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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Interview with Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Joining us today is the award winning Christian author, Jennifer Hudson Taylor. Here’s Jennifer’s bio: Jennifer Hudson Taylor writes historical Christian fiction set in Europe and the Carolinas. Her fiction has won awards in the American Christian Fiction Writers' Genesis Contest, and her work has appeared in national publications, such as Guideposts, Heritage Quest Magazine, Everton’s Genealogical Publishers, and The Military Trader. Jennifer graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Journalism. When she isn't writing, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, genealogy, and reading. She resides with her husband and daughter in the Charlotte area of NC. Highland Blessings is her debut novel. Learn more about Jennifer at www.authorjenniferhudsontaylor.com.

[Anne] First off, I want to congratulate you on your success, Jennifer. I’m honored you were able to join us for an interview. Let’s begin with how did you get started in writing? How difficult was your journey to publication?

[Jennifer] I was 12 when I decided I wanted to write the next Gone with the Wind.

[Anne] Please tell us about your new or latest book.

[Jennifer] (Highland Blessings, 1473 Scotland) Highland warrior Bryce MacPhearson kidnaps Akira MacKenzie on her wedding day to honor a promise he made to his dying father. When he forces Akira to wed him, hoping to end a half-century feud between their clans, she struggles to overcome her anger and resentment. . .Yet her strength in the Lord becomes a witness to Bryce. But there is a traitor in their midst . . . and murder is the ultimate weapon.

[Anne] Sounds great! Where did you come up with the concept for your story?

[Jennifer] From other secular historical romance novels set in Medieval Scotland. I had read them in the early 90’s. Highland Blessings started out in 1998 as a secular novel, Promised Betrayal. I converted it to Christian fiction in 2006.

[Anne] Okay, say you have this great idea for a book, what do you do next? How much plotting do you do?

[Jennifer] Highland Blessings was written as I went. The novels I write now are outlined and plotted. I begin with a working title, a plot paragraph, and then I write a character sketch of all the main characters. I add sub-characters as needed. Then I write an outline, a couple of sentences for each scene. I do some basic research, print things I think I’m going to need, and create a research folder for that novel. From there I write a 3-4 page synopsis and then I write the first draft of the book.

[Anne] In your opinion what are the most important avenues an author should take in promoting their works?

[Jennifer] Of all the social networking sites, I think Facebook is the most useful for building a community of friends and readers who share common interests with you and get to see more into an author’s life, than a static website. Second, I believe a blog is very helpful in finding blog readers who are interested in similar things. For instance, my blog targets readers of historical fiction, people who love history, historical trivia, etc. I’m also working on the traditional blog tours, mail outs to bookstores and churches, giving influencers ARC copies for reviews. I’ve purchased a couple of ads in newsletters, and I’m setting up book signings wherever possible.

[Anne] Wonderful suggestions, Jennifer. What is one of the most memorable thing’s that has happened to you since you’ve become a published author?

[Jennfier] When my ARCs first arrived, my 12-year-old daughter asked if she could have a copy and take it to school. I couldn’t deny her. Afterall, she sacrificed a lot of mommy time for this book. I went in the next morning to wake her for school and she had slept with my book and was still holding onto it. This image almost made me cry. I started writing Highland Blessings when she was a year old.

[Anne] Awe, that is so sweet. Now for a little fun! Do you have any unusual or not so unusual hobbies you’d care to tell us about?

[Jennifer] I love to research genealogy and some people, especially my husband, think I’m weird for spending hours out in cemeteries recording names and dates on old stones.

[Anne] What snack are we likely to see sitting next to your computer when you’re typing away on your next best seller?

[Jennifer] A cup of coffee and a granola bar.

[Anne] Now let’s pretend you’ve been stranded on an island somewhere in the pacific. What are three things you would miss the most?

[Jennifer] My family if they aren’t with me, my Bible, and Chick-Fil-A.

[Anne] What advice can you offer for any aspiring authors out there?

[Jennifer] Never give up.

[Anne] Where can we purchase your books? And do you have a website we can visit?

[Jennifer] At any major bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-A-Million, Lifeway, Chrisitanbook.com, Cokesbury, etc. If they don’t have a copy, ask them to order it because they may have only gotten in a couple of copies and when you ask for them, that creates demand and they are most likely to order one for you and another one for the shelf. My website is www.jenniferhudsontaylor.com.

[Anne] Is there anything else you’d like to add?

[Jennifer] I love hearing from my readers and friends. Also, please join me on Facebook and Twitter!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Jennifer-Hudson-Taylor/334126764915?ref=ts

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jt4novels

[Anne] Jennifer, I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to do an interview with me. I wish you continued success with your writing career.

3 comments:

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Jennifer,
I'm a North Carolina native and am very familiar with Charlotte and Elon. I was so touched by the image of your daughter holding your ARC in her sleep. What a sweetheart. Congratulations on your your writing success and good luck with your new novel.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Gail, Thank you for stopping by! My daughter is a sweetie. I've been meaning to get back to Elon to visit folks. I love the good ole' Tar Heel state!

Anne Patrick said...

Hi Gail,
Thanks so much for dropping by. Doesn't Jennifer's book sound awesome?