Nancy Jo Jenkins’s interview

» Posted on Apr 16, 2008 in Blog | Comments Off on Nancy Jo Jenkins’s interview

Don’t forget to leave a comment with your email address or email me at if you want to be entered in the drawing for Nancy’s book, Coldwater Revival.

1. What made you start writing?

I am a born-storyteller. During the years I taught school,
I would dream up stories in my head. Some of them just wouldn’t leave me alone. So, when the opportunity arose for me to take an early retirement, I quit teaching and began writing my first book.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

I’ve been writing now for about eight years. I was truly blessed in that I was contracted by an agent and an editor before I had finished my first book. I sent my proposals to an editor and an agent at the Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference. At the time, I had only completed 109 pages of my manuscript. Within a couple of months, I was offered contracts from both gentlemen. That was in 2004.

3. How do you handle rejections?

Mainly, I pout for a few days. Then, I decide to start writing again because that is what God has called me to do. I despise rejections, as do most people, but I tend to take them very personally. I think it stems from low self-esteem and a very traumatic childhood in which I grew up thinking I wasn’t a very good person.

4. Why do you write?

Writing is hard for me, so I don’t write for the fun of it or because I’ve “always” loved to write. I write because I believe God gave me stories that He wants me to share. I feel He put this writing dream in my heart, and I want to work with Him to see that it comes true.

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you
weren’t writing?

I’d probably be reading a whole lot more, going to movies (one of my favorite pastimes), and swimming at a local gym. I’d also go to Bible studies, eat out with friends more often, and spend more time traveling with my husband.

6. What are you working on right now?

I’m working on a novel about a young woman (in 1870) who was abandoned in the Colorado Mountains. She has to learn how to find food for herself, chop wood, and weather a very severe winter with almost no help. Along the way, she falls in love, but that comes with its own set of problems.

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

In Coldwater Revival, I did put myself in Emma Grace (the heroine). Because of misplaced guilt, she becomes very depressed. I, too, suffered from depression when I was in my early twenties. So I was able to write about her depression from first-hand knowledge and experience. It was wonderful to see her through to greater joy than she could ever have imagined.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.

Coldwater Revival is a story about the Falin family who live in southeast Texas in 1933. Three weeks before Emma Grace’s wedding, she is consumed by a burning desire to confront the guilt and shame of a devastating event that has haunted her since childhood. It is a tale about a family’s shattering loss, Emma Grace’s journey toward self-destruction, and her amazing discovery of God’s love at journey’s end. While on this journey, Emma Grace finds her true love, the man she thought she’d lost forever.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers?

I’d advise writers to connect with God daily, before they begin writing their stories. I truly believe God is the Author of my books and that I am His scribe. That’s the only way I want to write. So I need to seek Him daily through prayer and reading His word in order to write the stories He puts in my heart.

10. How important is faith in your books?

It’s the most important element of my books. But, I believe in a very subtle touch when it comes to sharing the Gospel with readers. That’s why my brand is, “Gentle Persuasion ~ Southern Style”. “Preachy” books turn me off, so I try to write about faith as a natural part of my characters’ lives and let the readers see how God works in the lives of His people.

11. What themes do you like to write about?

So far, it seems that I write about people who have suffered loss or abandonment. My books have satisfying endings. I don’t let my characters suffer without hope. With God’s help, they become more than conquerors through whatever trials they face.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

Coldwater Revival (my debut novel) is the only book I’ve completed, so far. So, it’s definitely my favorite. I fell in love with the Falin family and still feel that I’m one of the members of that family. In part, the story is based on happenstances in my dad’s large, Irish family, so it has special appeal to me because of my family heritage.

13. What is your writing schedule like?

I usually begin writing around 10:30 in the morning and write until about 4:00 pm. But, there are days that I can only write for an hour or so. And when I’m traveling, I find it very difficult to concentrate on writing.

Thank you so much, Margaret. I’ve enjoyed visiting with you through these questions and responses. I pray God’s richest blessings on you.

Nancy Jo Jenkins