Thursday, November 8, 2012

Interview with Writer & Editor Jennifer Slattery

I had the privilege of meeting Jennifer Slattery a couple years ago. We didn't have the opportunity to sit down and chat. No, we met via the internet. Jennifer was collaborating with some other great gals (Jessica R. Patch, Joanne Sher, and Patty Wysong) to host a Facebook page/community that came to be known as Living by Grace: a fantastic place to engage with readers while sharing insights from God's Word. I was honored to join them in that endeavor.

Time flies. I figured it was high time to track down this multi-talented writer and editor and find out what she's up to these days. Join me in welcoming Jennifer!

Maria: Welcome to Life Lessons, Jennifer! Tell us a bit about yourself:

Jennifer: I’ve been married to my best friend and a man I adore for seventeen years, and we have a fifteen-year-old daughter. My favorite pastime of late has been going on leisurely walks with either or both of them. I especially love those times with our daughter as it allows me to catch glimpses into her heart. I’ve enjoyed every stage of parenting, but this one might be my favorite yet.

Maria: Ah, family is SO important! Between managing your business (Words That Keep), and taking care of your family, when do you find time to write?

Jennifer: I love to write. It’s how I process, and it invigorates me, therefore, most of the time, it sort of just flows. (We always find time for those things we love, don’t we?) But I don’t watch TV except maybe a few times a month, so I think that helps. And I tend to break my day into chunks so that I can make the most of each moment—writing when my daughter is at school and the house is quiet, editing when she and my husband are watching TV. Cleaning when I need a mental break.
Maria: I totally understand. Kudos to you for trading TV time for editing time! How has your relationship with Jesus Christ impacted your writing?

Jennifer: Jesus is the reason I began writing in the first place. I started writing for a church I belonged to 13 or so years ago—newsletters, curriculum, dramas. Then one day I realized, “Hey, I like this!” So I started dabbling in storytelling just for fun. Then, I felt God’s call. Or I should say, He confirmed it, although I fought Him initially. It’s one thing to write for fun—when you have time. It’s another to center your day around that—to embrace it full force. And frankly, I wanted to do something that would earn a steady paycheck. That wasn't so hard, so unpredictable. But He kept calling, and after a period of rebellion, I surrendered.
Maria: I'm glad you followed the Lord's call! What do you hope readers glean from your writing? 

Jennifer: God’s grace poured in and through our broken lives. I hope those who don’t know Jesus will sense His deep, incomprehensible love for them. I hope that those who do know Him will be drawn closer and into deeper surrender.

Maria: Excellent! Any books on the horizon?

Jennifer: Great question! And one I hope to have an answer to soon. J I have several projects in various stages of review with different publishers, and I’m in the critiquing/editing stage with another project and have a few ideas for nonfiction books I’d like to dive into, when I can.
Maria: Fantastic! Please keep us posted! Let's talk about your business. What services do you offer?

Jennifer: Mostly I do line-edits and big-picture reads called betas. I love helping writers strengthen their stories by showing them places they can eliminate unnecessary words/phrases, increase tension, improve characterization, show their reader rather than telling them about a situation/emotion/character, that sort of thing. I also provide marketing coaching and have helped many with press releases.

Maria: Sounds like your business allows you to wear many hats. Share a lesson you've learned through Words That Keep:

Jennifer: God manages the business for me. When my schedule allows and finances require more work, suddenly clients begin contacting me again. I've learned to trust in His timing. Well, I’m learning to trust in His timing. I have a tendency to barge ahead or veer right or left on occasion, but thankfully, our ever-patient Savior always nudges me back on track.

Maria: Thanks for your transparency! Share a little-known fact about yourself:

Jennifer: I once swam in a lake where authorities found a dead body. The month before I swam in it. And no, I didn't know at the time. Ugh!

Maria: I have to echo you, "Ugh!" On a more pleasant note, what words of wisdom would you like to leave with our readers?

Jennifer: Trust God in every stage—even the quiet or seemingly non-productive stages. Grab hold of and cherish each moment. He has a loving and faithful purpose in every one!

Maria: Awesome advice Jennifer! Thanks again for joining us today!

Connect with Jennifer:


  1. Great interview, Jennifer. And I liked the train pic :)

    1. Hi Jennifer! Glad you enjoyed the interview. Have a blessed week!

  2. Thanks, Jennifer! That was a special day. It was Father's Day and the 150th anniversary of Union Pacific. My husband's a train buff. He also works for Union Pacific, so we spent the day together, eating great food, and hopping on and off trains.

    Maria, thank you for having me! I hope one of these days we do get to meet in person. :)

    1. It was a true pleasure to host you, Jen! Cool to hear that your husband is a train buff! And I second the hope of meeting in person one of these days! If you ever vacation in Florida, Georgia is always a good place to stop and spend the night! We'd find lots to do! :)

  3. Great to get to know you better, Jennifer! I see you around ACFW:) Loved the pic above of you and your girl!

    And HI Maria! Hope your week has been a good one. Cannot believe it's nearly Friday!

    1. Hi Susan! Thanks for stopping by! Hope your week is extra special. God bless you!

  4. Thanks ladies for this lovely interview. And yes: no tv in my house! That creates a lot of extra writing time ;)

    1. Great to see you Marja! Sounds like no TV = more productive days! Yeah for extra writing time!! Hugs! :)

  5. Hi Maria, I am just letting you know that I have nominated you for the Liebster blog award. You will find it here:
    Hope to see you there
    God bless

    1. Hi Tracy! What an honor! Thank you SO much for the Liebster blog award. You are very sweet! I'm headed over right now! Hugs & Blessings to you! :)