Tell us about your newest book.
I’d love to! It’s about a medical professional who’s forced into single parenting when her husband abandons her for another woman. It’s also about the man, an old flame, she encounters late one night in the hospital cafeteria who’s fighting to hold on to his boys when a fire threatens to destroy his restaurant and tragedy threatens to destroy him. These two find much needed support in one another and begin to wonder if God might have had an additional purpose—the romantic kind—in reuniting them.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I’m a recent empty nester who’s been enjoying the special time with my husband. It’s almost like we’re on an extended vacation. We’ve been going to small towns near us to peruse antique stores, out to dinner, visiting art shoes and festivals. The other weekend our daughter came home for a visit and said, “You guys have become so social. You know, you could’ve done all that when I was home.”
Which is true, and we did, but perhaps less frequently. I’m not sure why our outings have increased since our princess left for college. She says it’s because she left a void that we’re trying to fill with events and daytrips. Maybe. Though I think it could be more that I’ve had a bit more breathing room, writing-wise, and want to take advantage of this extra time before my next deadline hits.
Where do you get your ideas?
Sometimes from listening to and interacting with others. Sometimes ideas come from things I’ve experienced. Sometimes a storyline just flows through my brain. And other times, an idea is triggered by an off-the-cuff Facebook comment left by a friend. That’s how Intertwined was born.
One day I posted a question on Facebook. I don’t remember what it was, and a friend responded, “Write about organ donation.”
I found her answer strange and completely off-topic. I’m not sure if I responded to her but in my mind I thought, “Um… no!” I knew nothing about organ donation or the medical field, expect what I’d seen on television, and we all know how accurate Hollywood is, right?
But a short time later, I awoke with my heroine Tammy Kuhn’s story playing through my mind. I knew her struggles; her fears; how, when and why her husband left her. (I was absolutely livid at him for doing this, by the way!) I also knew the emotional struggle she needed to overcome in order to experience the joy—and love—Christ had waiting for her.
I’ve been writing with Christ long enough to know when a story unfolds this clearly, it must come from Him, so, I sighed and said to Him, “Okay. I’ll write this, but I’m going to need A LOT of help.”
Then I called my friend, who worked as an organ procurement coordinator at the time, and reminded her of her comment on Facebook, asking if she’d help me with this novel. She said she would, although I doubt she had any idea just how much help I’d need! Poor Ami Koelliker! That woman is truly amazing and literally spent hours—HOURS, yes, enough to warrant all caps—teaching me the ins and outs of donation, and then reading the novel—three times!—to ensure its accuracy.
There’s no way I could’ve written this story without her.
Do you outline or are you a seat-of-the-pants writer?
I’m a big outliner, ever since I got the timeline really, really, I mean really, messed up in one of my stories. It took so much work straightening everything out, I decided it’d be easier to plot the scenes, their order, and the days they occur, before getting too far into the story. I also tend to be an incredibly insecure writer and am always afraid a story might not work or that my idea might not be strong enough to carry a full novel. By plotting it out, I can see holes and saggy middles before I begin to write. Sometimes this requires minor tweaks; other times a major reroute is in order.
Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
As of yet, no. However, I’m still waiting to hear back from my publisher on one—an orphan story that’s very near to my heart. But hopefully I’ll receive good news soon! (Well, as soon as one can expect in the publishing industry. Haha.)
Are you like any of the characters in your book?
You know, I probably have bits of me in every character. For this one, I really get Tammy’s love for her children, her desire to protect them from emotional harm, and her uncertainty as to how to do that. I also understand her struggle in moving past the bitterness caused by being betrayed. In Tammy’s case, she must learn to forgive her husband before her unforgiveness destroys her. Though my husband’s never betrayed me, I have experienced betrayal from others, and that hurts. I’ve found the deeper the hurt, the harder it can be to forgive, but I’ve also found God’s command to forgive is for our own sakes. Because bitterness is toxic and can blead in to every area of our lives and every relationship we have.
Are you working on a new project now?
I am, thanks for asking! I’m in the rough draft stage for what I hope to be book three in a series I’m tentatively calling the Midwestern Romance series. Beyond I Do was book one, hopefully book two, Freedom to Love (working title) will follow, then A Different Kind of Love (also a working title).
Here’s an unpolished, unedited, not final blurb for A Different Kind of Love:
Though she stands for everything he’s against, his heart won’t let him walk away.
All Robby wants to do is serve God, grow a godly family, and make a positive impact on the lives of others. But when a pregnant abortionist and a soon-to-be paroled father ignite the pain from his past, his mercy-filled love is overshadowed by a bitterness that threatens to destroy him. At what point can he walk away for good? And what will it cost him if he does?
Anything you would like to add?
Thanks for having me, Melissa! I always love visiting your blog. I’ve got a question for your readers. I shared how God moved me to say yes to something I’d already said no to. Has He ever done the same to you, and if so, how and when? I’d love to hear your divinely-redirected story!
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 adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte
Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?
Intertwined, part of New Hope Publisher’s contemporary fiction line, is a great reminder of how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace. Readers will fall in love with the realistic characters and enjoy the combination of depth, heart-felt emotion and humor that makes Jennifer’s novels so appealing. Readers will be inspired to find God in every moment and encounter in their own lives!
Thanks so much for visiting with us again, Jennifer. I pray God will continue to bless your writing journey!