Q&A: Julie Jarnagin
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE CANYON WALLS?
It all started with the setting of the Christian camp. I attended camp one week every summer through junior high and high school. The summer after my freshman year of college, I lived and worked in the camp cafeteria and cleaned cabins. I met my husband there and fell in love. While my own love story is very different from the hero and heroine's story, the setting inspired the romance.
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
When I first discovered my love of writing, I read a lot of Anne Tyler and Anne Lamott. One of my favorite books is still Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. Lately, I've really been enjoying writing by Rachel Hauck. She has a fresh voice, and her spiritual threads have a lot of depth. Each of the writers in my Oklahoma City ACFW group continually inspire me with their commitment to Christian fiction and their encouragement.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
I often don't realize how the faith threads in my books parallel my real-life faith journey until after the book is written. I discover things about myself and my relationship with God through writing and creating stories. Canyon Walls is about putting your greatest desires in God's hands. After I submitted the manuscript to Heartsong Presents, I felt God asking me to give my writing to Him. It wasn't until later that I recognized that my heroine's struggle to give her dreams to God was similar to my own struggle to hand my writing journey over to God.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
In high school I enjoyed writing devotionals, essays, and journal entries, but I never imagined I'd be writing fiction. In college we were assigned to write a short story, and I was hooked.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
I pray that my writing will encourage people to continually seek an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ.