Thursday Thoughts on Reading and Writing
When you leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, May 26, 2013 you'll be entered in the DRAWING for a copy of the book below. If you mention in your comment that you’re a follower (see in the left column “Join This Site” and “Follow by Email”), I’ll add your name a second time in the drawing. You must be eighteen, have a U.S. mailing address, void where prohibited. You can read details about my book giveaways at Disclaimers.
A Familiar Shore
by Jennifer Fromke
Though raised in the Midwest, Jennifer Fromke writes from North Carolina where she lives with her three teenagers and husband of over 20 years. In addition to her debut novel, A Familiar Shore, Jennifer co-authored a Christmas novella (The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt) and published two short stories (“Black Tie Optional” can be purchased as part of Heart Bouquets, a short story collection). Her favorite sport is laughing with her family and her favorite daily chore is to ensure the candy dish never runs dry. Jennifer has graciously given a copy of A Familiar Shore for the winner of the book drawing from among those who comment on this blog post.
JO: Our guest today is Jennifer Fromke. Welcome, Jennifer. Please tell us a little about yourself.
JENNIFER: I’m a stay-at-home mom turned stay-at-home mom who writes in between all the other stuff I used to do. Adding a full-time job to a full-time job has been a challenge and great fun!
JO: What three fun or unique things can you tell us about yourself that we don’t know?
JENNIFER: My favorite food is strawberry shortcake. I am obsessed with trying new things: recipes, restaurants, stores, roads, etc . . . I appear in the Hunger Games movie as an extra (it was filmed in my hometown).
JO: Hunger Games—interesting. Please describe yourself with three words.
JENNIFER: Reader. Sanguine. Dreamer.
JO: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
JENNIFER: Reading. Walking on the beach. Boating.
JO: How did you become involved in writing?
JENNIFER: I graduated college with a Literature major, and ended up working in the software business up until the birth of my first child. I stayed home for years and when everybody went to school all day, I decided to pursue my dream. I attended writer’s conferences and workshops and my first plot fell into place in one of those classes. My first manuscript won the ACFW Genesis contest and two years later it was published.
JO: Where do you write? Do you have a dedicated office or a corner or nook in a room?
JENNIFER: I write everywhere. The back porch, my favorite chair in the living room, favorite chair in the front room, favorite chair in the bedroom, the car, the tennis courts, the barn, etc . . . where the kids go, my laptop goes.
JO: Do you always know the title of your books before you write them?
JENNIFER: No. I think the title is the hardest part. I also think it needs to come last. For me, anyway.
JO: Please tell us about A Familiar Shore.
JENNIFER: Meg Marks is a young lawyer raised off the coast of the Carolinas. An anonymous client hires her to arrange his will, and sends her to meet his estranged family at their lake home in northern Michigan. After a shocking discovery, she finds herself caught between his suspicious family and a deathbed promise her conscience demands that she keep. Will she sacrifice her own dreams for revenge, or will she choose something more?
JO: What takeaway value do you hope your readers receive after reading this book?
JENNIFER: I hope they take a long hard look at what favoritism can do to a family. Also, I hope they develop a new appreciation for one of my favorite places on earth: Northern Michigan.
JO: Where did you get the idea for your book?
JENNIFER: A photograph taken by a friend of mine inspired Popsie. So I had this character first. I was also studying the life of Joseph at the time and I wanted to see what it might look like to place a modern character in the same position as Joseph at that moment he stands before his brothers who betrayed him, unknown to them. He must decide whether to exact revenge upon them or forgive. So I created another character, Meg, and I tried to craft a situation where she would face a similar decision.
JO: Did you have to do any research for this book?
JENNIFER: The biggest point of research I had to conduct concerned the boats in the story. My dad is a sea captain and provided a wealth of information. I grew up boating on most weekends, but needed him for the details, the vocabulary and also for making things realistic. It was great fun chatting with him over and over about the book. I owe him so much for that!
JO: How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
JENNIFER: I’ve been writing since 2008. A Familiar Shore is my first book and that sold in 2011.
JO: What advice would you give to writers who have been writing a few years but still haven’t interested an agent or publisher in their novel?
JENNIFER: Attend a conference or writing workshop if at all possible. Save up, it will be worth it. Keep writing. Write every day.
JO: What are you working on now?
JENNIFER: I’m just finishing a novel about a lifelong friendship between two women that is interrupted when one of them contracts Alzheimer’s Disease. They must uncover secrets from the past before one of them forgets everything.
JO: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
JENNIFER: Develop a tough skin and a teachable heart. People will criticize your work and that’s okay. You need to sift out the helpful comments and use them to become a better writer. If you think you are amazing on the first day, you will be disappointed. Everybody starts somewhere and everybody can get better. Pursue excellence and along the way, you might just get published.
JO: Please tell our readers where they can get your book.
JENNIFER: Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Both print and digital copies available.
JO: Please tell our readers where they can find you online.
JO: Any parting comment?
JENNIFER: A Familiar Shore takes place over the Memorial Day weekend, so May is a great time to read it. I’m grateful to be featured today. Many thanks! If you have a chance to read the novel, I’d love to hear what you think.
JO: Thank you, Jennifer, for this interesting interview. Thanks for giving a copy of A Familiar Shore to one of our readers. Good luck with the success of A Familiar Shore.
Remember: leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, May 26, 2013 and you'll be entered in the drawing for a copy of A Familiar Shore by Jennifer Fromke. You must be eighteen, have a U.S. mailing address, void where prohibited. Please, please remember to leave your email address so that should you be the winner I can get in touch with you for your mailing address. I’ll announce the winner in Monday’s blog.
Till next time … keep on smiling.