Meet Adela…

Meet the Author


I met Adela in a Facebook group, The Women of Midlife and finally in person at the BAM conference and she is lovely. I enjoy her blogs and I really enjoyed reading The Ship of Pearl. I highly recommend it and was happy to hear she is donating a portion of proceeds to the homeless and the hungry.

About the book


“A 1933 bank failure piles calamity on top of disaster. Separated from his family, 12 year-old Eldie Craine is up to his eyeballs in unfamiliar territory: Someone else’s clothes, different faiths, a new school, and new rules. And now there’s Cecilea.”

Intrigued by the aftermath and lessons-learned following the house fire that my father’s family experienced, I wished to capture their positive outlook, despite what seemed like crippling catastrophe. These people all look at life as abundant and blessed. I felt like we could all use a little of that reality in our mirrors. As an example of what I mean, my Uncle Glenn, widowed two years ago, just got engaged to be married.  He is 91 years old!

I rolled many of the tales Dad and his brothers told into A Ship of Pearl. Besides traditional historical research, I interviewed a variety of men and women who grew up during The Great Depression. I had the rare opportunity to interview one of my father’s teachers, upon whom I based the novel’s Mrs. Bidrall. The black family is based on tales told to me by the Pittsburgh artist, Thadeus Mosely.


The main characters in A Ship of Pearl are in 7th grade.  I think kids will like it.  Anyone who has a parent of grandparent or knows someone from that generation will appreciate the gentle story of generosity and respect in hard economic times.

I also have a ‘read-to-me’ book, The Fable of Little Tzurie.  My grandson, Niall Brady, illustrated this book.

I wrote these two stories years apart from each other, or should I say, I wrote Tzurie as a distraction while I was writing A Ship of Pearl. They are very different stories. Years later, I realized they are both about boys who become homeless.  For that reason, I feel called to donate 10% (a tithe) to help America’s homeless and hungry.

A little bio: I come from a family of storytellers. Being a little more introverted, I put pen to paper. First published at the age of six, I have a few small pieces published and yearn for more. I live in Illinois with my husband George. Within driving distance are my four children and bonus daughter through marriages. I have my twelve grandchildren, one on the way, and three cats to keep me hopping after a full days work at the office. Add my vegetable and water garden in the backyard, and you could say, “I have it all!”

The Interview

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the small town of Gaines, MI, not too far from Flint. In that town was an older General Store manager. He sold everything, including button hooks for fastening ladies shoes.

Did you grow up in a home that promoted reading or writing? Absolutely. My mother read to me before I could read. Not just short books, but lengthy chapter books like LAD A DOG, BLACK BEAUTY, AND HUCKLEBERRY FINN, and classics like that. My teacher gave me TOM SAWYER to read when I was in the second grade.

What was the last book you read? Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?

I hand-down prefer fiction, because fiction tells the truth as it tells a story. The last book I finished was A LITTLE LIFE by Hanya Yanagihara. It is a haughtingly sad book about the love we get from friends. It also reminds me that no matter how close we get to someone, we never know all of who that person. A LITTLE LIFE is destine to be my favorite book of 2016. I am currently reading THE STORY OF EDGER SAWTAIL by David Wroblewski. The story is about a mute boy raising dogs. I really think a lot about my mom reading to me as I read this book.

When did you first know you wanted to write a book?

How was this story born in your heart? I always liked to write. I was seven when my first story was published in The Flint Journal. I wrote a small story (fiction) based on my father’s childhood house burning to the ground. He asked me to write the novel. The novel is dedicated to him.

Do you write from an outline or just sit down and let it flow?


               Adela’s writing partners


I drew a picture or path I wanted the book to take. It looked like a spiral, turning back on itself through the main character’s memories, and at the same time, moving forward in the main character’s present time.

When is your release date?

The novel is released now in Kindle and soft cover. It can be purchased through Amazon or requested in bookstores. Both A SHIP OF PEARL and a short read-to-me book, THE FABLE OF LITTLE TZURIE, released at the same time. I am donating 10% of my profits to help America’s homeless and hungry.

Are you planning to write another book?

Yes. I started a follow-up book. A SHIP OF PEARL’s first scene is when the main character, Eldie Craine, is born, the second son. The sequel starts when Eldie’s second daughter is born. There will be remembering, too, as he recollects WWII and how he got to where he is now. (Anyway, that’s the plan.) I intend to join NaNoWriMo in November and get the first draft completed. Wish me luck!

What is your favorite alcoholic drink? Do you prefer coffee or tea?

I like Merlot, I like a good chocolate martini, and I like Mojitos. I prefer tea, but I drink way more coffee.

Do you have a favorite TV indulgence?

“America’s Got Talent.” I love how the host and judges don’t shame even the silliest contestants. I love the variety of talent. It reminds me of the old “Ed Sullivan Show.”

Visit Adela here:

Facebook author page: The Black Tortoise

Twitter: @blacktortoise

LinkedIn: Adela Crandell Durkee

Google+: AdelaCrandellDurkee

Websites: “” and “”











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