It's my pleasure to introduce one of my fellow Abingdon Press authors, Jennifer Hudson Taylor!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Hudson Taylor is the author of historical and contemporary Christian fiction set in Europe and the Carolinas. Her fiction has won awards in the American Christian Fiction Writers' Genesis Contest. Her debut novel, Highland Blessings, released May 2010. Other works have appeared in national publications, such as Guideposts, Heritage Quest Magazine, Everton’s Genealogical Publishers, and The Military Trader. Jennifer graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Journalism. When she isn't writing, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, genealogy, and reading. She resides with her husband and daughter in the Charlotte area of NC.
JA: How does your faith impact your writing?
JHT: Ever since I decided to dedicate my writing to God, my faith impacts my work very much. It may not be very noticeable to some as my work isn’t preachy or heavy on salvation scenes in every novel, but I pray about my writing, I depend on God to finish it, and I know I’m called to plant biblical seeds so that the Holy Spirit will do the rest.
JA: How do you deal with writer’s block?
JHT: Writer’s block is often caused by stress, not knowing what to write next, not knowing where the story should go, lack of inspiration, and fatigue. Solutions range from more prayer time and rest to reprioritizing one’s schedule, taking a temporary break for a few days or weeks, brainstorming new plot twists, introducing new characters, etc.
JA: After becoming a published author, what surprised you the most?
JHT: Even though my day job is marketing and communications, it’s keeping up with that very aspect that is quite daunting. It’s hard to manage a blog tour, get interview questions completed and returned on time, mail out books to blog winners as that requires a trip to the post office on a regular basis. Perhaps it wouldn’t seem so time consuming if 40 hours of my week weren’t already dedicated to another job, but I’m surprised at how hard it is and how much time it has taken me away from writing my sequel.
JA: What do you think about writing contests? Have you participated in any? What’s the benefit to an unpublished writer?
JHT: To be honest, I have mixed feelings about writing contests. First my positive thoughts, contests can be great in preparing one to accept criticism, obtaining valuable feedback to help one improve their writing skills, gaining writing credits, establishing a reputation, and getting manuscripts in front of editors and agents above the slush pile.
My negative experiences are even if judges are trained, sometimes the way they phrase things and their lack of experience in the publishing world can mislead new writers and create unnecessary confusion. Regardless of the secular or Christian market, there are those who pride themselves on knowing more than they actually do. They mean well, but bad advice is still bad advice no matter how well intended. I’ve seen so many things that really should not have taken place on my manuscripts as well as fellow authors.
Unpublished writers need to be very selective in which contests they enter, careful in choosing the best corresponding category, and target appropriate editors and agents as final judges for their type of manuscript. Know if you are seeking feedback or exposure. It makes a difference as to which contests to enter. Pray about the feedback and use discernment before accepting the feedback, but not too prideful to admit that your work may need improvement.
JA: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
JHT: Reading more and eagerly awaiting new releases. Now I read when I get the chance in between my own projects and books are released faster than I can keep up with them because my time is limited.
JA: What's your idea of a dream vacation?
JHT: I would love an entire summer traveling about Scotland, England, and Ireland staying in castles, bed and breakfast inns, visiting historical sites, collecting resource materials that would be hard to obtain here in the U.S.
JA: What’s the one far out sci-fi technology you’d most like to see become a household item?
JHT: A time machine. I’d love to go back in time, meet my ancestors and experience the way things were and be able to come back. I wouldn’t want to remain there. I’m not sure I’d want to visit the future. I may not like what I see.
Thank you, Jennifer, for taking the time to visit with us today. May God bless you as you continue to write for Him!
To find out more about Jennifer and her writing, visit her website at http://www.authorjenniferhudsontaylor.com/
ABOUT THE BOOK - Highland Blessings
Highland warrior Bryce MacPhearson kidnaps Akira MacKenzie on her wedding day to honor a promise he made to his dying father. When he forces Akira to wed him, hoping to end a half-century feud between their clans, she struggles to overcome her anger and resentment. . .Yet her strength in the Lord becomes a witness to Bryce. But there is a traitor in their midst . . . and murder is the ultimate weapon.
WIN THE BOOK
If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Highland Blessings, just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on May 7th. 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.) Good luck!