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It’s funny. The idea for this book came shortly after I told God I didn’t think I could ever write a romance novel. After all, I’ve been married for nineteen years, and many times, my husband and my dates involve perusing hardware stores. What did I know about fluttery tummies, afternoon picnics, and surprise roses? But then, as if answer, Ainsley Meadow’s story unfolded in my brain. And I loved it! I loved it so much, I knew I had to write it.
Do you have a favorite character? Why is this one your favorite?
In this novel, Chris, Ainsley’s kind neighbor, is probably my favorite. I love the way he takes care of his mother, who has early onset Alzheimer’s, and I admire him for leaving a thriving law practice in California to move to the Midwest, where he could be closer to his mother. The fact that he owns a coffee shop, a drink I’m fiercely addicted to, doesn’t hurt, either. And yet, I probably had the most fun crafting Ainsley’s fiancé, Richard, a self-absorbed (but actually, very insecure) psychiatrist because I found his nature, perspective, and goals fascinating.
Who is your favorite secondary character in this latest novel, and do you think you’ll include that character in a future story?
That would be Angela Meadows, Ainsley’s mother, and yep! I’ve already begun writing a sequel centered on her. I’m about 10,000 words in. In Beyond I Do, we see her through Ainsley’s wounded perspective, and she appears… flighty and selfish. (There’s always two sides to every story, right?) But in novel two, we’ll gain deeper insight into why she does what she does, and more than that, where God, her Creator, wants to take her.
Have you given any of your own personality quirks to your characters? If so, would you be willing to share about it/them?
Hm… Let me think about that. Although many of my characters share some of my struggles, the only one who shares a quirk is from a novel that’s not (yet) published. In Never Forsaken, my main character, a germaphobe, goes on a two-week mission trip to a third world country, and she brings enough hand sanitizer and bug spray to singlehandedly wipe out malaria. 😉 Let’s just say, I have an ample supply of on hand-cleanser, which I love to share with my entire family. And neighbors. And anyone else I may come into contact with. 😉
Can you give any hints about your next book?
Sure! It’s called When Dawn Breaks and it’s about a fifty-one year old realtor who’s displaced by a hurricane. Jacqueline Dunn has a strained relationship with her adult daughter. This had been a major source of regret for her. Wanting to find purpose and to make amends with her daughter, she heads north to Willow Valley, where her daughter lives. While there, she encounters three children, also displaced by the storm, who’ve been abandoned by their mother. She also meets a handsome railroader, a man she could easily fall in love with. If she allowed herself. But 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?
Something that still surprises me, considering how terrified of heights I am is the fact that my husband and I used to rock climb. Although most often kept to indoor rock walls. When we did venture out, normally to Arkansas, we paid a guide to accompany us. It was loads of fun, and so beautiful!
Though even crazier than that, I once went shopping on Black Friday. Oy. I’m pretty sure I’ll never do that again.
Ha! I’m sure many of us can – unfortunately – relate to that one! Thanks again for visiting with us today, Jennifer. Where else can we connect with you online?
My severely neglected Twitter account: https://twitter.com/Jenslattery
Read a free, 36-page excerpt from Beyond I Do here: http://issuu.com/newhopedigital/docs/beyond_i_do_sample?e=6362996/8842858
More about Jennifer: 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. Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently available in print and e-book format, and you can find it on Amazon: Beyond I Do.
Jennifer loves helping aspiring authors grow in their craft, and has editing slots open beginning in November. Find out more here: http://wordsthatkeep.wordpress.com/