This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Author Interview & Book Giveaway with Jennifer AlLee

>I would like to welcome fellow Abingdon Author, Jennifer AlLee. Her novel, The Pastor's Wife, just released this week and she has graciously agreed to give away one free copy to one blessed reader on my blog. All you need to do is leave a comment with your email address (on my blog--not Facebook) and I will draw a winner on Friday. I will make the announcment in the comment section of this post on my blog (not Facebook). Click the title of this post to go directly to my blog.

    Tell us about your latest book.
I served as a church secretary for many years which definitely gave me a unique perspective on the lives of a pastoral family. When I was working on the original concept for this novel, I thought about the pastors’ wives I’ve known over the years. They’ve handled themselves with amazing grace under pressure. But what if another woman couldn’t? What if a young woman thinks she knows what she’s getting into, but the reality of losing who she is and becoming a “pastor’s wife” is more than she can handle? What if some other tragedy pushes her over the edge? Would she run? And what would happen if she had to return to the scene of her heartbreak years later? All those questions eventually became The Pastor’s Wife.

Do you edit as you go or wait until completing the first draft? How many drafts?
I used to edit as I went but a month would go by and I'd have three lovely chapters and nothing else. Now, I limit my editing. Each day, I let myself read what I wrote the day before. I do this to get back into the flow of the story and try not to do too much editing. Then I move forward. I won't do a real, heavy duty edit until the first draft is done. As for how many drafts... as many as it takes. I think there were four or five drafts of The Pastor's Wife before it was finally done.

     What kind of planning do you do before writing a novel?
When I started writing, I was a 100% seat-of-the-pants writer. I'd sit down at the PC with a thought in my head and run with it. Over the years, I've refined my approach. I still can't plan too much. No offense to the authors who use them, but character sketches drive me batty! However, I've learned it's important for me to have a very basic outline. I write the equivalent of a simple synopsis. It's only about a page or two, but it hits the high points and cuts down on the time I spend staring at a blank screen.

Favorite scripture:
2 Corinthians 5:17 – "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
I consider this my life-verse. I went through a really bad time during the mid-eighties and hit my personal rock bottom. The Lord pulled me right out of that, redeemed me, and set me on a new path. I'm thankful for the new creation He made me.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I'm a movie buff. I don't get to the theater as much as I'd like, but I catch up with DVDs. I also love playing non-traditional strategy games, like Carcassonne, Munchkin, and Settlers of Catan.

What advice or tips do you have for writers who are just getting started?
It's important to realize that every writer's journey is different. The longer you write, the more you're going to hear about this person's multi-book deal, or how that person sold their very first manuscript and now has a movie deal. The temptation is to then think, "Why isn't that stuff happening to me?" Trust me, I know. I've had those kind of thoughts. But no matter what stage your career's at, you can't compare yourself to another writer as a way of measuring your own success. God has a unique, special, wonderful plan laid out just for you. It's a lesson that took me years to learn and relearn, but once I got a handle on it, I became a much happier and relaxed writer.

Jennifer, thank you for joining us!
If you would like to learn more about Author Jennifer AILee, visit her website at:

Don't forget to leave a comment with your email on the blog post if you would like to be entered in the drawing. 


Oh, y'all will LOVE this book. Of course, I'm prejudiced! I helped critique it AND endorsed it!

What I like is my draw to the main character despite her flaws. Jen does a great job of finding a very hard balance, one I'm still learning to reach. 'Tis a tricky balance beam!!!

Jennifer, hope you visit my blog someday! This is a fun place; may be back!!1

I enjoyed your interview and would love to read Jennifer's book. It sounds great. Please enter me in your giveaway for it. Thank you!



Love the premise of the book. I've not known a pastor's wife that hasn't met the qualities of 'A Pastor's Wife.' I would love to see how Jennifer handles this subject. Please enter me. thank you.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Hey, Jennifer, I LOVED the book. YAY

I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.

This novel sounds truly fascinating! Jennifer, thank you so much for this interview; it's always educational and intriguing to read about how other writers approach their subject and about their "writing life." Thanks!


Great interview, Ladies!!

Jennifer, this sounds like a wonderful book. I was interested to read about how you have changed as a writer over the years. How long has your journey been?

Jenn - how timely to have Jennifer A. on your blog, talking about revisions as you were talking about editing/revising just the other day...

Great job, ladies!

Hello All! So great to see you here. Big thanks to Jennifer for inviting me. And here's a fun fact for you... my maiden name is Taylor, so whenever I see Jenn's name, I always have to pause for a moment and remind myself that it's not me!

Christy, my writing journey goes back high school, but I sold my first group of skits to Concordia Publishing House around 1995. I was already writing books, but it took another 11 years to sell one!

I would love to read this book. Please enter me in the drawing.

I think this books sounds fabulous and I'd love a chance to win. ;)


Great interview! Your verse is the same one I use in my signature. :o) I would love a chance to read your book. Thanks for offering the contest.


Lee, it's such a great verse! I love how it sums up redemption. Now all we have to do is believe it :+}

Looks like a great book! I would love to win!

This was a really helpful interview for writers -- thanks for the information. Please enter me in the drawing -- I'd love to read this book. I imagine you have a 'birds-eye view' from your position and church secretary!

Her book looks really good and I would love to win it. Thanks!


This sounds interesting! :)

srfbluemama at gmail dot com

The book sounds intriguing! I worked as a church secretary for twelve years, and have met several pastors' wives who most definitely did not fit the mold. I want to read this book!

Thank you for the encouragement about writing, and God's plan. I cling to that hope!

Yes, please enter me for an opportunity to win The Pastor's Wife by Jennifer AlLee. I've been waiting for this one! WillisWay (at) aol (dot) com.

Thanks everyone for stopping by. I will not draw a name until this evening so if others want to leave a comment, please do so.

Jennifer I didn't know your maiden name was Taylor!

I love books that deal with a pastor's family and would love to read this one. Thank you for an enjoyable interview, Jennifer.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Funny about the name thing, huh? When I sold my first book, I considered using my full maiden name, "Jennifer Lee Taylor" as my pen name. I really glad now that I didn't!

Notice that if you say my full married name aloud - Jennifer Lee AlLee - it sounds like you're yodeling. Which is why my middle name has quietly disappeared :+}

Jenn and Jen, great interview! I'm so excited for your new book, Jen! Congrats on its release!!

Don't enter me in the drawing. It's on my to-buy list. :)

Jen, I'm still sitting here cracking up about your yodeling your middle and last name. [grin]

Thanks, Missy!

You know, that name was almost a deal breaker, but my hubby is worth it. The things we do for love ;+}

Great interview! Please enter me.

Michelle V

I used to work at my church as a secretary also and am very interested in reading this book!!! Please enter me in this drawing. Thank you! Great interview by the way.


LucieInCA (at) aol (dot) com

Congratulations to Michelle Vasquez! You won a free copy of Jennifer AlLee's "The Pastor's Wife"!

I would like to thank everyone for stopping by. I usually post writing-related material on Mondays, author interviews and book reviews on Wednesdays, and on Fridays something historical or devotional. I hope you will stop back by in the future!