Today’s featured author has my book blogger buddies buzzing about her powerful storytelling so you will definitely see more of Jennifer Rodewald and her titles reviewed here on Faithfully Bookish in the future!
About the Author
Jennifer Rodewald is passionate about the Word of God and the powerful vehicle of story. The draw to fiction has tugged hard on her heart since childhood, and when she began pursuing writing she set on stories that reveal the grace of God.
Jen lives and writes in a lovely speck of a town where she watches with amazement while her children grow up way too fast, gardens, and marvels at God’s mighty hand in everyday life. Four kids and her own personal superman make her home in southwestern Nebraska delightfully chaotic.
She would love to hear from you! Please visit her website or connect on Facebook!
1. What is your favorite New Year’s tradition?
Jennifer Rodewald: Our small town used to do a big New Year’s Eve event downtown on “the bricks” (our Main Street). I loved it!
They brought in a comedian or magician or bluegrass band and put them on the old-town theater stage, had arts and crafts available for kids (and adults) at the art guild, had a beer garden and wine tasting, and several other simply fun things going on all down Main Street. My family loved it!
Sadly, those who organized the whole affair found that the work and cost didn’t meet the payout, and that lovely little small town affair died, but it still remains among my favorite New Year’s memories.
Beth: There is something very special about those little community celebrations, I’m a small town girl, too!
2. What is your favorite book?
Jennifer: Somehow, I feel like this is cheating, but my favorite book is actually a non-fict. Pure Gold by David McCasland is a biography of Eric Liddell. He was truly and incredible man, not just an amazing runner, and Mr. McCasland tells Liddell’s story in a narrative that I could simply not put down.
As far as fiction goes, the book that I’ve gone back to over and over again through the years is Elizabeth Prentiss’s Stepping Heavenward. So much reality and depth and emotion and beauty in that book. She definitely wrote straight from the heart.
Beth: You are one classy bookish lady!
3. Who are your favorite characters?
Jennifer: I have to start out by defining the types of characters who grab me. They tend to be polar opposites: The heart-tugging messy, flawed types who desperately need redemption, or the strong, resolute types who bravely live Jesus no matter what anyone else around them does.
Again, I have to go to non-fiction to grab my all-time favorites: John Newton, Corrie ten Boom, the apostle Peter (whom I truly adore. Not kidding.), and Martin Luther. Maybe those are more heroes rather than favorite characters? In my mind, it’s the same.
And here, I might add, I must confess that I actually spend more time reading non-fiction than fiction (and I’m a painfully slow reader!)—which probably explains some of these answers. Please don’t throw me out. 😉
Beth: This is a safe space, all bookish love is welcome here! 🙂
4. Who is your favorite secondary character?
Jennifer: I’m gonna be selfish here, and say that right now, my fave is actually a girl in the young adult dystopian that I’m prepping to release later this winter (maybe early spring?).
Her name is Eliza Knight, and she is both absolutely essential to the story and an incredibly strong young woman. Not in the Triss from Divergent sort of way, but in a subtle, emotional/spiritual way that seems unexpected. I love the contrast she provides to my messy-flawed main character, Braxton, and I adore the depth she adds to the story.
Beth: Looking forward to meeting her!
5. What is your favorite thing about being an author?
Jennifer: I get to talk to my imaginary friends and it’s totally legit. 🙂 You’ve no idea how long I’ve waited for that vindication. (See Dad, I’m not crazy! 🙂 )
Actually, the more serious and truthful answer is that God teaches me through story, and I’ve learned more through the stories He’s pressed into my heart the past few years than I could have in any classroom, which is saying something, because I loved school.
He’s shown me the heartache of total brokenness and the incredible beauty of His healing love. He’s shown me that there is a place for anyone at His feet—whether we’re talking about the rebellious messy son, or the legalistic hard daughter.
They only need to be willing to fall there, to be washed in His unending waters of grace. These things I knew in an intellectual sense, but to experience them through characters—through story…There are simply no words.
I have also loved the response to these books. Dreams are one thing, but reality, in this matter, is quite simply so much more. I guess I never really believed I could impact others with words—with stories. It is crazy-humbling to find that when I write with God, I can. God be glorified.
Beth: Amen! My reader heart loves Christian fiction so dearly!
Tell us about your latest release.
Jennifer: I released my first novella, Ordinary Snowflakes, in late October of 2016. That was so much fun! After writing Red Rose Bouquet, which was the heaviest of all my books thus far, I really felt like I needed a break—both from the hard research that was required there, and from the stretching emotion that book demanded.
So, I prayed: “God, show me joy again. Please give me something lighter.” Ordinary Snowflakes was His answer—although it came with its own version of depth. I loved relating to Kale as a woman and a mom, and having God grab my heart, whisper to me that “Hey, I see you. I love you. And you’re doing fine.” was just precious. I sincerely pray readers heard that same beautiful Whisper.
Ordinary Snowflakes by Jennifer Rodewald
Someone has noticed me. A secret admirer? A man with a good heart, who sees how much I actually need help, even though I never admit it? Maybe this is the beginning of a beautiful story—a romance full of hope and second chances and love.
A secret Santa gift left on Kale Brennan’s front porch opens up a fresh view of her ordinary life, and perhaps of God. Maybe she does matter. Maybe God sees her—as does a new-to-town music teacher who has her seven-year-old daughter gushing and her own knees buckling with his killer smile.
But as Kale embraces new possibilities, a staple in her life—a man who is kind and steady, not to mention necessary for her injured daughter’s recovery—also snatches her attention in an unexpected way. Will the one pursuing her with his secret gift and kind gestures be the one her heart longs for in the end?
What are you currently working on?
Jennifer: As I said above, I’m getting ready to release something very different than what I’ve done before: a Young Adult Dystopian series. I’m really praying that my readers will allow me this diversion—the first book, The Uncloaked, was so poignantly pressed into my heart that I simply had to write it. The series is actually a trilogy, and in it, I wrestle with three questions as my underlying “themes:”
1. Will you stand?
2. Can a sellout be redeemed?
3. What is courage?
Honestly, the second and third books have been a major challenge to me, so if you want to pray for an author, put me on the list! I am desperate to hear and learn what God is showing me, and also to write the stories He wants to use beyond my computer.
Beth: Jennifer, it is so nice of you to come by and visit with us on Faithfully Bookish today! Thank you!
Jennifer: Thank you so much for this opportunity to share with you!
Readers, tell us how you celebrated New Years and leave a little note for Jennifer Rodewald!