It's so wonderful to have Jen on my blog this week. She is a talented author as well as a sweet friend.
Tell us about your latest release. The cover looks fantastic!
Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top is a humorous inspirational book of stories highlighting God’s bottomless heart. It is sprinkled throughout with whimsical drawings by my animator son, Ron.
Oh, I can't wait to read it. What was the hardest part to write?
The proposal. I used to have a thick head of hair before I started writing book proposals. Actually, the Two Scoops and a Sprinkle at the end of each chapter, where I get serious and attempt to impart some wisdom on top of the chuckles was sometimes a challenge. I did a ton of praying when I wrote those, because I lack wisdom.
Don't we all! We all have choices of items that help us write. What’s yours? Can you give the readers a glimpse into your writing space? What’s your favorite writing reference tool?
My office is a converted bedroom, with blue walls—not my choice, but I’d rather spend my time writing than painting. I added a Thomas Kinkade lookalike border, with a quiet river scene. I have a lovely watercolor in soft, cool hues hanging above my desk, which I gaze at when needing inspiration. My favorite reference tools are the Bible—full of encouragement and correction—and a wonderfully fat book, The Synonym Finder by Rodale.
If you had to choose one person to go with you for encouragement to a secluded cabin, who would that be?
Jesus, or Cecil Murphey. Oh, you said one. Jesus.
Good choice. What are you working on now?
Apart from marketing my book, I am working on a message for a Caregivers Expo at our local hospital. I am the keynote speaker, and when the director called to ask what my topic was, I hadn’t the heart to tell her I’d not started work on it yet. I blurted, “Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top—the theme of my book!” I will be talking about extending grace to yourself, giving grace to others, and laughing more. I can speak on any topic, whether I know anything about it or not!
I haven't had the opportunity to hear you speak, but I'd love to. lol What is one of the happiest moments of your life or an accomplishment that you’re especially proud of?
I am pleased that I’ve stayed married to the same man for 36 years. I have not murdered him, nor he me. Considering that we are complete opposites and have to pray fervently to understand each other, that is a major accomplishment. I think we both deserve trophies, or at least chocolate, and we can’t even agree on that—he likes milk, I love dark. But we are best friends, and love to make each other laugh.
You make me smile. I love my sweet husband (did I say sweet? hmmph! sometimes!) How do you choose names for your characters? Do you do a lot of research on them?
I write creative non-fiction, but I change most of the names of my characters. Since my husband is a pastor, I have to be careful I don’t start a riot by using real names for some of the stinkers I write about. I look through a baby name book until I find unfamiliar names, who can’t be attributed to anyone I’ve ever known.
Ooooo. That might be fun--for you. :) Can you tell us some of your favorite books or characters that you cherish?
The Bible, Anne of Green Gables, What the Bayou Saw by Patti Lacy, Writers on Writing edited by James Watkins, Unleash the Writer Within by Cecil Murphey, everything by Jan Karon, Tosca Lee, and James Rubart.
Some choices I love too. Any fun things about yourself that the readers might enjoy knowing?
I am a servant to four children in fur suits—some people call them cats. I speak baby talk to them and let them in and out of the house on demand—theirs. I love old black and white movies that make me believe in the goodness of man, and I have a thing about colors. Any item with mucho colors—a set of pens, a bookmark, a bedspread—delights me. I get excited over tiny things like a new flavor of ice cream or finding a quarter on the ground. I love to give presents, and am never happier than when I can give you a gift or ten. I love to laugh, and sometimes laugh too loud. I like candy, especially fruit flavored anything and dark chocolate. Oh, I already said that. It must be serious.
I think I like you, Jen. Is there one piece of advice that’s been especially valuable to you?
Yes. Keep it Simple. We clutter up our lives with things, methods, and ugly relationships that suck the life from us. When we follow Jesus, we see how simple He made things, how He focused on only one thing at a time. Listening to Him will set us free from the clutter that steals our joy.
Please share information where readers can check out and buy your books:
I also have two contests in conjunction with my book release, one for ten free downloads of the book and another for a $100 gift card. You can find both on my site,
Thank you so much for having me here today, Carole! I appreciate you.
I've so enjoyed having you. Thanks so much for visiting.
Readers, make sure you check out her TWO contests at her blog site!