Jennifer Slattery ~ Author Interview

May 20, 2016 by

Welcome back to Rachel’s Back Talk! Another Friday interview!

Today’s interview is with Jennifer Slattery. This past Monday, I had the opportunity to review her book, Breaking Free.

So without further ado, on to Rachel’s Back Talk – Special Edition! 

RR: Hi Jennifer! Thank you for joining me here today. To start off today, when did you know that you wanted to be a writer?

JS: I’ve always enjoyed writing, and as a kid, teachers and adults often told me I was a good writer, but I never really considered it as a career. But then one day, as I was brainstorming a story for a ministry I was involved in, I realized my enjoyment of writing went much deeper than I’d thought–I found it deeply fulfilling. After that, I began to dabble more consistently in writing, then between 2008 and 2009 I sensed a clear call to pursue writing fulltime as a ministry and career. (I say 2008-2009 because I fought God for about a year and didn’t surrender until the fall of 2009.)

RR: How would you describe your writing process? Are you more of a planner or freewriter?

JS: I used to be more of a freewriter, until I ended up with a really messed up timeline that caused a major-major rewrite. I decided I could avoid making such mistakes in the future if I began plotting my novels. I was wrong! I’ve found big novel mess-ups are unavoidable, but the plotting stuck. So now I plan out my novels scene by scene before I start writing. I’ll veer off course a bit as I write, but my scene outlines provide a basic roadmap as I go.

RR: That’s how I began outlining — when my novels turned too messy from freewriting! 🙂 When is your best time in the day to write?

JS: I need to do my creative writing when the house is empty and silent. I’m most creative earlier in the day, when I have lots of energy and a steady dose of caffeine coursing through my system.

RR: Caffeine does wonders! So how do you know when you have a great story idea?

JS: I think great stories take a lot of work to discover. It seems I often start with what I feel is a great idea, only to uncover major problems when I begin to flesh it out. So I talk with my brainstorming friends, rework things, research, then rework things some more. Sometimes at this early stage, I can feel insecure, but then I remind myself that almost every story, for me, begins with a great deal of struggle. (Seems there’s a life analogy there, doesn’t it? 😉 )

RR: Definitely! Out of all your books, which has been your favorite to write?

JS: Breaking Free is the one closest to my heart because it was the first full-length, completely fictional story I wrote. I felt God’s presence so strongly every time I sat at my desk, and I really believe His heart for mankind comes through in the story. I love the message He showed me as the story began to unfold.

RR: Let’s move on to your newest release. How did you come up with the story idea for Breaking Free?

JS: The story idea came from a couple situations. First, I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and spent time on the streets of Tacoma, a city bordering Seattle, where the story is set. For years, I was bent on self-destruction, so I can understand Trent’s rapid downward spiral.

The inspiration for Alice came from a dear friend whose husband became enslaved by a crack addiction. When she told me I was shocked. We’d been friends for a few years, and I had no idea the pain and chaos she was dealing with every day. I was reminded that we never truly know what our brothers and sisters are going through, unless we take the time and have the love to be persistent and consistent, like Beth was for Alice.

RR: Are the characters Alice and Trent based off of anyone you know?

JS: Yep. I answered this in the above question, but I think in many ways, Alice and Trent represent many of us. Though few will fall as far as Trent did, we’re all susceptible to sin, and sin when fed ultimately destroys us. I think we all have a bit of Alice in us as well—the desire to hide our true selves and our struggles, to present a false image to others. But God wants us to live transparently, to lean on Him and our brothers and sisters in Christ. That’s when we begin to experience emotional and spiritual freedom.

RR: What a great picture to read about! Do you find that you enjoy one type of writing (novellas versus novels) over the other?

JS: I’ve never written a novella before but one of these days I’d love to try. I suspect novellas are much more difficult to write.

RR: How much time was spent researching verses writing in this book in particular?

JS: Out of all my novels, this one required the least amount of research, probably because I was so familiar with the location. I did have to research gambling terms, dog fights, and stalking personalities, which was interesting and more than a little creepy.

RR: Oh for sure!! To close off today, is there one tip that you could share that has really benefited you in your writing?

JS: To stay connected with other writers. It’s a crazy hard journey wrought with uncertainties and insecurities. I can’t imagine trying to go this journey alone.

RR: What a great way to close! Thanks again for being here, Jennifer.


Jennifer is also offering a giveaway of her book, Breaking Free. In order to be entered, all you have to do is leave a comment below! I’ll draw a winner next Friday 5/27.

If you missed my earlier review of Breaking Free, read it HERE.



BCheadshot2013Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, Christian living articles for, and devotions for Internet Café Devotions, the group blog, Faith-filled Friends, and her personal blog. She also does content editing for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas’ Firefly imprint, and loves working with authors who are serious about pursuing their calling. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at and connect with her on Facebook at



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