For today’s Take 5 Friday, please welcome author Jessica White.
Jessica is a Christian fiction author, the founder of the 365 Writing Challenge and she is the most organized and consistent person I have ever encountered.
Jessica’s current book is called Song in the Dark – A Hades/Persephone Inspired Romantic Suspense (see below for more information!)
Here are Jessica’s answers to my Take 5 questions. I’m sure you will get lots of great information and inspiration from her approach to writing.
1) What aspects of writing are easiest for you?
My favorite part of writing a story is coming up with the setting. When I was little, I redesigned my room all the time. I loved shows like America’s Castles and early TLC redecorating shows like Lynette Jennings. While my fondness for decorating faded, creating the perfect setting for my stories and my character’s personal homes keeps me spending too much time on Pinterest.
2) What themes do you find yourself revisiting in your writing?
I’ve got three books published and several others at different levels of plotting, but all my stories have a central theme of healing. Surviving the Stillness is about healing from our physical and emotional scars. Bound by Brokenness is about healing from our grief. Song in the Dark is about healing after a narcissistic relationship. As an inspirational fiction writer, I believe love’s healing power is a huge part of the redemptive message. If there is no cure for our hurts, wounds, and scars, then there is no reason to have a relationship with the divine.
3) Do you find yourself compelled to write or do you have to coax yourself into it?
The last few years, it’s been difficult to get words on the page. Part of the problem is huge life changes with two moves and health issues. Another part is that I struggle to write apart from God. When my life gets too busy for me to spend time with the divine, I struggle to hear what needs to go on the page. I compare it to trying to cook something when the temperature is too low. You can’t cook noodles on simmer, and that’s how it is when I try to write without being attuned to God. I just get sticky goo instead of steamy pasta.
4) What practical advice do you most often share with other writers?
If you want to write well, you must live life. Read. Invest in relationships. Observe the world around you. If you don’t experience life, then no matter how good you are at manipulating words, your story won’t resonate with the reader. Live well and write often.
5) What non-writing activity do you do that most helps you with your writing?
Cleaning and walking. Getting up and moving helps oxygenate my brain and gives me a task to let my mind wander. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been walking or had my hands deep in the dishwater and a story problem has solved itself or a new character or setting detail has materialized. I use an app called OTTER that voice records and transcribes. The transcriber allows me to do other things without worrying about listening to an hour of me piddling around for a few nuggets of gold. I can scan through the text to the places where I had good ideas. If it’s unclear, I can listen to that part. I also use it to plot the scene I’m going to sit and write while out walking. This has been a huge timesaver.
Learn more about Jessica and her writing by visiting her at the following links:
Here’s a bit more information about Song in the Dark – A Hades/Persephone Inspired Romantic Suspense by Jessica White.
After graduating from Juilliard, harpist Jenna Fields returns home to Albany to escape her manipulative ex. But coming home means dealing with her mother who has orchestrated every detail of Jenna’s life. Waiting for a job offer that will allow her to escape New York and build a life of her own, Jenna volunteers to raise money for a local charity.
Homicide detective Dean Blackburn spends his days seeking justice for the dead. But death taints everything including him. When his three Dobermans lead him to Jenna, he tries to resist the little siren. She not only starts a fire in his heart but brings light and joy to his lonely world.
When her world crumbles beneath her feet and her dark secret revealed, Dean helps Jenna see that the key to escaping her mother’s gilded cage is already in her hands.