Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m so pleased to introduce you to Karen Jurgens! Karen has an amazing story of how God actively affected the plot of her book — read on to see exactly what happened with her most recent release, Desire’s Promise. Speaking of — she is giving away a copy of Desire’s Promise! See the Rafflecopter below to see how to enter to win your copy! And now, please enjoy getting to know Karen Jurgens.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I was born with a big imagination. Since there were twelve years between my older brother and me, I grew up feeling like an only child. I spent my days different ways–acting out plays about a princess or a bride, playing school and house with my dolls, and devouring books—especially the Bobbsey Twin series. After I learned how to write cursive, I penned my dramatic stories and have been writing ever since. My innate love of English and French sustained me through a teaching career until I retired two years ago, and now I am a full-time author and blogger. I enjoy angling my fiction writing to minister to my readers, offering scriptural answers to life’s trials.
Tell us about your current release. My current novella is Desire’s Promise. Carlie Livingston is steering into her last year of college in Oxford, Ohio, confident that she and Lance Holloway are headed to the altar after graduation. Those plans are wrecked by her dad’s infidelity, causing her parents to walk through a messy divorce. Her mother insists Carlie will have the same fate if she marries her college sweetheart who comes from a secular family.
Carlie decides to put God’s Word to the test by letting Him take the wheel of her life. But if God is in control, why are all her close relationships crumbling? Nothing makes sense. Just when it appears hopeless, Clay McKinney two-steps into her life, promising to provide everything she’s looking for in a mate. But if he’s God’s answer, why can’t her heart release Lance?
Carlie arrives at an unexpected destination on her journey of trust in Book 1 of the Desire Series.
Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? Yes, I initially felt pressured to compromise the gospel message this book carries. I attempted to gear it to young Christian adults searching for a mate, showing how seeking God’s answer solves the issue. I didn’t want the story to sound “preachy” not to dilute its biblical principles, so I re-wrote a few parts. At one point, I was ready to upload a new edition with a softer gospel, but my browser crashed. Three hours later I was back online, but it was well past midnight. Before shutting my computer down, I checked social media one last time, and that’s when my first review popped up. Five-star. And the most outstanding thing to my reviewer involved the strong gospel thread. As other reviews soon followed, they expressed that my book is unique because it offers real answers that young people need in this generation. That’s when I realized that writing for the Lord means no compromising. I am praying that the Lord will use this story to minister to anyone seeking a godly mate.
Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I do some of both. I am a plotter and a pantster. I first map an outline of the entire story’s main plot and characters. But as I create a scene, the characters come alive, like actors on a stage, and show me what they want to say. It’s funny how they become so real to me, even creating their own subplots. If I ever reach an impasse, I give the scene back to the characters. Sometimes we have a tug-of-war. but In the end, everyone is satisfied. There’s never a dull moment when the creative juices are flowing.
What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? Prayer always comes first because everything I write is for God’s glory, and He is the real author behind the story. Second is physical activity. Whether I am cleaning the house or riding a stationary bike at spin class, my mind relaxes. That’s when the ideas flow, and I can visualize my next scene and how it will play out. If my ideas become stale, prayer and physical activity get them percolating.
Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? I first fell in love with the most handsome man I’d ever witnessed on-screen. His dark hair, those darling dimples, the way he scrunched his eyes when he gazed into the eyes of his lover. His disarming smile, half-sarcastic, before those passionate kisses. No wonder a girl could practically faint in his arms. Who could it be? Only the charming Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. Clark Gable, that handsome devil, has always been my first Screen Crush.
What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? In second grade, my teacher quieted our class so we could hear our principal make an announcement over the intercom. Although we were very young, we learned a new word that day: assassination. Someone rolled a small television on a cart into our classroom, and we watched the live coverage of the news from Dallas. Everyone was shocked to realize that President John F. Kennedy had just lost his life from the bullets of his assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. That day will always live vividly in my memory.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Follow your heart; follow your dreams. Follow the Lord’s trail of rose petals as he gives you His words to write. Stay true to Him, and He will guide your work to the eyes that should read your message. Never worry about how many readers or reviews you have; only be concerned with God’s review and that you have done your best to please Him.
Find Karen online!
Find Karen’s latest release!
Enter to win a copy of Karen’s latest release, Desire’s Promise!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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