Hello, readers! It’s that time. That time for me to introduce you to another fabulous author–Jaycee Weaver. I met Jaycee through a group that formed because of our common writing goals (clean romance), Pure Romance Reads. This is a great website if you are looking for quality contemporary or historical clean romance. Here is the website: Pure Romance Reads. And here is a link to the Facebook page: Pure Romance Reads on Facebook.
But I am getting distracted… Author Jaycee Weaver writes clean Contemporary Romance and it goes deeper than your typical fluffy book. But don’t rely on me, let’s let Jaycee speak for herself…
Welcome to the blog, Jaycee. I’m so glad you are here! First and foremost, I’d like to hear a little about your novella.
Adrift: a Grace Springs novella is the first in a spin-off from my Everyday Love series. There is a fictional church, Grace Springs Fellowship, that I’ve tied this and a few upcoming novellas to. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever written before, told in first person present perspective. Erin is a woman who’s been widowed for several years, but still struggles with overcoming her grief. She knows she wants to, but her life has become something very different than what she’d planned and she’s learning to let the Lord rewrite her story. While God’s doing His thing in her, she meets this really sweet man who happens to attend her church. I won’t tell more of the plot, just that it’s very journal-like and filled with tons of water imagery. While there is a little bit of romance, the real story is her journey from feeling adrift in the sea of grief.
I like this idea. It’s fresh and new (at least to me)…basing this series off a church. What was the inspiration for Adrift: a Grace Springs novella?
Last winter, my husband was facing a five-week, out-of-state work trip. I had a lot of feelings about this and not all of them were happy ones. One night I woke up with a strange rocking sensation like you get when you’re trying to sleep after having been on a boat all day. I had the introductory words in my head so clearly that I rolled over and typed them into my phone as fast as I could. By the time I woke up in the morning, I knew I wanted to write a story about a woman who had been living in grief for too long and was finally ready to take back her life. The story just took its own twists and turns from there as I wrote.
Wow…when inspiration strikes, it strikes, doesn’t it?
Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?
As a kid, my top three career dreams were to be a professional singer, a writer, or a teacher. From elementary school I made plans to become a teacher in case I was never discovered as the next Debbie Gibson. Ha ha! Everything I did was with that in mind. I babysat, taught Sunday school, worked in daycare and eventually taught Pre-K. About halfway through my degree, I realized I’d lost a lot of my passion for teaching and I allowed my worries over being able to balance the demands our society places on teachers and the frequently unpleasant ways parents choose to deal with them to win out over the dreams and ideals I had about the actual teaching parts.
Praise the Lord, He never closes a door without opening a window. I had a new dream to become a writer. At the time, I thought I’d write Christian non-fiction aimed at new believers. Books that would help them navigate this crazy Christian world filled with wonderful people and also modern-day Pharisees, understanding God’s heart for His people to bring about real, positive change.
To be honest, I let go of both dreams for far too long. I lived out my ultimate dream of becoming a stay-home mom, and for a while I was even a professional crafter. I still mostly stay home, I do still craft, I sing with the worship band, but now I’m also a substitute teacher and a writer. So, really, God has allowed me to weave all of my dreams together into one huge, beautiful new one that is made up of all He’s ever placed in my heart!
Isn’t He just awesome like that? But, in all that transition, especially that period of being a stay-at-home mom, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I honestly don’t think there was ever a time I didn’t want to write at least on some level. I never really pursued it as a profession, though, until my first full-length book came to me and began really taking shape. And now I wonder why it took me so long!
The most dreadful part of writing is always a tie between the edit/revision stage and the waiting for feedback from its first readers. Editing and revising take such a long time and require an author to really step back, look through the eyes of a reader, and admit when something you might like isn’t working. It’s emotionally draining but liberating, too. But waiting for feedback is always tense and rife with insecurity and wondering if anyone else feels the way you do about the story!
I hear ya’! It truly is art…and art is so subjective!
I find I learn a lot about the craft of writing from conferences and reading writing craft books, but also from just reading. We pick up so much intuitively.
What are you currently reading?
That answer literally changes almost daily. I read a LOT, and fast. I’m pretty much always reading one contemporary Christian romance or romantic suspense or another. I just finished Jenn Faulk’s latest, Worth It, and it might take me a few days to move forward after that one. It was absolutely wonderful and everything my heart wants Christian fiction to be—honest, raw, emotionally engaging, with real struggles and real people coming into relationship with a very real Jesus, and of course, a happy ending with plenty of humor, too.
That’s great to hear! I am more often reading clean Historical Romance, but starting to dip my toes back in the waters of Contemporary Christian Romance. I’ll have to add that one to my TBR (to be read) pile.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I have a general mood I like to set when I write. And that includes music. What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?
I listen to music constantly. My favorite genre is singer/songwriter, especially stuff with a fun beat. Rend Collective, Needtobreathe, All Sons & Daughters, I Am They, and City Harbor are some of my favorites. When writing my upcoming Christmas novellas, though, I had to listen to holiday music while writing because writing about winter in the middle of 100-degree heat? Yeah, not happening without some help! Luckily most of my favorite CCM artists have holiday albums I could shuffle through!
Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?
I wish I could get into the groove earlier in the day, but I am so not a morning person. My peak writing hours seem to end up being noon to five, which is a totally inconvenient pain because my youngest gets out of school at 2pm, and the older ones get out across town at 3:30, so I have to quit right as I hit my groove! My usual place is at home, but I bought a Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad mini, so now I can write pretty much anywhere, anytime, and sync it to my laptop for formatting later!
Something that I find people are always curious about is: How long does it take you to write a book?
That answer is about as consistent as my routine (clue: what’s a routine?). I’m about the least structured person I know. I’m organized and ambitious, usually efficient, but to be all of that I have to roll with life’s demands, which means no two days look the same, ever. My writing time is the same way. My first book took almost a year to write and edit, the second only about six months. Adrift is a 90-page novella and that still took the better part of four and a half months.
However, the Christmas novella that’s going to be part of an upcoming collection (details coming soon!) was a gift from God that only took TWO AND A HALF WEEKS to write. Seriously, I am still in awe of how that happened, and I’m pretty sure it’s the best story I’ve written yet (which is how I know it’s a gift from God and not anything I did!).
It’s amazing how some work just fairly pours out of you and onto the page, isn’t it?
Can you tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
Adrift will release on October 1st, but it’s now in preorder. I have kind of an obsession with kitchen concoctions, especially sweet ones. The novella contains a camping scene where they are making some of the most outlandish s’mores you can imagine. If you like s’mores…or don’t, but like other sweet treats, you’ll have to read that scene!
Last question…I promise! Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?
I’m currently working on two Christmas novellas that should be out in early November. One is the second in the Grace Springs novella spin-off series called Faith Like Snow, and the other is part of a latino Christian holiday collection (official titles and other announcements coming soon!). That’s the two-week gift story that I can’t wait to share, but since the group is still working out the details, I guess you’ll have to check back in with me soon to find out!
Thank you again, Jaycee, for joining us today on the blog. And for giving us a peek into your novella and your process. I am so eager for my readers to get an even closer look at Adrift, so I’ll not delay, but turn them loose for the rest of the blog…
Adrift: a Grace Springs novella
I’m overwhelmed.Truth be told, I’ve been overwhelmed for years. Adrift in a sea of stress and grief and clinging to the life raft of responsibility.
It’s time I start swimming again. And someday? Maybe surf the waves instead of being pulled under and dragged out to sea.
God offers so much more for Erin than a life of treading water, focusing all her time and attention on running a small business while raising her kids after the death of her husband.
Through strangely poignant dreams and a series of run-ins with an unexpectedly attractive guy from church, Erin finds the hope she’ll not only feel alive again, but maybe even ride life’s waves victoriously.
Enjoy an Excerpt
That ring was my anchor for so long. It about killed me to take it off, but I couldn’t stand all the pitying looks people gave me when they noticed I still wore it. Like there’s some timeline engraved on a stone tablet out there for when a person should suck it up and move on after losing the love of their life.
Who decided a year was long enough, anyway? Like it’s some expiration date that passes and suddenly you’re supposed to be able to live like before?
It’s been almost four years and I’m still not completely sure what I’m supposed to do here without him.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Adrift: a Grace Springs novella https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H14N8G6/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i3
Check Out Some of Jaycee’s Other Works
What Could Be (Everyday Love 1) https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C8QGBG4/ref=series_rw_dp_sw
Whatever Comes Our Way (Everyday Love 2) https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CGHF1MQ/ref=series_rw_dp_sw
More About the Author
Jaycee Weaver lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her amazing husband, three daughters, a crazy shih-tzu, and a dwarf rabbit. When she’s not writing, she’s probably in hot pursuit of her 90 million other hobbies or shuttling the kids around. Jaycee loves to read books in multiple genres, drink too much coffee (honestly, when are they going to make the coffee IV a real thing?!), sing, take landscape and floral photos, sew, cook, bake, and craft just about anything (can we say Pinterest?). She considers herself a recovering perfectionist and sometimes hot mess. She does her best to live her faith in action, being open, honest, and real and letting God be Lord over the good, the bad, and the ugly even when it’s hard.
Connect with Jaycee and Her Books