Jennifer Hudson Taylor is the author of historical and contemporary Christian fiction set in Europe and the Carolinas. Her fiction has won awards in the American Christian Fiction Writers' Genesis Contest. Her debut novel is Highland Blessings.
Other works have appeared in national publications, such as Guideposts, Heritage Quest Magazine, Everton’s Genealogical Publishers, and The Military Trader. Jennifer graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Journalism. When she isn't writing, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, genealogy, and reading. She resides with her husband and daughter in the Charlotte area of NC.
Have you had to overcome any obstacles in your writing journey?
More than 122 rejections (I stopped counting in 2006), 2 agents before I signed with Terry Burns, my current agent, lots of confusion from critiques and contests, 14-years of writing and working full-time before publication.
What are you working on right now?
The sequel to my debut novel, Highland Sanctuary, set in 1477 Scotland. Gavin MacKenzie is hired to restore the ancient Castle of Braigh. He discovers a hidden village of outcasts that have created their own private sanctuary from the world. Among them is Serena Boyd, a mysterious and comely lass who captures Gavin’s heart. The villagers have an intriguing secret, while Serena harbors a deadly past that could destroy her future. When a fierce enemy launches an attack against them, greed leads to bitter betrayal. As Gavin prepares a defense, the villagers unite in a bold act of faith, showing how God’s love is more powerful than any human force on earth.
What other books of yours are coming out soon?
Highland Sanctuary will release October 2011. I don’t have any others contracted, but my editor did request a 3-book proposal that I hope they will buy.
If time and money did not enter in the equation, what would be your dream?
To live in an oceanfront condo, up high, with a balcony. I could go walking and biking on the beach in the mornings for my exercise, return back to the condo and have my coffee and breakfast while I do my morning devotions. Sit out on the balcony and write until mid-afternoon, then spend the late afternoon and evening with my family. I’d be free from the burden of a daily job—no more limited vacation days or office cubicles—I’d be able to travel for research, exploration, and education, book signings and tours, speaking engagements, whatever the Lord brought my way. I’d probably go on a few mission trips get involved in some ministries in a way I’ve never been able to do because I’m tied to an office cubicle/desk.
What do you write besides books?
Blogs at Jennifer’s Writing Blog http://jenniferswriting.blogspot.com/ and my Carolina Scots-Irish Blog at http://carolinascots-irish.blogspot.com/. Occasional articles or e-zines.
What movie most impacted you as a kid? Why?
The movie about Jesus’s life because that is what led me to salvation when I was nine.
What three things are you most thankful for in your life that others might think silly?
I can’t say my salvation or family since people wouldn’t think that is silly. My Droid because each day I keep discovering new things on that device that are really awesome, my noisy fan because it ensures my sleep, my soft flannel pjs because I love to be comfortable in my house.
What was the last movie you saw in a theatre? Did you like it? What snacks did you eat?
Ramona and Beezus with my daughter. Yes, I thought it was cute. We skipped the snacks because we went out to dinner afterward.
What are the five best things writers can do to meet the challenges of the 21st century?
Get very familiar and good at using computers, the Web, social networking, an iPhone, and marketing your work yourself.
Is there an area in your writing that you are working on developing more?
Trying to look at the story from an editor’s POV, to see the big picture of the story as a whole. I’m so used to dissecting it piece by piece that sometimes I worry I lose sight of the big picture.
Every reader likes to learn more about characters as they get further into the story. How do the secrets of your characters come to life?
This is interesting. Sometimes I’ll already have an idea of a character’s past or quirks and I’ll decide this ahead of time. There are other times where I’ll be writing and all of a sudden a character’s quirkiness will just appear out of nowhere.
Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I’ve had several people claim that Akira MacKenzie in Highland Blessings is me. I do admit to having her spirited temper. Another character in my unpublished SC historical has all my allergies. I suppose different parts of me show up in several of my heroines.
Tell us about your novel.
How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?
Akira MacKenzie has prophetic dreams as I do. She has a fiery temper like me, but I’ve learned to tame mine—sometimes. She is compassionate as I am.
She has a beautiful singing voice and plays the harp. She has patience and lots of faith. I am impatient and struggle with my faith when I become weary. I don’t lose faith, but I waiver and start trying to make things happen on my own.
Where can we find you on the web?