I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know author, speaker, and ministry leader Jennifer Slattery. She’s offered a giveaway of her recent Love Inspired release, Her Small Town Refuge. Comment on this interview by March 1 for a chance to win.
You may remember meeting Jennifer Slattery in 2020 when she shared a post on my blog about how to thrive during chronic illness. If you’re interested in reading it, you can find it here.
Welcome back to the blog, Jennifer! Start off by telling us a little about yourself and your family.
I live just outside Omaha Nebraska with my husband of 26 years, 10 minutes from our adult daughter, her husband, and our two grand dogs. Although I abhor the cold (this week, we had a windchill of -20 degrees), we stay for the people. I don’t know if this is true of all of Nebraska, but we’ve fallen in love with the close-knit community, including the way a good proportion (41) of the churches from various denominations work together to positively impact the metro.
Twenty below is definitely beyond cold! Not sure I could handle that. Brrr. Do you have any hobbies? What do you do for fun?
I suppose I shouldn’t say reading and writing? Haha! What about going out for coffee? Does that count as a hobby?
My daughter has introduced me to the fun of hunting for thrift store finds. She’s much better at finding unexpected treasures than I am, but I mainly go to spend time with her anyway. I also love to play games. Dominoes, cards, Exploding Kittens … (I can call game-playing a hobby, right???)
Thrift store shopping with your daughter sounds so fun! And we’re a huge game-playing family too. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
For a long time I was determined to make it to the Olympics as a gymnast, regardless that I really wasn’t all that great. I’m not sure if I had any career ambitions or dreams other than that. Or if I even thought about what I might like to do as an adult.
How and when did you start writing?
I’ve always used writing as a way to process and for personal enjoyment. As a kid, I spent a lot of time writing poetry. I also fiddled with song writing. The only time I remember writing fiction was when teachers instructed us to write something for the young authors competitions.
Then, once I became an adult and began serving in various church ministries, I shifted to parent newsletters, curriculum, and dramas for outreach events. Then one day, when I was brainstorming a modern-day representation of the Jonah story, I was struck by how much I deeply enjoyed the process. It was a soul-deep pleasure that I began to explore more diligently.
I love how God uses past experiences to bring us to where we are today. What genre do you write and what inspired you to write that particular genre?
A lot. All of my traditionally published books are fiction, some women’s fiction and some contemporary romance. I also have numerous articles and devotions in print in various magazines and compilations and regularly write for iBelieve and David C. Cook’s the Quiet Hour. And I podcast, which isn’t writing, I know, but provides a similar fulfillment.
As to what inspired me to begin writing each genre, that’s hard to say. Often I just received a burst of inspiration, a joy at the thought, and walked that out, only discovering later (sometimes much later) where God was leading me. I’ve learned to daily offer my heart to Him, ask for His cleansing (to remove everything that is of me and replace it with everything that is of Him) and then to walk in peace, confidence and joy, trusting Him to direct my heart. And He’s been super faithful to both lead me and to make it clear when I’m about to head in the wrong direction.
That’s the best plan for writing—letting God direct. How do you incorporate Christ and hope into your writing?
The gospel is a core part of who I am, Christ’s joy and hope the anchor for my soul. Our worldview and perspective always flow from us onto the page, more so if we’re seeking to live yielded to Christ. Although this is somewhat a broad question to answer, as I’ve written numerous novels, each that reveal a different aspect of the hope, peace, and joy of Christ, His message of hope, healing, and freedom, I hope, shine through each one.
In my latest release, my heroine struggles trusting God, and honestly for good reason. The childhood sweetheart she married, who was always a tad on the intense side, went off to Afghanistan and returned addicted to drugs and driven by rage. She instantly found her fairytale dreams of “happily ever after” shattered. Now, she’s trying to heal, rediscover who she is, and to build a safe and stable life for herself and her little girl. But while she has often felt abandoned by God, that is far from true. He’s watching over her and will never leave her side.
Sounds like an intense story with true to life hurts and emotions. Are any of your stories inspired by true events or personal history?
I think real life always has a way of bleeding into one’s writing. One of my favorite “real life” inspired stories is When Dawn Breaks. It’s about a woman who, displaced by a hurricane, feels God calling her to foster children also displaced by a hurricane and abandoned by their mother. The story was inspired by a friend name Gale Perkins who used to teach my daughter in Sunday school and who found herself called to foster as a single woman. I wrote the story somewhat early in her journey. Now, nearly a decade later, she’s adopted 4 children from the foster care system. 4 kids who are and have experienced deep healing and have learned about the truth and grace of Christ. It’s really inspiring to see.
I absolutely love that! Do you have any pets? Do they find their way into any of your stories?
Our two grand-dogs, Buba and Misah, appear in my latest release. They have their own Instagram account, if you want a dose of cuteness. They’re both rescues in life and in the story. You can find them at https://www.instagram.com/mish_n_bubs/
Thanks so much for the interview, Jennifer. It’s been fun learning more about you and your writing life. Blessings to you!
Join the conversation. Do you enjoy reading Love Inspired stories? Does Jennifer’s book sound intriguing to you? What comments or questions do you have for her?
Be sure to comment by March 1 for a chance to win Jennifer’s book! (Keep scrolling to find the comments section)
Her Small Town Refuge by Jennifer Slattery
Click book cover for purchase link
To secure the future she’s been wishing for, she must earn her boss’s trust.
Escaping to the Texas Hill Country with her daughter for a vet tech internship is Stephanie Thornton’s chance at a safer life. But when medicine goes missing from Caden Stoughton’s struggling vet clinic, all evidence points to Stephanie. With the new life she’s been searching for hanging in the balance, Stephanie must convince Caden to trust her with his business…and his heart.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who has addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and other writers across the nation. As the founder of Wholly Love Ministries, she and her team help their local, national, and global community experience increased spiritual and emotional freedom through an ever-deepening relationship with Christ. She cohosts, with Grace Fox, the Your Daily Bible Verse podcast and also cohosts, with her Wholly Loved Ministry team, the Faith Over Fear podcast. She also maintains devotional blogs found at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and is a regular contributor to iBelieve.com. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Contact her through her website to book her for your next women’s event.
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If you missed last week’s interview with Penny Zeller, find it here.