After allowing her stories to sit on her computer for years, she finally decided to self publish her first novel. She recently re-dedicated her life to the Lord, making a personal vow to serve God by sharing the gospel through her novels. Her first novel, By the Grace, was published under her self publishing company, Way of Grace Media, in December 2010. Jessica is currently working on her next project, The Conversation, to be released in late 2011.
Q and A with Jessica:
What inspired you to write? I have been writing since I learned how to put words together as a child. I learned how to use quotation marks in elementary school by mimicking Beverly Cleary. Writing is all I ever wanted to do. I love it. This is a dream come true!
Will you write more books? Absolutely! I am currently working on some projects. I am expected to release my next novel, The Conversation, this year.
Who is your favorite author? I just like a good book. I can’t pick a favorite. There are so many fabulous writers out there.
What are you reading now? I try to read the Bible from cover to cover every year. And every year, I find something new. Plus, I have to read it for research for another project. But when I need to get into another world, there’s always Terry McMillan.
What puts you in the mood to write? Anything can trigger it. I have been on the Interstate and had an idea. I would pull over, jot it down and keep rolling. When I write, I like a quiet area, preferably outside.
This is your first published work. Anything you plan to do differently the next time? Yes. I am learning a lot with this project. There is so much I want to say. I have so many ideas in my head. I have learned not to try to say it all at once…just pace myself and allow the story to flow.
What are your writing goals? What are you trying to accomplish? I am not in this to make a name for myself, which is one reason why I choose to use a pen name. I feel as if I have finally found the truth about the Bible and God. I feel as though I am closer to Him than I have ever been. And when you feel this good, you want to share it! That’s what I want to do. If these books can reach just one person, than I am satisfied.
Derek is a young new pastor in Mary’s neighborhood struggling to get rid of the shadow of corruption and religious abuse that his father left behind. When he attempts to make much needed changes in the church, he is faced with opposition from his older congregation and his long time girlfriend who wants him to give it all up and marry her. Derek handles this stress by indulging in his secret addiction to pornography. Filled with guilt and shame, Derek questions his call to the ministry until his path crosses with Mary. Is his faith strong enough to pass this ultimate test?
In her rush to get out of the building, Mary used the side exit close to Cheryl’s office. She was outside when she realized she had walked to the office. “Damn!” she said out loud. She slid her sunglasses onto her face and looked around. No protesters from the church were in sight. I am trippin. I ain’t scared of the hypocrite church roaches!
She slowed her pace to a leisure stroll, taking in the sight of the slowly transitioning streets. Old worn out buildings were being remodeled and turned into stores and loft apartments. She had never bothered to take the time to study her neighborhood. Mary appreciated the coming beauty. There was even a neighborhood garden. It was a small patch of grass and flowers screened in with a wire fence. But it was a charming addition to the area. She opened the gate and walked inside. A little peace of heaven, she thought and sniffed the air.
She fell onto her knees in front of a bush of yellow roses and felt the pedals with her fingertips. She closed her eyes and savored the aroma coming from the buds. “It kinda takes your breathe away, doesn’t it,” Derek asked from behind her. Mary whipped around and faced him. He stood behind her with his hands in his pockets. The sun blocked the details of his face but she knew he was smiling at her. She hopped to her feet and brushed the soil from her knees. “Didn’t mean to interrupt,” he apologized, backing away to give her more space.
“It’s cool,” she said, taking another look at the flowers. “I was about to get outta here anyway.” “Why,” he asked, really sorry he had interrupted her. “It’s a beautiful garden. It was made to enjoy.”
“It is a nice space,” she agreed, trying to get a quick look at everything around them. “I don’t know if you remember me, but I’m Derek Caruthers from New Hope Church,” he held his hand out. Mary nodded and
walked past him towards the front gate.
“I do remember you, Pastor,” she said, checking out the rest of the garden. “Thanks for taking care of the noise.”
He laughed. “You’re welcome,” he said, turning her way. “The noise may be gone completely soon.”
Mary stopped and spun around. “You’re moving already?”
“No, no, no,” he said, taking a step. “It’s just my teaching is not exactly popular. Some more traditional church goers may not like it.”
Mary grinned. “Why? What are you teaching that would offend those people?”
“The truth,” he said bluntly.
Find Katina at : www.wayofgracemedia