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Author Interview,  Hope-filled Fiction

Author Interview with Jennifer Chastain

By Deena Adams

Meet this week’s Anaiah Press author, Jennifer Chastain. You’ll find out more about her writing and her Christmas novella, The Mistletoe Contract. Enjoy!

If you purchase Jennifer’s book, be sure to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and other bookish platforms. 

Tell us a little about yourself and your family.

I’m originally from a small dairy-farming community in New York state. There were less than 2000 people in my small hometown. My dad’s job moved us to Charlotte, which has been my home ever since.

My husband, Ronnie, who is a native Charlottean, and I have been married for 26 years! For the past 5 years, we’ve been host parents to some international high school students. These students are interesting and brave, and we enjoyed hosting them in our home. 

How and when did you start writing? 

I started actively writing a little over 6 years ago. I’d felt the nudge to write years but never had the courage to step out in faith. Believe me, it can be a little scary when you start, because basically, you’re learning a whole new language.

How do you incorporate Christ and hope into your writing?

I like to show readers there is hope and forgiveness and second chances if we surrender to Him. I try to gently show my readers that life is meaningless and empty without a relationship with God. And since some of my characters are away from God, the characters must come to their own conclusions that life is not worth living unless they have a relationship with the Lord.

How many hours a day do you spend writing?

During the week, Monday through Thursday, I spend at least 2 hours each night writing. On the weekends, I probably spend 5 hours on Saturdays and approximately 3 hours on Sundays writing.

How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?

It depends. If I’ve done my research, have the characters bios finished, fleshed out their black moment event and written the outline, I can probably knock out a book in about 2 months, or less. But then there is the editing, which takes me a lot longer to complete.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I either wanted to be a concert pianist, a librarian or a teacher. Now, I’m the administrative support for a research lab at the local university.

If you didn’t write, what would you do as a career?

I think I might have gone to law school and become a Constitutional lawyer.

What did God teach you through the writing of The Mistletoe Contract? 

He taught me several things. First of all, that we must forgive. Forgiveness is not for the individual who wronged you but for your own peace of mind. Also, holding onto grudges and hurts from the past only hurts myself. 

What do you hope your readers take away from the book?

I want readers to know there is hope and that hope is found in God. He does answer prayers, maybe not the way we want Him to, but His ways are perfect. 

Which character in The Mistletoe Contract was easiest for you to write and why? Which character presented the biggest challenge?

I think the easiest character for me to write was Tori Rutledge. I’ve known many people like Tori and their joy is infectious. 

However, I found Clay the most difficult character to write. He’s whiny, devious and generally not a nice person. And I didn’t like him! But I had to incorporate some subtility. At first, he was a one-dimensional character and my editor made me go back and “flesh him out”. I had to try to find some redeeming qualities in him. 

What was the hardest scene to write?

Hmm, good question. There were 2 scenes that really stumped me. Believe it or not, the first one was the wedding chapel scene. There is a delicate balance of knowing how much or how little detail to add. It’s a wedding, right? I mean, we all know how a wedding is conducted. Again, I had to add details and characterization to the scene along with extra dialogue. 

The second most difficult scene for me was the one where Nate exposes the person who is embezzling funds. Again, how much is too much and I had to add additional characters and dialogue. 

Who is your favorite fiction author? Favorite novel?

That’s difficult since I have so many favorites! I love Rachel Hauck’s books, especially her royals. I don’t think I could name just one book – here are a couple: It Had to Be You by Susan May Warren; Once Upon a Prince, by Rachel Hauck; Persuasion by Jane Austen.

What’s next from you? 

God willing, I’m hoping to publish my second novel. 

Besides posting comments on your website, how can your readers and fans support you? 

Readers and fans can follow me on the following social media:




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Thanks so much for joining me on my blog today, Jennifer! It’s been fun getting to know you.

Join the conversation. Which of Jennifer’s answers can you relate to the most? Do you have any other questions for Jennifer?

The Mistletoe Contract by Jennifer Chastain

Click on the book cover for purchase link.

He needs a wife. She needs money. Is their modern-day marriage an answer to their prayers or a disaster waiting to happen?  

Confirmed bachelor, Nathan Rutledge shut his heart to romance when he was forced to break the heart of the only woman he ever truly loved. Now, with his father’s retirement from the family conglomerate, the torch has been passed to him. But there are two problems—first, he needs a wife in order to take over the family business. Second, someone has been embezzling company funds. With the pressure mounting, and time expiring to find both a wife he can trust and the thief, Nate needs a Christmas miracle. 

Forensic Accountant, Meredith Mitchell’s life is in a shambles. Her mother needs a lifesaving transplant, Mom’s medical bills have bankrupted Meredith’s meager savings, and she’s sold everything of value, but it’s still not enough. To make matters worse, she’s now tasked with discovering accounting errors for a new client—none other than Nathan Rutledge—the same man who gave her a broken heart for Christmas eight years ago.  

Meredith wants to run. Nate wants the chance to right his wrongs. So, naturally, when he proposes a modern-day marriage of convenience, she balks at the idea. But he desperately needs a wife, and she really needs the money he offers. Is this the answer to her prayers? Or will this mutually beneficial arrangement re-open old wounds that can’t be healed?  

Jennifer Chastain is a member of ACFW, ACFW-NC, and Word Weavers. Several of her other stories were finalists in the Blue Ridge Mountains Foundations contest and she was a finalist in the Touched by Love contest, sponsored by the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of RWA. Her contemporary romance stories contain the themes of redemption, grace, and forgiveness.   

A hopeful romantic, Jennifer loves dark chocolate, Diet Coke, old movies and a good romantic movie. She loves to experiment with new recipes in the kitchen and when not cooking, she’s baking. Growing up in the snowy North, Christmas has always been her favorite holiday, with the scents of cinnamon, vanilla, and pine scenting the air.  

She and her husband have been married for over 25 years and they are permitted to co-exist with their black rescue cat. 

If you missed last week’s interview with Jennifer Pierce, you can find it here.

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.