April 18, 2012

Getting to Know Author Jessica Nelson


I’m thrilled to be interviewing author Jessica Nelson today! I met Jessica online several months ago and have come to know her as an encouraging, honest, humble woman whose aim is truly to glorify the Lord.

Jessica’s debut novel, Love on the Range, just released through Love Inspired Historical. It’s a fun, romantic read with deeper truths woven in.

So, without further ado, let’s get to know Jessica a little better!

Tell me about the first story you ever wrote, no matter how old you were! How old were you, what was it about, and what was your inspiration for it?
Hmm. The first story I remember writing was in fifth grade. I think I was given an armadillo? So I believe I made him from Amarillo and once the story was written and illustrated, the teacher had it put into a book. That was the absolutely the most exciting thing to me!

That’s so cool! You’ve come a little ways from stories about armadillos. In fact, it’s no surprise you now write romance, since you married the week after graduating high school! Tell us more about your own love story.
Well, let’s just say my husband is a smooth talker. *grin* He told me I was beautiful and sweet and with all those compliments, of course I fell in love with him. It helped that he was cute, strong, and smelled really good (Cool Water cologne!). Our eleventh anniversary is coming up soon and it amazes me how quickly time has passed.

Aw, I love a good real-life love story! But your fictional story was fun too. Your main characters Gracelyn and Trevor seem nothing alike, especially at first. (They even get on each other’s nerves at the beginning!) Do you think it’s true that opposites attract in real life, or is that just great fodder for stories?
I think opposites attract at a certain level, because I believe every great couple balances each other out. I also think that at a deeper level there needs to be similar values though to keep a relationship strong.

For sure—I completely agree! So, your novel is set in Oregon during the Spanish influenza. What inspires you to choose the settings you do (including the place and the time period)?
The pictures I saw of Harney County, Oregon, were gorgeous, so that helped. The rates of influenza outbreaks were a little lower there, which is what originally inspired it as a setting. The influenza is also what put me in that time period. Before I wrote Love On The Range, I knew nothing about WWI or the influenza pandemic.

That’s certainly a challenge—but one you seemed to tackle head on! Your setting was made even more real with the use of animals (horses, kittens, etc.). What’s your favorite animal? Do you own any pets?
I don’t think I have a favorite. I really like horses and I have a cat. She’s a sweetie.

What has been the best part about your writing journey so far, whether it be an event that has occurred or a lesson you’ve learned?
Eeek! Most things about it I’ve loved, including meeting other writers and even getting rejections. It’s been a challenge and an adventure.  J

And we’ll end with a fun question: You’re locked in a room for a week and only allowed three items (no people allowed!). What are they?
Assuming chocolate, coffee, and wifi are provided, I’d need only my laptop. Heehee. 
 
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Any other socialite would view being packed off to a remote Oregon ranch as a punishment. But Gracelyn Riley knows that this is her opportunity to become a real reporter. If she can make her name through an interview with the elusive hero known as Striker, then she’ll never have to depend on anyone ever again.

Rancher Trevor Cruz can’t believe his secret identity is being endangered by an overly chatty city girl. But if there’s one thing he knows, it’s that Gracie’s pretty little snooping nose is bound to get her in trouble. So he’ll use her determination to find “Striker” to keep an eye on her…and stick close by her side.

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Jessica Nelson, in keeping with her romantic inclinations, married two days after she graduated high school. She believes romance happens every day, and thinks the greatest, most intense romance comes from a God who woos people to himself with passionate tenderness. When Jessica is not chasing her three beautiful, wild little boys around the living room, she can be found staring into space as she plots her next story. Or she might be daydreaming about a raspberry mocha from Starbucks. Or thinking about what kind of chocolate she should have for dinner that night. She could be thinking of any number of things, really. One thing is for certain, she is blessed with a wonderful family and a lovely life. You can connect with Jessica via her website (http://www.jessicanelson.net/) or Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJessicaNelson).

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Jessica has generously agreed to give away a copy of Love on the Range to a random commenter! Only U.S. residents are eligible. Be sure to leave your email address in the comments to be entered.

Your Turn: If you’re a writer, what has been the best part about your writing journey so far, whether it be an event that has occurred or a lesson you’ve learned? If you’re not a writer, what’s YOUR favorite animal and why?

27 comments:

  1. Hi Lindsay, thank you for the interview! :-)

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    1. Thanks so much for letting me interview you! I have loved getting to know you and LOVED your book. So glad to get to give it away to a commenter...spreading the love! LOL

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  2. I cant pick a favorite. Really. So I'll go with two. One was the pleasure of finagling in the Daphne DuMaurier contest and the other is being part of the writing community, especially the sisterhood support of being part of a group blog.

    Great interview ladies! Are you having a blast Jessica!?

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    1. I am! Though my memory is going. I've forgotten a few blog posts...lol I seem to have them all scheduled on the same days! Thanks to Lindsay for the great questions. :-)

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    2. Hi, Debra! Thanks so much for stopping by. Like you, I've loved getting to know other writers. It's been such an awesome journey so far.

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  3. I'm reading Jessica's book right now --bits and snatches, while I'm on deadline. :) Enjoying it too!
    My favorite part of the writing journey? The other writers I've met along the writing road and the relationships built -- the encouragement shared because we "get" one another.

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    1. I love meeting other writers too. There's such a kinship.

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    2. Ah, deadline. Good luck with getting everything done, Beth! I can't wait to read what you cook up next. :)

      And I totally agree...you were one of the first encouragers I found, and I'm not letting you go. ;) Just so you know. But not in a creepy way.

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  4. Hehe, I love the assumption that coffee, chocolate and wifi are included in the locked room!

    Great interview, Linz, and fun answers, Jessica!

    The best part of my writing journey so far has been the feeling of God at work. A lot of times we see God at work - in nature, in others, etc. But I feel like I have actually felt him through my writing journey - in awesome moments (writing "the end," getting recognition), but the "this is sooo hard" moments as well. It hasn't always been pretty. I went through a couple months of feeling really spiritually bruised this winter...but on the other side has been God saying, "Melissa, the bruises go away...I don't." Which pretty much rocks.

    Second best - the people!!!

    Third best - the excuse to drink as much coffee as I want. Totally acceptable for a writer to be a coffee-aholic, right?

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    1. Hahaa! Well, Melissa, this isn't 1918, right? lol There MUST be wifi. I love your comment and what you heard God saying. There is so much truth in that.
      Enjoy your coffee. *grin*

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    2. "The bruises go away...I don't."

      Love, love, love.

      Thanks for always being honest, Mel.

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  5. I recently read a book about how the flu got started and killed so many of our soldiers during WWI. I'll have to check out your book!

    Nice to meet you, Jessica! Best of success to you.

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    1. Stupid flu.

      Thanks for stopping by! Maybe you'll win! :P

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  6. Hi Ruth, that sounds like a sad but fascinating book. Thank you for your well-wishes. :-)

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    1. It's called "The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History"

      I highly recommend it!


      http://www.amazon.com/The-Great-Influenza-Deadliest-Pandemic/dp/0143036491/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334863624&sr=1-1

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  7. Ok, 1: How was I not following???? I totally thought I was!! 2: I loved Jessica's book!

    Great interview, ladies!

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    1. 1. I don't know, but I'm glad you are now!! Thanks. :)
      2. Me too!

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  8. Yay! More Jessica! (You're everywhere this week, chica.)

    And I LOVE Cool Waters cologne! A 90-year-old plumber could wear it and I'd still swoon. :)

    (Oh, and Lindsay, I have a copy of Jessica's book so you can exclude me from the giveaway and give someone else a chance to read it!) :)

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    1. Me too, Sarah! lol And yep, this is a busy week for me. Thanks to all of you!

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    2. Why haven't I ever smelled this cologne?! It sounds amazing!!

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  9. Jessica, your book sounds like a good read! I love WWI era. I can't wait to read it (I hope I win a copy!).

    The best part of my writing journey so far has been the realization that there are so many other Christian writers out there willing to connect and support one another. I had no idea! For years I've been "on my own" as a writer, looking at it as a very solitary pursuit, now I know better. :)

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    1. Gabrielle, I totally agree! I have been so incredibly blessed by the writing community. I can't imagine doing all of this on my own, but I've found the biggest blessing in encouraging and being encouraged by others! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  10. I was amazed by the writing community too, when I first found it. So supportive, not competitive really. What other industry do you find professionals sharing trade secrets with their up and coming "competitors"? lol

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  11. Thanks for a fun interview, ladies. I'm eager to read Jessie's story. I know it's gonna be great.

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    1. It IS great, Keli! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  12. Nice to get to know you, Jessica! Your book sounds fun! Oooh, raspberry MOCHA! I'm a raspberry latte girl from WAAAAY back in the days when Barnes and Noble rolled into town w/their awesome coffee drinks.

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    1. Mmm, I love raspberry anything, especially when paired with chocolate!! Thanks for visiting, Heather!

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