Let’s Chat! Author Wendy H. Jones

Welcome, Everyone! 

Wendy H. Jones This week we’re hopping a plane to Scotland, lads and lassies! Author Wendy H. Jones, who writes crime novels and Young Adult Mysteries set in Dundee, Scotland, is perched in the pilot’s seat. How cool is that?

Wendy’s offering a wonderful giveawaya signed print copy of her crime novel, Killer’s Countdown—to someone in the world who joins the conversation. So be sure to comment below.

**Congratulations to Faith Creech, winner of a signed print copy of Wendy’s crime novel, Killer’s Countdown!** 

Wendy H. Jones Before Writing

I was born in Dundee, Scotland but have lived all over the world. When I was 18 I joined the Royal Navy as a student nurse and ended up in the British Army as a nursing officer. I retired as a Major, a rank I hold to this day. It is the first rank you keep until the day you die. It seriously impresses the kids and teens when I go into schools. I then worked in Academia and was published in Academic textbooks and journals.

How Writing Began for Wendy H. Jones

I started writing about 6 years ago after a long period of illness. Spending months in hospital focuses the mind and gets you thinking about what is important. I worked long hours, and although I enjoyed my work, I knew it was time for a change so I moved back to Scotland with the idea of retiring. As you can see the early retirement aspect didn’t go well.

A Debut for Wendy H. Jones

My first book, Killer’s Countdown, developed from a conversation with some old friends. (Click to Tweet!) It sparked off the idea for a crime book. Please don’t panic I wasn’t up for killing off any of my friends. No real people are harmed in the writing of my books, tempting though that may be at times. I wrote the bulk of it during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and then completed it and did some editing. The initial response from beta readers was encouraging so I had the book professionally edited. I did send it to a few publishers who either turned it down outright or said it didn’t fit with their portfolio.

Weird and Wonderful Deaths a la Wendy H. Jones

After advice given at a Writers Conference in Stirling, I decided to publish the book independently. I hired Cathy Helms a fabulous cover designer from the USA who got the cover and the branding spot on. I was blown away by her talent and vision. Killers’ Countdown is the first in a series about DI Shona McKenzie, Scotland’s go-to girl for weird and wonderful deaths. In this she finds herself in a heart stopping chase for a killer murdering young women. (Click to Tweet!) 

After an amazing launch at Waterstones Bookshop in Dundee, I was both stunned and thrilled to see how well the book did and the response. For a debut author this was exciting stuff. Since then I have published 6 books in this, The DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries series. Killer’s Crew, the fifth book in the series won the Books Go Social Book of the Year Award 2017. (Click to Tweet!)

What’s Up With Wendy H. Jones Now?

I have been fortunate to have had a number of public speaking engagements both nationally and internationally. At one of these a publisher approached me and asked if I had an idea for a Young Adult series. I did and pitched it to her. This led to a contract for an initial three books in the Fergus and Flora Mysteries. The Dagger’s Curse, the first book in the series, was a finalist in The Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award 2017. (Click to Tweet!) 

What’s Ahead for Wendy H. Jones

Since then I have been asked to write a series of picture books based on the true story of a baby Buffalo who went missing in Scotland for two weeks. This is a new venture for me, and one which I am very much enjoying. I have to say it is easier to write an eighty-thousand-word novel than a 32-page picture book. It is much more fun though. (Click to Tweet!)

I am about to bring out the first book in a new series called Cass Claymore Investigates. Cass is a redheaded, motorbike riding, ex-ballerina who inherits a private investigation agency. This is humorous crime in the style of Janet Evanovich.

Wendy’s Involvements

It’s been a glorious journey so far. Four weeks ago, I was elected as the President of The Scottish Association of Writers. Currently I serve on the committee of the Society of Authors in Scotland and also the committee of the Association of Christian Writers. I consider it an honour to represent writers in Scotland and Christian writers in the UK, and I am proud to be a part of Scotland’s long literary heritage. (Click to Tweet!) 

Insight from Wendy H. Jones

I thank him for the way in which he has shaped not only my writing life, but my life. My church is extremely supportive of what I do and have been there for me at every turn. (Click to Tweet!) Although my books are not overtly Christian they are written following Christian principles and suitable for a crossover market.

A Giveaway From Wendy

I am doing a giveaway just for this blog. I will send one signed copy of Killer’s Countdown anywhere in the world.

How to Find Wendy H. Jones and Her Books

Website 

Twitter 

Facebook

Amazon Author Page (Universal link for all countries) 

Dear Lord, we declare You are holy. We find You along the shores and in the valleys. On the highest peaks of mountaintops and in the deepest trenches of the seas. You make Your abode in humble cottages and elaborate palaces. From the Americas to the United Kingdom, from Europe to Australia, Africa, and the Orient. The Earth is Your footstool. You have no need of language; yet You speak all languages at once. Your every word is flawless. Thank You for bringing Wendy along your appointed path to a place where she is now providing enjoyment to readers everywhere. Bless the work of her hands. 

~ For Jesus’ sake

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17 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Wendy H. Jones

  1. Jon

    Penny,
    That was an excellent write-up and summary about your life, and ‘Laugh Clown Laugh’, the book you have worked so diligently to bring forth to everyone. I look forward to reading it. Well done!
    Jon

     
     
    1. Welcome to our circle, Jon. You have encouraged Penny and me. I, like you, am eager to read Penny’s novel.

       
       
  2. Perrianne Askew

    I enjoyed the interview. We have been to Scotland on a day trip and got to see Edinburgh Castle. We thoroughly enjoyed our brief visit there. Your prayer is beautiful.

     
     
    1. Thank you, Perrianne, for your contribution to our conversation. You’ve encouraged Wendy and me both. (I visited Scotland in 1967 and will never forget the heady sensations of sight, sound, and taste. What a beautiful country it is. Now that I know via DNA that some of my roots extend into Scotland, I especially love that I was able to visit.) I love having the privilege of praying for fellow writers. I’m honored it encouraged you. God bless you.

       
       
    2. Edinburgh is a beautiful City. I am about 50 miles north of there but go to Edinburgh regularly. The prayer is beautiful, Linda did well

       
       
  3. Marilyn R

    Nice interview with Wendy H. Jones. I believe God has a purpose for each one, too. Thank you for sharing.

     
     
    1. Hi, faithful reader friend, Marilyn. You’re entered in the drawing! 😊

       
       
    2. Thank you. It is so good to know that God is in control. I’m glad you enjoyed the interview

       
       
  4. Rose Blackard

    Wonderful interview! My love was born in Scotland,vso I love reading about it.Thank you.

     
     
    1. Rose Blackard

      Should of read My Mom was born in Scotland, Hope to visit there one day!

       
       
      1. Rose, Glad you enjoyed the interview. It’s great to have Scottish blood

         
         
  5. Faith Creech

    Great interview! I love books about Scotland, since that is my husbands heritage. We are going to visit Scotland this summer. Would love to read your book, it sounds very exciting.

     
     
    1. How cool, the Scotland connection! I was in Scotland 2 weeks in 1967. I was in awe of the foliage and flowers. Works of art in the parks. Would love to return. Bless you for chatting, Faith. You encourage us both.

       
       
    2. Thank you. Love that your husband is Scottish by heritage. Where in Scotland are you visiting? I hope you have a great time.

       
       
  6. Ann Ellison

    Wonderful interview with a new to me author. Her book sounds like a good one.

     
     
    1. I with you, Ann. Am looking forward to reading Wendy’s books! Thanks for visiting with us and sharing, friend.

       
       
    2. It’s lovely meet you, Ann. Thank you for saying you like the sound of the book. It always gladdens an author’s heart

       
       

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Author Chat: Marissa Shrock

 

A chat with author Marissa Shrock 

Welcome to this online chat with author Marissa Shrock. Jesus has given Marissa a part in His own story. He’s made her a character who tells of His goodness through writing.

Recently Marissa’s The First Principle placed as a finalist for ACFW‘s 2016 Carol Award. (Tweet That!) Gather ’round as Marissa responds to three questions: What was your pre-author life? How would you describe your debut novel experience? Where are you on your writing journey? (Add your own question to the Comments section below and qualify for a giveaway.)

Marissa Shrock’s Journey to Publication

shrock_marissa
Marissa Shrock, middle school teacher and author

First of all, my journey started with voracious reading. When I played outside as a girl, I read on the swing set—while swinging.

As a middle school teacher, I didn’t consider writing until I’d taught a few years. I toyed with the idea of a novel but had no idea where to begin.

Later, I signed up in 2008 for the Christian Writers Guild’s Apprentice course. I wanted a mentor who would hold me accountable.

In addition, I took the Journeyman and Craftsman classes while I wrote the story that eventually became The First Principle. The skills I learned and the people I met paved my way to publication.

Publication for Marissa Shrock

thefirstprinciple_author_Marissa Shrock
Marissa’s debut novel, a Carol Award finalist and the first novel in The Emancipation Warriors series

The First Principle is the futuristic story of a teenager who refuses to comply with her country’s pregnancy termination law. (Tweet That!) In time, she seeks the help of the Emancipation Warriors who are plotting a revolution. They plan to restore a government that protects its citizens’ rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The First Principle debuted as the first in my three-book Emancipation Warriors series. The Liberation released in February, and The Pursuit will be released in October. The Agitator, a companion novella, presents a different perspective of the Warriors’ battle for liberty.

liberation_author_Marissa Shrock
Marissa’s second novel in The Emancipation Warriors series

From the beginning, writing this series has been an adventure. I found an agent and publisher very quickly. But my road hasn’t been easy since. Surprisingly, book blues set in after my books arrived from the publisher. My grumpiness and mild depression shocked me because my dream had come true.

pursuit_author_Marissa Shrock
Marissa’s third novel in The Emancipation Warriors series

However, mounting pressure replaced elation. How would my book be received? How would it sell? For months, this burden crushed me as I prayed and promoted. The First Principle received many positive reviews and was a finalist in the debut category of the ACFW Carol Awards. But sales did not meet my publisher’s expectations. They opted not to publish the other books in the series.

But I wanted to tell my readers the rest of the story. So I published the remaining books independently and am thankful that option exists. 


Marissa Shrock’s Current Journey

Ultimately, God holds my career in his hands. It will be what He wants it to be. Now that the Emancipation Warriors series is finished, I no longer have obligations to a publisher or literary agency. But I’ve arrived at a crossroad.

agitator
A companion novella to The Emancipation Warriors series

Presently, God is leading me to a phase of rest. The soil of my creative life has been depleted. It needs to remain fallow for a season. Afterwards, I pray I will emerge restored and ready to face the next step God has for me.

Finally, I encourage every writer to seek God’s will for his or her life and obey it, no matter what everyone else is doing.

~~~

Thank you, Marissa, for joining our chat and sharing your story. We pray the Lord will bring a hearty harvest from your work. 

Readers may reach Marissa through her website: http://bit.ly/2db1rrs. Sign up for her newsletter and get a free short story!

Leave a comment and be entered into a drawing for a *free copy of The First Principle, Shrock’s young adult novel in either print or ebook version. (Tweet That!)

*Update: Congratulations to Clarice Gregoire James, winner of the drawing!

~~~

Dear Lord, we stand in awe that You would stoop to write faith in our hearts, that You would use us, feeble and crumbling flesh, to tell Your story. Lift us up. Strengthen us. For Jesus’ sake.

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13 thoughts on “Author Chat: Marissa Shrock

  1. Marissa, sometimes God has us rest for a season so when we return, we are stronger, spiritually and mentally. I love your writing!

     
     
    1. Marissa Shrock

      Thank you, DiAnn! That is what I hope to get out of my season of rest.

       
       
  2. Kudos to you, Marissa, for your perseverance and your faithfulness. Publishing is such a tough business. Your willingness to be still and wait upon the Lord will be rewarded. Prayers going up!

     
     
    1. Marissa Shrock

      Kelly,
      Thank you for the prayers!

       
       
  3. Katie Briggs

    I am excited to read The Pursuit soon! It has been really cool reading along with you and watching your stories and characters grow so much. I’ve always enjoyed seeing that in authors. It encourages me. Thank you for the reminder to seek God’s will in our lives, not looking aside to anything else. And for your example of determination and humility. I needed that. It reminds me so much of a keynote Brandilyn Collins gave, one of the most powerful I’ve heard. A season of rest is probably great but really hard, but you’re wise to follow God’s lead in that. He definitely knows best, and it helps me to look back on even really little ways He’s blessed that. Not enough of us do that, bowing to productivity instead, and then suffer from it :(. Which means it is time to grab a book you’ve been wanting to read, get a chai latte (or your equivalent!) and sit outside in the hopefully awesome weather to rest and enjoy. And we’ll be ready for your time to start a new writing season!

     
     
    1. Marissa Shrock

      Katie,
      Thank you for your wise words and encouragement. I do have a big pile of books I’m looking forward to reading! I’m excited to have my readers experience The Pursuit and know the end of the story.

       
       
      1. I get goosebumps when I think about that week in 2012 with you and the other Craftsman students in Manitou Springs, especially being in the small group with you two and Lizzie and Given, our little group of “4 young ones + 1 young-at-heart” 🙂 You inspired me then and you inspire me now. So thankful God grouped us together!

         
         
        1. Katie Briggs

          Those are such great memories. God knew what He was doing!

           
           
  4. Hi Marissa, your journey through the publishing process has been colored by both success and heartache. Many of us experience the blues, especially in our highest points. During this period of rest, give it all over to the Lord. He’s gifted you, and he will not let your talents lay dormant forever.

    “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” ~ Dt. 31:8 (NIV)

     
     
    1. You have lifted up me, too, Clarice. Thanks for commenting. Marissa is busy teaching middle schoolers at the moment 🙂 but I’m sure she’ll reply later on. Bless you, friend.

       
       
  5. Teresa Brooks

    I am grateful you persevered and published independently! If one person is changed for the better and drawn closer to Christ, your efforts are not in vain! You may never know (until you get to heaven) how your words impacted lives! May God meet you in your rest, hold you close, and renew your spirit and give you more words to share in the future!

     
     
    1. So true, Teresa! Marissa simply is a sterling example for Christ. Her middle school teaching experience led her to write for young adults. Such a blessing to young readers.

       
       
    2. Marissa Shrock

      Teresa,
      Thank you for the kind and encouraging words!

      Clarice,
      Thank you for sharing the verse and the encouragement!

       
       

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