Tuesday, March 27, 2012

with Jennifer Fromke

Is there a story behind this book?
I was studying the story of Joseph and wondered what it might look like for a person in my world to experience that same moment when Joseph stands before his brothers with a heavy choice. He could take vengeance for a severe wrong done to him, or forgive them and experience restored relationships. That day dream turned into this story, but the stories are vastly different. I’m not sure anyone would even think about Joseph on reading the novel if they didn’t know what had inspired it.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I like stories that tug at your soul. Stories that make me think about my own life; how I might live it better, with eyes open wider. I also love a great historical novel that takes me to a time I haven’t read much about. Pope Joan was a great thrill for me to read - and I think it took place in the 9th century. I also enjoy WWI novels. My favorite is probably a Soldier of the Great War by Marc Helprin. If I have to pick a WWII novel, I’d pick two: Sons of Thunder by Susan May Warren and also The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
I enjoy contemporary women’s fiction because that’s what I write. Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite writers. A dear friend of mine recently published a fabulous series with Barbour and the first two titles are Southern Fried Sushi and Like Sweet Potato Pie.
Lastly, I like to read magical realism if it’s done right. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen is a great example of this.
I guess I need to fess up here. I read almost everything. If the story takes me away and I can make friends with the characters, I’ll see you in a couple days. Addicted to story. Don’t want to be free of this addiction.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
I hate to admit this, but I think it would be 80s pop. Overall, it was mostly positive, upbeat, and bouncy music. The love songs were super dramatic - I’ve been known to over-dramatize a situation now and again. The words mostly rhymed (ask my kids, we speak in rhyme for fun sometimes). It was driven by several stand-out talents (Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Elton John) and I am inspired and supported by several stand-out, incredible people in my life. Also, 80s music is the perfect music for a dorky dancer - Me to a “T.”

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Last Summer I was cast as an extra in the Hunger Games movie, which was filmed in my hometown. It was fascinating to see the workings of a big budget movie behind the scenes. I rubbed shoulders with a couple well-known actors, was fitted for wardrobe, and went through the make-up and hair trailers. Then we sat in chairs and waited. For a LONG time. And that’s part of it. I discovered that telling a story (my OWN story) while sitting in my own chair at home, laptop in hand, is FAR easier than telling someone else’s story on film using special effects and countless actors, extras, grips, set builders, make-up artists, hair stylists, prop people, casting directors, etc, etc . etc . . . It’s an enormous undertaking and I’m so grateful I don’t work in that business on a regular basis. But it was truly a fun experience and something I’ll always remember. Plus, I think I’m gonna get to see myself on the big screen! :)

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Ahem. Yes. To say the least.
1. Laundry.
2. Cleaning out closets.
3. Filling my gas tank.
4. Paperwork
5. Deleting emails - kinda like cleaning out a virtual closet.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
We make grilled pizzas on Friday nights. The grill sits beside an outdoor fireplace, so we build a fire, assemble every possible topping we can think of in tiny dishes beside the grill, and one by one, I grill individual pizzas. Each person eats their pizza as we cook the next one, and it takes about an hour for all of us to get fed. But we usually crank up the music and have a great time hanging out together by the fire.

Pizza dough: Trader Joe’s pre-made, or your favorite pizza dough recipe.
Sauce: Mix 3-4 lbs Roma tomoatoes (quartered) with 1 lg onion chopped, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tsp sugar, salt, 1 tsp roasted red pepper flakes. Roast this mixture in the oven at 450 degrees for 45 min. Remove tomato skins and mash mixture by hand. Stir in fresh, chopped basil.
Place pizza dough on grill and cook until bottom is dry and grill marks are brown. Flip dough over to cool side of grill, baste with olive oil, add sauce and other toppings (make sure you use fresh mozzarella as well as shredded.
Slide pizza back over to hot side of grill and cook until cheese is melted. Add fresh basil to finished pizza and serve.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
Revelation 21:5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making all things new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
This verse blesses me every time. I imagine God speaking in a huge, booming voice so that every creature can hear Him. Listen up! Everything is getting a makeover. And not just a quick fixer-upper. I’m makin’ everything brand new. Including YOU! The divine do-over is so full of grace, so generous, so exemplary of who God is. He is making everything new and better and the simple fact that He can do this kicks me back in awe. He can make everything like new. He is the creator of everything from nothing. And He will make me - sinful, selfish, trying my best and failing, me - brand new. It’s better than a new haircut or a new outfit. I’ll be completely re-made, shiny, from the inside-out, brand, spanking new! And when He does this, sin will have already been defeated forever. So when He makes me new again, I will be powerless to mess myself up. How is that for abundant grace? And just think, we’ll get to see the earth without sin. I can’t imagine how beautiful perfection will look.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I’m still writing my next novel. The story is about lifelong friends who make promises as girls they find difficult to keep as women. The fallout of betrayal heaped upon the tragedy of early-onset Alzheimer Disease places these friends in a crucible where they must find a way out, or self-destruct inside.

I’m hosting an online contest starting March 23 and running through April 20. The Grand Prize Giveaway is a two night stay at the Harborview Inn in Charleston, SC. Details for contest entries can be found on the website and my Facebook author page.

You can purchase A Familiar Shore from Amazon.

Jennifer is giving away a copy of A Familiar Shore. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Jennifer said...

The grilled pizzas sound really good! I don't like laundry or going through emails either and pretty all you listed. i do like to hang out with my family!
Congratulation on your book, I hope it does great!

cjajsmommy said...

Like you, I've often wondered how I would have handled the same situations people in the Bible faced. When I had a "big situation" a few years ago, I failed miserably and saw what was really in my heart. Thank the Lord He will make all things new! djragno (at) hotmail (dot) com

Judy said...

The cover of your book is lovely. Looking at it reminds me of the time when I was growing up and we spent a week during summer break at a lake. I have many fond memories of that week!

Your grilled pizza sounds great. By the way..I hate doing laundry too. What is it about filling the car up with gas that we dread so much?! I'm always hoping my husband will do it!

A Familiar Shore sounds like a great read. Also the book you are working on now perks my interest too. My Mom died on January 27th of this year. She was in the mid stages of Alzheimer's. It is a very depressing thing to watch your Mom go through this.


Charity U said...

Awesome interview. :) Please enter me, since I'd love to read this!

Wonderful background, btw. :)


Marianne said...

Hi..i'm wondering will there be a novel about your time on the big screen...or waiting for the chance to be on the big screen? i love laundry...just not the folding and putting away, does that mean i don't really like laundry? i am glad that you gave me permission, to, to be addicted to reading!

Thanks Esther and Jennifer for the great post and opportunity to win

mitzi underscore wanham at yahoo dot com

Jennifer said...

JEnnifer and Judy, I hope you get to try the pizza - well worth the effort!

Marianne, I have thought about how to use that movie experience in a story - no answers yet, but we'll see!

Charity, I LOVE your avatar!

Judy, I'm sorry about your mom. I watched two grandparents suffer this disease. My consolation comes in knowing they have been made new.

CJsmommy, regarding facing stuff in our lives that people in the Bible faced: I think sometimes it's better when we fail (like many in the scriptures), because then when God makes us new, it's all the more miraculous, making Him look even better, and showing us how much we need Him.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

ann said...

This is a book that I know I will enjoy reading and passing along to another. Thanks for the chance to win
amhengst at verizon dot net

Amy R.S. said...

What a great story about the Hunger Games. Just went and saw it this weekend. Please enter me.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

Teela said...

We make grilled pizzas alot during the summer when I've got all my fresh herbs in the garden (rosemary and Basil are my favs!) I loved the interview and would LOVE to win/read/review this book!!
Teelayoung at hotmail dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Your list looks like my list of things I don't like. lol But they must be done sometime. Thanks for stopping by to chat and share with us.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Nancee said...

Oh, how I'd love to win a copy of this book. Events revolve around the Traverse City area in my home state of Michigan! Thank you for offering this contest!

carla stewart said...

Great interview! I love your writing style, Jennifer, and am excited about your debut. Enjoy the ride!

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this great story :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Lane Hill House said...

Hi, What a fun interview! Thank you for the pizza recipe!! Please enter me for drawing for the book.

Anonymous said...

Would like to enter this contest. Would probably be a good story. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

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