Today, Love Lines from God welcomes author and writer, Jennifer Hallmark.
Jennifer, tell us when you decided to become a writer? In other words, what made you actually sit down and write something?
Jennifer: Seems like I’ve been writing since elementary school. But in 2006, after years of occasional dabbling, I took a writing class and joined a local writing group. I was suddenly accountable to someone and my career began.
Every writer is eventually asked this question, but where do your ideas come from?
Jennifer: Ideas are truly everywhere, but the idea for my first published novel, Jessie’s Hope, came from a writing prompt with three phrases I had to use: wedding dress designer, faded coveralls, and dusty baseball cap. Writing prompts are so important to me for ideas that in 2012 my friends, Betty Thomason Owens and Christina Rich, joined me in starting a blog for writers now called Inspired Prompt.
Why do you write what you do?
Jennifer: I write Southern fiction because it comes completely natural to me. I’ve lived most of my life in rural Alabama in farming country, and I love the freedom and artistic expression of fiction. I blog because I enjoy the challenge of organizing and writing articles. It feeds the analytical side of me.
What is the hardest thing about the creative process of writing?
Jennifer: For me, it’s finding uninterrupted time to lose myself in my work. I can write articles anywhere, but fiction requires more concentration for me.
If you’re a Christian, what are the challenges you believe Christian writers face now and in the future?
Jennifer: I believe the challenge is being sensitive during a day and time that is becoming more worldly and resistant to preaching of any kind. In the future, the challenge could easily be harsher persecution of people trying to spread the gospel including writers.
If you would, please tell us what was the hardest thing about writing your last book? How long does it typically take you to finish your books?
Jennifer: Wow. It’s hard to say. My first two books, Jessie’s Hope and a fantasy book I’m still editing took me years because I was penning the words while learning to write for the industry. I am now editing a sequel to Jessie’s Hope, and it probably took me eighteen months. I’m getting faster all the time.
Name your three biggest frustrations about the writing business.
- Time between selling a book to a traditional publisher and seeing it in print.
- The distance I have to drive to writer’s conferences.
- The number of scams and people who offer services and overcharge or underdeliver.
On the flip side, what excites you the most about the creative process?
Jennifer: I love when I get in the flow, and the words come faster than I can put them on paper. There’s nothing like finding the right word or phrase to complete a thought. When someone reads words I write and it touches their heart, it is so gratifying.
What are you reading at the moment, and who are a few of your favorite authors and why?
Jennifer: I am binge reading Agatha Christie mysteries at the moment from the online library. My granddaughter wanted me to read Wonder, so I just finished and loved it. For non-fiction, I’m reading The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp. As far as favorite authors, I love James L. Rubart, Eva Marie Everson, and Alice Wisler. I read tons of books from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction: Christie, Allingham, Sayers, Marsh, and others.
Jennifer, can you give us the buy links for Jessie’s Hope?
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas- https://www.shoplpc.com/product/jessies-hope/
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 has published 200+ internet articles and interviews as well as short stories in several magazines. She has also co-authored three book compilations.
Jennifer sold her first novel to Firefly Southern fiction (an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), and it was released in June, 2019. She also signed with Cyle Young of the Hartline Literary Agency. Jennifer sends out a monthly newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.
Jennifer and her husband, Danny, have spent their married life in Alabama and have a basset hound, Max. When she isn't babysitting 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.
You can follow Jennifer at the following sites: