Jennifer Slattery is an inspiring contemporary novelist whose stories of hope, love, and grace resonate with real people. She also writes Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com and devotions for her personal blog, Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud; Internet Cafe Devotions; and Takin' It to the Streets, a ministry serving Omaha Metro's working poor and homeless. When not writing, she enjoys hanging out with her teenage daughter and real-life hero husband, as well as serving in her church. She is the author of Beyond I Do and When Dawn Breaks.
How to connect with Jennifer...
Purchase: When Dawn Breaks
Author Interview | Jennifer Slattery
**Leave a comment below for Jennifer to enter to win a copy of her novel, When Dawn Breaks.**
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You and Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...Although I’ve always pittered around with writing, journaling, that sort of thing, I started writing largely when I began to become involved in various church ministries. I saw it more as a tool to further ministry goals, and other times it was a hobby. I didn’t pursue it as a career until around 2009.
Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...I do! It’s one I thought would never go to print, mainly because it was my first real, fully fiction adult novel, and you know what they say about a writer’s firsts. It’s my favorite because I sensed God’s presence so strongly, and I really feel the message of the book encapsulates the desire of my heart—to surrender fully to Christ. I’m excited to say, I recently signed a contract with New Hope Publishers for this novel, and it will release in winter of 2016!
Tell us a little bit about your book. Why did you write it?
...I’d love to!
...When Dawn Breaks is about a middle aged woman who’s made some big mistakes in her life and is now paying the consequences, largely in terms of her relationships.
...As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution motivate her to head north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. However, he’s dealing with a potential conspiracy at work, one that could cost him everything, and 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?
You can read a free, 36-page excerpt here: http://issuu.com/newhopedigital/docs/slattery_sampler/1
Care to share what you're working on right now?
...I’m writing the first draft of a sequel to Beyond I Do, my debut novel. In Beyond I Do, we catch a less than admirable image of my heroine’s mother. She’s non-Christian, irresponsible, and often loses sight of the important people in her life. But… she goes through a major change that becomes the catalyst for book two. I wanted to show this change and in so doing, show that everyone is redeemable. I also enjoy writing about new believers. I think sometimes, as we journey with Christ, we forget what it was like to be new in our faith. To struggle, to still have areas of deception in need of truth, to feel as if we don’t quite fit.
Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...I do, and that’d be the main character, Angela Meadows. I really love her heart and I can relate to her desire to fit in, to find authentic community, but feel like she’s “less than”. I think that’s something so many of us women struggle with, and I love the message God gives Angela. I think it’s something He’s saying to each of us. :)
What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...That God can use everything—every tear and regret—to bring about His glorious purposes, and there’s peace and joy in that.
Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...I’d say a bit of both, though I’m not sure I know where the line between the two is. Haha.
When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...To glorify Christ. Other than that, I just enjoy getting lost in the telling of a story.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Keep writing! Never give up, and always seek to learn as much as you can. Pay attention to every critique, no matter how painful, and put your desire to grow above your personal feelings. And most importantly stay connected to Christ, pliable to His Spirit, and tuned to His voice.
What’s one thing you are looking forward to in 2015?
...Going to the Mt. Hermon conference! I’ve always wanted to go, and this year will be especially memorable as my husband and daughter will be joining me. And because she’s a senior in high school, this could be our last spring break with her. They’ll have some one-on-one time in the San Francisco area while I learn and hang out with other writers. Then my husband will pick me up and we’ll head to San Diego for the remainder of the week.
Can you recommend one book that you think every writer should read about the writing craft?
...One? There’s two I really like. The Moral Premise by Stanley D. Williams and Stein on Writing by Sol Stein. They’re both excellent; must haves.
Do you prefer New Years fireworks or a bonfire to celebrate with? Or something else?
...Bonfire, some board games with close friends, and hot tea.
_________________Great to have you on the blog Jennifer! You latest book sounds great and thanks for offering to give a copy away. I love you you mention to listen to the critiques even if they are painful. I also love how you will be celebrating your time in Mt. Hermon and San Diego. Sounds like a fantastic Spring Break to me!