BIO: Jennifer AlLee was born in
and spent her first ten years living above a mortuary one block away from the
famous intersection of Hollywood
and Vine. Now she lives in the grace-filled city of Las Vegas, which just goes to prove she’s
been blessed with a unique life. When she’s not busy spinning tales, she enjoys
playing games with friends, attending live theater and movies, and singing at
the top of her lungs to whatever happens to be playing on the car radio. She's
a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America,
Christian Authors Network, and the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. Her novels
include The Pastor’s Wife, The Mother
Road, A Wild Goose Chase Christmas, Last
Family Standing, and the upcoming Vinnie’s
Diner (4/15) from Abingdon Press; Diamond
in the Rough, Vanishing Act, and Curtain
Call from Whitaker House and co-written with Lisa Karon Richardson; and the
novella Comfort and Joy in the
Christmas anthology, Mistletoe Memories,
Welcome back, Jennifer. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I see a very interesting path! I’m at the point now where I don’t have a set contract for anything, so I’m embarking on indie publishing. I’ve got a contemporary series I’m putting together and hope to release it early next year. But I’m not abandoning traditional publishing. For me, the goal is to do both well.
Tell us a little about your family.
Sorry, I have to brag about my son. He’s 21 and will be graduating from UNLV next month with a major in computer science. He’s funny and smart and has a huge heart. I’m incredibly proud of the young man he’s grown into.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
It’s become very hard for me to read a book simply for the fun of it. I find myself wanting to edit everything. Also, because of the amount of time I spend writing, I have less time for reading. But I squeeze it in wherever I can.
What are you working on right now?
I just finished a Christmas novella, Nutcracker Christmas, so I’m promoting that. And I’m working on the first book of a contemporary romance series. That’s the one I plan to indie publish.
What outside interests do you have?
I enjoy playing table top games with friends, going to movies, and attending live theatrical productions. Also, I’m strangely addicted to the online game Candy Crush Saga. I play it on my tablet right before I go to sleep, and then first thing when I wake up. I’ve found quite a few of my friends share in this addiction. Maybe we should form a support group. LOL
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I generally choose settings that feel right for that particular story. If I can, I like to choose a place I’ve been before. Two of my novels (The Mother Road and Last Family Standing) start in a place I’m familiar with and then move out into unknown territory. For those, I do lots of research on the places I haven’t been, because I really want to get it right.
Me, too. If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Nikola Tesla. I find him fascinating because he was, by all accounts, a genius inventor, but you don’t learn about him in school. At least I didn’t. I’d love to know more about him, direct from the source.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
How long everything takes. In most cases, almost every step of this journey takes longer than you expect it to. Knowing that wouldn’t have kept me from writing novels, but at least I wouldn’t have thought “Is it just me?”
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
It seems like he’s always teaching me patience. That’s the eternal lesson for me! But now, specifically, it’s trust. Because my future is less laid out and defined than it’s ever been, but I have to trust that he’s taking care of me. Sometimes, that’s a scary place to be, but I’m learning.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Prepare to wait – If your goal is traditional publishing, the process takes a while. It averages about two years from the time your book is accepted to the time it’s released to readers. Use that time wisely. In other words, keep writing.
Don’t follow trends – Whatever is popular today probably won’t be by the time your book is ready for publication (see above). Write what you love, what you’re passionate about. It may not be a hot property today, but it will have its day.
Write, write, write – Successful writers write. It’s the best way to hone your craft, the best way to communicate with readers, the best use of your time while waiting for the next contract. If you feel like giving up, don’t. Write something instead.
Tell us about the featured book.
Last Family Standing is about a woman who gave up a baby for adoption. It’s twenty-five years later, and that child is now back in her life. Here’s the blurb:
Every family has drama ... but it doesn’t usually play out on national television.
Twenty-five years ago, Monica gave up a baby girl for adoption. Now, the thing Monica didn’t dare hope for has happened. Jessica has reentered her life ... and wants to meet her. There’s just one catch: the reunion must happen on a reality TV show. Though Monica has hesitations, she’s willing to swallow her pride—and a few other unsavory items—if that’s what it takes to connect with her daughter.
Between the unpleasant surprises of nature, the awkward tension with other cast mates, and her desperate attempts to do or be anything remotely athletic, Monica quickly learns that reality bites … hard. It all might make for good TV, but it isn’t very helpful in building relationships. As she stumbles through challenges and faces buried emotions and regrets, Monica wonders if she can be what her daughter wants and needs—and is that more than just a teammate? Can Monica and Jessica ever really be the Last Family Standing?
Please give us the first page of the book.
“Your daughter’s on television.”
“What?” I just about drop the spoon I’m using to stir my custard mixture. Is this a joke? A wrong number? I pull my cell phone away from my ear and read the ID on the screen. Nope. That’s Jules’s name, right under the picture of her wearing a red, white, and blue stovepipe hat at last year’s July 4th picnic.
“Monica? Are you there?”
Her voice calls through the speaker, and I slowly put the phone back to my ear. “Yeah. I’m here.”
“Did you hear what I said?”
I close my eyes and shake my head, as if that will bring some clarity to my mind. It doesn’t work. “I heard, but ... are you sure?”
“Absolutely. I recorded it to the DVR so you can see for yourself.”
Leave it to Jules to think of the practical answer to my questions. “I’ll be right there.”
“I’ll leave the porch light on.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’m kind of all over the place. I love to hear from readers, so here are my links:
Pintrest: http://www.pinterest.com/jenalleeBlog: http://www.inkwellinspirations.com
Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your new book with us. It's at the top of my to-be-read pile.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Last Family Standing - Christianbook.com
Last Family Standing - Amazon
Last Family Standing - Amazon
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