all the other BLOGGERS about getting theirs done on time, and somehow, I just never got around to doing one. Well, guess what. Somebody in the group finally noticed.

Which explains - sort of - why I'm writing today.

I read a lot of historical tomes and watch a lot of educational/historical DVDs. I call it research, but to me it's just plain fun. I recently finished a series on the seer Nostradamus, and one thing he said really bothered me. His son Cesar (I don't know if I spelled it right) claimed to have inherited the talent to foresee the future as well, but his own father seemed to dispute it, and that got me to wondering why anybody would question if talent can be inherited.

My answer has to be: YES. Look at just about any family of actors in show business. I won't bother listing any. I don't have that much room. But, in a roundabout way this brings me to my little sister. I have a mother who is amazingly talented in the arts - and can she sing! I have lots of siblings, too, and they exhibit lots of talent, but I'd really like to introduce you to my baby sister, Barbara. (And she's just going to have to forgive me for calling her "baby".)

She's a painter that takes your breath away. Now. I dabble in drawing. I've done a few paintings. I won scholarship and attended college on my talent. My heart just isn't that into it - much to my family's chagrin, because I'm not bad. Here's one of my pictures, GRAY WOLF 1990. This one was drawn with a 12 pack of colored pencils. Not bad. Like I said. But, I have to tell you. My baby sister, Barbara, blows me away. I stuck a picture of her recent painting at the very beginning of this post. Wow, huh?

And then there's the writing thing. now. Writing is my true love, my joy, my passion, my reason for living. Okay. That's probably a tad overboard, but you get the gist. (and don't tell my hubby). I've got several books out, a few ebooks now, and I've won or finaled in some contests over the years. My next one is a paranormal historical vampire anthology. HIGHLAND HUNGER. It's due out in September. In October, my next Scot Highland historical comes out. It's titled KNIGHT EVERLASTING. I already have a review on this one that ends with one word: "Wow". It'll be up at Long and Short Reviews once the release date gets closer.

Well. You should have guessed it. Barbara caught the writing bug, too. Before I started writing, I was the most prodigious reader anywhere. I'd go through 30-40 books a month. This isn't an exaggeration. The book store In Rawlins Wyoming had a standing order when the romances came in that I got first peek at them before they'd load them on the shelves. Oh. Brother. My TBR stack was embarrassing. Well, I got Barb started reading historical romances when she was back in High School. And that's all it took. I think she's now out-read me.

And recently, she got her own book out there. She's got a long adventure (ok. It has a little romance angle) book up at Amazon! It's a fun read. Really. You gotta check it out. Heck. She even illustrated it.

So. There's my case. Talent is definitely inherited, and I was lucky to get some.
Thanks for listening. I've now fulfilled my duty and can go nag the next BLOGGER.

Oh! I'd love to do a contest. If anyone wants to win an Advance Reader Copy of HIGHLAND HUNGER, you gotta comment to enter. I'll send it out when I get back from RWA in New York. Promise.



LizbethSelvig said...

I love this topic, Jackie. My family talks all the time about where we each got our respective talents. My brothers are all drolly funny -- as my dad was; my mother was writing back when I was young and at 82 has written her first finished books. My dad wrote too. I'm pretty sure we wouldn't blow your family's talent anywhere -- but we passed our own versions around our gene pool! Thanks for sharing your drawings and Barbara's--I'm happy to be able to enjoy the results of your wonderful abilities!

Tielle St. Clare said...

I don't know if it's inherited or taught. I'm the only fiction writer in my family but we all have our creative sister plays the piano, my brother formed a rock band at the age of 50 and my other sister has left the corporate world to take care of people (a truly creative side of life). And I think of myself as the storyteller in the family!

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Hi Jackie, it is interesting how talent seems to run in families. Why shouldn't it, when so many other qualities/tendencies seem to run in families? My dad is a gifted writer, although he confines himself to letters to the editor and newsletter articles, so maybe I got it from him. It doesn't dim your light to say your sister is also an artist and writer.You can both enjoy your talents in your own way.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Great post, Jackie! Genes are interesting. My grandmother wrote and was a wood carver. She used to write for the Alaska magazine and when they decided to publish a hardcover of short stories, my grandmother's was among them. I write, of course, but I'm also a potter. In fact, when I throw on the wheel, I wear my grandmother's overalls that she used to wear when she carved. I feel really close to her at times like that. My daughter also writes and also sculpts in clay. But the most interesting of all is my son. He is 19 and never knew my father. They are of the same mold. Same interests, same talents. My son is going into the same field as my father and they never met. My father was killed in his forties before my son was born. It’s kind of freaky.

Tam Linsey said...

Jackie blogged! I'm so impressed! Thanks for sharing your drawing and your sister's work, as well. You're a good sister :)

DeNise said...

Talent manifests itself in some odd ways, but I think Jackie is right about some kinds of talents running in families.
Interesting subject, thanks Jackie.

glittergirl said...

Hey Jackie, thanks for the newsletter heads up about your post. I've recently joined Karen Ranney/Sue-Ellen Welfonder's "Tarten Ink" Blog and have been having a blast!

Yes, talent can be inherited. I see it in my family and my husband's. My mother-in-law could oil paint, formulated glazes for Grumbacher and made amazing lace ceramics. My grandfather could carve. My mother has needle work talent. I do all arts and crafts. My husband is a true renaissance man, he can do anything including making furniture. My children are showing signs of continuing the legacy...

I would love to win an ARC of Highland Hunger, it's on my absolutely must get list with you AND Hannah Howell. I've got all of yours and Hannah's books and I am a big fan of both of you!

Anonymous said...

I feel it can be weather you want it to be or not. In my family, a gift runs in it with the oldest girl in ea generation, going back to Ireland's DRUIDS. Ea has a different gift, forseeing what is going to happen,a healing touch, seeing gardian angels, forseeing who is on the phone when it rings, etc. Deals with family mainly. Very scary at times.

Andrea Cummings said...

I have got my creativity from my mother and my daughter is very creative, So maybe it is heredity.

Candy G said...

Would love, love, love to win an ARC from you! Paranormal is one of my favorite genres and I also love Hannah so I would be so happy.

Caffey said...

Hi Jackie! So would love to be in the contest for an ARC!!

I don't watch movies except for the classic channel we have here! I got into those movies since I love reading historical romances but used to never watch movies!
Beautiful on the drawings and paintings. I only have a couple of what I did in HS and after since I took 4 years of arts major in HS but most of my family took my work, LOL.
I so can't wait for HIGHLAND HUNGER and KNIGHT EVERLASTING! I heard from many authors that once they got writing there's not that time to read for fun now! Cool, congrats Barb! I will check it out! That is so neat with doing the art work for it! Did you too get to do any for your books?

cathiecaffey @

Caffey said...

P. S. Pressing the link to Barb's book didn't go to Amazon, so you know (but I shall locate it there!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jackie, As always, trying to keep up with your many amazing endeavors. You know I love all of your books and am one of your greatest fans. Thanks so much for the many hours of pleasure you've brought me with your books. God Bless & take care, Vonnie

jacki said...

Great Blog and topic. I can see in other families where talents are similar, but would that be because of being raised in similar environments, exposed to similar stimulus vs strictly inherited? Just a thought...

Barbara Ivie Green said...

Hi all,artist extraordinaire here, I didn’t know that I could comment in your forum until last night, so let this be a warning… You’ve got to be careful when you invite your kid-sister to come play with your friends.
I have to tell you that being Jackie’s baby sister was the most fun ever! It was as if the circus came to town on a daily basis. The play house was magically transformed into a pirate’s ship and then a stagecoach the next. Fantastic imagination on that one!
I guess if there is an inherited trait that runs strongly through our family, which we’ll admit to at any rate; it’s that we’re very visual.
As for following in Jackie’s footsteps, I couldn’t help it. It’s all her fault. She just breathes life into the subjects she loves and if you’ve read her books you know what I mean. Her legendary status in the corporate world and speed stitchery record are safe, however. Writing a book in two weeks… Yeah, that one is safe too. Took me 10 years to come up with my brilliant little masterpiece.
Self professed idiot writes faced paced adventure/action novel, dyslexia not outstanding… I mean withstanding. Come away with me to the year 1863, where we hunt for ancient treasure, digging up more than a little mayhem with maybe a touch of spice.
And I’ll talk your ear off… Got that too! :D
Thank you all for your wonderful comments. Caffey- I have a website Hope that helps you find me. There is more art there as well.

Esmeralda League said...

I definitely think that talent can be inherited maybe not genetically but if you grow up with a family member who is passionate and talented in a particular subject I think that gets passed on. I don't know if this applies to writing romance books but it definitely applies in many other areas.