This is a guest post by Jennifer Ann Holt.Jennifer grew up as a farm girl in Enterprise, Utah so she is very good at moving sprinkler pipe and mucking out calf pens. She can hold her own when handling a tractor as well. An avid reader singe age 4, Jennifer loves the power of the written word to heal, uplift, encourage understanding, bring people together, and entertain. She graduated Cum Laude from Brigham Young University, and went through 5 years of fertility treatments and was blessed with 2 adoptions to create her family of 3 beautiful children. She and her husband Shane have lived all over Utah from Enterprise to Logan and currently reside “north of the border” in Boise, Idaho. Besides reading and writing, Jennifer enjoys wakeboarding and visiting any zoo, aquarium, or museum with her daughter and two sons. Check out her blog for details on her blog tour going on now and entering her Delivering Hope book giveaway. You can connect with Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, or watch her book trailer.
I am an infertility survivor. After five years of fertility treatments, two amazing adoptions, and a life-threatening (literally) pregnancy that ended at 28 weeks with an emergency C-section and a 2 lb. 8 oz. baby boy who spent 61 days in the NICU, I can truly say that I survived it and came out on the other side a more loving, understanding, hopeful person. I want to help others do the same.
That brings us to the release of my debut novel, Delivering Hope. A fictional account of one woman (Olivia) struggling with infertility, and another woman (Allison) facing an unintended pregnancy. It is a story about infertility and adoption, heartache and healing, and the power of love to provide hope in the midst of trials.
While the characters and events are fictional, the emotion is all very real, and I drew from my own struggles and feelings as I wrote. Although it was a little difficult to lay those true-to-life thoughts and feelings out for all to see, I knew what Olivia would have been going through and could write it very honestly. It was a little morechallenging to convey Allison’s story because I have never been in her situation. So, I listened to many birth moms, and took what I learned to create Allison. Then instead of just telling what happened to her, I put myself in her shoes and tried to actually feel what she would have felt. This helped me to write her story with honest, heartfelt emotion.
If we want to touch people’s hearts and uplift or encourage them (this was my goal), our readers have to be able to relate with the characters we write, and I believe that one of the best ways to do this is to provide them with some common ground. Because we all live in a world of real emotion, portraying this honestly and without manipulation is a great way to give our readers something to connect with.
So, don’t be afraid to get so caught up in your characters that you shed a tear or two along with them, or let out a little cheer when they succeed. If you’re writing from the heart, your readers will feel it and it just might bring them a little bit of hope, love, or happiness. What could be better than that?