Varina Denman writes stories about the unique struggles women face. She has five children, teaches creative writing and literature, volunteers in her local homeschool cooperative, and boasts sixteen years as a home educator. She resides with her family in North Texas. Her first novel, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis Award.
How to connect with Varina...
Purchase: Jaded: A Novel (Mended Hearts Series)
Author Interview | Varina Denman
You and Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing? ...I’m not one of those people who knew from childhood that she wanted to be a writer. In fact, I can’t even imagine that. In school, writing was nothing more than a boring assignment to me. Then again, in fourteen years of schooling, I only recall one creative writing assignment, so that might have something to do with it. But I really enjoyed that one short story!
...I started writing “for real” six years ago. I had been a stay-at-home mom for almost twenty years, and I’d read a lot of books during that time. I decided I might give it a try, and it has been more fun than I ever dreamed possible.
What motivates you to write?
...When I first started writing, I knew I wanted to write inspirational romance, but I didn’t set out to write a topic as deep as that of Jaded. The plot just sort of evolved from a light romance into a story that continues to tear at my heart. I guess that’s what was in my soul at the time.
Do you have a favorite character in Jaded?
...My favorite character is Ansel Pickett. He’s not the hunky preacher, or the likeable cousin, or the convicted rapist, or even the church leader gone bad...he’s only a minor character I stuck into a few scenes. He’s the heroine’s seventy-year-old uncle, and he’s precious. He talks softly if he talks at all. He moves slowly and works on his ranch harder than any thirty-year-old. But most of all, he loves my heroine, Ruthie, like a daughter.
Where do you find inspiration for your characters and stories?
...My characters are a jumbled mix of real life and imagination. Usually the crux of a character—her motives and goals—come from something that I saw in real life. But when I develop the character’s unique personality, I let my imagination run.
...My stories are typically based on a painful event, and because of that, my overall intention is to encourage people. Everyone hurts at one time or other and my prayer is that through my stories, readers can draw hope. Especially if they’ve been through a similar situation.
Have you been to a writers conference? If so, which one(s)?
...I love writer conferences! I’ve attended through the North Texas Christian Writers and the American Christian Fiction Writers, and every time I absolutely soaked up information like a sponge. The classes and sessions were remarkably helpful, both as a newby writer and as an intermediate when I began to progress.
...However, the best thing by far about conferences is meeting other writers. I felt like I was finally surrounded by people who speak my same language. I’ve made friends, mentors, and critique partners. In fact, I met Emilie Hendryx at the 2013 ACFW Conference. :)
In light of St. Patrick's Day, what's your favorite green food?
..My favorite green food would have to be mint chocolate chip ice cream, for obvious reasons. And in honor of Emilie, and her Thinking Thoughts blog, I will sacrifice my diet and buy a half gallon.
...Thank you for inviting me, Emilie!
Leave a comment to enter to win a copy of Varina's novel, Jaded.
(US entrants only, please. Winner will be announced April 1st - no foolin'!)
Thank you so much for being my guest Varina! Hum...I think I may need to honor your visit by a half gallon as well ;) Why didn't I think of that before? Thank you for this wonderful interview and I'm so happy to introduce you to my readers! I'm also very excited for you with the release of Jaded and can't wait to see what's up next for you.