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Mar 29, 2012
It’s my privilege to welcome author Jennifer Fromke today. Her new release, A Familiar Shore, hit the bookstores on March 23. This book is partly set in Northern Michigan – my own stompin’ grounds – so I’m anxious to get to the questions!

Pegg: You grew up in Bay City, Michigan. What disastrous turn of events pried you from our fair state? 

Jennifer: I’m calling it a blessed disaster: true love. Met my hubby and he was accepted to med school in MN, so that’s where we moved. Then we had to follow his “match” for residency training, which landed us in St Louis. He landed his dream job, working with his brother in NC, so that is how I was “pried” away from the land of Petoskey stones (which I have hidden all over my house because they make me happy).

Pegg: True love will do that to you! I understand that you and your hubby regularly spend time in Northern Michigan. What is your favorite thing about being here?

Jennifer: My dad has a place between Traverse City and Charlevoix. I yearn to be at the lake all year long - especially when NC gets stuck in 95+ temperatures every day for weeks on end. So we plan a trip every year at the end of summer to escape the heat, and play in the beautiful waters of northern Michigan. I love the look of the trees, the sound of the lake lapping against the shore, being with family, and playing on boats. The cottage is situated on the eastern shore of a lake, so we make a point to watch the sunset every night over the water - and the sun sets so late up there! Almost an hour later than here in NC. In August, the universe is situated so we look at it “the long way,” which means there are more stars to see. And I think somehow, I see even more at the lake, with no lights nearby. I love staying up really late and watching for shooting stars beside the lake.

Pegg: I love this photo of you by the lake! A Familiar Shore is your first novel and you’ve set it, at least in part, here in my neck of the woods. What prompted you to use this area as the backdrop for the story?

Jennifer: I think it was my love for the place . . . but I also wanted to set it at a family cottage. I wanted to present a weekend when an extended family would be there, and my excuse became Memorial Day weekend - when everybody goes up north. The cottage in the story is on Lake Charlevoix.

Pegg: Will we Michiganders find some our favorite things in your story? Walks in the woods, blueberry picking, fishing, some Traverse City cherries, our lovely Great Lakes shoreline, or a nice local vintage of wine?

Jennifer: Definitely! There’s an eventful foray into the woods, you’ll take a spin through a cherry orchard in bloom, the marina in Charlevoix, lilacs, and of course, Murdick’s fudge!

Pegg: I know you teach Bible studies and are a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. What spiritual message will we find in your story?

Jennifer: While there is not an overt spiritual thread in the story, it was inspired by the story of Joseph. I wanted to place a contemporary character in the same place Joseph stood when he had the opportunity to take revenge on his brothers for all the trouble they brought upon him. The story is informed and backed up with a Christian worldview and the reason I wrote it like this is because I saw an enormous need for books in the ABA that are not laced with sex, cussing, graphic violence, and the like. We need more stories written with a Christian worldview that might somehow relate to people without one. While that means the novel is not evangelistic, I’m hopeful that this novel will be the first of many contributions to the general market, which provide a meaningful story sans junk.

Pegg: I know a couple of authors who are publishing in the ABA with books like yours. I think it’s great that a Christian worldview is available this way. Some people can be reached through traditional evangelism and some seeds need to be sprouted more softly. People recognize and receive Christ through different experiences. Thank goodness we have people who can write in all sorts of different ways!

Thank you for spending time with us today! Your book is available in print and digital editions at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but of course, if anyone can support their local bookstore – so much the better!

8 comments:

Patricia Cornelius said...

Very interesting. Hits at home for me too. Thanks for taking the time
Pat

Patricia said...

You are so right. To reach beyond the readers in the Christian fiction market, is a good goal. Planting seeds can be done gently. So glad to hear you are leading by example instead of just following the "formulas" that have been successful for selling books by ABA.

Linda Yezak said...

You two make me want to go to Michigan! Sounds like I'd love it.

Eye-catching bookcover, Jennifer. Love that, too!

Great Lakes Romances said...

Thanks for sharing your story, and for offering the secular readers a wholesome choice for their reading entertainment.

Donna Winters

jan darnell said...

Kudos Jenn, for a well written novel that stimulates the imagination and integrity of us all!

Linda Glaz said...

Linda, you would LOVE northern MI. It is as breathtaking as Jennifer describes, and well, the fudge, hmmmm! WONDERFUL!
I started life just west of Traverse, on an orchard, of course, and still feel like I'm going home when I return for visits. The story sounds wonderful, Jennifer. Can't wait to read!

by Pegg Thomas said...

Thanks, ladies, for the nice comments! And yes, Linda Yezak, you *must* come to Michigan... even if only for the fudge. :) We have a spare room, big enough for you and the mister... or Mom!

Jennifer said...

LIving so far from Michigan now, all your comments make me so happy! It's great to chat with people who "get" Michigan and see that our gushing can actually inspire others. Let me know when you get there, Linda Yezak!