Five questions with Amy Jo Ehman – Thelma: A Life in Pictures

Amy Jo New Thelma Thumbnail

1. What inspired you to do a book about Thelma Pepper?

My publisher, John MacIntyre, heard Thelma speaking on CBC Radio and thought she had such an interesting life that I should write a book about her. And I agree!

2. What do you think people can learn from Thelma?
Thelma's life story is a testament to the power of creativity and the joy it can bring to yourself and to others. She credits her long life (she's 100 years old!) to her passion for photography.

3. Thelma is your fifth book. What was it like to work on the project?
Thelma is my fifth book but the first biography, which is to say, the first time I worked so closely with another person who has a vested interest in the project. That was both wonderful and scary. I loved the challenge and the pleasure of spending time with Thelma. She has strong feelings about photography and she wasn't shy about sharing them.

4. What would you like people to take away from your book?
When you're down and sad and not sure what to do, remember what brought you joy as a child, find that creative spark deep within and you will find yourself.

5. Who was the greatest influence in your life?
There have been many influences but the first was the greatest — my mom and dad, who told me I could do anything and supported me through everything.