The story behind This Shadow is first told in This Dance, Book One of the Sisters Redeemed Series. In This Dance, readers meet Oriana and Nicanor, two characters who have more minor roles in This Dance, but then have their story fully told in This Shadow. I fell in love with the characters of Nicanor and Oriana when they showed up in the first book, and I just had to follow them and see where their journey took them in This Shadow.
Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
Definitely Nicanor Pessoa. His deep emotional issues and compelling personality really drew me to his character. As a tango dancer originally from Argentina, he seems to have it all—good looks, talent, and success, but his soul is being slowly destroyed by the guilt he carries. Nicanor was great fun to write because of these complexities in his character, his artistic personality, and the heavy issues that I got to sink my writer’s teeth into as I told his story.
What distracts you from writing the easiest?
Life! Though I’m a full-time writer, I find that one can make a full-time job out of so many unpaid tasks. There’s always cleaning to be done, business to be taken care of, appointments to go to, and people to talk to. Probably my greatest distraction, however, would have to be email and marketing efforts. I’ve learned that I have to write first and go online much later in the day if I want to avoid the time-sucking vacuum that is the internet.
What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I most enjoy reading the classics, primarily nineteenth-century British novels. Jane Austen’s works are among my favorites, as well as Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories are also a delight. I love to discover all the classics that I haven’t yet read and learn the art of storytelling from the masters.
What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?
My dogs and cats. There’s nothing like the playful quirkiness or sweet affection of a cute furry friend to put a smile on my face.
What is your favorite season of the year?
Winter. I know, that makes me peculiar, but I actually adore the snow and cold of Midwest winters. The more snow and cold, the better!
You must have really enjoyed this winter. Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Oh, yes. Too many things. I must admit that book plotting and writing become the things that I dread and avoid when the process is slow or frustrating. At those times, I just need to remind myself to keep trying and trust God to let things happen in His timing. The trick is to make myself keep working, even when the going gets tough.
Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing?
A trip to Ireland ended up being much more inspiring than I expected when I came home with an idea for a future book! I had the privilege to take a tour in Dublin, where I learned of an historical unsolved jewel theft that launched my writer’s imagination into overdrive. That book idea has been put to paper, and I hope will reach the market sometime soon.
We've wandered Ireland as well. You're right. Inspirational. Could you share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you?
I posted on my website this passage that means the most to me as a writer:
Oh, that my words were recorded,
that they were written on a scroll,
that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead,
or engraved in rock forever!
I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
with my own eyes--I, and not another.
with my own eyes--I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
This passage seems as if it were written specifically for writers! Knowing the story of Job and the suffering that he had endured before (and while) he proclaimed these words makes them all the more meaningful. I get goose bumps when I read Job’s desperate cry to have his words preserved forever, and here we are, thousands of years later, still reading those very words! The most important part of this passage and most meaningful to me is how Job clings to the knowledge that his “Redeemer lives” and will be victorious in the end. Ultimately, even in the midst of suffering or feeling the transience of our lives and work, all we need to remember is that our Redeemer lives, that He is the victor over all, and that we will be victorious with Him and be with Him when all the suffering is done.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next release is This Redeemer, the third and final installment in the Sisters Redeemed Series, set to release Summer 2014. This book sees Nye and Oriana, the sisters from the first two books, encountering difficulties they never dreamed of when an unexpected visitor arrives and turns their lives upside down. The story promises the emotion and romance of the first two books, along with more darkness, danger, and a relevant message of redemption that I hope will touch readers’ lives.
Also, the book I co-authored, A Dozen Apologies, was just released and will only be 99 cents on Amazon.
Thanks for visiting today and sharing with us!
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Jerusha Agen is giving away a copy of This Shadow. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.