Jarm Del Boccio, the author of the middle grade biblical fiction book The Heart Changer, is a native of Chicago now living on the eastern coast. Though she primarily concentrates on writing for God’s glory in her current chapter, Jarm has previously worked in education as a kindergarten, high school art, and home economics teacher as well as a school librarian. She also worked as a nurse, and she home educated her son and daughter.
A fun fact about Jarm is that as a child she always had a lot of pets, even though she and her family lived in the city. She had animals including fish, dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, rabbits, horned toads, ducks, injured birds and the like. She told us backstage, “I was sorely disappointed when my mom refused to allow me to take home a baby alligator during our visit to Florida!” Let’s welcome Jarm Del Boccio now.
Jarm Del Boccio: Introduction
Q) Welcome to The Unicorn Writer’s blog! To start, please tell us what you like to do outside of reading and writing.
A) I love to travel, since it’s my go-to for inspiration. Cooking for my husband, decorating my home for the seasons, a bit of gardening, photography and bullet journaling round out the list. I’ve also enjoyed joining my hubby on our church’s worship team in the past. Oh, and I’ve tried my hand at water colors, since my dad was a watercolor and commercial artist.
Q) Describe yourself in 3 words.
A) Relational, insightful and visionary.
Q) Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
A) My life verse is Psalm 27:4 – “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.”
I am blessed to be in His presence daily and watch Him work in my life. My love language is quality time, so knowing He is always with me and available is comforting! The reference has significance, too. I was born on May 27th and born again at the age of four.
Q) If you had a theme song for your life, what would it be and why?
A) I have two: Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor and The Goodness of God. I’ve been through many struggles in my life, but God has been my anchor in the time of storm, and has always been my good, good Father, allowing trials into my life to strengthen my faith and draw me closer to Him. But in the end, He causes all things to work together for good!
Q) Describe your writing in 5 words.
A) Historical, heartfelt, inspirational, thoughtful, and informational.
Q) Can you tell us about your works currently available to readers?
A) Right now, The Heart Changer is the only published book I have, which is a fictionalised account of Naaman’s wife’s servant girl from II Kings 5, written for middle-grade students from 8-12.
I’ve had a few articles appear in The Old Schoolhouse magazine relating to writing skills and historical research for one of my WIP set in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exhibition. I have also written two teen devotionals for Unlocked magazine.
A Deeper Look At The Heart Changer
Q) What was the inspiration behind The Heart Changer?
A) I love finding unsung heroes in history, especially children, who have made a huge difference in the world. I am inspired to bring their stories to life.
And He uses everyday kids like my readers to be that hero He can use for His glory! I want them to know kids in Scripture and history were just like them — same emotions and desires, although the setting may be different.
My tagline reflects these thoughts: “My Passion is to Breathe New Life into the Pages of History: Illuminating the Past. Making Sense of the Present. Offering Hope for the Future — giving my young readers heart, hope and a hero.”
I think every story I write has an underlying purpose: to give hope to my readers no matter their age, and show them God has a plan for each of them. As Kay Arthur of Precept Ministries loves to say: ”Everything God brings into our lives is filtered through His fingers of love.” Isn’t that encouraging?
Whether I write for the secular or Christian market, those themes can be found in all my writing. Events in life are never happenstance. God makes all things work together for good in His grand design for history.
Takeaways from The Heart Changer by Jarm Del Boccio
Q) One thing I personally love most about The Heart Changer is how the novella gracefully navigates disappointment and heartache that is inevitable in life juxtaposed to God’s greater plan in a manner that is age appropriate and on level for younger, middle grade readers; yet, the themes can also resonate with older readers [see my full review here]. What is the main takeaway you hope young readers have when reading your book?
A) Not only do I want to inspire my young readers by bringing a historic hero to life in a relatable way, but I also want to bring hope in this sometimes confusing and dark world. My debut novel in particular shows that even though their lives can be full of angst and uncertainty, God is writing their story behind the scenes, working everything together for good.
I want to share my MG historical fiction The Heart Changer, because it brings hope to young people. There’s not much hope in the world, but plenty of uncertainty and confusion. Kids need good clean reads—books that lead them on a path towards God.
Jarm’s Current Projects
Q) Can you tell us about your current writing project(s)?
A) I have a nonfiction work in progress: No Need to Guild the Lily: Flourishing in Your Silver Years and Beyond with Confidence & Joy.
I want to help women 55+ age confidently and with purpose. I am building my email list by offering a free pdf: Preparing for Your Silver Years: 10 Tips for Success. [Readers can sign-up and claim their free PDF here.]
Listeners can also go to my website and scroll to the bottom, where they will find a signup link just above the ‘Silver Sisters’ image. I’ll be looking for input from my silver sisters, so please sign up if you are interested!
I love to share quirky things that cross my path, encouraging words during uncertain times, and insights into God’s Word in my newsletters and blogposts once a month. You’ll find a popup form on my website—I’d love to inspire you!
Q) What messages do you hope to share in your current projects and future books?
A) I want to encourage young and older women to flourish where God has put them, no matter the season.
I desire to help women of all ages flourish in a time of uncertainty and change. Whether it’s sharing my author’s journey, my MC’s journey in The Heart Changer, or our own nomad journey, I want to inspire others to live fully in the moments God has designed for them.
My husband and I will have been nomads (i.e. without a home) for a year and a half by the time our townhouse is ready on the NC coast. It’s been quite a journey, living with friends, working at camps, and other Christian ministries where we’ve been volunteering while waiting. So, I’ve been able to use this experience in my newsletters and social media posts. Hopefully, it will inspire women to keep pressing on with joy, no matter the circumstances.
More About the Author
Q) What was your most recent 5-star read and why?
A) The Kite Runner was a difficult novel to read (I listened to the audio version). It’s an eye-opening look into Afghanistani life and not a typical reflection of my reading genre, which is why I chose it. Here is my Goodreads review:
This story will be implanted in my mind for years. A vivid description of Afghanistan in the 70s and two friends who got caught in the conflict. The author brilliantly relays his troubled and heart-breaking past in an artful yet poignant way. Gut-wrenching and real, THE KITE RUNNER is sure to keep you reading till the last page, still wondering how it all turned out. But that’s the lure of the story!
Q) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
A) For a person who loves to travel, I struggle to answer that one! I haven’t been to Scandinavia or Croatia, which are both on my bucket list, along with living in a Yurt and drinking Yak milk (and riding one) in the middle of Mongolia.
Q) If you could invite 3 authors, living or not, to a dinner party, who would they be and why?
A) That’s also a tough question since I have so many favorite authors! I would say Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre is one of my favorite novels—I’d love to know more about the inspiration for Jane Eyre, and what she included about her own life story), Elisabeth Elliot (I’m inspired by her spiritual life and sacrificial living), and Agatha Christie (I love mysteries and would love to chat about her plotting method and inspiration.)
Advice from Jarm Del Boccio
Q) If you could give your younger self any advice, in terms of writing, faith, or something else, what would it be?
A) Oh, boy! I was a worrier as a child, but optimistic even so. I think I would tell my younger self to slow down, trust God’s plan, and spend more time in the Word.
Also, I would admonish myself to keep a diary of each day, and not only record special days. I had the tendency (and still do, unfortunately) to jot down quick, shallow entries, instead of using full, heart-felt descriptions of all I saw and experienced in my day-to-day living. I think I have a slight case of undiagnosed ADHD. Ha!
Q) What advice can you share with other authors?
A) An author needs these things: a strong critique group (I found mine at Word Weavers, Intl), attendance at a writer’s conference at least once or twice a year, and a membership to a professional writer’s organization like SCBWI and ACFW. Also, following well-established authors in your genre on social media is important. Lastly, read widely in the genre you write and take writing courses/read books on the craft of writing.
Writing is a journey, not a marathon. It has ups and downs, is filled with disappointments and hard work, and the fruits of my labor aren’t always apparent. But, if it’s done for God’s glory, in the end, He will use it to honor His kingdom, one reader at a time!
Connect with Jarm!
Where to Find The Heart Changer
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