When I first started my love affair with Christian romance novels, it didn't take me very long to find this author's books among the others I favorited.
Jenna Mindel is a dreamer. Aren't we all? But, her dreams have been turned into some amazing adventures and romances that I have enjoyed reading. According to her website, she writes romances where ordinary men and women find extraordinary love through faith. She is a 2006 Romance Writers of America RITA finalist. Jenna has answered her heart’s call to write inspirational romances set near the Great Lakes.
I was honored to have such a unique opportunity to interview this fine lady. Here's what she had to say in answer to my questions...
Me: Does your inspiration for your books come from real life people and places? Or are they purely fictional?
JM: For the most part my characters are fictional. There have been the occasional secondary characters that are perhaps inspired or used to honor someone I know- but very loosely shaped.Of course, there’s a little of me that permeates into my heroines and heroes, but otherwise the characters need to fit the story and so they are predominately fictional folks shaped from my imagination and influenced by the needs of the story.
My settings are definitely inspired by real places. I love where I live in Northern Michigan and use the beauty of this area and the very real things the state has to offer in my books.
Me: As an established author, I'm sure you've been able to travel to some beautiful locations. What is your favorite place to visit?
JM: I’ve been blessed to attend some writer’s conferences in some amazing cities that I might not have otherwise had the chance to visit.I think my favorite place I visited was a Romance Writers of America conference in New Orleans, LA. I was able to go there prior to Katrina, and the city was so different than I imagined. I was there in the balmy, off season summer month of July and found New Orleans steeped in history, music and incredible food. I loved it!
Me: Of all the books you've written, which was your favorite and why?
JM: Usually, it’s the current book I’m working on. But actually, I think my new favorite is the book that just came out in February –A Soldier’s Valentine. I really loved writing the glassblowing scenes – and could see them so clearly in my mind. I love glass and it’s such a beautiful form of art – watching these artisans at work is simply too cool!
Me: Do you have any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
JM: Pray! Seriously. For, when I’m stuck, it’s always because something in my story isn’t working and I don’t want to face it. So, I pray for divine intervention – that God would show me what needs to be done. And He does. It’s not always immediate, especially if I’m not listening real well, or I try to bluster through it. Sometimes I need to step away, take a walk, or give it some space.
Me: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
JM: I don’t read nearly as much as I’d like to – my to-be-read stack is huge! I also wish I was more broadly read and I am. But, I love romance, and I read lots of romance. Some of my favorite authors are Linda Goodnight, historical author Christine Johnson, and women’s fiction author Kathleen Irene Paterka. But I also adore traditional regencies by Loretta Chase, Carola Dunn, and the Georgian series written by Patricia Veryan.
Me: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
JM: Other that reading, just about anything outside. I enjoy snowshoeing and snowmobiling in winter, kayaking and biking, and beaching it in summer. I’ve taken up jogging, and although I’m not much of a gardener, I do love growing roses. I also enjoy feeding and watching the oodles of birds I coax to my feeders along with the rabbits and deer that wander in for a nibble.
If you love Christian romance, trust me when I tell you won't regret heading on over to Jenna's website and downloading her books. You'll love 'em! -AJ