Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Meet Historical Fiction Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor - Interview & Giveaway!

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.


A CONVERSATION WITH JENNIFER

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 What’s the benefit to an unpublished writer?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!

30 comments:

Susanne Dietze said...

Don't enter me in the contest -- I'm thoroughly enjoying reading Highland Blessings. Thanks for the fun interview, Jen, and congratulations, Jennifer!

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Thanks, Susanne! I'm glad you're enjoying Highland Blessings.

Jen, Thanks for having me on your blog! Glad to be here today.

Wendy said...

Thanks for offering this book. I would also love to visit Scotland and the castles there.
wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

Deb said...

Great interview. I cannot wait to read Highland Blessings! It sounds like a fun read with some great characters. Thansk for the chance to win a copy!

Janna said...

I'm looking forward to reading this book, I love books that are set in unique settings - this seems to fit the bill!

Janna
ryanx6 at msn dot com

Shawna Williams said...

The cover of this book is stunning, and the story sounds beautiful. Would love to win a copy!
shawnawilliams(at)allegiance.tv

Anonymous said...

Great interview! I have requested a copy of this book for Mother's Day. I don't know if I will get it or not. But, if I do receive a copy from my husband and son and would win this contest as well, then I would most definitely give the second book to my mother or mother-in-law, as I'm sure they would both greatly enjoy this book! Good luck and God's blessings to all who enter this contest.
~Alana
kitten062604/at/yahoo/dot/com

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Wendy, It's my dream to visit Scotland!

Deb, I hope you enjoy Akira and Bryce's journey!

Janna, I love unique settings as well! I need a change once in a while, especially from far away places where my ancestors came from.

Shawna, I love this cover! Abingdon designers did a fabulous job in my humble opinion!

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Hi, Alana, it's great to see you here on Jennifer's blog! I'm sure he won't deny you anything on Mother's Day!

Holly S. said...

Would love to win a copy! Congratulations Jennifer on the book! My daughter would love to get her hands on it too lol. She thinks it is sooo cool her mom went to school with the author lol. So yay I am cool hehehe.

ghkrll4230/ @ / bellsouth./net

Jo said...

Thanks for the fun interview. I would love to win a copy of the book.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Lynn McCallum said...

Great interview! I would love to read this book. Please enter me in the draw. Thanks.

Lynn McCallum
tomasmc@cogeco.ca

misskallie2000 said...

Thanks for the great interview Jennifer. I love to discover the little things in an authors life. I feel like I know them better.

I would love to win Highland Blessings..It sounds like a great book. I did spend a wk in Aviamore Scotland in April 2002. I loved it and all the beautiful history and castles and of course Lock Ness. I would love to go back again if at all possible.

Thanks for the great giveaway and pls enter my name.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Connie Marquise said...

Hi, Jen & Jennifer: Very nice interview. I always love knowing about the different authors. Please enter me in the drawing for Highland Blessings. Thanks.

Connie Marquise
nvgrams[at]yahoo[dot]com

Sandee61 said...

Hi...its nice learning about a new-to-me author. Thank you for the interview. Please enter me in your giveaway, I'd love to read "Highland Blessings".

Blessings,
Sandee61

Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

Carla Gade said...

Great interview! Looks like a wonderful book with my kind of setting. I'd like a time machine, too!

Blessings,
Carla
http://writingtodistraction.blogspot.com

carlagade [at] gmail [dot] com

Jennifer AlLee said...

Hello all! It's so great to see you here. Thanks for joining in the excitement over Jennifer's debut novel.

Thanks for taking time to hang out with us, Jennifer!

Julia said...

I enjoyed the interview and would look forward to reading this book.

julesreffner(at)gmail(dot)com

Carole said...

I have watched Jennifer's book from the first time it was publicized and can't wait to read it. Scotland is one of my favorite settings and the only way I'll can visit is through books. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

traveler said...

Thanks for this wonderful giveaway. This novel sounds fascinating and interests me. The interview was interesting. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Holly, It's so great to see you here. Yes, you are wayyyy kool!

Jo and Lynn, Thanks for stopping by.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Miss Kallie, I'm so jealous! You went to Scotland w/o ME? (JK) Glad you enjoyed your trip.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Connie and Sandee, I'm an open book if my tweets and FB status are any indication!

For those of you have haven't connected with me on FB and Twitter--feel free to search for "Jennifer Hudson Taylor" on FB and on Twitter I'm @jt4novels.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Carla, I love the idea of time travel, I'm reading my first Christian fiction time travel right now, Sea of the Mist by Deborah Kinnard. I'm quite enjoying it and will be writing a review of it when I finish--which may be a while.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Julia, Carole and Traveler,

Glad you enjoyed the interview and I hope you like Highland Blessings even better!

Jennifer, Thank you for having me!

Sherrinda said...

I love medieval Scotland and would LOVE a chance to read this book! I'm so glad some publishers are giving medievals a chance! Way to go!!!

sherrinda(at)gmail(dot)com

windycindy said...

The author's idea of a dream vacation
is exactly mine, also! I would love to go to Ireland and stay in a castle. My husband and our youngest son are headed to Ireland in June.
Thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Karen in TN said...

Thanks for the chance to win the book.

kolists a\t gmail d/t com

Jennifer AlLee said...

Thanks to all of you who stopped by to chat with Jennifer. The lucky winner of Highland Blessings is...

Janna!

Be blessed, and see y'all soon!