Good morning friends,
Today I have the pleasure of hosting Jennifer Slattery at A Way With Words. Jennifer is a new friend of mine, a fellow member of the ACFW, a blogger and prolific writer, and an author! Wow, she has so much going on and somehow manages to do it so well. Last night I posted my review of Jennifer’s debut novel, Beyond I Do. The novel released in August, and if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet I highly recommend you do. This sweet contemporary inspirational contains a story that we can all relate to, as well as some much needed spiritual lessons that we can all benefit from.
Until you get your hands on Beyond I Do, read Jennifer’s interview about her writing and her faith. Don’t forget, find Beyond I Do here and let Jennifer know what you think of her novel. Enjoy!
1) What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book…? Or do you mean to write in general? I’ve always processed through my hands (pen and paper or keyboard) and have been known to slip into fantasy worlds on numerous occasions, but I never considered writing as a calling until I became involved in church ministries. Initially, writing began as a means to an end. I wrote curriculum to teach something, dramas to reach the community, short stories to illustrate a truth taught in Sunday school. Then one day it hit me, “Hey, I like this!” Even so, I didn’t pursue it as a calling until some time later… almost ten years later, in fact, after much nudging and prodding from God. 🙂
2) Do you have a specific writing style?
I am inherently sarcastic, which I’m learning I need to tone down, as, until someone invents a sarcasm font, sarcasm doesn’t translate onto the page well. I also tend to write about gritty and intense subjects like homelessness, abandonment, and alcoholism. And yet, though I believe my readers like authentic stories (and real life gets messy), I also know there’s only so much intensity one can take before they need a bit of a breather. Because of this, I like to sprinkle humor into my novels. I suppose that also helps feed my sarcastic, goofy side.
3) What does your writing process look like?
All of my stories begin with a character that camps out in my brain. I’m very visual, so I often envision this character in full color. I see her challenges, her day-to-day, those lonely nights when she wrestles with dreams and the harsh realities of life that threaten to keep her from them. I also spend a great deal of time in prayer at every stage in the writing process because if my words aren’t infused with God’s grace and truth, they’re pointless and soon to be forgotten. But if, by God’s infinite wisdom and grace, they manage to touch my readers in a lasting way, drawing them closer to their Creator and helping them embrace His eternal mission, than they are worth every rewrite.
5) Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action?
I don’t think so. I have times when all scenes are hard to write in general, and I’ve found those moments of struggle are often a reflection of my heart. The closer I am to God, the easier it is for me to live out my calling, for He is my power and creativity source. But when I get too “busy” to abide in Christ (John 15:1-5), I find I waste a great deal of time staring at a blank screen. Or creating trivial garbage fit only for the shredder. And honestly, I hope and pray this is always the case because, being the selfish, distracted human I am, I need all the incentive to stay close to my Savior that I can get. 🙂
6) What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
I am creating a video about it this very weekend. I’ll have to come back and show the finished project to you all when I’m done. J But to answer your question—marketing. I know we all need to do it, and quite honestly, it’s the ethical thing to do. Considering how much effort and resources my publisher puts into my books, the least I can do is participate in the marketing process. But sometimes it feels as if I’m boasting or trying to be the center of attention. When those feelings of insecurity arise, I have to remind myself that I am not promoting me but rather the book I wrote, which I believe glorifies God and draws His children closer to Him. So really I’m not promoting myself, per say, but rather an outreach tool. 🙂 Even so, if I had my druthers, I’d spend all of my time simply writing.
7) Do you have a favorite writing conference to attend? What is it?
As a longtime ACFW member, I always enjoy going to their conference as that provides an opportunity to see many of my friends, though ACFW does tend to have a lot of cumbersome rules regarding who can take what classes that can make things a bit frustrating. (Though I’ve heard this is changing. Yay!) However, I want to try a different conference each year, as I know each conference has a unique flavor and unique classes. This spring I’m going to Mt. Hermon, and I’m so excited!
About the Author:
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently discounted in e-book format for under $3! You can find it here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beyond-i-do-jennifer-slattery/1118903211?ean=9781596694170
She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and writes and edits for Christ to the World Ministries. When not writing, Jennifer loves helping aspiring authors grow in their craft, and has editing slots open beginning in November. Find out more here: http://wordsthatkeep.wordpress.com/
About the Novel:
Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.
Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.
Read a free, 36-page excerpt here: