Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Author Interview: Jennifer Slater: Dark Clouds Silver Linings @JenniferSlater3



Please share some of the best memories of your childhood: My childhood was filled with many happy moments, but some of my best memories are centered around the holidays (as it is with most children). One of my favorite holidays was Easter in my native country of Guyana, in South America.  I remember the excitement of waking up on Easter Sunday and waiting for my father to put the finishing touches to the kites that he so lovingly crafted for us. You see, kite flying was a major event in our country during Easter and my dad's kites were things of beauty.  The month of May also holds special memories for me. I attended a Catholic primary school and this was the month we honored the Virgin Mary with a school pageant that culminated with the crowning of the statute of Mary. I was selected to be in the pageant one year and it is a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life. My fondest memories, not surprisingly, are of the Christmas  holidays and I remember that particular time of year as having a very distinct, pleasant smell - the delicious aroma of my mother's Pepper Pot and Garlic Pork (two Guyanese dishes that she prepared each year), combined with the fragrant scent of our pine Christmas tree and the smell of our newly lacquered living room floor. 
About your education: I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hofstra University in New York. They say that college is the best 4 years of your life ... well they weren't lying. I thoroughly enjoyed my undergraduate college experience, but had no interest in furthering my education on a graduate degree level.
What career did you plan during your education days: I vacillated between wanting to be a teacher and wanting to be a writer. I guess that I should have become a Creative Writing teacher and then I could've had the best of both worlds. I'm so glad that I am finally realizing my dream of being a writer.
What is your biggest source of inspiration in life: Not so much a what, but a who ... and that person is my mother! She is one of the strongest, most admirable women I know. My dad became ill shortly after our arrival to this country, and the task of helping us to get acclimated fell to my mother. This was no easy task for a mother of nine children, but she succeeded, and even managed to put some of us through college. She sacrificed a lot to keep our family afloat, with very little money or help. She taught me to never give up, even when times are hard, and I will always be grateful to her for that.
What hurts you most in this world: Senseless acts of violence. I will never understand how people could willfully and maliciously hurt or kill others. It saddens me that we are hearing about more and more of these acts, almost on a weekly basis.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? Were you able to overcome it? How? Shyness as a child was probably my biggest challenge. I dreaded meeting new people and was terrified of having to give any kind of oral reports in class. I didn't like being in the spotlight and preferred reading books to talking to people. I was able to overcome this sometimes crippling fear when I was in college. I chose to live in a dorm and that experience forced me out of my comfort zone as I had to share a living space with people who were strangers in the beginning, but who became friends in the end.

What is your favorite genre and why? Currently it is contemporary fiction/romance. I love reading stories about everyday people, about the many facets of human nature, about complex relationships/love and especially stories that raise social awareness.

What is the purpose of your writing? I write because for me writing is therapeutic. It provides me with an outlet for my stress and gives me something to do when I find myself twiddling my thumbs. Most importantly, I write because I hope that my readers can find something inspiring, comforting or encouraging from my books.



Which of your work published so far? I have published 2 novels so far - "A Time for Us," and "Dark Clouds, Silver Linings". The first is a romance novel about second chances and the second is a contemporary novel about friendships, with a romance theme woven in.
What are your forthcoming writings? I'm working on my 3rd book now which is about two friends whose friendship is tested when they both fall for the same guy. After that one is finished, I hope to try my hand at writing a western, with a romantic twist of course. 
What are your future plans? To keep writing, with the hopes that one or several of my books will become international best sellers.

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book? 1.) Being a hopeless romantic, my books have to have the requisite happy endings. I want to leave my readers with a warm and fuzzy feeling at the end. 2.) My characters have to be relatable. Even though they are flawed and have to overcome obstacles, I want my readers to be able to connect with them and to root for them when they are facing their demons. 3.) My novels aren't strictly romantic in nature. I explore other themes in my stories to keep them interesting and I try to keep my plots twisting and turning a bit so that they aren't predictable. 4.) My books have strong female leads. I want my readers, especially young women, to feel inspired, empowered or enlightened after reading them.


Your dream destination on Earth? Any tropical island.  The salty, tangy smell of the ocean, soft sea breezes wafting through an open window, warm sand between my toes and the sound of the surf pounding the shore - ah, paradise!

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. I was born in Guyana, South America where I lived until I was almost 14 years old before my family migrated to the United States. I 've been lucky enough to have visited Brazil, Barbados, Trinidad, England and France.
What best things you liked in these countries around the globe? I loved the warmth and friendliness of the Caribbean people, the beauty of the West Indian islands and their wonderfully delicious food. I loved the stores in London, the night life, and the politeness of the people. I loved the Brazilian culture - the language, the music and the people. As for France, I only visited the coastal town of Calais, but I loved its quaintness and relaxing atmosphere.
Your favorite time of the day? Evenings - that time of relaxation just after dinner - when you can unwind from a day at work and just enjoy being home. That's the time I like to do my writing.

Your zodiac/ sunsign? Gemini - The Twins



Your favorite color and why? Red. It's a vibrant color and I love bright colors.


Your favorite book and why? Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Not only is it very well written, entertaining and a literary classic, it gives us one of the most beloved heroines - Elizabeth Bennet. Not to mention a  hero, Mr. Darcy, with whom most female readers can still fall in love with today.

Your favorite celebrity and why? Bob Marley. I grew up listening to his music and I admire his work. He not only made Reggae music popular worldwide, but the songs that he sang were inspirational and spiritual, and they resonated with me. He may be gone, but he is certainly not forgotten.
Your favorite food? Hmmm, so many to choose from ... I would have to say Indian food - Curry, Roti, Dahl, Tandoori ... love the spices and the flavors.
"Dark Clouds, Silver Linings" is available for sale on amazon.combarnesandnoble.com and smashwords.com.  Please click on the following links to read a sample.
"A Time for Us" is also available for sale in both paperback and Kindle editions. Please click on the link below to read a sample.


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