Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers and devotions for Internet Café Devotions, the group blog, Faith-filled Friends, and her personal blog. She also does content editing for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas’ Firefly imprint, and loves working with authors who are serious about pursuing their calling. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.
Welcome back to the blog, Jennifer. I’m so happy to have you visit us today. Congratulations on your new release, Breaking Free.
Which character from this book do you relate to the most and why?
Can I say both main characters? My heroine is a people pleaser who wants so badly to be a good wife and mom but is going about it in all the wrong ways. Her desire to please others thrust her into an enabling role to the point that she’s completely lost sight of who she truly is. This is something I continually struggle with—not the enabling portion but with allowing my desire to be liked, appreciated, or admired to unduly influence my behavior. Luckily this is an area God has been and continues to work on in me, and I’m learning to put my love and obedience for Him first.
I also relate a great deal to Trent, Alice’s husband. I don’t want to give too much of the story away, but he slips hard and fast into self-destruction. That behavior defined my late teen years. My sophomore year, I began bouncing from house to house, attending numerous high schools (I have no idea if I was officially registered or not) until I eventually gave up and landed on the streets of Tacoma, Washington. In an effort to drown my pain and numb all my emotions, I began to drink regularly and heavily. If not for God’s grace, I’d either still be on the streets now or dead as the odds of making it out of homelessness aren’t great.
Wow! What a testimony you have to share, Jennifer. I’m so glad to hear how God changed your life!
You set “Breaking Free” in Seattle. What is one of your favorite things about that city?
I absolutely adore Seattle and in many ways, it’s where my life came full circle. I grew up in small dairy town about an hour north, and our family visited the city often. I started going to Seattle as a teen to party, and though I spent a chunk of my homeless period in Tacoma, I spent time on Seattle’s streets as well. And this was where I first dated my husband, the man I credit for helping me get off the streets and on my feet.
One night (I can’t remember if it was when we were dating or married) my husband took me to dinner at the top of the Space Needle. Oh. My. Word. It was so romantic and beautiful! I felt like a princess, and honestly, that’s how he’s always treated me. Even when I was homeless. Though neither of us were walking with Christ back then, I know without a doubt God used my husband to help heal the broken parts of me.
We returned to Seattle this past summer to celebrate our twentieth anniversary, and it was amazing to consider all God has done in and for us since. Wow. Sometimes it still hurts when I think back on my past, but it also brings me great joy because it reminds me afresh of God’s amazing grace.
That is wonderful! God is so good! 🙂
I love the heartbeat of God’s love and grace that flows through the pages. When I wrote this novel, I felt His presence so strongly and felt like He truly was communicating His love for our hurting world through the story. That’s my prayer—that those who feel far from God and without hope would come to see and experience His deep love for them. My second prayer is similar—that those who are already living lives saturated by His grace will participate in God’s freedom mission.
I read on your website that you often do speaking engagements. What is one of your favorite topics to speak on?
I love helping women find spiritual and emotional freedom, rest in who they are in Christ, and embrace His call on their lives. Not much excites me quite like seeing a woman live out her unique call and passion. I also love encouraging moms to raise children who discover and embrace their God-given missions.
I think I already shared one thing—that I went through a period of homelessness. Many are also surprised to learn I dropped out of high school. It can be hard to fathom how a high school drop out could become a writer. One woman said to me, “I mean, don’t you have to be smart to do that?” Well, you don’t have to be dumb to end up homeless. You just have to be broken.
Thank you so much, Jennifer, for sharing your heart with us today. I pray God continues His mighty work in your life and uses your stories to touch others as well. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
Thanks so much for having me on your site, Savanna! I really appreciate it. I love connecting with readers, so I encourage folks to visit me on my blog JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com or to connect with me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte.
Jennifer has graciously offered a copy of Breaking Free to one lucky reader! Enter below and it could be YOU!
Thanks for entering! Contest is open to US residents only and ends March 29, 2016. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!