Bio: Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her teenage daughter and coffee dates with her handsome railroader husband.
Welcome back, Jennifer. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
My books stem from my deepest passion—seeing men and women experience the life-changing freedom of Christ and living fully in that freedom. I’m an outreach girl, drawn to the broken, impoverished, and nonbeliever, as are my characters. Because of this, my books always have a strong outreach focus. I’m also a romantic at heart; that comes from living with my real-life hero, a man who still makes my pulse quicken after nineteen years. I believe the gift of romantic love is a precious and powerful example of Christ’s love for us, and I enjoy celebrating that in my novels.
My husband makes my pulse quicken after 50 years of marriage. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
My wedding day. I cried as I walked down the aisle—happy tears. And astonished tears. I kept thinking, “This is real. This is really happening. He didn’t bolt on me!” And then, after we’d said our vows and my husband took me onto the dance floor, he pulled me close and sang to me. It was beautiful.
How has being published changed your life?
It’s made me busier, more attentive. Definitely more dependent on Christ. I think I listen more now as I’m increasingly alert to the fact that everyone has a powerful and memorable story.
What are you reading right now?
I just finished James Patterson’s latest, Hope to Die. It was really good, though, being secular, wasn’t anywhere near rated G. I read it largely to learn. He’s a brilliant writer who captures the reader’s attention with high stakes and a continual sense of urgency. Next I plan to read Greetings From the Flipside by Rene Gutteridge and Cheryl McKay. I love Rene’s writing.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m waiting on big picture edits for my third book (yay!) and am finishing up a first draft of a sequel I hope my publisher will pick up. It follows the story of Ainsley Meadow’s (the heroine in Beyond I Do) mother, a divorced house-flipper, and a woman married to a career felon. Here’s the blurb:
Sixty-one year old Angela Meadows is ready for a clean slate, to launch a career and to embrace her new life in Christ. But self-loathing and remorse for a life forever lost hold her back. When she encounters a single mom, married to an incarcerated felon, and her children, Angela’s shame becomes swallowed by something greater—compassion. Her past draws her to them, but will it drive away the only man she’s truly loved?
What would be your dream vacation?
I have two, and it just so happens I’ll be doing both. The first is going to
, where my husband and I first
fell in love. We’re going next September to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We’ll
visit all sorts of wonderful, vibrant restaurants, some art galleries, do some
hiking, hopefully go crabbing. I can’t wait! Then the following year we’re
going to spend time in the Sedona, Seattle, Washington Arizona
area to do more eating at fun, unusual restaurants, lots of shopping, and we’ll
probably hit a dinner theater or two.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Each book is different, but the settings usually arise from locations I’ve lived in or have fallen in love with, usually both. For this novel, the location came from my experience living in
during the Katrina event. (I call it an event because the effects of that storm
could be felt throughout Louisiana and Texas long after it
hit.) We lived in , when the storm hit,
and though we were far enough away to remain safe, refugees soon swarmed our area.
It was a haunting experience and yet one that also revealed the beauty of God’s
grace as Christians throughout the area mobilized to help those in need. Then,
shortly after Katrina, we moved to Bossier City,
Louisiana , and
spent time in an apartment complex that housed storm refugees who had decided
to make their home there. This event, the people I met, and the places I
visited left such an impression on me, I wanted to share as much as I could
through this story. New
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
One person??? Oh, that’s hard. This will probably sound anticlimactic, but I’m such a people person, I’d really like to hang out with some of my many writer friends and critique partners.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Is there life outside writing and reading? Um … sipping heavily-flavored coffee with friends? Visiting bookstores with friends? Eating chocolate … alone (so I don’t have to share)?
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
My health. I have two chronic illnesses, both of which can lead to extreme fatigue that steals my time, and, if I’m not careful, can steal my joy as well, thus stealing even more of my time. I’m not sure I overcome it, though I am learning to adapt. When I’m feeling well, I use every moment to its fullest. When I’m not, I use that to the fullest as well and take the time to draw near to Christ, catch up on reading, or spend relaxed time with family.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Keep writing! Perseverance is everything. I’d also suggest not spending too much time on that first novel. There are so many stories (mine included!) of authors who kept writing, pumping out one novel after another, as they waited for that first contract, only to have their publisher later ask to see everything they’d written.
Good advice. Tell us about the featured book.
I’d love to. Here’s the blurb:
As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution motivate her to head north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. Dealing with his own issues, Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. And then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?
Please give us the first page of the book.
(Please note, this might be slightly different than the final edited version that appears in the novel.) Jacqueline Dunn stared at her television, reading for the fourth time the alert scrolling across the bottom of the screen. Hurricane warning for
Mandatory evacuation in effect for the following areas. Six zones followed,
including hers. Was everyone overreacting?
She crossed the room and peered out the window. The sandy beach stretched before her, frothy waves tumbling in. Dark clouds hovered near the horizon. Not unusual. Except that Hurricane Gita had grown to a category four storm and was headed straight for the
. Gulf Coast
She glanced back at the television. The news shifted from the radar map to
Loaded vehicles inched forward at what looked to be a five-mile-per-hour crawl.
Which meant, if she left now, she might make it out of
before the storm hit. Crystal Shores
There was no sense delaying the inevitable. Sucking in a deep breath, she gripped a packed suitcase in one hand and her computer case in the other. Stepping around partially packed boxes, she headed toward the front door. A stack of mail lay on the entryway table. She shoved it into the side pocket of her computer case then marched into the garage.
Lord, please stay this storm. I can’t afford to start over. Not at my age.
With a sigh, Jacqueline loaded hastily packed boxes in the back of her car and cranked her engine. She started to set the GPS then stopped. Gripping the steering wheel, she stared at the white cement wall in front of her. Where to? Staying in a hotel, for only God knew how long, would eat her savings. But what else could she do? Her parents lived too far away, and her daughter... The muscles in her neck tensed as she thought about their last conversation. No. A hotel was her best option, expensive or not.
She glanced at the clock on the dash. Eight thirty AM. According to the National Weather Service, the storm would hit in five, maybe six hours. That didn’t leave much time for debating. Right now she needed to focus on one thing—leaving town.
Used by Permission. When Dawn Breaks: A Novel, by Jennifer Slattery (
New Hope Publishers, )
NewHopeDigital.com. Birmingham, AL
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can read the first two chapters of When Dawn Breaks here: http://issuu.com/newhopedigital/docs/slattery_sampler/1
They can visit me and learn about new authors on my devotional blog: http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com
They can connect with me on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte
They can follow me on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/Jenslattery
They can buy a copy here:
On Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-dawn-breaks-a-novel-jennifer-slattery/1120694122?ean=9781596694231
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