Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How would someone write about a girl addicted to horoscopes?

Jenness Walker lives in South Florida with her beloved website designer husband and almost-as-beloved laptop. When she’s not writing suspense on her own or brainstorming fun stuff with Tracy, she loves to read, decorate, and dream about her next road trip. Double Take, her first novel, was a Carol Award finalist. Bliss, her first co-authored novel, released this fall.

SDC: What made you start writing, Jenness?

Jenness: I’ve always loved to read and come up with stories, so writing was just a given. So much so that in first grade I thought my story was a shoe-in for first place in a contest my teacher had. (Um. I wasn’t. But that just started me early on dealing with rejection. )

SDC: That kind of answers my question about how long have you been writing.  How do you find your subject matter?

Jenness: I’ve been writing as long as I can remember but I guess you could say I got really serious in my senior year of college when I completed my first novel.


Ideas just come to me—from something that’s said from the pulpit, a song on the radio, people-watching, articles, dreams, whatever. I keep a file of the random things that come to me and often tie them together to form a more complete idea.

SDC: When did you sell your first book or article? Tell us the circumstances that brought it about.

Jenness: I had been submitting short stories to magazines through most of high school as I took a writing correspondence course. I finally sold a romantic short story to Grit in college. That was really fun to me, not only because it was my first sale, but because my dad used to sell Grit papers when he was a kid. That made it even more special.

SDC: How do you handle rejections and have you had many?

Jenness: Oh, yes, I have quite the collection. It was actually encouraging to keep them, because I could look back and see my writing must be improving as the letters grew progressively nicer. 

Though some rejections sting quite a bit more than others, I’m pretty laid back about it. I know I will always have more to learn and that God will open and close doors as He sees fit. So if I just keep writing and trying to improve my craft, things will go according to His plan.

SDC: What do you think is the deep rooted reason that you write, Jenness?

Jenness: Novels speak to me. I’m passionate about them and have been touched by messages woven into many that I’ve read. I’m a shy person. This is a way of reaching out, expressing my heart, and I hope that my words can point toward Christ.

SDC: What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

Jenness: My dad restores pianos. My grandpa restores furniture. My sister-in-law paints and is an amazing decorator. And I love finding unique furniture or décor to fix up. I think it would be amazing to open a cute family shop, selling things that we’ve restored or repurposed.

SDC: Wow! Those hobbies and interests can become subject matter all by themselves! What are you working on right now?

Jenness: While Tracy and I wait to hear back about one project, I’m trying to finish up a story that’s very close to my heart. It’s a darker women’s fiction story, but I pray that the darkness makes the glimpses of hope and faith that much brighter.

SDC: Do you put yourself into your books? If so,how? If not, what do you do to pull out your individual voice?

Jenness: There’s a bit of me and my friends in each story I write, although the characters or situations are more inspired by rather than modeled after anyone in particular.

It is often said that you should write what you know. I don’t think anyone wants to read my life story over and over again. But I think putting myself and my experiences into what I write is what helps me find my voice.

SDC: Tell us about the book you are planning to share with us. And please give us a reflection question that will get us to think from deep within.

Jenness: Bliss is the first novel I co-authored with Tracy Bowen. It’s light-hearted women’s fiction that began with the question: What if a girl was addicted to horoscopes but they led her into disaster every time she followed their advice? We had quite the journey with Indie, our heroine, as she searched for bliss and found that her path was not charted by the stars, but by the Maker of the stars. It’s a funny story about finding faith and your true self, and it has a great cast of quirky characters, along with a hunky boat captain.

As Tracy and I worked on the story together, it made me think quite a bit about the motivation behind Indie reading her horoscope throughout the first half of the novel.

Question for the viewers to think about: Where do you look for guidance—yourself? Other people? The stars? Or do you strive to know the heart of God and look to Him and His word to lead you?

SDC: Great insight question. I look forward to seeing what people write in. Thanks so much for being here, Jenness. Where can readers find you?

You can find Tracy and me at  and on Facebook. I also have a personal website

Readers and writers, please look above at the question. What would you say to that?
(I look forward to drawing one of your names in a few days.)

Congratulations to  Anne Payne  of Vale, North Carolina. Be watching for your book. I'm sure it will be greatly enjoyed.


  1. First and foremost, I look to the Scriptures and what God has to say, then to my husband.


  2. I would agree with Anne. I try to always look at what the Bible says first. Then I go to friends. But only those who agree with what the Bible says.
    Please enter me in this giveaway.


  3. I have to go along with the other 2 that I go to G-d and scriptures first for my answers. I will also talk to my hubby and friends.


  4. I really try to ask God, then "listen" in Scripture or for His voice before I act.

  5. Thanks so much, Shirley! It's a pleasure "being" here. :-)

  6. Mostly I look to my parents for guidance and God. And believe it or not my daughter, who is a very mature woman for her age.

  7. I turn to God for guidance in my life. He is the only one who can show me what path I should follow! Without him, I am nothing!
    Tanya Waterman

  8. I am just loving what people are writing for how they come up with their subject matter. It is so uplifting to see how people go to the Lord, or to the Word, and even to their spouses for confirmation. How encouraging you are. And it is true, there is a plethora of ideas out there to write about. Thanks so much.

  9. Thanks, ladies, for sharing! So fun getting to know you all a little bit!