Gail's Book Nook

Monday, January 3, 2011

Looking Out the Window: Welcome Inspirational Writer Jennifer Slattery



Multi-faceted Christian writer Jennifer Slattery talks about Clash of the Titles and her new romance novel.


First, tell us a little about yourself.
Wow, that’s a loaded question, Gail. First and foremost, I’m a follower of Christ who wants to bring Him glory in all I do. Everything else hinges on that. Second, I’m a wife, mother, Calvary Bible College student and writer.

Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?
I was, although I always had a tendency to “check out” and venture into my own story. I went through a period where I was fascinated by Shakespeare, and I loved the Odyssey. I know, weird. I think I’ve always enjoyed “symbolic” writing. If there wasn’t a hidden meaning, I’d create one. grin. But I like things that have multi-layers that you can read again and again, digging a bit deeper each time.


I enjoy symbolism also. What do you write?
Wow, another loaded question. I write a bit of everything. As the Marketing Representative for Clash of the Titles, I do a lot of article writing. I love blogging! I’ve had a great time getting to know some very talented authors (you included. grin) and knowing that we are doing our part to expand the Christian fiction market!

Thanks for the kind words. I know you’re working on a book also. Tell us about that.
I’ve just started my first contemporary romance and it’s been a lot of fun! It’s about a girl raised by rather…hedonistic parents who cycle through relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning. This has left Ainsley Meadows, my heroine, rather gun shy. Deep in her heart, she wants to experience true love, but her fear of divorce sends her running for the predictable, safe and…dull. She’s engaged to a successful, albeit self-absorbed, psychiatrist. They’ve dated for quite some time and Ainsley’s grown accustomed to his ways. In her wounded mind, she’s come to equate stability with love, until a handsome, gentle, and rather comical man moves next door and awakens the Cinderella hiding in her sheltered heart. As their wedding date nears, she begins to see a different side to her fiancĂ©, and wonders: was it there all along, or is his rather calus behavior the result of stress? At the same time, her heart is increasingly drawn towards Teddy, the man next door, and his gentle ways.

That sounds like a meaningful and fun read. What inspired you to write this particular book?
A shower? lol. To be honest, I’m not sure. I had just completed a rather intense women’s fiction and was working on the second novel in the series, and I kept hearing about romance novels and felt the nudge to write one. But I threw a fit and told God I didn’t care if everyone wanted romance, I was writing for Him. Besides, I couldn’t write a romance novel to save my life! I’ve been happily married to the man of my dreams for almost sixteen years now. What do I know about first dates and first kisses and butterflies in the stomach? That’s like ancient history.

So, after throwing my little fit, I jumped in the shower, and the story started to swim through my brain. I had to laugh. Apparently, I did have a romance novel waiting to come out. But the whole process reminded me, it all comes down to surrender—and not putting limits on God.

What a great story, Jennifer. Where else do you get ideas for your books?
Not sure. I think I just live in stories. My mind spews in so many directions! And, I spend a lot of time in prayer, because if my writing doesn’t point back to Jesus in some way, it’s nothing more than pointless drivel, not fit for the manure pile.

In three words describe your style of writing.
Sarcastic, Slattery-ized—quick-moving (husband’s words on the last one).

What is your writing schedule and where do you write?
Right now I’m working on numerous projects, and going to school, so I tend to do it in chunks. And I write everywhere, although I really need to move to my office…permanently. Our house is cluttered with research books, notebooks, dictionaries, you name it. Oy, praise God for patient husbands!

I can relate to the books, notebooks, etc. Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?
I am very blessed that God has allowed me to focus almost all my time on writing and that my husband sees my writing as a ministry. One night I asked him why he was so supportive—he’s the director for a large railroad and works twelve hour days, but will come home and do the laundry or unload the dishwasher if I have an article that needs to get out. He said, “It’s awesome to know that my job enables you to write. I love what you are doing.”

Aww, that’s nice. Does your faith affect your writing? If so, how?
I once heard someone say they were a writer who happened to be Christian. For me, it’s totally opposite. I’m a Christian who happens to write. My ultimate goal is to be totally surrendered to Christ at every moment.

Thanks for having me! I’ve enjoyed getting to know you at Clash, and having you on my blog.


It was my pleasure, Jennifer.

Bio


Jennifer Slattery is a novelist, freelance writer, and biblical studies major at Calvary Bible College. In 2009 she won the HACWN writing contest in the book category, and was just recently acknowledged as the second place winner of the 2010 Dixie Kane writing contest in the inspirational category and placed fourth in the 2010 Golden Pen. She has a weekly marriage column on the Reflections in Hindsight website, reviews for Novel Reviews and has written articles, devotions and devotional stories for numerous other publications. She is also the marketing representative for the literary website, Clash of the Titles. Read more about her at http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com/

8 comments:

Miss Mae said...

Jennifer, it's nice to meet you. :) But I just have to wonder about your hero in the story where his name is Teddy. Instantly, it came to me (since you said he was rather comical) that I imagined he would turn out to be her "teddy bear". :) Now, that's sweet!

Jennifer said...

Miss Mae,
Good to meet you as well! I spent a fair amount of time selecting the names of each of my characters. I took a class on symbolism at the last ACFW conference and learned how important character names are. Ex: my heroine's name is Ainsley Meadows, which describes her personality to a T (even if she fights it.) She's really got a very tender, introverted, somewhat romantic (think running through the meadows) side, although her true self is buried by fears and insecurities. Right now, she presents the image she wishes she would be, and it's going to take some divine healing for her to let her true self come forth.

I hope she allows Teddy to love her, but in order to find true love, she's got to let go of her desire to control things and she's going to have to surrender her future and her heart completely to God, trusting that He is good and wants the best for her. I am hoping she will learn that biblical romance can be both stable and passionate.

Danielle Thorne said...

What a wonderful in-depth interview. It's nice to come across authors who really seek to put substance and layers into their work. Good luck with your writing!

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Danielle! What a great word of encouragement! (I think I'll tuck it in my pocket for a dreary day.)

Reader2 said...

Congratulations on finding the right balance to allow all things to happen in your writing. That is a very difficult task in the modern world. Inspiration... is where you find it. Keep the good works coming !!

Gina said...

I'm late getting here nearly 6pm ET, but I didn't want to miss it! And I'm so glad I didn't miss out. This was such a special interview! It's nice to get to know you Jennifer, I wish you much luck in your writings :-) And Gail, I love your blog. Have a wonderful rest-of-the-day! Hugs, Regina

Jennifer said...

Reader2, what a compliment, thank you! And it's great to meet you as well, Regina. I love Gail's blog, too! (I love her as a person, too!)

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Jennifer,
That's so nice. Thanks for being on my blog. I loved your shower story.