Tell me about yourself? And what made you want to be a writer?
I have always wanted to write. I love telling stories whether it is other people’s stories or my own. When I was a little girl, that was my favorite pastime. While the other kids in the neighborhood were out playing, I was in the house with my pencil and paper! It brings me joy and I am grateful for being blessed with this creative outlet.
What attracted you to the particular genre you are involved in? And do you stick with it consistently or do you change it up?
My first love is fiction. I remember reading Beverly Cleary books and The Boxcar Children series when I was little and just getting lost in the stories. It was my great escape. And, it inspired me to create my own little worlds to get lost in also. I switch from mainstream fiction to Christian fiction when I discovered the gospel of the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). I was reborn spiritually and so in love that I wanted to share this great love with the world! What better way to share it than through my stories!
I still write mainstream fiction. Those stories may still have hints of Biblical truth in them but mostly they are stories that have been hidden in my mind and heart that just want to come out. So, I set them free.
What is your writing process like? And how important is research to you when writing a book?
I have to be able to take my time and allow the story to flow. I can’t force anything. If it is a story based on true events, research is very important. When I am in a Christian fiction story, I depend heavily on the King James Bible.
Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? And do you have any tips you would like to share to overcome it?
Yes! And that is usually my queue to “lay it down”—as hard as it is sometimes! I want to get this story out, but it’s not happening! My advice to anyone is to just step away from it, try not the think on it. It will come to you.
So tell me about what you’ve written, and has it been published?
I started out as a journalist writing for newspapers, so I have several stories published. The have published two Christian fiction books so far called By the Grace and Temptations.
If you’ve had your writing published, how has it been received?
My first book didn’t go over so well with the more conservative Christians. It was too raw and gritty. But I can’t apologize for making a story seem real. That’s not the world.
Is there anything you’d change or do differently now that it is published?
Yes! I am learning to listen to those who know how to polish my work. I can’t do this alone.
Speaking of publishing, how did you go about getting you book(s) published, and what was your publishing journey like?
It was soul crushing! When I was told in college, that you have to have thick skin in the business, well that was the best piece of advice! I was rejected so many times that I decided to do this on my own. Sylvester Stallone actually inspired me to do this. He held on to his Rocky script and waited for someone who valued it as much as he valued it. So, I did the same.
Where can potential fans find your book(s)?
My work can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and a few independent book stores in Chattanooga. Also, you can check out my blog at http://www.jessicatrogers.wordpress.com.
Did you do your own artwork for the book cover etc, and if not how did you go about getting it done?
I did not. I partner with some pretty good artists to help with the cover. I have also used Fotolia.
Have you taken on board anything from a review (good or bad) that you’ve later incorporated into your writing?
I can’t say that I have but thanks for the idea!
Are you working on something new at the moment? And can you tell us anything about your current projects?
I am always working on something new. One of the projects is a pre-apocalypse story that I am writing with an old friend. All I can say is that it is so special and so exciting. I cannot wait to share it! Please stay tuned!
How active are you on social media? And if you have social media as an author/for your books then please share links?
You can visit Way of Grace Media to find me.
Tell me about some writers you really like and/or admire?
I love the work from Nicole Rouse. I think the best writers of my time include Toni Morrison, Terry McMillan, Stephen King and of course, Maya Angelou.
What advice would you like to give writers who are struggling with their first novels?
At your own pace, keep writing.
And let’s end with something a little different…Which of your character(s) would you take with you to spend the night in a haunted house? Why?
I would take Izzy because she tough and carries a gun! lol
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org