When I saw Jennifer Wright’s most recent book cover and the story blurb on Fiction Finder, I had to ask if she’d like to share an interview on my blog. I’m thrilled she said yes! I hope you enjoy hearing about Jennifer’s newest historical novel, The Girl from the Papers.
Be sure to comment below by August 15 for a chance to win a paperback copy! (US winner only)
Welcome to my blog, Jennifer! Please tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I have been married to my wonderful husband, who is a pilot in the United States Air Force, for almost sixteen years, and I have two kids, a son and a daughter. Because of my husband’s career, we move quite a bit but, currently, southern New Mexico is home.
Sending huge thanks to your husband and family for serving our country. Do y’all have any pets? Do they find their way into any of your stories?
I am obsessed with my three guinea pigs, all of whom are named after sweet treats: Peanut Butter Cup, Snickerdoodle, and Nougat. If you follow me on any of my social media channels, you will invariably see pictures of them at least once a week. They are my darlings. But I haven’t yet found a way to work them into any of my books. Since I write historical fiction, I’d need to do a deep-dive into when they became household pets first!
I can’t say I’m a guinea pig fan, but their names are adorable. I’d love to know what advice you’d give an aspiring author.
If God has laid the desire and passion on your heart to write, then don’t give up! I wrote solidly for over ten years before scoring a publishing contract. Even the book that eventually became my debut, If It Rains, was initially rejected by hundreds of agents and dozens of publishing houses before finding a home at Tyndale. Every part of me wanted to quit…but God would not let me. I knew, from the countless hours of prayerful petitions to Him, that this is what He was calling me to do. And if you have that same sense, don’t give up! Trust in His timing, His plan, and His purpose for you.
Excellent advice. Your dedication is inspiring. If you could only publish one book in your lifetime, which of your novels would you choose?
Wow! This is such a hard question! I tend to always favor my current book, though, so I think I’ll have to go with my newest one, The Girl from the Papers. It was such a fun book to research and write, and I really connected with the main character of Beatrice on so many levels.
How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
Because I write historical fiction, researching the story usually takes longer than actually writing it. On average, I put in anywhere from six months to a year of researching before starting to write. First drafts usually take around four to six months with another six months of editing before I turn the book into my publisher.
Your dedication to the writing craft is shining again. I’m impressed by how much you pour into your novels. What is the premise of The Girl from the Papers?
This book is based loosely on the lives of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, the infamous outlaws from the Great Depression. While doing research on them, I discovered the pair had a pretty strong faith background and, according to some accounts, even prayed nightly together. Ultimately, however, the pull of the world was just too strong for them. So I wanted to explore what it might have looked like for someone in similar circumstances to perhaps lean into God rather than away. How might that have played out? And, unlike the tragic outcome of Bonnie and Clyde’s story, how might things have ended up differently? From these questions, The Girl from the Papers was born.
Love it. What do you hope your readers take away from The Girl from the Papers?
I hope readers come to understand just how much they are loved by God. That, as Paul wrote so beautifully in the book of Romans, “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). I think it’s easy to get so caught up in our own sinfulness, thinking we can’t change it and that God could never accept us because of it, but it’s just not true.
Such an important truth for all of us. What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
I love being part of the growing movement to speak Truth into the lives of readers. The world is a dark, depressing place, full of lies and confusion, and I think a large percentage of books in the marketplace today reflect that. Knowing that my books offer readers hope and light instead is such a tremendous honor. I always say that if one of my books makes a difference in just one reader’s life, then all the work that went into it is worth it. This world needs Christian fiction now more than ever.
I couldn’t agree more! Has a reader ever blessed your socks off? How?
I once had a reader reach out and tell me one of my books helped give her a new outlook on a medical condition with which she’d struggled her entire life. She had struggled with anger, bitterness, and confusion over her condition, much like the main character in one of my novels, and it was only after journeying with that character through the pages of my book that she was (much like the character) able to come to terms with what God had assigned as her portion in life. Seeing God use my words to make a difference in someone’s life like that? It was a truly humbling experience that blessed me in ways I cannot even describe.
That’s what it’s all about, right? What’s next from you?
I’m currently working on another historical fiction dual timeline novel set in both the 1880’s and the 1930’s. The story focuses on work in a Civilian Conservation Corps Camp while also flashing back to a unique (and perhaps not entirely trustworthy) retelling of the story of one of New Mexico’s most famous outlaws.
Sounds like another winner! Thank you so much for sharing on my blog, Jennifer. It’s been such a pleasure learning about you and your writing journey. God bless you.
For a chance to win a paperback of The Girl from the Papers by Jennifer L. Wright (US winner only), visit her interview and comment there by 8/15. #amreading #giveaway #historicalfictionTweet
Join the Conversation. Does a book based on Bonnie and Clyde snag your interest? What do you like most about reading historical novels? What questions and comments do you have for Jennifer?
Be sure to comment below by August 15 for a chance to win a paperback of The Girl from the Papers! (US winner only)
The Girl from the Papers by Jennifer L. Wright
Click the book cover for purchase link
Inspired by one of America’s most notorious couples, Bonnie and Clyde, Jennifer L. Wright delivers a riveting tale set during the public enemy era of the Great Depression.
Beatrice Carraway has dreams. Although she’s aged out of the childhood pageant circuit, she’s intent on carrying her talents all the way to the big screen—if only she can escape the poverty of West Dallas first. But as the Great Depression drags the working class further and further under, Beatrice struggles just to keep herself, her mother, and her younger sister afloat. After a string of failed auditions, she feels defeated.
And then in walks Jack Turner. Though Beatrice is determined to pull herself up by her bootstraps, Jack has decided on a different path out of the gutters. It isn’t long before Beatrice is swept into an exciting and glamorous life of crime beside the man she loves. Keeping one step ahead of the law, she sees her dreams of fame come true when her name and picture are plastered in newspapers across the country. Yet as their infamy grows, the distance between them widens. While Jack begins seeking bigger payouts and publicity, Beatrice starts to long for a safe, quiet life and something deeper to fill the emptiness in her soul. But when the danger of Jack’s schemes ratchets up, Beatrice fears her dreams—and her future—will end up going down in a hail of bullets.
Jennifer Wright has been writing since middle school, eventually earning a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University. However, it took only a few short months of covering the local news to realize that writing fiction is much better for the soul–and definitely way more fun. A born and bred Hoosier, she was swept off her feet by an Air Force pilot and has spent the past decade traveling the world and, every few years, attempting to make old curtains fit in the windows of a new home.
She currently resides in New Mexico with her husband, two children, one grumpy dachshund, and three overly demanding guinea pigs.
Her debut novel, ‘If It Rains,’ was nominated for a Kipp Award, and her second novel, ‘Come Down Somewhere,’ is a semi-finalist for a 2023 Carol Award in the Historical Novel category. She is also a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).
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