I’m so excited to host one of my co-authors for not only The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt, but also for Heart Bouquets. AND she’s also a co-author of A Ruby Christmas, which releases next month. (Oh my gosh, that’s just next month!)
I’m so glad that Jennifer Fromke could join me today and share her day to day activities.
Marji: What is absolutely necessary to get you going in the mornings?
Jennifer: Coffee and devotions. If I’m teaching Bible study at the time, then I work through the study book with my breakfast. If I’m not teaching, I usually read through a book of the Bible and journal alongside as I’m inspired. I make myself a vanilla latte and eat a piece of toast – every day. I know, boring. ☺
Marji: Not so boring. I think a lot of people will stick with the same breakfast when they find one they like. So as you go through your day, what are the biggest (and sometimes most delightful) distractions?
Jennifer: The dog asking to go out, the doorbell ringing, phone ringing, facebook (cough, cough), the pantry (how do I find myself passing by so often?), the dog giving me his hungry face, the phone, the dog, the phone, and the dog. And the dog.
Marji: Ha! I caught your cough. Or I’ve caught your Facebook bug! LOL. If you could choose anyplace, where would you most like to spend time writing and why?
Jennifer: Bald Head Island. I love this place. The point of the island is Cape Fear and the shoals reach out into the ocean for 15 miles from that point. The waves crash and splash over the shoals and it’s just beautiful to watch. The only mode of transportation on the island is golf carts – no cars. You reach it only by boat. When you are there, you are truly “away.” So I think I could get used to typing away on the porch of a little cottage with a view of the ocean.
Marji: Oh I found some great pictures of Bald Head Island. No wonder you like it so much! So where and when do you normally write, and why does it work for you?
Jennifer: I usually write as soon as I’m done with breakfast and devos. On a good day, I’ll write for 3 hours before my daily responsibilities creep in. My noon, I find I need to move on to dinner prep, laundry, and other necessaries . . . but the morning is usually blocked off for “work.” (But secretly, that’s the fun part).
Marji: I so agree with you about that being the fun part! Do you prefer a computer or a pad and pen?
Jennifer: Laptop. I take it wherever I go and frequently find myself writing at the barn, the tennis courts, or various cross country courses around the city. If I’m going to wait somewhere (carpool line!) I can sneak a few minutes of writing in.
Marji: That works! Do you have an atmosphere preference? (Specific things to listen to, eat, drink, or wear?)
Jennifer: I generally prefer quiet. But if I listen to anything, it’s classical music. Because I often end up writing on the run, I wear whatever, eat whatever, drink what I can find (but usually it’s a latte).
Marji: What is the worst thing someone can do to you while you’re trying to write?
Jennifer: Ask me to “come here.” If I have to get up, my train of thought dissolves and it will take me several minutes to refocus.
Marji: I can so empathize with you on that one. So tell about an epic fail that you had at a writing conference.
Jennifer: Oh brother. So I sit down in my first plotting class ever. Ron Benrey was the teacher – fantastic teacher, by the way. So he tells us he wants to use our WIPs (Works in Progress) as he works through his lesson. I’m thrilled. First question, I raise my hand fast – you know, the overachiever, “pick me!” sort of thing…So of course, he picks me.
And the question he asks is . . . “Who is your main character?”
You’d think that would be an easy question. And I want to remind you that I had not written a book at this point – I had half a novel in the computer (or so I thought). So I answer the question . . . “Lori, she’s the wife of the guy everything happens to” (uh oh . . . ) “and I tell his story from her perspective . . .”
Ron interrupts. “Does anything happen to her?”
I respond . . . “umm . . . well, she basically watches her husband . . .”
Ron interrupts. “I’m not sure you know WHO your main character is. That’s where you need to start.” He looks around. “Who can tell me who their main character is?”
And that’s where my heart took a nose dive into the depths of . . . “I have no idea what I’m doing.”
On the bright side, as Ron described the 13 essential points in a plot, my first novel fell into place – a completely different story than what I’d been working on, and somehow just what I needed to start my career.
But oh how hard we must fall . . . before we learn humility. ☺
Marji: Ouch! I think your lesson applies for more than just writers, though.
Your Turn: What’s the most recent life lesson that you’ve learned?