Monday, March 24, 2008

Meet Nancy Jo Jenkins - Interview & Book Giveaway

Nancy Jo JenkinsIt’s my pleasure to welcome Nancy Jo Jenkins, author of Coldwater Revival. Let’s meet Nancy Jo!


After teaching public school for twenty-one years, Nancy Jo left teaching to pursue a writing career. She loves to travel cross-country with her husband, attend writing retreats and conferences, market her book, and travel with close writing friends to gorgeous hideaways where they write, eat, laugh and brainstorm together. She and her husband have five grown children and an assortment of lively grandchildren, all within an hour’s drive of Nancy Jo’s home. She is a native Texan who lives in Austin. She enjoys reading great fiction, watching movies, entertaining in her home, and spending time with her grandchildren.

Nancy Jo has a B.S. degree from the University of Texas with dual certification in elementary and special education. She wrote curriculum for the Austin I.S.D. for several years. She has attended numerous writing conferences, workshops and retreats, and completed Lauraine Snelling’s Advanced Writers Intensive Fiction Retreat. She is a member of ACFW and a member of ACFW’s Central Texas Chapter. Two of her manuscripts were finalists in the Noble Theme Contest. Her debut novel, Coldwater Revival, is a finalist in ACFW’s Book of the Year, 2007.


JA: Please tell us about your debut novel, Coldwater Revival.
NJJ: Coldwater Revival is a story about the Falin family who live in southeast Texas in 1933. Three weeks before Emma Grace’s wedding, she is consumed by a burning desire to confront the guilt and shame of a devastating event that has haunted her since childhood. Coldwater Revival is a tale about a family’s shattering loss, Emma Grace’s journey toward self-destruction, and her amazing discovery of God’s love at journey’s end. While on this journey, Emma Grace finds her true love, the man she thought she’d lost forever.

JA: You’ve said this book is written with “gentle persuasion – Southern style.” What does that mean?
NJJ: To me, “gentle persuasion” means writing with “soothing power”. Sometimes a soft word holds more power than a harsh one. I’ve been told that my writing is lyrical. However I write, my “voice” comes from God, and I try to write as He leads me.

Because I’m from Texas, my speech depicts southern word choices and phrases, and probably carries a “southern twang”. Thus the “southern style”.

JA: For you, what makes the South such a unique and special setting?
NJJ: It’s not that the South is so special, but it’s where I live and what I know best. So, for the most part, I write stories that take place in the south.

Coldwater RevivalJA: What do you hope people take away after reading Coldwater Revival?
NJJ: I hope readers will understand, and truly believe, that God will never abandon them. Even on our darkest days, when we can’t sense God’s presence, He is right by our sides. He promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us. And God will not break His promise.

JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
NJJ: Thank you, Jennifer, for asking about my next projects. I’m writing two books right now. The first one is another Texas story about a young woman who suffers dire loss. On her road to restoration, her life takes an unexpected turn. One she would never have dreamed possible. It’s a great love story and a story that offers hope to any one who has suffered loss.

The second book is about a young woman who is abandoned in the Colorado Mountains in 1870. It’s the story of her desperate attempt (crazy and hilarious, at times) to survive the harsh winter. She doesn’t understand her feelings for the stranger who offers help. She feels attracted to him, at times, and other times she’d like to send him tumbling over the cliff.

JA: What’s something that people would be surprised to learn about you?
NJJ: When I was two years old, I, along with my mother, sister, aunt and cousin, were in a house explosion. A man, (whom I consider an angel from God) entered the burning building 3 times, rescuing the two women and three small children. My mother and my aunt died from their injuries. I was hospitalized for 3 months and my sister and cousin were less injured.

I thank God for watching over us, and for sparing our lives in such a miraculous way. But I have to tell you that growing up, I terribly missed not having a mother’s love.

JA: What an amazing, bitter-sweet story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I’ll bet your mom looks down at you from heaven, grinning like crazy and so proud of the woman you’ve become!

Now, what do you read for fun? Are there any books you just can’t wait to dive into?

NJJ: For fun, I like to re-read my “old favorites” – books I can’t give away because they’re so precious to me. Books by Francine Rivers, LyVryle Spencer, Judith McNaught, John Grisham, and on and on. I’m also hooked on many of our ACFW authors, Deb Raney, DiAnn Mills, Kathleen Y’Barbo, Cindy Woodsmall, just to name a few.

JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
NJJ: I’ll be revamping my website to include a blog address in the near future. Then I’ll be putting information on my blog about upcoming publications.

Thank you, Nancy Jo, and continued blessings to you in your writing journey!


You can win a copy of Coldwater Revival here. Just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll combine the responses of my Blogger and ShoutLife blogs to pick a winner at random on March 31st. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) ShoutLifers will be contacted via ShoutMail. Good luck!


stampedwithgrace said...

cute cover! please enter me, thanks :)

windycindy said...

Happy Monday! What a delightful interview. I especially like when she says she would like for people to realize God is always with us, even in the darkest of times! The book sounds like a very good story line and a happy ending. Please enter me in your drawing. Thank you, Cindi

Anonymous said...

I would like to be entered for the book drawing! Sounds like a good story. :-) Thanks!

Carolynn W. said...

Please neter me, thanks! I've heard a lot of good things about this book, I look forward to reading it.

tetewa said...

Include me for the drawing, please!

Katie said...

I would love to win this!

Donna Moore said...

I would love to read this book. It was a great interview and I love to read local authors. Please enter me in the drawing.

Carole said...

I appreciate interviews because they help me learn not just about the book, but about the author also - so thank you, Nancy Jo and Jennifer.

I also live in the South and love books with a southern setting. I suspect the tragic loss of your mother has made you a more sensitive writer, Nancy Jo.

Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this book.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

anne said...

What a fascinating book. I enjoyed this lovely interview and would love this special novel. Thanks for this great giveaway.

ruth said...

This wonderful book sounds delightful. Please enter me. thanks for this chance.

alissa said...

Great interview and glimpse into this wonderful book. Thanks for this great giveaway.

ellie said...

fabulous interview and book which I would love to read. Thanks for this lovely giveaway. bencanada1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Crystal Laine Miller said...

This sounds like a book I'll want to read, so before I go out and get it, put me in the drawing! Thanks for a nice interview, Nancy Jo and Jennifer.

Crystal Laine Miller said...

Duh, here is my email...


Jennifer AlLee said...

Hello, Ladies,

Great to see all of you here.

Cindi, I agree about the comment that God is always with us, even when things look really bad. Sometimes, it's so hard to remember, but it's such huge part of who God is. His love endures forever!

Y'all be blessed!

Ausjenny said...

sounds like a good book (if an aussie can enter) please enter me

Karin said...

Please enter me--thank you.

Jennifer AlLee said...

And the winner is... Crystal Laine Miller! Congrats, and thanks to everyone who stopped by!