If you haven't had a chance to hear her speak and read, you're missing some entertaining discussion. She tends to talk in storytelling style, going from subject to subject, about whatever pops into her mind. At her Esowon Books talk, she talked about everything from sex to drugs to the characters talking in her head to the trees and paper dolls that kept her company as a kid. Don't worry. She's not off or anything. Just a wiser, older woman who tells good stories.
And also writes good stories.
When asked about what motivates her to write, she answered that as a Christian she follows and lives by the Ten Commandments... and that as long as people break them, or have the tendency to break them, she will always have something or somebody to write stories about.
And if you've read any of her novels or short stories, you know that J. California Cooper definitely imparts some mother-wit, tell-it-like-it-is wisdom, and straightforward lessons in life.