Meet Jennifer L. Wright

Meet Jennifer L. Wright

It’s always a pleasure to have fellow authors on my blog. Jennifer L. Wright and I had the chance to meet, I believe, at Fiction Readers Summit 2022. If you know me, I’m really terrible at remembering names, people, and places, so don’t quote me on that. But I DO know we’ve met, and I’m looking forward to reading The Girl from the Papers, releasing on August 8th. Before I get into that, let’s dive right into the interview.  

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).

*Be sure to follow her on Facebook as she will be giving away a copy of The Girl from the Papers on her Facebook page during release week.

You can connect with her through:  Website Facebook  |  Instagram  |  BookBub  |  GoodReads

Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Jenn with rapid-fire.

 

CC: Sweet or Salty?

JLW: Sweet

CC: Print, E-book, or Audiobook?

JLW: Print

CC: Coffee, Tea, or Other?

JLW: Just water (I’m pretty boring!)

Morning Person or Night Owl?

JLW: Morning Person

CC: Favorite Holiday?

JLW: Halloween

I have to confess that Halloween is my least favorite, but it IS so fun to see the little ones dressed up. It’s a sweet time of community fellowship in our neighborhood, so I like it more now than I used to. 😉 

What does your writing process look like from beginning to end?

JLW: I usually spend 3-4 months researching and plotting out a novel before writing. First drafts are usually fairly quick–4 to 6 months–as I am simply trying to get what I call my “garbage words” out of my head and down on paper. I then do 3 or 4 self-edits trying to smooth out the rough edges before handing it over to my agent, who walks me through a basic developmental edit. Using her notes, I will do another 2 or 3 edits before finally turning it into my publisher. By the time I “finish” a novel, I’m usually pretty sick of it. Ha!

CC: Wow! That is a lot of time! And I’m so glad I’m not the only one who takes time to get a story written out. I see so many authors who just can churn out books like it’s nothing. And the 3-4 months of plotting . . . I actually love that and need to give myself more time to just dance around in a story before getting it on paper. You have inspired me.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

JLW: While drafting a novel, I cannot read anything that falls in the same genre or near the basic story line. It totally sends me into a tailspin of self-doubt.

CC: Hugs! Boy do I understand that one, but you needn’t worry. You are a great writer.

How have you seen God work through your writing journey?

JLW: I originally started out as a journalist, working in both print and radio media. Even though it had been my dream since I was a child, it didn’t take long before I started feeling that nudging from the Holy Spirit telling me it wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing. I left the field around the time I had my first child and, while I knew it was the right thing to do, I still had the urge to write. That’s when God began to lay it on my heart to start writing fiction. I didn’t originally plan on writing so-called “Christian fiction”–I never marketed my material to agents that way–but, looking back, I can see that was God’s plan all along. The agent who signed me mentioned she noticed a very obvious faith element underlying my work and suggested I make it more evident as a way to strengthen the manuscript. I did that, and my first book sold within a month. Totally God’s hand!

CC: I love seeing how God works through our stories . . . and how he totally turns our self-made plans upside down.

Now I’m excited to talk about your newest release, The Girl from the Papers.

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.

Purchase your copy at  Amazon  |  Baker Book House  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Christianbook  |  Tyndale

CC: Where did you get the idea for The Girl from the Papers?

JLW: I wrote a blog post about Bonnie and Clyde while sharing research information about the Great Depression as I was writing my debut novel, ‘If It Rains.’ My editor at Tyndale happened to read that particular post and mentioned to me it would make for an interesting story, although she didn’t think I could turn it into something with a redemptive arc. Long story short: I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge. I immediately set out to prove her wrong. (She loves the book, by the way!)
CC: I have to admit, I’m dying to know how you wove the redemptive arc in. That alone interests me in diving into an era I don’t typically read. It’s such a fascinating premise!
What about this story drew you to it?

JLW: I found it interesting that the real Bonnie and Clyde both had such a strong faith background, and yet they ended up pursuing anything but Jesus. I couldn’t help wondering what would have happened if they’d made different choices. I think that’s the underlying thought we all have when we see tragedies such as theirs; we wonder about the pivotal junctions that led them there. Writing this book helped me explore that on a deep, spiritual level.

CC: I had no idea that they had such a strong faith background. That really does make one ponder.
Who was the most challenging character to create?
JLW: Jack! Jack is my version of Clyde, and I wanted very much to humanize him to readers. It’s easy to look at criminals who commit violent acts as monsters, but the truth is, they aren’t: they are people. And there are reasons they do the things they do. I wanted readers to at least understand Jack and where he was coming from, even if they didn’t agree with his actions.
CC: That is such a hard balance, but I love that you went after it and from the sounds of it, achieved it!
What do you hope readers will take away from yours story?

JLW: I hope readers will see God’s grace woven through the pages of this story, even if our actions do not deserve it. I want readers to understand just how much God loves them–no matter what–and that they are never too far gone for His saving power. It’s never too late to turn around and choose better. CC: That is a powerful and important message indeed. Before we wrap up, I have one more question for you:

What animal is most like you?
JLW: We recently added three guinea pigs to our family, and I think I’ve found my spirit animal in them. They are a bit stand-offish but sweet to anyone who puts in the effort, and they are happiest when either A) sleeping or B) eating. I identify with that a lot. 🙂
CC: LOL! That is great! And I’ve loved seeing your guinea posts on Facebook!
Readers, I hope you’ll check out The Girl in the Papers and then leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BookBub. You wouldn’t believe how important that is to an author.  

Reader, what do you know about Bonnie and Clyde? Do you think there is ever a point where you’ve gone too far to change your direction?

Pin It on Pinterest