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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Spotlight on Jennifer AlLee and The Love of His Brother

Today, I have yet another debut novelist with her first novel. The end of this year has been a big time for new authors. Enjoy learning about this one as well.


Jennifer AlLee was born and raised in the heart of Hollywood, California. Never one to be too normal for too long, she now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with her husband and teenage son. Jennifer has done considerable contract work for Concordia Publishing House, most notably through her numerous contributions to their popular "My Devotions" series.

By Jennifer AlLee
Published by Five Star Expressions (Harcover)


1. In your debut novel, you have a brother returning home to care for his sister-in-law and finding his brotherly love turning into something much deeper. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

I knew I wanted to set the story in Montana because it's beautiful, and at the time it was the only place in the country I'd visited outside of my native Southern California. Then I started thinking about my characters, and what kind of conflict would keep the two of them apart. The idea of a young, pregnant widow falling in love with her brother-in-law gave me a lot of conflict to work with.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced the characters of Whitney and Doug?

Whitney is a self-reliant person who doesn't like to ask for help. I tend to operate that way, too. Although years of trying to do it all myself have finally proven to me that it's impossible! I'm much better at delegating, now. Doug is a horseman and I love horses, so that's what we have in common. Other than that, the characters really are unique to themselves. I try not to put too much of me into a character, because that would just bore me. I want to get to know new people, even if they do come out of my own head.

3. What themes exist in The Love of His Brother that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

The main theme is that God loves us and never leaves us, even when the circumstances of life might indicate otherwise. Another theme that really developed as the story moved along relates to dealing with loss. Obviously, Whitney has lost her husband, but I never intended to delve too deeply into those feelings since I thought Whitney had addressed them before the book began. But as I got farther into it, it became clear that dealing with loss is really an integral part of this story.

4. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

The middle was hard! I've always fancied myself to be an intuitive writer. The idea of writing an outline made me cringe. I knew my beginning, and I knew my ending, so the rest of it should be a piece of cake, right? HA! Let's just say I struggled through the middle. Now, I make a brief chapter outline before I start writing, just enough to plan out where I want to go and how to get there.

My favorite part of the process is when I write something I never saw coming. You know how writers say that the characters take over and go off on their own? It sounds crazy, but it does happen. For me, those are the times when I know I've finally let go of the reigns and let God take the story where He wants it. For example, in the last third of The Love of His Brother, four teenage characters showed up that I'd never planned on... they hadn't entered my mind at all. Not only were these characters fun, but they really strengthened the theme of dealing with loss. To me, that’s a God thing.

5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

My next book, The Pastor's Wife (or Yesterday's Love...I can't decide) is currently looking for a home. It's about a woman who has to return to a small town three years after she left both it and her pastor husband. I'm really excited about it because I've had a lot of those "wow" moments where God moved it into a direction I didn't see coming (even with my outline). Hopefully, I'll have good news about it soon!

Thanks so much for the opportunity to be interviewed. I've really enjoyed it. If you'd like to find out what's going on with me, please check out my web site. While you're there, sign up for my newsletter to be entered in the current contest.

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Thank you, Jennifer, for being in the spotlight. Readers, leave a comment for your chance to be entered in the drawing for a FREE, autographed copy of The Love of His Brother. If you don't wish to be entered, but still wish to comment, say so when you post. This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.


Kim said...

This sounds WONDERFUL!! What a great interview! Count me in for the drawing!


Jennifer AlLee said...

Thanks, Kim. Doing the interview was lots of fun. I hope you have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving!

Unknown said...

This book does sound like something that I really could get into, count me in for the drawing, oh, and by the way that was a very informative interview.

CherryBlossomMJ said...

Please put me in the drawing. The theme of God's omnipresence is something that I'm always looking for in books that I read. Even though I know it's true, I still need to reassure myself every so often and fiction like this helps.

The Book Whisperer said...

Place me in the drawing as well, the book sounds amazing, keep writing and be blessed
God Bless

Jennifer AlLee said...

Hi Ladies!

Thanks so much for your comments. I definitely felt God's presence while I was writing this book. He kept introducing new characters out of the blue!

Be blessed and have a wonderful holiday!

tetewa said...

I'd like to be included!

Anonymous said...

Jennifer.....Thanks for the email and I loved reading this interview. You are an incredable person, I have always thought so. Also, your talents and passion motivate all of us. Your gift will bring you before great men and women....I can not wait to see what ois going to happen to you.

Kurt Francis

Shauna said...

This book sounds great. I'd love to be entered. Thanks!

ChristyJan said...

Please enter me to win a copy of The Love of His Brother.

hApPy ThAnKsGiViNg!

Anonymous said...

It's sounds really good if i don't win it, i'll probly ask my mom to get it for me for christmas!

Miralee Ferrell said...

I love checking out new authors and Jennifer's book sounds great. Count me in!

Jennifer AlLee said...

Kurt, you're just the best! Thanks for the kind words. You are always such a blessing!

Ladies, I'm so glad you like the idea of the book. It's always a little scary to send your "baby" out into the world, but so far, the reception has been just wonderful.

Blessings to all of you!

Angela said...

Sign me up!
I blogged ya too :

Jennifer AlLee said...

Angela, I checked out your blog and love it! I'm going to visit it a lot. Thanks for adding this contest. Be blessed!

lev53211 said...

sounds wonderful- please include me!

Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting. Count me in please.

blogged ya:

Renae said...

This sounds like a wonderful book. Like a book I could really get into. Thanks for the great book giveaway!


Anonymous said...

What a great interview!This sounds like a wonderful book.Please enter me to win a copy of The Love of His Brother.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer, The Love of his Brother sounds wonderful. Please enter me in the drawing for this book. As a retired pastor's wife, I love the sound of your Pastor's Wife book too. You are tackling real life issues. Well done!

Shirl Corder (S.Africa)

Jennifer AlLee said...

Thanks so much to everyone who has responded. It warms my heart!

Shirl,so great to hear from you all the way in South Africa! My friend Kurt is originally from there, but is now a proud US citizen. Thanks for your encouraging words. May God bless you in everything you do.

windycindy said...

Hello! I love the interview and the book sounds amazing! Please enter me in the drawing for this book. I appreciate it.....Cindi

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

WOW! This spotlight certainly generated a lot of traffic and comments. It's wonderful to see so many of you dropping by.

Alas, there can only be one winner for each one.

This week, it's:


I've emailed you to send me your mailing information for your free copy of this book.

Everyone else, check the other spotlights to see if you've won. You never know. It just might be your week!