About the Author
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com, and devotions for Internet Café Devotions, the group blog, Faith-filled Friends, and her personal blog. She also does content editing for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas’ Firefly imprint, and loves working with authors who are serious about pursuing their calling. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.
1. How did you get started as an author? What or whom inspired you?
Though I’ve always enjoyed writing, I never considered it as a career until around 2009. Before then I largely journaled and wrote for ministries I was involved with—parent newsletters, dramas for outreach, that sort of thing. Then one day, as I was brainstorming a story on Jonah for a children’s program it hit me, “I enjoy this.” It might sound funny, but it really was an a-ha moment for me. So I began to dabble in storytelling. Then, in 2009, I pursued writing seriously as a career. I signed my first contract four years later.
2. What does your writing process look like?
I’m a plotter, so I usually begin with a general idea than spend a chunk of time researching and getting to know my characters. Once I know them fairly well, I begin laying out the story scene by scene using different colored notecards. Once that’s done, I dig in and start writing. Inevitably, about 2/3rds of the way through the first draft, one of my critique partners will alert me to a major story problem that requires a major rewrite. Once all glaring issues are fixed, I can finish the first draft. Then, of course, it goes through umpteen edits.
3. How long does it typically take you to write a novel?
It really depends on the subject area and setting. My third novel was a medical drama that took nearly six months, maybe more, of research and was the most difficult novel I’ve written to date. But typically, I can write two novels a year, so about six months from first idea to final draft.
4. What projects are you currently working on? What can you tell us about these projects?
I’m about to dig in to a contemporary romance set in Austin, Texas. How about if I share the preliminary blurb?
Paige Cordell closed her wounded heart to her life in Texas to pursue her dream of becoming a nationally known journalist. Just as hard work and perseverance are starting to pay off, she’s forced back to Austin--right next door to Bryce Gilbertson’s grandmother and in proximity to the man she’s always hated. She plans to avoid him at all costs, until she needs him to reach the one goal that will allow her to leave Austin for good.
All his life, Bryce Gilbertson’s parents groomed him to join the family law firm until his frat boy behavior turned him into a college dropout. Now matured, he purchased a murder mystery dinner theater, which he plans to transform into a Wild West theme, an action is parents find irresponsible. He plans to prove them wrong, and he needs Paige’s help to do so.
5. What authors inspire your writing?
I love Shannon Taylor Vannatter, Eva Marie Eaverson, Varina Denman… I could go on and on, there are so many great authors! I learn something from each story I read.
6. Who designs the covers of your books?
My publisher has a team that does that, then they usually send out a survey inviting readers to vote for their favorite.
7. What inspired you to write Breaking Free?
The story arose from an experience a dear friend went through. She seemed to have it all together, to be the perfect mother with the perfect, put-together family. But one day she told me her husband of eighteen years had a crack addiction. I couldn’t believe it! I’m not sure what shocked me more—that she was married to an addict or that, all the time I knew her, I had no idea!
8. What hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
Reading, traveling, visiting various coffeehouses in the Omaha metro—that’s a hobby, right? Either that or an addiction. (grin) Honestly, though, I’d be content with my bookshelf, laptop, kindle, and a cup of coffee with sweetened almond milk. So long as I had those things, I could remain locked in my office indefinitely!
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