I’d say there are bits and pieces of myself. I try to sprinkle different things across characters and stories, so no one character is ever “Me.”
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Last summer I took my kids to audition for Hunger Games extras. I ended up being cast as one of the game control room technicians. I got to experience wardrobe fittings, hair, and makeup (sat next to a Hollywood heavy hitter in the makeup chair). It was quite an experience to see how a big budget film operates behind the scenes. And since my scenes had significant special effects, it was fascinating to see how everything looked onscreen compared with what we saw in the studio.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
It started out as a dream. I fell in love with “story” at a very young age. I always wanted to write, but I decided I needed to live until I was at least 35 before I would have anything good to say. I received lots of affirmation with anything I wrote - even Christmas letters! :-) I turned 35, and began dabbling. I heard God’s call to pursue writing after that, and here we are, a couple years later. So it was a process, but looking back, I see that I’ve always been a writer.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love Kate Morton, Kristin Hannah, and David Baldacci. I enjoy a sweeping historical, almost anything with an old castle in England, international intrigue involving spies and great danger, and a contemporary story that evokes powerful emotion. I also like a little bit of magical realism, done right. Susan May Warren, Carla Stewart, and Cara Putman are recent reads of mine. So basically, I’m all over the map.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Breakfast in the Bible. Dates with my husband. Time with my kids.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I think about the significance of the character and a theme or word that might be important for them. Then I search meanings/definitions/synonyms and I found a great reverse name-meaning tool online. You type in the meaning, and it pulls up names with similar meanings. I like the major character names to mean something.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Aside from marrying my husband and raising three amazing kids . . . Winning the Genesis competition is probably the highlight of my career so far. Publication is a very close second, but winning that competition was an enormous encouragement and gave credence to other people that I was actually doing more than just typing on a laptop all day long.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I let this question sit awhile. If I have to pick one, I’d say a butterfly. (Though I hate comparing myself to a bug). But I have a tendency toward flitting from one thing to another. When I clean the house, I start in one place, get distracted by clutter in another room, get distracted by a third mess and end up cleaning a tiny bit of each space without finishing anything! I’m also a bit of a talker, and more than a few have dubbed me a social butterfly. I do love to work a room full of people. J Plus, I love bright colors and showing them off.
What is your favorite food?
Strawberry Shortcake. Nana’s biscuit recipe, fresh picked berries, whipped cream on top. In May, it’s pretty much breakfast, lunch and dinner. Oh yeah, and dessert too.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Time. With young kids, it was difficult to carve out the time, so I didn’t tackle writing seriously until all three kids were in school all day. As far as craft goes, I needed to learn about plotting. Once I began to see what elements appear in every good story, it all started to make sense for me.
A Familiar Shore is my debut novel. It brings the reader alongside Meg, a young lawyer raised off the coast of the Carolinas. An anonymous client hires her to arrange his will, and sends her to meet his estranged family at their lake home in northern Michigan. After a shocking discovery, she finds herself caught between his suspicious family and a deathbed promise her conscience demands that she keep. Will she sacrifice her own dreams for revenge, or will she choose something more?
A good deal of the story takes place over Memorial Day weekend, making it a great summer/getaway read.
Please give us the first page of the book.
In a daze, Meg barreled down the highway toward her father. An unfamiliar urgency in his voice drew her to the coast like true north pulls a compass. Her gut fluttered as she drove a rented RAV4 into
, and parked across
from Provisions, her favorite coastal dive on the eastern seaboard. Southport,
Stepping out of the car, she took a deep breath and pulled on the cuffs of her jacket as she slowly exhaled. Don’t rush in. Be controlled. Her jeweled sandals provided little protection as she picked her way through the maze of potholes masquerading as a parking lot for the shack-like restaurant.
Provisions perched on the edge of the
Cape Fear River. As
Meg neared the building, a mixed of fried seafood and boat fuel assaulted her
nose. A smile crossed her face and memories crossed her mind each time she
breathed the incongruent scents.
The lunch crowd spilled out the front door in a line displaying great anticipation and remarkable patience. Meg pressed past the people waiting to order and shoved her way onto the porch. Rolled up canvas “walls” hung from the eaves around the perimeter.
Popsie waved to her from their favorite table, in the corner furthest from the kitchen and closest to the water. Though Meg usually visited whenever he docked Gilda near Charlotte, she burned up the asphalt today for a potential client Popsie wanted her to meet. But he sat alone at a table for two.
How can readers find you on the Internet?Twitter: @jenniferfromke
Thank you, Jennifer, for the interesting interview.
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A Familiar Shore - paperback
A Familiar Shore - Kindle
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