Jennifer Hallmark

Why I Started Writing:

I’ve enjoyed writing from a young age, but in the eighth grade, I won a school poetry contest with a cash prize of $5. “A Party on Halloween Night” fueled the desire I already had to write, and my parents encouraged me to follow my dream. I published our church’s newsletter after I married and had children, but never forgot the longing to write full-length fiction. In 2006, I began taking writing courses, joining writing organizations, and reading every book on the craft I could find. In 2009, I tried NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and wrote what became my debut novel, Jessie’s Hope. After that, I never looked back …

Authors Who Have Influenced Me:

Early in life, John Bunyan and Hannah Hurnard stirred me with their allegorical works, Pilgrim’s Progress and Hind’s Feet on High Places. Also, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien with their fantasy novels taught me to appreciate the complex creation of other worlds. My two favorite authors at the moment are James L. Rubart and Shawn Smucker. I love the way they create worlds that seem so real but at the same time are full of speculative elements like time travel and otherworldly warfare.

Books I Have Written:

My debut novel, Jessie’s Hope, is a Southern novel about a young woman ready to marry and live a normal life, despite being in a wheelchair. Many obstacles lie in her path to pursue her dream. I am polishing its sequel called Angeline’s Dream.  

What I'm Working On Now:

I’m writing a sequel to Smoking Flax, my YA Southern speculative novel for Elk Lake Publishing. I have the beginnings of several other novels including an allegorical medieval fantasy that I hope will eventually see the light of day.

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