Today I have the pleasure of sitting down to talk with author, Jennifer Slattery. She shares a little bit about her writing life.
Welcome Jennifer! Did you always want to be a writer?
Nope. Actually, I think I’ve wanted to do almost anything but. Although I’ve always enjoyed writing, and I was the girl who absolutely loved those long research papers. Those were like guaranteed As to me, a way to pull up my grade. But I never really considered it as anything but a hobby or assignment until I sensed God’s call to pursue writing wholeheartedly in 2009. I did have some hints along the way, however, that this was the direction He was leading me.
Chuckle. I can relate to liking to write research papers and it was also in 2009 that God called me back to writing fiction again. :) How do you get your story ideas?
Usually, my story begins with a character that becomes quite real and vivid in my mind. It all happens relatively quickly. First I may see a face, then maybe a flash of the character with her family. Then I’ll get a glimpse of her inner struggle, and from there, everything else unravels.
LOL. I like the way you said everything unravels. So you like to put your characters through a lot of struggles. If you have a day all to yourself how would you choose to spend it?
With my husband for sure. We’d visit a coffee shop in the morning, maybe one inside a bookstore. He’d have his Kindle, I’d have a paperback. We’d maybe talk a bit, read a bit, then go for a walk or bike ride. Then to lunch. Then maybe we’d take a nap together, him lying on his back, me beside him with my head on his chest. At some point, we’d go out to dinner, and it’d be in walking distance. We’d have no set agenda; lots of walking, lots of coffee.
Sounds very relaxing. :) Tell us about your new novel.
I’d love to. It’s about a woman who has a very stressful job in the medical field, one she’s come to see as her ministry, a ministry that gives her great fulfillment and peace. But at home, things are falling apart, and one night, her husband shatters her heart with three cold words, “I love someone else.” The rest of the story, Tammy, a woman forced into single parenting, finds herself fighting for her job and her sanity. And in walks her first love Nick Zimmerman, right into her mess, stirring feelings of love within her once again. But to embrace this second chance of love, she’ll have to release the bitterness she’s held on to since her ex-husband’s betrayal.
It sounds like a novel rife with conflict. What advice can you give to writers trying to break into the publishing world?
I’d say keep it at, take your thoughts captive and refuse to entertain negative thinking, and get plugged in to a great critique group. Oh, and be teachable. Everyone has a great deal to learn, even the most successful and prolific writers. The better you receive instruction, the faster your writing will grow.
Great thoughts. :) Now for a fun question. What foods do you eat when writing to keep you going?
I really need to do better with this, but I can be a convenience eater. I don’t like taking time to eat or cook, at least, not for myself. This is exacerbated by the fact that I’m paleo, which means almost everything I eat must be cooked. From scratch. So, if I don’t have something cooked and I’m in a rush or immersed in storyworld, I might forgo lunch or grab a handful of almonds.
My favorite fun food is peanut butter. I’m not sure if peanut butter is allowed on the paleo diet, and I’ve intentionally not checked…
Ignorance is bliss. LOL. Let's end with a final question. How did you develop a love of story?
I've always had a propensity to slip into a world of my own, or someone else's, making. When I was young, my dad used to read a story titled Mr. Bun to my sister and I. The story is similar to the Gingerbread Man in that it involves a baked good running away from those who would like to meet him. And every time he does so, he sings a song that goes like this:
I was scraped from the flour-box
And swept from the bin
And baked in the oven
And cooled on the sill.
I ran away from Grandpa,
I ran away from Grandma,
And I'll run away from you, this minute I will!
And every time, my dad would sing these words as well. I can still hear his deep voice in my mind, and that memory was so special, I often look back on it as when my love for story was born.
Over the years, I developed a love for journaling and poetry. Writing allowed me to process my emotions and make sense of my thoughts. In my sixth grade year, my language arts teacher had us participate in a story contest, and mine was chosen. (Funny, I don't remember what it was chosen for or what happened next, but I remember my teacher praising me and my storytelling profusely. Though honestly, I didn't think much of it, because I had no intention of being a writer. So, it was nice, in the way it's nice when someone tells you you make a great cake or maybe did well on a test, but I didn't really think too much of it, until decades later when I began to sense God's call to write and was able to see how God had been molding me and guiding me in this direction all along.
What a great story! If you want to learn more about Jennifer, be sure to check this out:
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte
Thank you for stopping by today for a visit. Don't forget all comments this month will be entered in
the October drawing for:This Saturday you won't want to miss guest blogger, Vickie McDonough and our interview next Wednesday will be with author Gail Kittleson.