Monday, October 27, 2014

Jennifer Slattery's "Beyond I Do"

Beyond I Do:
Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?

Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.

Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

Read a free, 36-page excerpt here:

1) How long were you writing before your first publication? How many manuscripts had you written by that time? 
I’ve always enjoyed writing and was one of those students teachers often asked to shorten their papers. (Hm… my editor frequently requests I do the same to my manuscripts. Yes, I’m a tad verbose.) But I didn’t start pursuing writing as a career and calling until maybe six years ago. This might seem like a short period of time but as I’m blessed in that I’m able to devote a large chunk of my day to writing, which gave me plenty of time to learn and grow. And rewrite. Then rewrite some more.

By the time I received my first contract, I’d written a total of five novels, and they asked to see them all. They offered two additional contracts since, and hopefully, more are to come.

2) What’s your favorite setting for writing -- at home, in a coffee shop, on the front porch, sitting cross-legged on the living room couch, etc?  
If you’d asked me a few months ago, I would’ve said on the living room couch but lately I’ve been camped out in my office. This is mainly because I’m working on numerous projects at once, and my office allows me easy access to all necessary materials. Plus, it’s easier to tune out the television when I work late into the evening. 

3) Are you a morning person? A night owl?  
Um… neither? I get up early but absolutely don’t function until I’ve had a large amount of coffee and some quiet time with God. Without either, my day falls apart really quick.

4) When working on a manuscript, what do you do when you get stuck? 
This varies. Sometimes I’ll grab my smartphone with my Pandora app and go for a long walk. Other times I’ll do more research to help generate ideas. There are other times when I simply push through as I’ve found many times the block is a mental thing. 

5) Do you ever read your dialog aloud to see how it sounds? Have you ever performed
an action you want one of your characters to carry out in order to help you visualize or
describe it?  
Yes to both, much to the amusement of my neighbors.

6) How did you come up with the idea for your latest release? 
Many times plots and characters just pop into my brain and flow out. In fact, that’s usually when I know a story idea is one I should focus on—when it continues to unfold.

However, two aspects of this novel arose from very personal portions of my journey. One, the novel deals with homelessness, and I went through a period of homelessness as a teen. Second, the novel touches on surrendering to God’s call, something the heroine struggles with, as did I, when I first sensed God calling me to write. I felt certain I should be doing something much more logical. (grin)

7) Do you model characters after people you know? Are any of them (the real people, not
the characters) aware of it? 
Visually, sometimes, and there’s hints of my husband in every novel. But other than that, no.

8) Are your protagonists a lot like their creator? Or do you try to make them as unlike you as possible?  
In this novel, in some ways, mainly in terms of spiritual walk. As I referenced before, my heroine feels resistant to God’s call on her life, largely because she’s pursuing a safe and predictable life-plan. But she loves Jesus as much as I do, so I have a feeling she’ll surrender eventually. If she could slow her brain down long enough to actually hear Him!

9) Do you also write short stories, nonfiction, articles, devotionals, or other things, or are
you strictly a novelist?   
Oh, my! Um… yes. I think I dabble in a little of everything. Must. Slow. My. Brain. Down. Hm… It appears Ainsley, my heroine, and I, share yet another commonality.

10) If you felt the Holy Spirit urging you to quit writing, would you do it? 
Absolutely! I fought Him long enough when I first sensed Him calling me to write to know that’s not a place I ever want to go again. Though my salvation is secure, I know my intimacy with Him is largely dependent on my obedience, and I’ve come to cherish—deeply need—His daily abiding presence.

11) Do you read your reviews? Have you ever replied to one? Do you find they influence
your writing when you work on subsequent books?  

I do, and my editor often sends my work to early readers. Though I don’t always agree with everything, I’ve found I can learn from every review. And yes, I do think of them when I write my next novel. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll change anything, but I do consider all feedback.  

12) What question do you find most annoying on author interviews? 
I haven’t encountered any yet, and I kind of doubt I will as I know bloggers mean well and are truly do their best to help us authors out. Plus, I assume they know their readers better than I do, so their questions are most likely very applicable to their blog or magazine. 

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 discounted in e-book format for under $3! You can find it here: 
She also writes for, Internet Café Devotions, and writes and edits for Christ to the World Ministries. When not writing, Jennifer loves helping aspiring authors grow in their craft, and has editing slots open beginning in November. Find out more here:
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.