First off, SUPER BIG NEWS, more on that in a minute. I have completed three full length novels and am currently pondering what to do for a 4th. I might resume work on a story I began for NaNoWriMo a few years ago – one with a couple quirky characters who won’t leave me alone. I LOVE quirky folk, especially older ones. This story includes an earthy Gram who rescues spiders by hand and makes tea from things she finds growing in the forest, a kind-hearted cop, a sweet little boy, a young woman who keeps a terrible secret out of love and desperation, and an unfortunate accident that threatens to expose her. We'll see where that story leads...
2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
I write "Faith-Inspiring Love Stories," but is not what you would call category romance. It fits more into a genre called "Romantic Women’s Fiction." Inspirational authors whose work most resembles mine in genre might be Deborah Raney, Susan Meissner, Jamie Langston Turner, and perhaps Charles Martin, although I blush to tack my name onto this bunch of literary greats. My work is neither purely romance nor straight women’s fiction but is usually a strong blend of both—equal parts love story AND heart-tugging relational drama woven around a journey of faith. I really enjoy stories with a solid thread of all three. Life is such a twisted blend of the things that move us, right? Novels ought to be just as twisted. J
3. Why do you write what you do?
See #2. J Actually, I am intrigued by what fears, loves, wounds, doubts, and longings drive people, and the courage, faith, and self-sacrifice it takes to overcome obstacles. I like to pose writer’s cue of "What If?" and then hold my breath along with the reader to find out. For example: What if you had a terrible secret you needed to take to your grave, but a brain injury causes your closest confidante to lose her ability to keep quiet? What happens when bad boy tries to reform a good girl? What if a widower’s broken heart is healed and he falls in love only to find she might not have long to live? What if the one thing you fear is the one thing you are forced to trust?
4. How does your writing process work?
By the sheer grace of God! It somehow gets done in spite of me. In my writing cave, there is much plotting and planning and coaxing the Muse, but there’s also far too much staring and re-tweaking the same lines. There are equal parts inspiration, revising, moping, asking for feedback, more revising, more moping, and then usually as a last resort: gut-wrenching prayer involving laying the whole mess at God’s feet and asking him to guide it, make it his story, make it harmonize with his song, bring it to life by his heartbeat.
SUPER BIG NEWS . . .
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Author Jennifer Anne Messing of Portland, Oregon—who was originally from Manila, Philippines—is an award-winning author and poet, online columnist, speaker, and a wife and mother of three children who has a bachelor’s degree in Christian Education and a diploma in Journalism and Short-Story Writing. A past president of the Oregon Christian Writers, Jennifer Anne has over 200 articles, short stories and poems published in 60 magazines. Her latest book, Morning's Promise: Poetic Moments in His Presence (Ellechor Publishing, 2012), was honored as a TOP FINALIST in the “Poetry: Inspirational” category of the 2013 International Book Awards, sponsored by USA Best Books. Her next book, a collection of short fiction entitled, Everlasting Love: Romantic Vignettes for a Woman's Heart will release from Mockingbird Lane Press (print and ebook) in the summer of 2014.