Tuesday, January 12, 2010

THE PASTOR'S WIFE - Jennifer AlLee - Free Book

Welcome to my blog, Jennifer. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I’ve never intentionally based a character on myself, but I find little things will creep in. Like a love of chocolate, for instance. In The Pastor’s Wife, I shared my love of the dramatic arts with Maura, the main character. Other than that, she’s pretty much her own woman.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Quirky… let me think... Back when they were filming Seabiscuit, I answered a call for unpaid extras at the Santa Anita racetrack. Due to the time period, they needed lots of men, so women were asked to dress accordingly. I wore a trench coat, slacks, dress shirt and tie. When I got there, they gave me a hat so I could hide my hair under it. You can’t pick me out of the crowd, but I’m in one of those race scenes, running to the rail in the infield. It was a long, fun day.

I know. I was an invited guest on the set for one day of filming of the movie JFK. When did you first discover that you were a writer?

When I was in grade school. Every time we had to do a report, I would write the longest one. If we had to write a short story, I wrote a novella. I was always writing something. In high school, I decided to write a book. I called it Like Roses. It contained the purplest prose you’ve ever read, but it was the first manuscript I was able to complete.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I’m fairly eclectic when it comes to reading. I enjoy historical novels with a bit of humor to them. I enjoy contemporary, character driven stories. Romances, of course. And I love a good thriller.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

You already know about my high school book. I wrote another in college called The First of May. It’s about a young woman who finds love when she joins a circus. That one got a nice rejection from Harlequin back in 1984. As for published books, The Love of His Brother – about a pregnant widow who falls in love with her dead husband’s brother - came out in November 2007. My latest, The Pastor’s Wife, releases Spring 2010 from Abingdon Press.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

When I start to feel really stressed it’s usually because I’ve gotten so busy that I haven’t taken time to read my Bible or pray. So making time for God is key. Also, my family and I are very close. My husband, son and I talk about everything and we laugh a lot.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

Sometimes I look in baby naming books to get ideas, but I usually just mull over names in my head until I hit on one that sounds right. Then I’ll look it up to see what it means, which may or may not matter in the course of the story. Other times, a name stays with me and I have to use it. In The Love of His Brother, the main character is named Whitney after a girl I shared a locker with in high school. I always loved the sound of the name, and it fit this character perfectly.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Raising my teenage son! Seriously, I look at that kid and it just amazes me that I get to be his mom. What a blessing. He’s a fabulous human being.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

A horse, no doubt. They’re such beautiful creatures. I love the idea of running free, mane whipping in the wind. Of course, I’d have to be a free-range horse, because once you start carrying people around and doing work the fantasy is over.

What is your favorite food?

I’m a lover of chocolate. Within that category, my favorite is probably plain M&Ms. They’re the best because I actually suck on them one at a time, so a small bag can last me a good half hour.

I love M&Ms, too, but I really like to feel the crunch when I bite into them. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

My greatest problem was procrastination. I would put off writing, and put if off some more, and before I knew it, the week was over and I hadn’t written a thing. Part of that was fueled by fear. I think I was afraid of finding out I had nothing to say, or getting to a certain point and getting stuck. What helped me was participating in a book-in-a-month writing challenge with some members of ACFW. The accountability of reporting to the others kept me coming back to the computer. By the end of the month, I’d developed a habit. Now I try to write at least 1000 words a day, but I give myself permission to take weekends off. I feel much freer now, and procrastination is no longer an issue.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Three things: Write like crazy. Read like crazy. And get some support so you don’t go crazy. Truly, the only way to become a better writer is to write. And reading feeds us. It’s like fuel for our creative fire. But writing can be a lonely occupation. I encourage every writer to join a group like American Christian Fiction Writers. Just being able to interact with other writers on the email loop is worth more than I can say.

Tell us about the featured book?

I’ve been a secretary for two different pastors, so I’ve had a good look at how crazy and hectic life can get for them and their families. Even though neither of my pastor friends had a marriage in crisis, this still gave me the “what if” for my book, The Pastor’s Wife. Here’s the blurb:

He loves me… he loves me not…

Maura Sullivan thought she knew what she was getting into when she married soon-to-be pastor Nick Shepherd. But when “the other woman” in her marriage turned out to be her husband's congregation, she ran. Three years later, she’s back in the small community of Granger, Ohio, for the reading of a will that names both her and Nick as beneficiaries. Now Maura must face the husband – and the congregation – she left behind.

Sounds intriguing. How can readers find you on the Internet?

I’m kind of all over the internet right now.
I have a website, http://www.jenniferallee.com/ ,
and a blog, http://jenniferallee.blogspot.com/ .
I’m also on Facebook (Jennifer AlLee) and Twitter (j_allee).
Come on over and visit me some time!

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Lena. It’s been lots of fun!

And we enjoyed spending this time with you, Jennifer.

Readers, here's a link where you can order the book.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.



Linda said...

I'm not sure if this covers the aspects of a Pastor's Wife/family, but I would sure love to read it. Please enter me.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Nora said...

It's great to see Jennifer published. I've read her blog and didn't know she had a book in the works. I would love to read it.

Thanks for putting my name in the hat for the drawing.

Good interview Lena!!


Nora St.Laurent
Finding Hope Through Fiction

Casey said...

Looks good! Love the "quirky story
I always enjoy reading the answer to that question. :)

Thanks for the chance!

Jo said...

Sounds like a very interesting story line. Please enter me in the drawing.


NCGrampsof2 said...

Sounds extremely interesting! Would love to win this for my wife!


Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edna said...

The interview is great and the book cover looks like it would be a great read. Please enter me into the drawing
I follow you


Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

I haven't read The Love of His Brother or The Pastor's Wife but they both look terrific and are on my ever increasing wishlist!

xoxo~ Renee

Mark said...

I'd like to enter

Jennifer AlLee said...

Good morning, All!

Lena, thanks so much for allowing me to spend some time with your readers. I see some familiar faces, and some who I'm happy to meet for the first time.

Linda, while the book is fiction, it does touch on the joys and challenges of being part of a pastor family.

Nora, Casey, Jo, Don, Edna, Renee and Mark - thanks to all of you for your support! Good luck in the drawing :+}

Deborah M said...

I think this book sounds very interesting. I would like to know what happens when she does come back to her town after fleeing. Please sign me up.
Deborah M.

kellie said...

this sounds like a wonderful book Thanks Jennifer for allowing us to understand how you wrote the book please enter me into the giveaway thanks
God Bless

Katherine said...

This book looks very good! Please enter me.


Shirley Kiger Connolly said...

Your answers are so great! I laughed at so many of them and nodded my head at others. Sounds just like the Jennifer I hung out with at the airport back in Denver.
I wish you the VERY best on your new book and hope you make enough to purchase a couple of cases of M & Ms each month! Of course I like mine with ALMONDS!
And I am like Lena. I LOVE the crunch.
Sign me up please, Lena. I would love to win a copy of this book!
Shirley Connolly

Jennifer AlLee said...

Shirley, so good to see you! We did have fun in Denver, didn't we? May God bless you and shower you with the M&Ms of your choice :+}

Jennifer AlLee said...

Deborah, Nick and Maura both have some soul searching to do. As always, the fault doesn't lie with just one person. I hope you enjoy their journey!

Megan said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the interview & chance to win!


G.R.I.T.S. said...

Please Enter me.
Sounds like a good one to review on my blog.
Rae Byuel

Abi said...

Love to win. Thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Sherry Kuhn said...

Can't wait to read it! Please enter me in the drawing!

Sheila Deeth said...

Teenage sons and chocolate. And a good book too. Thanks for the interview.

HollyMag said...

I would love a chance to win this book. Thanks for another great interview!

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

Wendy said...

Sounds like an interesting book.

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

YAY! It's finally here! It seems like forever since I first came across this book over at Relz Reviewz...I can't wait to read it. I love the cover!

Chocolate is a personal weakness, Jennifer, and speaking of M&Ms...have you tried the Minis? They're my new fave! ;)

Thank you for this awesome opportunity,
~ Lori

sugarandgrits at hotmail dot com

Jo said...

This is another one that I would love to read. Please enter me in the giveaway.


Jennifer AlLee said...

Hello All! It's so good to see all of you here.

Lori, your excitement makes me smile :+} Yes, I have tried the M&M Minis. They kind of remind me of Chickletts (except they're not gum). My son LOVES the Minis!

Laura in Texas said...

Enjoyed the interview. As the wife of a former associate pastor, you had me with that blurb. I'd love to win a copy of that book! If I don't, I guess I'll have to go buy it!

lauramctx at yahoo

Jennifer AlLee said...

Hi Laura, Being the wife of an associate comes with just as many joys and challenges as being the wife of a senior. Bless you for serving! I hope you enjoy the book :+}

Anonymous said...

thanks for the opportunity to read this wonderful book


gahome2mom said...

I like the interview. I have two teenage daughters that write their own stories and they pick names from baby books too. lol One of my daughters draws her characters as well.


April said...

Please enter me. Great post.

Carla said...

Would love to read this book.

Deborah Bates Cavitt said...

I enjoy finding character's names in baby books and on the Internet.

Carole said...

I've had Jennifer's book on my wish list since I first read about it several weeks ago. I've also been a church secretary and worked closely with a couple of ministers for many years, so maybe that's why I enjoy themes that involve a pastor and his family. Thanks for the interview and chance to win a copy of The Pastor's Wife.

That's funny about dressing as a guy for the filming of Seabiscuit. I'm sure you'll treasure those memories, Jennifer.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Jennifer AlLee said...

Carole, the hats they gave us at the Seabiscuit shoot were made out of something that looked like hard grey felt, and inside there was a sticker that said something like "thank you for being part of Seabiscuit." We were able to take them home, so I gave mine to my then-toddler son who loved putting things on his head. It was fun to see him running around in it. We've still got it, but it doesn't look much like a hat anymore :+}

Esther said...

I would love to win this book. Please enter me. Thanks! Esther

Rosalie Patience said...

Sounds great. Please enter me in the drawing. ~Abby

abster dot rose at yahoo dot com

Carman said...

Please enter me! This books sounds really good. :)

Anonymous said...

Would love to read this one! Please enter me. Thanks!!!

Lady Araujo said...

I'd love to read this book.
Please, enter me.

Nancye said...

We have 2 things in common:
-a love for chocolate
-raising a teenage son(he's 14, plus a 6 year old daughter!)
My kids drive me batty sometimes, but they are my heart and soul and I'd give my life for them!

Your book looks wonderful! Thanks for the chance! (Do we get chocolate too? LOL!)

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Marla said...

This sounds like a great read. Thank you for the entry.