One of the things I’ve loved over the past few years while walking through this writing/publishing journey has been meeting some amazing people. Today, I’d love to introduce you to one I’ve had the honor to work with for about two years.
Welcome, Jeannie! How about we start off with an ice-breaker? Tell us two lies and a truth about yourself. This week’s winner will be someone who guessed your truth. Ready, go…
Let’s see… Fact or Fiction. 1. I do not like sweets. 2. I love cold weather. 3. I was engaged three times.
Huh. Good luck with that, y’all.
You went from writing non-fiction (science textbooks for Homeschoolers) to writing fiction. Tell us about the transition between the two.
Writing non-fiction well requires both a passion for the subject and an ability to write with a unique voice. This is also true of fiction. However, there is a lot more to writing fiction. There are a plethora of “rules” for fiction writers that are not true for non-fiction. For example, non-fiction is all “telling” – simply put, one explains facts to the reader. Fiction writers and readers prefer the use of “showing” over “telling.” This means that instead of saying a character was sad, one would show it through the words they say, body movement or facial expression. Learning to write fiction was almost like learning a new language. Although I had the story in my head that I could effortlessly put onto the pages, writing well required a lot of effort and editing the work to captivate the readers took a lot longer than editing non-fiction.
What has been the best thing and then the most challenging thing about switching genres for you?
I haven’t really switched genres as I’m still creating non-fiction books. However, I love fiction because it’s an outlet for my creativity. I’ve always wanted to write stories. For me, non-fiction flows from my passion to help others, relaying vital information to them. Fiction flows from my heart and my imagination. Both are wonderful and I don’t think I could ever just write in one genre.
Some within the church frown at fiction—specifically romance. Can you address the idea that reading romance is wasteful at best?
Just like one would watch a movie for entertainment purposes only, reading novels, even romance, can be a wonderful, relaxing leisure activity. Additionally, many novels have a message. My books are thematic in a subtle way. For example, Ever Locked carries the theme of forgiveness throughout. Tripped Up’s hopeful theme of self-acceptance and letting go of our past misdeeds and moving toward a better future is woven throughout. It’s always nice to read a book that allows you to grow in some way, but again, I don’t think it’s vital for every book to have a message. In fact, sometimes it’s fun just to fall into another world and enjoy a good story. Obviously there is some romance novels out there that is not edifying or beneficial and might actually be detrimental. For the most part, however, when someone expresses their God-given gift of storytelling in a way that captures our heart and makes us smile, it’s never a waste.
Your recent books (new release…yay!) target a unique audience, as they’re tilted more toward a crossover book than most would consider a “Christian Romance.” Tell us why you took that direction and what your vision is for these stories.
There are so many valuable lessons we learn as we journey through life. In the Christian community, many of us hear truths from the pulpit or in our reading. However, there are millions of people out there that have never heard the value of forgiveness to the spirit, soul and body. There are many who still carry the shame of their past around and need encouragement to release it, and believe that everything happens for a reason. Many Biblical truths are applicable to everyone, whether one is a Christian or not. As a Certified Life Coach, I have passion to help people become a better version of themselves. That’s what I hope my books do in a subtle, but profound manner. There are a lot of Christian books out there, written for Christians by Christians. I’d like my voice, my message and my stories to reach beyond that circle and shed truth and light into the world.
Tell us what you have coming down the pipe, and what we can expect to see from your writing as the second half of the year unfolds.
I’m creating a college manual for teens to help them navigate the tricky college application process and prepare for acceptance into the school of their choice, as well as give career and major guidance. It’s called College Yes U and I’m writing it with my daughter, a junior at the University of Georgia.
I also plan to write the third book in the Dunnavin Series, Blazed In.
However, the most exciting news is I plan to write a Young Adult series. These will be Christian books, published under my name Jeannie Fulbright. The series will be called Commies. I’m hoping to have at least two or three out this coming year.
Thank you Jeannie!
Again, I have loved getting to know a variety of authors whose voices are as unique as the stories they tell. Jeannie writes with an edge, but she weaves truth subtly within her story threads. Beautiful, foundational ideas like the power of sacrificial love, the redemption of those who seem hopelessly lost, and the beauty that can be found in lives that have been devastated. Visit her at http://www.jeanniekaye.com