Jeff Brennan can’t stop thinking about Hannah Moore… and he has no idea why! She’s a skittish, shy librarian and he’s a high-powered businessman. It shouldn’t be an issue but she wants nothing to do with him and he’s completely smitten. When they’re thrown together to work on a fundraiser, Jeff takes it as his chance to get to really know Hannah and hopefully show her that he’s a good man who’s worthy of her trust… and maybe her love.
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE MENDED HEARTS?
My son-in-law did youth missions several years ago. One of his assignments was Littleton, Colorado. His host family took him to see Columbine High School and mentioned that ‘most of the teachers had gone’. That simple statement set my mind wondering where would you go? How do you hide? How do you not second guess everything you might have done or said that could have thwarted that attack? And what if you were closely linked to the attackers?
That stream of consciousness became Mended Hearts a tale of joy’s triumph over tragedy, of moving on, moving forward, trusting God. And I threw in a really great hero just because I could!
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
Oh, so many… Katherine Patterson, for one. Her Young Adult books deal with real life issues in sharp detail. Bridge to Terabithia, The Great Gilly Hopkins? Love ’em! She wraps her readers around the story and doesn’t let go until the last page is turned, and that inspires me to do the same. A good book, short or long, should be an emotional roller coaster ride with dips, twists, turns, screeches and laughter.
The Seekers inspire me now. They’re a group of inspirational authors who joined forces seven years ago with one goal: to pray each other into publication. And it worked! All fifteen of us are now published, and I can’t imagine anything more inspiring than that. Staying the course, working, editing, trying, trying, trying… And not giving up, LOL! We have a popular blog now, and our goal is to help others, to teach, to give back, to offer calorie-free cyber food and warm cyber hugs on those bad days. We have a firm 24-hour limit on whining/pouting/fussing over rejections, then we pull up our big girl pants and move on.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
My faith is my writing. Born into poverty, I’ve seen the seamier side of life first-hand and opted out. But that’s not easy, and it was gratitude for so many helping hands that pushed me to write the way I do. And so many people told me that my work would never get published because it was a little too gritty, but the humorous side of grit provides a great balance. Yes, stuff happens to all of us, but we grab hold. Straighten our shoulders. Move on. An Erma Bombeck story inspired me years ago, a letter from a woman in prison. She told Erma she didn’t realize you could LAUGH at the crazy things life hands you. Her choices, marred by depression and tough times, put her in prison. That story has stayed with me ever since, because life hands us choices, daily. Grab the good ones. Embrace the joy. Deal with the pain.
End of lecture!
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
From the cradle, at least. I was pre-programmed, I’m sure, and I see that in a couple of my kids and now a couple of grandchildren. That far away look, the make-believe, the desire to read even before they can read… Oh, yeah, I see the signs! And I wish their parents luck, LOL!
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
Hope. Joy. Strength. Faith. I want readers to come away knowing there’s another chance, another opportunity, another road. I want them to embrace God’s love, God’s healing, his forgiveness and his warmth through the cruelest storm. Because while weeping may endure for the night, joy comes with the morning.