Featured Author: Jennifer Slattery

Featured Debut Novelist: Jennifer Slattery
Jennifer Slattery writes missional romance novels for New Hope Publishers. A Hurricane Katrina survivor, her stories of hope, love, and grace resonate with real people.
Jennifer Slattery
Jennifer Slattery

She also writes Christian Living articles for Crosswalk.com and devotions for her personal blog, JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud; Internet Cafe Devotions; and Takin’ it to the Streets’, a ministry serving Omaha Metro’s working poor and homeless.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, hanging out at the mall with her teenage daughter, enjoying her real-life hero husband, or serving in her church or community.

The following is a February 2015 interview with Jennifer.

 


 

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AT THE END 
OF THE INTERVIEW

When Dawn Breaks
When Dawn Breaks

Be in to win a print copy of
When Dawn Breaks
by Jennifer Slattery
One copy to be won 

Contest open to
entrants in the US only.

Contest runs from
6-20 February 2015 NZDT

 


 

Tell us a little about yourself.

I live in the Midwest with my husband of nineteen years and our teenage daughter, I have a fierce addiction to heavily-sweetened coffee, and I find long walks with my railroader hubby incredibly romantic. As for writing, I write missional fiction for New Hope Publishers, Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com, and devotions for my blog and Internet Café Devotions. I also contribute to two group blogs and write and edit for an international ministry called Christ to the World that shares the gospel, via radio waves, with 32 countries worldwide. (Wow, that seems like a mouthful, huh?)

 

What inspired you to become a novelist, and did you always want to write?

A story idea that refused to go away until I gave it page space. In answer to the second part of your question, actually, no, I didn’t. I’ve always enjoyed writing—for personal pleasure, but I never really considered it as a career until God thumped me over the head a few times. Now I can’t imagine not writing! (Or maybe, I can’t imagine not spending the majority of my time in a world of my own creation. Hm…)

 

Beyond I Do
Beyond I Do

What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

Great question! I recently wrote an article about this on the Brave Reviewers blog. You can read it here. In short, I believe fiction touches us very deeply, and in so doing, creates a sense of empathy. This in turn, (I hope) spurs positive action. At the very least, it helps us get outside of ourselves and view the world from a bigger lens. A bigger and yet more focused lens, if that makes sense. Bigger in that it expands our experience but more focused because it does so in a way that allows us to look past the surface to consider the motivations, dreams, and hurts of others. Plus, reading is just plain fun and relaxing.

 

How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write?

First and foremost, I hope my stories will draw them closer to Christ and will encourage an attitude of full surrender. I believe that’s how we experience our deepest sense of fulfillment. I also hope my stories encourage people to see others as Christ sees them and to show the same love He shows all of us. So in essence, I pray my stories lead readers to reach up and out.

 

What has been the most surprising aspect to becoming a published novelist?

The insecurity that follows! In fact, I just got off the phone with my editor, and she had some great things to say. And it was almost comical how the more she praised my stories and writing, the more insecure I become! As she spoke words of enthusiasm and encouragement, all I could think was, “But what if the one I’m working on now stinks?” I’ve heard that’s a common fear for all authors, one I doubt ever goes away. The only way I know to deal with that fear is to stay surrendered to Christ as I write and maintain working relationships with the absolute best critique partners and beta readers possible. And to keep learning, of course.

 

How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

It’s very much deepened it. It’s really cool to think that He would want to use us lowly humans at all, and then to think that He’d use me in an area I receive great joy from? It’s amazing! But more than that, so much of my publication journey has been such a God-thing, it’s really reminded me of His sovereignty and tender care. Reflecting on all He’s done helps me not sweat the small stuff but makes me want to work all the harder as an expression of gratitude.

 

Other than being a novelist, what other goals do you have for your life?

To serve Christ in every area to the best of my abilities and to help others do the same. And I’m also trying to get fit. That probably sounds anticlimactic, but I have two chronic illnesses and, prior to getting sick, I was very physically active. Thanks to great doctors and medications, I am slowly bouncing back, but I want to get even strong. I want to be able to do the things I once did. I’ve tentatively set a goal of participating in a spring triathlon next summer.

 

When Dawn Breaks
When Dawn Breaks

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love, love, love to read, even if doing so tends to keep me up way too often. (grin) I also enjoy going for walks and bike rides. My husband and I recently started taking oil painting classes. That’s been a blast! Actually, I enjoy doing almost anything with my railroader. My daughter’s a lot of fun, too. She and I share many long, chit-chatty walks and an insane froo-froo coffee addiction.

 

What can you tell us about your debut novel?

My debut is about a security seeking bride who takes a challenge made by her pastor quite seriously. Her pastor told the congregation, “If you don’t know any single moms, anyone who’s impoverished, or anyone who’s homeless, you need to widen your circle.” This really impacted her, and she sensed God wanted her to do something—something significant, but she wasn’t sure what that was. So she began to pray, not only that He would show her, but that, once He did, she’d have the courage to obey. She had no idea how drastically that prayer would change her life!

In many ways, Beyond I Do is about Ainsley Meadows discovering and pursuing her calling, not only in ministry, but in vocation as well. But of course, to do that, she must let go of her carefully thought-out life plan. But isn’t that the way it always is? It’s hard to follow God when we’re leading. (wink)

 

What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead?

My second novel, When Dawn Breaks, is scheduled to be in stores and available for purchase online January first. When Dawn Breaks is about a fifty-one year-old realtor named Jacqueline Dunn who’s displaced by a hurricane. New believer Jacqueline has a strained relationship with her daughter, and this is a major source of regret for her. Using the storm as an opportunity to reconnect with her daughter, she heads north to Willow Valley, where her daughter lives. While there, she encounters three children, also displaced by the hurricane, who’ve been abandoned by their mother. She also meets a handsome widower who works for the local railroad.

With her beach front home destroyed, her property listings submerged, and her daughter continually showing her the cold shoulder, she has a rocky road ahead of her. To complicate matters, she begins to sense God calling her to make a major life change, and she’s not certain her new male friend will stand by her. Must she relinquish her chance at true love to be restored?

 

What would you like to say to your upcoming fans in New Zealand and around the world?

Oh, New Zealand! I’ve never been, but I’d love to visit. I’d actually like to ask them some questions, if that’s okay. If I came your way, where are some places I absolutely must visit? What are some things I’d want to experience? Are there any signature foods I’d enjoy?

 

Do you have any parting words?

Thanks so much for having me, and happy reading!

 


 

 

Beyond I Do
Beyond I Do

Beyond I Do
by Jennifer Slattery

  • New Hope Publishers
  • Contemporary
  • August 2014
  • ISBN: 9781596694170

Purchase: 
[Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository]

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 ignites 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.

 


 

When Dawn Breaks
When Dawn Breaks

When Dawn Breaks
by Jennifer Slattery

  • New Hope Publishers
  • Contemporary
  • January 2015
  • ISBN: 9781596694231

Purchase: 
[Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository]

As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution forces her to head north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend.

Dealing with his own issues, Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. And then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?

 


 

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

When Dawn Breaks
When Dawn Breaks

Be in to win a print copy of 

When Dawn Breaks
by Jennifer Slattery
One copy to be won 

Contest open to
entrants in the US only.

Contest runs from
6-20 February 2015 NZDT


How to Enter:

Please comment on the interview and/or leave a message for Jennifer Slattery in the blog comments below, then enter the Rafflecopter draw.

  • To comment, log in at the top right of the blog
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