I was recently walking with a friend on the Cowboy Trail in Norfolk. Right next to the river, I might add. Every time twigs snapped, I knew for certain a serial killer was hiding in the woods. Usually, squirrels were the cause of my near coronary episodes. Still, there are too many bodies discovered in garbage bags in the river to let my guard down completely. And on the way back, a rather suspicious looking dude was standing on the river bank staring into the void. My friend commented that the guy had probably just thrown someone into the water. Perhaps, I’m passing my paranoia to others, but I’d like to think I’m making them more aware and thus better prepared for dangerous situations.
2. Going to the Circus
I’ve never felt safe at the circus. Why, you ask? I can sum it up in one word… Clowns. There is something inherently sinister about the creepy plastic smiles and forced laughter of clowns. I mean, they’re hiding secrets so dark Dateline hasn’t even steeled their nerves enough to interview these beings. Maybe you think I’m crazy, and you’re entitled to your opinion, but if John Wayne Gacy taught us anything, it’s that murder and body disposal aren’t out of a clown’s wheelhouse. And when those clowns were standing on street corners all over the country a few years back, I was honestly shocked that so many people seemed surprised. Why be surprised when clowns do horrifying things? It’s just typical clown behavior.
This will come as no surprise to my faithful readers. But let’s be honest, a lot of joggers either end up dead on the side of the trail or they have the misfortune of finding a body near said trail. I’m pretty sure that as soon as your sneaker hits the sidewalk wherever you plan to jog, your chances of finding/becoming a dead body increase exponentially. If you choose to take such a risk, bring pepper spray or a baseball bat and make sure you’re in a location with cell phone reception. You’ll thank me later. 🙂
So, the whole Thanksgiving week got a little nutty, and I failed to post November’s Author Spotlight in a timely manner. As penance, I will be gifting three copies of my friend Jennifer’s book Gifting Grace to lucky commenters on this post. But I guess it’s not penance when it’s something I actually enjoy doing… Guess I’m going to have to work on that. I’ll draw names on 12/15. Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, shall we?
Jennifer currently lives in Arkansas with her husband and two children. Her debut novel, Hidden Danger, is a 2019 Selah Award winner, and her second novel, Expecting Danger is a 2019 Selah award finalist. Her third novel, Deadly Connection released on October 20, 2020. Giving Grace, a contemporary romance Christmas novella will release on November 13, 2020. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and River Valley Writers.
What unfinished writing projects do you have gathering dust in a drawer? Do you think you’ll ever try to publish them, or were they just part of the learning process?
Oh my goodness, I have so many. I’ve got several started that I’d love to see through to publication. But I tend to have something shiny syndrome. I’ll work on something a little while and then move to something else. I have a novel that started as a writing prompt for a blog I read. It was “Your one night stand from last night turns out to be your new boss.” I write Christian fiction and didn’t want to have the actual one night stand happen so I changed it to an intellectual one night stand. My characters meet at a club, where they are the designated drivers. They decide to get to know each other better at the diner down the road while their friends party. The female lead has just lost out on a promotion to someone outside the company. She commiserates during their conversation. Unbeknownst to either of them, the male lead is the one that has taken the job. There’s snarky banter thrown through out what I’ve gotten written so far. I have ideas for a couple more romantic suspense novels, a couple YA novels, and a couple contemporary romance novels. Now if I could just choose one and finish it.
2. What do you love about the genre in which you write?
I love suspense and mystery. I personally like to try to guess who the bad guy is when reading a book or watching a movie or show. Writing it lets me try to stump the reader. It’s fun being on the opposite side of it.
3. Do you keep a diary or journal? Do you find this practice helps you be a better writer or process character emotions more deeply?
I do not keep a diary or journal. I’m a paralegal by trade and love crime shows, movies, and books (true crime and fiction). Never put anything down in writing that can be used against you. Lol.
4. In the Bible, do you have a “life verse” that’s significant to you? Do you find yourself exploring this theme often in your work?
My favorite verse is Proverbs 18:10-The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and are safe. I write that verse any time I sign one of my books. I did include the verse in my debut novel, Hidden Danger.
5. Which part of the book creation process do you like best– brainstorming, writing, editing, marketing?
I love brainstorming. I like getting random ideas and thoughts thrown out and then organizing them into a story. Making each piece fit together like a puzzle.
And there you have it! I can personally attest to the awesomeness of Jennifer’s books, and hope you’ll check them out. Here’s the cover image and blurb for her latest book along with the ways and means to connect with Jennifer on social media. Drop a comment below for a chance to win an e-book copy of Giving Grace!
Nothing is more embarrassing than Grace Dixon’s dog peeing on the new mailman. Except maybe when she thinks she’s hit the handsome man with her SUV.
When he’s assigned to cover an injured co-worker’s route, Evan McDonald assumes it will be like any other mail route he’s done. But then he meets Grace Dixon, and he’s thrust into total Christmas chaos.
As Grace spreads the love of God and Christmas cheer to her community, she encourages Evan to join her. The two grow close as Evan learns about giving of not just possessions but of time and grace, setting him back on the path to God. Grace is a force to be reckoned with, though, and when she shows compassion in a situation that Evan disagrees with, he realizes he might not be the right man for her. Will Grace’s lifestyle of giving overwhelm him, or can he muster some of that grace and compassion she so easily spreads?