I’m excited to welcome Jennifer Hallmark to Jubilee Writer today. She’s going to taught about her new release Jessie’s Hope and tell us a bit about herself and her writing journey.
I’m a Yankee through and through and until I was published I had no idea Southern Fiction was a genre. Tell us what is Southern Fiction?
Jennifer: True Southern fiction has to be lived. You need to feel the humidity, spend a summer working in a vegetable garden, and fish in a pond surrounded by cattle. Southern fiction is about family, not just one generation but how past ancestors shape each and every character.
My publisher, Firefly Southern fiction says on their website: “Southern fiction is about story, driven by characters who are distinctly southern and/or characters who move to southern settings (which are also characters). Southern characters fall into several categories and should not be stereotyped.”
That’s such a fun definition. I’ve read some of Fireflies offering and I enjoyed the quirky characters and the southern charm.
What is your latest published project?
Jennifer: Jessie’s Hope is a Southern fiction novel about a young woman who has overcome great odds in her life and is engaged to be married. She’s decided to try and find her absentee father first. Her Papaw, Homer, who helped raise her only wants to provide for his family. But he finds giving his beloved granddaughter a wonderful wedding with a specially designed dress is harder than he ever thought possible.
I’m excited to see a book with a handicapped heroine.
What inspired you to write your book?
Jennifer: Jessie’s Hope started with three writing prompts during a writer’s club meeting: a wedding dress designer, faded coveralls, and a dusty baseball cap. But my inspiration really came from my parents. I never remember my dad walking. He’s been in a wheelchair since I was a young child with a spinal disease he contracted in his early thirties. Witnessing my dad remain hopeful and encouraging throughout the rest of his life and my mom sacrifice much to take care of my Dad, brother, and me had a great impact. I melded these experiences with my life lived mostly in rural Alabama.
True life experience always add so much to our fiction stories. On that note you must have a have a favorite verse that resonates with you.
Jennifer: Romans 15:13 is the verse that best goes with my novel, Jessie’s Hope. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (NKJV) Not only is God a God of hope but He urges us to believe and abound in hope. I’m not quite there but I long for that abounding hope inside of me.
Love that verse. Thanks for sharing. I think we all strive to experience that abounding hope.
Because writers are encouraged to read I’m always curious to know what authors read. What is your favorite genre to read for fun?
Jennifer: Beside Southern fiction, I love classic mysteries. I never figure them out, but I enjoy following the clues and wondering whodunnit. All my stories have a thread of mystery in them. In Jessie’s Hope, the reader needs to discover the mystery of the green shed.
A love a bit of mystery with a bit of romance.
Authors always have a favorite place to write. Sometimes it’s more than one location. Where is your favorite place to write?
Jennifer: I do a lot of writing in my study on a desktop computer. I also write on my laptop at times, in the living room or the local coffee shop. Occasionally, I use a gel pen, especially when I’m waiting at the doctor’s office or when inspirations strikes and I’m not at home. I always carry a small notebook 😊
Here’s the blurb about Jessie’s Hope
Can a sliver of hope lead to everlasting love?
Years ago, an accident robbed Jessie Smith’s mobility. It also stole her mother and alienated her from her father. When Jessie’s high school sweetheart Matt Jansen proposes, her parents’ absence intensifies her worry that she cannot hold on to those she loves.
With a wedding fast approaching, Jessie’s grandfather Homer has a goal to find the perfect dress for “his Jessie,” one that would allow her to forget, even if for a moment, the boundaries of her wheelchair. But financial setbacks and unexpected sabotage hinder his plans.
Determined to heal from her past, Jessie initiates a search for her father. Can a sliver of hope lead to everlasting love when additional obstacles—including a spurned woman and unpredictable weather—highjack Jessie’s dream wedding?
Order Links for Jessie’s Hope
Barnes and Noble
More about my guest:
Jennifer Hallmark writes Southern fiction and her website, Alabama-Inspired Fiction, and the group blog, Inspired Prompt, she co-founded, focus on her books, love of the South, and helping writers. She’s published 200+ internet articles and interviews, short stories in several magazines, and has co-authored three book compilations.
Her agent is Cyle Young of the Hartline Literary Agency. Jennifer sends out a monthly newsletter, which you can subscribe to here. You can visit her on Facebook, Facebook author page, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Jennifer and her husband, Danny, have spent their married life in Alabama and have a basset hound, Max. When she isn’t babysitting her grandchildren or gardening, you can find her at her desk writing fiction or working on one of her two blogs. She also loves reading detective fiction from the Golden Age and viewing movies like LOTR or Star Wars. Sometimes you can even catch her watching American Ninja Warrior.
Lots of places to connect with Jennifer.
Jennifer Hallmark, Facebook
More wonderful interviews to come along with some writerly insist you might enjoy. Subscribe to this blog to receive them in your email or RSS feed as they become avaiable.