Why do you write your stories?
What a great question—and probably one I don’t think about enough. I think I write because there’s a call on my life to do so. Some days I wish there was a call on my life to do something else. Like professional cheerleading or to be Vanna White’s replacement. Something that didn’t involve so much thinking and time in a seat. (But on the positive, writing does involve yoga pants, so take THAT, Vanna.) I also write to entertain. I want people to have a good time reading the books, and hopefully while they’re being entertained, they’re either getting some truth about Christ or just seeing the life of a Christian in action.
What are the challenges/benefits of incorporating faith into your story?
The drawbacks are that you can’t please everyone, and we sure would like to. Some people need more spiritual elements in the books, while others want less. And it’s hard to please both. And the barometer for what’s too much or too little spiritual content is never consistent. You can pull up just about any book’s review, and you’ll see reviews that it was too heavy handed in the spiritual message and others asking “Where was Jesus?” All from the same book. In Christian fiction the reader brings a lot of expectations with them, and it can be hard to find that balance. I think the benefits definitely outweigh the negatives. I love being a part of fiction that shows readers how interwoven faith is in the Christian’s life. It’s in all we do. It’s important to me that the readers see a typical Christian doing life—with all the struggles and mess-ups. That they see completely imperfect characters serving a perfect God. And I love that it’s a chance to show how NORMAL Christian are or can be. Or should be.
Favorite book – favorite movie – favorite TV show?
Favorite books: Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts, Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Shaffer and Barrows, A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck, and A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel.
Favorite movie: Princess Bride, Charade, Sweet Home Alabama, and You’ve Got Mail
TV show: Carol Burnett Show (all time fave) and currently Castle and Glee. And I should probably be on medication for my deep depression over the loss of Gilmore Girls.
How do you feel about blogging? Do you have a blog?
I love to blog. It’s definitely my favorite mode of writing. Plus, I love hanging out with my blog family and friends. We talk about stars like Lindsay Lohan (very important!), movies, the craziness of life, books, and share funny YouTube clip finds. You can find my blog at my website, http://www.jennybjones.com
Tell us about a book that epitomizes quality [Christian] faith-driven lit.
A book I rarely shut up about is Love Starts with Elle by Rachel Hauck. (Clever title, eh?!) This book is a romance about a woman named Elle, who runs a small town art gallery and struggles as an artist and a Christian. She loves a man who loves his career and image, and just when things fall apart, a widower with a small child moves to town and into Elle’s life. It’s about Elle making room for true love in all its unexpected forms, pushing through her fears, and totally surrendering to God and his plans. What I love about the book is that it’s beautifully written, has fabulous characters, and it has some genuine sizzle to it in the romance. To be honest, most of my friends don’t read Christian romance, but THIS is a book that I knew they’d love, and so I’ve made them all read it. I recommend it all the time to Christians and unbelievers alike. It inspires rave reviews every time.
Jenny B Jones writes Christian fiction with a few giggles, quite a bit of sass, and lots of crazy. Her novels include the Katie Parker Production series, A Charmed Life series, and her first contemporary romance, Just Between You and Me. When she’s not typing her heart out (or checking email), she teaches at a super-sized high school in Arkansas.
Book him Danno will be giving a copy of this book away on the 9th, stay tuned for details.