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, Highland Blessings, will be released May 2010. 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.
Jennifer’s fiction is respresented by Literary Agent, Terry Burns with Hartline Literary.
I believe your book, Highland Blessings, is your first published novel. What is the book about?
Highland warrior Bryce MacPhearson kidnaps Akira MacKenzie on her wedding day to honor a promise he made to his dying father. When he forces Akira to wed him, hoping to end a half-century feud between their clans, she struggles to overcome her anger and resentment. . .Yet her strength in the Lord becomes a witness to Bryce. But there is a traitor in their midst . . . and murder is the ultimate weapon.
I’ve often heard the saying, “A lot of years go into the making of ‘an overnight success’”. How long had you been writing before this first novel was published?
I started writing my first novel in 1996. I completed 7 novels before the first one was published in May 2010.
If you could go back in time and have a conversation with someone from the past, who would you like to talk to and why?
There are tons of people I’d love to meet, but right now I’m thinking of Paul from the Bible. I’d like to know if he was as animated of a person as I imagine.
Many writers have an “aha” moment when they realize they want to pursue their passion for writing. Did you have a moment like that? If you did experience such a moment, how did you get started?
I knew I wanted to be a novelist as early as age 12 and I chased my dream of publication all through my 20’s. It wasn’t until 2006 that I had my “aha” moment and realized I wanted to write Christian fiction.
I was in Borders browsing the Religion section when I found Kathleen Morgan’s Embrace the Dawn, a Scottish medieval in Christian fiction. I couldn’t believe there was such as thing as a Christian Scottish Medieval. I almost started dancing right there in the store. I do believe my excitement gained me a couple stares, but I didn’t care. It was my “aha” moment, a sign from God. I rushed home and tried to retrieve my old Scottish Medieval, but out of frustration and a change of heart from secular romance, I had deleted all my files and threw all my hard copies away. I finally found a Windows 95 disk with the old version of that manuscript and had to reformat it line by line. I converted it to Christian fiction. In 2007, two of my manuscripts won awards in the ACFW Genesis Contest and I signed with Terry Burns at Hartline Literary Agency.
What advice would you give to unpublished writers who are looking to write historical fiction?
I tell all writers not to give up. I stopped writing for three years. What if I had never tried Christian fiction? I would be missing out on so many blessings and not realizing my dream or living my full potential in what God could do in my life.
If you want to write historical fiction, then you need to read historical fiction, study the genre, the dialogue, the settings, the descriptions of things. I recommend building a historical library in your house and bookmarking great research sites online.
Thank you for having me, Sharon!