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.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte
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! 🙂
Can you tell us what you love most about this story?
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.
Can you tell us something your readers would be surprised to know about you?
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!
I love to visit Trinidad. It is such a beautiful country with some of the friendliest people. I can recharge with family and be still
Trinidad–what a fun answer! I don’t know anything about the country but now I’m intrigued to learn more about it. 🙂
That sounds so nice, Sonnetta! 🙂 Hope you get to visit there again soon. Good luck in the giveaway!
I visited Boston last fall. It was interesting and exciting with so many historical sites.
I love Boston! I’ve only been once but loved my time there. That city has such flavor!
Awww, Joan, I would SO love to visit Boston someday. 🙂 There are so many historical sites I want to see.
Would love to win. Thanks.
Thanks for stopping in and taking the time to leave a comment. 🙂 Best of luck in the drawing, and happy Easter!
Hi Kim! Good luck in the drawing! 🙂
I love to visit Seattle too! Taking a ferry across the sound. Also it’s fun to stroll through the public market!
The sound is beautiful, isn’t it? When my husband returned to Seattle to celebrate our 20th anniversary, we took a water taxi to West Seattle, rented bikes, and road along the shore. Then we stopped at the best Mexican restaurant I’ve ever been to. I can’t remember the name… I think it might have had the word Cactus in it.
Blessings and best of luck in the drawing.
Listening to you two talk about Seattle has me wishing to visit now! 🙂 Sounds like such a neat place. Thanks for joining us, Bonnie!
I enjoy visiting Dallas. It is not a far drive from where I love, yet totally different from my neck of the woods. It has so much to offer!
It’s been so long since I’ve been to Dallas, and I can’t remember if I’ve seen any part of it outside of the airport. But I absolutely love all of Texas. I’m working on a story now, a fun contemporary romance, set in Austin. I was debating between Austin and Houston but my readers voted for Austin.
I’ve only been to Dallas once, but I enjoyed my brief visit there. I’d love to go back someday when I have a little more time. Thanks for sharing, Melanie!
We love going to Lancaster as a family 🙂
Lancaster Ontario or California?
I’m actually in California right now–La Jolla. I love California and being so near the ocean. I grew up across the border from Vancouver and visited Canada quite a bit as a teen. I’ve never been to Ontario, but I’ve seen it from across Niagara Falls. 🙂
Taking a trip as a family is always special. 🙂 Thanks for visiting, Wenona!
I don’t really have a favorite city to visit. I live near Indianapolis and still enjoy going to the museums there. We visited Washington D.C. last year and it is a place I would love to go again.
I love Indianapolis! I went to a writer’s conference there about six years ago, and in my down time, walked around the city. It was so very pretty! I’d love to take my husband and our daughter there sometime. Is there enough to do to make a week out of it?
Hi Ellen! I’d love to spend some time in both of those cities. Bet there’s a lot to do and see. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.
I love Ouray, CO! The mountains are so majestic! The scenery is breath taking.
I love learning about all these fun destinations! I’ve never heard of Ouray! I’ll have to Google it so I can learn more. I have a story idea set around a ski lodge. Maybe the ski lodge could be in Ouray. 🙂 I love all of Colorado.
My husband LOVES Colorado! I’ve only driven through there once. It’s on our bucket list to take a vacation there someday. He’s determined to teach me how to ski. 😉 Thanks for visiting, Caryl!
I love Phoenix Arizona. It is a gorgeous city and I lived there on two separate occasions. I still miss the beautiful weather (admittedly not in July and August) and the friendships I made. It is a desert city but landscaped so beautifully.
My mom lives in Avondale, which is close to Phoenix. A few years ago, we went to visit her over Christmas. It was lovely! I also really love Sedona. Have you been?
My family visited Phoenix and Sedona years ago. It really is a pretty place! So different and unique from what I’m used to here in the Midwest. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Stella!
I love Chicago! My mom is from a suburb of Chicago, and we grew up going there for long weekends and mini-vacations. I love the museums, the shopping, and Lake Michigan. If it wasn’t so expensive (or so liberal, lol), I’d move there in a heartbeat.
So many wonderful cities! I love Chicago, too! Especially all the museums. My husband grew up just north of there in a town called Willmette. (Not sure if I spelled that right.)
It’s been years since I was there, but I remember being intrigued by the city! 🙂 I never toured any of the museums though. Don’t know how I missed those! It’s great to have you here, Karen. Good luck in the giveaway!
Reading Breaking Free right now and it is an emotionally involved story. Loving it!!!!!
You are such a sweetie and such a great cheerleader, Robin! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the story! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts when you’ve finished it! So far, who’s your favorite character?
Oh yay!!! Thanks for stopping in and sharing that with us, Robin. Happy Reading!
I’m not a big traveler though I would love to be.
That’s the beauty of books–we can travel wherever we’d like while nestled in the comfort of our homes.:) Where has your favorite book setting been?
I’m with you, Emilee. It’s hard to beat being a homebody in my book. 😉 There’s no place like it!
I enjoy visiting Pigeon Forge, TN. The area is beautiful with the river running through it and the mountains surrounding it. There are many great places to eat and lots of things to do there.
I’ve only been through Tennessee, and unfortunately, I don’t remember what it looks like. (I probably had my nose in a book while my husband drove. :/ ) But I’m going to Nashville for a writer’s conference this August and am looking forward to some sight seeing while I’m there. Have you been to Nashville, and if so, any must-visit places you can recommend?
Hi Edward! Oh, I LOVE Tennessee! We’ve visited that lovely state many times and my hubby and I actually honeymooned not far from Pigeon Forge. Love those beautiful Smoky Mountains!
Sebago Lake Maine because its a city surrounded by the lake and its peaceful.
That sounds perfect, Kim! I’ve heard Maine is beautiful. Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week.