Jessica Snell is a mom of four who makes her home in sunny Southern California. She loves celebrating the traditional Christian feasts and fasts, and helping others do the same!
She’s the editor of "Let Us Keep the Feast", and blogs at Homemaking Through the Church Year.
How to connect with Jessica...
Purchase: Let Us Keep The Feast: living the Church Year at home (Holy Week and Easter)
Author Interview | Jessica Snell
You and Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I was writing before I could write – I used to draw books of pictures, and my mom would write down the words I told her went with them. And as a teenager, I was always writing stories; I’d do it in class and my teachers just thought I was taking really copious notes!
...But I started seriously writing for publication after I had my first two children. I had the privilege of meeting Robin Jones Gunn – one of my writing heroines – at a book signing when she had time to chat. I asked her about how she wrote while she had young kids at home, and was really inspired. I took her advice to heart, and set to work, well, working.
Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...My favorite will probably never see the light of day – it’s a novella I wrote for my husband’s birthday. It’s my favorite because it’s full of all the things he and I both love in stories: over-the-top adventure, duels, romance, super-powers . . . you know, all the fun stuff. :) I’m not sure it will ever find a larger audience just because it’s so incredibly goofy – like us. But it was so fun to write.
If published, what was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...The hardest thing is all the little details. The only book I’ve published so far is a non-fiction book with multiple authors – I was the editor – and in a volume like that, there are a ton of little things you have to do to make sure that all of the different voices blend into a harmonious whole. It’s a ton of work, but it was so satisfying to see it all come together!
...The easiest thing was writing about a topic I really cared about: celebrating the church year at home. The actual prose I contributed to the project came easily simply because it was a subject I loved.
Tell us a little bit about your book? Why are you/did you write it?
...Right now I’m working on an inspirational romantic suspense. Romance is my real love in fiction, and suspense just adds another layer of excitement and emotion!
Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...I love my heroine. She’s very sensible and loves order, and so it’s a ton of fun to put her in a situation where everything is out of control and she has to learn to deal with all the emergencies that keep cropping up.
What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...The idea of home is really important to both my hero and my heroine, for different reasons. I hope my readers identify with that longing for home, and feel satisfied when the main characters find it in God and in each other.
Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...The “what-if” that sparks the story is often real life – a crime, a news story, a location. But then the characters – my favorite part – are pure imagination. (Though real life informs our imagination, right? So I’m not sure how much I can really separate the two . . .)
When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...I want people to enjoy themselves, first off. I think it was Susan Howatch that said that if you can’t make the reader turn the page, anything else you’re trying to do is a loss.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Write. Write a lot. And then, when querying, don’t give up. Research before you query, for sure. There are a ton of resources out there that will help you know how to edit and query properly. Don’t query without learning how first. But once you know how, just keep trying. If you fail, write a new book, edit it, and try again. You can’t control whether someone says yes, but you can control how well and how often you ask.
What is a favorite memory you have of your mother?
...My mom and I have spent so many hours just talking and listening to each other. But the memory that comes to mind right now is one of the (many) times when we’ve looked at each other across the table and just burst out laughing, because we have the same sense of humor and can tell when the other one finds something funny. Whenever we’re at the same event, if it’s serious and formal, we have to make sure not to sit across from each other, otherwise we’re sure to catch each other’s eye and end up laughing at entirely the wrong time!
If you had to choose one type of food, what kind would it be?
...Probably Thai or Indian. I’m a sucker for spices!
April showers bring May flowers – or so they say. Do you have a favorite flower? If so, why is it your favorite?
...I love white roses. They look like floating clouds.