As you may know, Jennifer Rodewald is one of my critique partners and one of my favorite authors, so I thought we could chat with her today here at Inspy Romance and get to know more about her.
Welcome back Jennifer! I love your novels, and I love that they grapple with pretty intense subjects like alcoholism, marital problems, and so on. What got you started writing fiction?
Aww… thanks. <3 Some of my work does wrestle with hard things. Not all of it—I have some lighter novellas, and I write young adult fiction as J. Rodes—but some of my more popular books are harder stories. Why? I don’t know. They’re just the stories I’ve been given by the Author of my heart.
I’ve always loved story, and writing is a natural way of processing life for me. I think that I write fiction because God teaches me through story (He knows me so well! ?) and I’m better able to process the world, others, myself, and His truth when I am exposed to story. So, for me, writing is often more of a journey of me learning than it is an intention of me teaching.
I love the sound of the “Author of my heart!” I also process life through writing. Who are some of your favorite contemporary Christian romance writers?
Hmmm… this is a tricky question, for a couple of reasons. First, I’m an exceptionally slow reader, which is a total bummer. While I have friends that can easily read well over 100 books in a year, I struggle to complete 40. I know… not so great for a writer. Trust me, I hear that often enough (enter large boulders of guilt and doubt for this little writer’s heart). But it is what it is.
It is hard to choose, and I’m a slow reader, too, so no worries. I’ve noticed you use nicknames a lot in your novels. Does your family give nicknames? Can you share some?
LOL! Yes!!! I LOVE nicknames, which drives some people crazy. Just one of my quirks. ? Yes, we have nicknames in my family. If you follow me on my personal Facebook page, you’ll see that my children are #bugsy #sweetnsassy #sjroders (or #lilroderrunner) and #theboy. I call my hubs either #superman or #captian (he loves both. ?)
That’s so cute! You’re from Nebraska, and I don’t think I’ve ever been there. What’s it like?
Nebraska is a big state, and vastly different from east to west. I’ve lived in both eastern and western (though I didn’t grow up in either—I’m a Colorado native and lived there for twenty-one years). Eastern Nebraska is hilly and green and has trees as well as humidity. Western Nebraska tends to be flatter (not nearly as flat as everyone thinks though—life is very different when you venture off of I-80, which follows the Platte river valley). Western Nebraska is also quite dry—we only get about 12 inches of rainfall per year, and unless you’re looking at a windrow or a river valley, it’s pretty treeless. This is farm and ranching country, and most communities are truly rural. It’s typically windy, and temperatures from summer to winter can be extreme (highs in the summer have reached 110 degrees or higher, in winter, we’ve had sub-zero temps reaching to -25 degrees).
We have amazing sunsets, though. And communities that are very supportive of their people.
It sounds like the landscape is different from Mississippi, but the good people may be quite similar! I absolutely love this quote from Amazon about you: A coffee addict, pickleball enthusiast, and storyteller, she also wears the hats of mom, teacher, and friend. Mostly, she loves Jesus and wants to see others fall in love with Him too. What is pickleball? And do you teach full time and write, plus raise four kids?
Aw, so sweet. Thanks! ? Pickleball is just the greatest game ever. ? It’s kind of a mashup between tennis and Ping-Pong. I usually play indoors (because, wind). The court is smaller than a tennis court, and you use paddles, not racquets, and a whiffle ball.
No, I don’t teach full time. I quit working outside the home when my second daughter was born—and honestly struggled with missing the classroom (but I have not ever regretted the decision to stay home). Now I sub occasionally and have taught our Junior High Sunday school class for over ten years.
I need to play pickleball! And staying home is a job for sure!
More about Jennifer:
Thanks for being with us today! Jennifer currently has a freebie for readers who sign up for her newsletter here: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/sx0htwdo92
Do you give your family or friends nicknames too?