Today we welcome Jennifer Hallmark, another of our Writing Prompts Crew, who also debuts in the group project, A Dozen Apologies, released February 14th.
What drew you to this story? To be honest, the opportunity to be published. Then when I read the storyline and found what was needed from me, the ideas started flowing and I caught the vision of the story itself. Mara is a wonderful character, full of strengths and weaknesses.
What was it like to work on a multi-authored manuscript? A lot of fun and a little confusing. I enjoyed communicating with the other authors, the publisher, and editor through the Facebook group and email. The different experiences and opinions widened my view of writing.
What is the most important thing you have learned through this experience? That writing really isn’t all about me. Deep down, I’d hoped my own novel would be my first publication. I believe, however, this experience will help me gain the knowledge of “being published” and the next time I won’t feel quite as overwhelmed.
Would you recommend this type of writing to others? Why, or why not? Yes! I’ve made new friends, gained more knowledge into being published, and explored a different genre in writing.
In college, Mara and her sorority sisters played an ugly game, and Mara was usually the winner. She’d date men she considered geeks, win their confidence, and then she’d dump them publicly. When Mara begins work for a prestigious clothing designer in New York, she gets her comeuppance. Her boyfriend steals her designs and wins a coveted position. He fires her, and she returns in shame to her home in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where life for others has changed for the better.
Mara’s parents, always seemingly one step from a divorce, have rediscovered their love for each other, but more importantly they have placed Christ in the center of that love. The changes Mara sees in their lives cause her to seek Christ. Mara’s heart is pierced by her actions toward the twelve men she’d wronged in college, and she sets out to apologize to each of them. A girl with that many amends to make, though, needs money for travel, and Mara finds more ways to lose a job that she ever thought possible.
Mara stumbles, bumbles, and humbles her way toward employment and toward possible reconciliation with the twelve men she humiliated to find that God truly does look upon the heart, and that He has chosen the heart of one of the men for her to have and to hold.
Jennifer Hallmark: writer by nature, artist at heart, and daughter of God by His grace. She loves to read detective fiction from the Golden Age, watch movies like LOTR, and play with her two precious granddaughters. At times, she writes.
Her website is Alabama-Inspired Fiction and she shares a writer’s reference blog, Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas…Oh My! with friends, Christina, John, Ginger, Dicky, and Betty. She and Christina Rich share an encouraging blog for readers called The Most Important Thing.
Jennifer and her husband, Danny, have spent their married life in Alabama and have a basset hound, Max.