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Love letter to a son
Love letter to a son

Iwas 16 years old when Jewel's album Pieces of You was released and, like so many of my contemporaries, I quickly got on board the platinum-selling bandwagon.

Little did my younger self know that when I eventually got a chance to chat to the American singer- songwriter, we'd end up talking about the best way to pacify a teething baby. (Jewel is a big fan of the Baltic amber necklace, in case you were wondering.)

Jewel is best known for chart-topping hits such as Who Will Save Your Soul and Foolish Games but in recent years her focus has been on an entirely new audience - children.

She released the album Lullaby in 2009 and The Merry Goes Round in 2011, not long after she became a mother herself.

Now Jewel (full name Jewel Kilcher) is the author of a children's picture book called That's What I'd Do, based around the song of the same name and illustrated by Amy June Bates.

"I wrote this song while I was pregnant and while I was writing it I had a strong feeling I wanted to write it into a book," she says.

Jewel describes the book as a love letter to her own son, Kase, who is now 14 months old.

"I wanted to think of interesting and unique ways of telling my son of how much I love him," she explains.

"Metaphor ignited my imagination when I was a child and I wanted to come up with things that would ignite his imagination. I wanted strong images to inspire his imagination and also teach him about rhyming."

Although this is her first children's book, Jewel says she doesn't see any real difference between writing a book, lyrics or poetry.

"I think they're aspects of the same things, they are different limbs on the same body. You use them in different ways but they are all expressions of my soul and heart."

Jewel admits becoming a mother has definitely changed her. "It has changed a lot for me. My husband and I were very excited to have (Kase) and we were both lucky we were successful in our own careers. We thought what's the point in having this money if we can't take time off work and enjoy it?

"I've turned down a lot of work; I haven't travelled or toured for about a year and a half. We haven't had nannies and we've taken care of Kase ourselves."

Jewel hasn't been entirely quiet on the career front, though.

She recently completed filming a movie in which she plays Johnny Cash's wife, June Carter Cash.

"It was a real honour for me, as it was a difficult role," she says. "I got to bring my son on set with me and it was really fun to have him there.

"I have a few albums up my sleeve, but I'm not sure what I'll do next - a folk album, a Christmas album or a country album. I am blessed to be prolific and I can work here at home.

"However, you need to tour for three months to promote it and I am not sure how much of that I have in me at the moment. As I've grown older, I've become less interest in all the pageantry."