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Interview with Jennifer AlLee

Since 1996, Jennifer has published numerous short stories, devotions and plays. Her first novel, The Love of His Brother, was followed by The Pastor's Wife, The Mother Road, and A Wild Goose Chase Christmas, as well as the Charm & Deceit series. Jennifer lives with her family in Las Vegas Nevada.

You co-wrote this book with Lisa Karon Richardson. Talk about the challenges and rewards of being a co-author.
One of the biggest rewards of co-writing is also one of the biggest challenges: Accountability. When you co-write, you have to keep in mind that someone else is relying on you to do your part. This is a great way to give procrastination a kick in the pants. But it can also lead to a little bit of panic when the words aren’t flowing the way they should. Over all, the co-writing experience has been great. Of course, Lisa has a lot to do with that. She makes it fun.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?
Without a doubt, it was becoming a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Lisa and I met at the very first conference I attended and have been fast friends ever since. Attending the conferences and participating in the email loop have enabled me to build relationships where we encourage and support each other. Because of ACFW, I’ve been able to meet face to face with my agent, Sandra Bishop, and all of the editors I’ve worked with. Without this organization, I doubt I’d be at the point I am now in my career.

What’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other responsibilities?
Time management is really my biggest issue. I either procrastinate and put things off too long, or I work and work and work and don’t take time to breathe. One day, I hope to master a happy medium.

And how do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
I was just talking to a friend about this today. My faith is a big part of who I am, and by extension, it’s part of what I write. Truthfully, I never sit down ahead of time and decide what my spiritual thread will be. It builds and morphs as the story takes shape until I get to the point where I see how it all fits together.

What do you consider the greatest moment of your writing/publishing career?
Wow, there have been a lot of really great moments. But one of the best was when I found out that A Wild Goose Chase Christmas (Abingdon Press, 11/12) had hit the ECPA Best Seller List. That was exciting!

Who/What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?
Story ideas really can come from anywhere. Sometimes, I’ll get an idea for a cool title, and then I build the book from there. Other times, it comes from that old writer’s trick of asking “what if?” As for my characters, they usually spring into my head almost fully formed. I always create a character chart in which I make notes.

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?
No matter how serious the plot points may be, my stories must contain humor. If I don’t make you smile and chuckle as you read, then I’ve missed the mark.

Finish this question, my favorite thing to do when I'm not writing is ...
Sleep. LOL… just kidding! My favorite thing is to spend time with my son. I’m blessed that he lives at home while attending university. When we both have free time, we watch TV together (Castle is our favorite series) or play board games. Those times are the best!

Any parting words?
Thanks so much for having me today, Vannetta, and to all your readers for spending some time with us. I love to hear from readers, so feel free to contact me through my website or on Facebook, or Twitter… there are so many ways to get in touch now. Blessings to all!

Thanks for sharing with us, Jennifer!

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