Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I am so thrilled to introduce you to Jennifer Slattery. I was excited when I found out that she’d signed up to be interviewed on my blog. I love her heart and everything I’ve ever seen from her. We have quite a bit in common, too, after reading her interview — a love of four seasons, a daughter on the cusp of leaving home, a love for God. Jennifer is graciously giving away a paperback of her new release! Read on to find out more!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hi! Thanks so much for having me on your blog! I’m a Midwestern transplant who’s fallen in love with Nebraska’s four distinct seasons, including my favorite—fall. I’ve been married to my best friend and greatest supporter for nineteen years and am working up the courage and emotional strength to launch our teenage daughter into adulthood next year. When not trying to hold tight to every last memory-making moment available, you’ll find me at my writing desk, reading, or downing obscene amounts of heavily-flavored coffee.
Tell us about your current release. Beyond I Do is about an insecure woman who’s allowed painful events and shattered relationships to overshadow that still, small Voice calling her to surrender to the great life-adventure He has planned uniquely for her. Running from wounds from her past, Ainsley Meadows falls into a safe and predictable relationship with Richard, a socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything… including her fiancé.
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely! At least, I hope I would. I try to remind myself, to us, it may seem as if an act reaches but one of many, but if you’re the one, that means everything. When thinking about the “one” and God’s infinite love for each of us, I am reminded of when He reached out to me. Because of His love and grace, the trajectory of my life was forever changed, and that’s huge.
Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? No, I don’t. I’m so very blessed to have signed with a publisher that puts truth and grace first. I know their entire staff regularly prays for their releases, their staff, and all their writers. Numerous times, in the midst of a crazy deadline, I’ve paused to pray for my publishing house, and each time I do, I receive such a deep and clear peace that New Hope is centered in the palm of God’s hand and that I am precisely where I should be. Along these lines, I also hold very loosely to my writing career, understanding that God could close those doors at any time. If He did, that would simply mean He wanted me to share His truth and grace another way.
How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher(or agent or audience if you self publish)?I am an insecure person by nature, so I often feel ill-equipped in tasks I undertake. Writing is no exception. But when I begin to become fearful, I pause, pray, and bring it back to obedience. There’s a phrase I’d often repeat when I first sensed God opening doors for me, and that was, “Just you and me, God.” (Ainsley, the heroine in Beyond I Do uses that same phrase when she first begins to step toward her calling.) This phrase is a tangible and intentional reminder that I belong to Christ, am to serve Him alone, and leave the results to Him. Because I believe He is sovereign and loving, I know whatever He decides to do—whether that leads to my success or “failure”—is for His good purpose, and there is great peace in that.
What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? As I read this question, my stomach dropped, because an old memory resurfaced. I was in middle school, and it wasn’t a good day. I came to school literally feeling sick to my stomach from a mess of emotions, and I remember walking past televisions that had been placed throughout the school. I had a vague understanding of what was going on, but I was so wrapped up in my emotional mess, nothing else mattered. I felt utterly alone surrounded by a throng of kids. Because of this and other mornings like it, I’m adamant about sending my daughter off to school with a smile and a hug. We might argue, have tense and angry mornings, but when she begins to head for that door, I make sure to regroup and send her off with an “I love you.” Because it matters.
How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? Oh, could I write a book on this question! But long story short, God made it very clear to me that I was to sign with New Hope Publishers. So clear, in fact, that I even turned down a contract offer while waiting (for three years!) for New Hope to review the manuscript that later became my debut novel. Since then, He continues to draw my heart to this publishing house and their staff, reiterating again and again that I’m exactly where I need to be.
You can find Jennifer on the web at:
and you can buy her book at Amazon:
Be sure to enter to win an e book or print book (us only) of Beyond I Do!
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