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Have you always like to write?
I’ve always enjoyed writing as a stress reliever and a way to process my thoughts and feelings, but honestly, I never really thought of pursuing it as a career. God sort of surprised me with that one! Though as soon as I took steps forward in obedience, I realized how much I absolutely love writing of all kinds. I love writing fiction, non, articles, blogs. I think maybe I’m simply addicted to words. Ha!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I often give my dad credit for that. When my siblings and I were young, he’d often read to us. There was one book in particular called I’m Mister Bun. My dad’s a strong guy, and was a wrestling coach until he retired, so looking back, I find it incredibly endearing that such a tough, burly man would sing children’s books to us. J And of course, that was such a special memory, it helped me fall in love with storyworld. Then, when I was in elementary school, he and I would skip—yes, this tough, burly man skipped, while singing!—while playing rhyming games. So I think I had special memories and positive associations with words from a very early age.
Do you have a favorite writing conference to attend? What is it?
I like mixing things up a bit as I think each conference has a unique focus, strength, and tone. Though my top two would be Blue Ridge and ACFW. I’ve always wanted to go to Mt. Hermon, though, and have a feeling that one would become my top, if I could ever make it to Northern Cali. One of these years!
How did you decide upon the title of Intertwined?
Though my publisher has the ultimate say on my titles (as they’re much smarter when it comes to things like that than I am!), this one was actually my top choice of numerous titles that were being considered. It arose organically from the story. In the novel, my hero and heroine, old high school friends (with secret loves for one another) reconnect years later as adults and discover their lives are critically intertwined. Plus, they learn they can’t do life alone, my heroine especially, who is a single mom juggling a very demanding job, as an organ procurement coordinator.
Are any experiences in Intertwined based on personal experiences? Did you draw upon any stories or movies for inspiration for the novel?
Actually, it was the other way around. The book led to personal experiences, and miraculous ones at that! This book was initiated, largely, upon the suggestion of a friend—an organ procurement coordinator.
I knew I couldn’t write it without help. To write this one well, I’d need much more medical knowledge than I could possibly gain through research alone. So, I asked my friend, former organ procurement coordinator Ami Koelliker, if she’d help me, a LOT. She agreed, and we met numerous times over the next six months and talked by phone as she educated me on the ins and outs of organ donation.
A year or so later, we realized God had much bigger plans! He used the book to stir my husband’s heart to donate a kidney to a teenager he hadn’t met until the Sunday before the surgery. The events that followed were nothing short of miraculous and reminded me of God’s attentive, faithful care. Oh, what a gift His sovereignty is!
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
All the technical information. Writing a medical drama, which is partially what this novel is, was incredibly hard! I’m so grateful my friend had the patience to walk me through it!
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I do read them but I never respond to them, unless a reviewer contacts me personally. Then I thank them, regardless of how they rated the book, for taking the time to read the book and write the review. I try really hard to make things as easy as possible on them as I know it can be very stressful to write an honest review, and of course, that’s what we all want, right? So, when I dialogue with a reviewer, I make sure they know I’m expecting them to be honest and assure them I won’t be hurt or offended.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Probably Deborah Raney. I love her books and she’s just such a lovely person! Always so quick to give help when she can, and every time I see her, she’s smiling. Now that’s the joy of the Lord! J
What book are you reading now?
Honestly by Sheila Walsh. It’s an older book—research for a story—about her struggle with depression and her journey of getting help. Next I plan to read another nonfiction, Real Women: Leading With Proverbs 31 Values.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’d love to! I’m currently working on big picture edits for my fourth book titled Breaking Free, scheduled to release in January. Here’s the working (not edited by my publisher’s brilliant marketing crew) back cover copy:
Sometimes it takes losing everything to grab hold of what really matters.
Women’s ministry leader and Seattle housewife, Alice Goddard and her successful graphic-designing husband appear to have it all together. Until their Visa and debit cards are denied, leading to a downward spiral of lies, shame, and self-destruction. How far will they fall before he turns to the only One who can save him? And will it be in time to save his marriage?
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?
, 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 hosting me, Laura!
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