Friday, April 15, 2011
Interview with Denise Hildreth Jones
Denise Hildreth-Jones is a writer and international speaker. She has spoken for the last decade to women’s ministries, churches, and for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Denise began her career over seventeen years ago writing for other people. She eventually ventured into the world of fiction with her first novel, Savannah from Savannah, and has since published several books. Her novels have been featured in Southern Living; hailed as “smart and witty” by Library Journal; and chosen for the Pulpwood Queen’s and Women of Faith book clubs. And her recent novel is Hurricanes in Paradise. Denise makes her home in Nashville, Tennessee where she lives with her husband, five bonus children, two dogs and enjoys a good book and a Coca-Cola.
1. "Flying Solo"is your journal through the first year of divorce, what do you think journaling did for your healing?
I think it was vital to my healing. One of the best gifts that I gave myself. When I was incapable of praying those journals were my prayers.
2. Do you have any advice for journaling?
Don't go into it with an agenda. Simply let it be a place where your feelings and thoughts and emotion can flow out freely. And making them prayers or letters to God is always a beautiful way to journal.
3. You also talk about your alive journal, will you tell a more about that and how it helped you?
One of the things I lost inside my marriage was my heart. I just shut it down. I forgot what I liked, and just became a heart that merely existed. But when I sat in my counselor's office the first time I knew I had to get my heart back. And I went on a desperate attempt to reclaim my heart. So my "alive" journal was where I recorded all of the moments that I felt completely alive. Like riding horses, being at Disney World...all of the things that made me belly laugh and feel completely alive.
4. What do you hope readers will take away from "Flying Solo"
That singleness is not something to wish away. That God is abundantly present in a detailed way in the depths of our pain. And reclaiming a shut down heart is the most wonderful gift you can give yourself.
5. What is your writing process?
Well, fiction is different from non-fiction. Non-fiction is more purposeful. You know where you're going. It is far more outlined and structured. But my fiction is completely organic. I usually know where I will begin and sometimes know where I will end, but each day I ask God to show up having no idea where we will go. And each day He does. And after about six months we have us a new book!
6. When you write do you always have a message in mind. Or does it come about as you write the characters?
(I answered this I think in the above answer)
7.Do you ever find it challenging to get to you keyboard everyday? What do you do when the words won't come?
Every day I'm afraid. There isn't a day I sit at the computer that I'm not afraid there will be nothing that comes out. But without him there wouldn't be anything anyway. I'm not that clever. So, gratefully, if he gives the idea, then he shows up each day with a new one.
8. When you're not writing, what are you doing?
Well, I remarried last year to a wonderful man who has five beautiful children, and I never had children inside my first year marriage. So, I am still learning how to breathe and grocery shop and fix dinner for seven people! Every now and then I get to read a book for pure enjoyment and drink a Coca-Cola!
9. On Pink Sapphire, we rate books in carats. A whole gem parcel being the best. What books a worthy of a whole gem parcel to you?
I love "A Time to Kill" by John Grisham. "Same Kind of Different As Me." Loved that book! And anything by C.S. Lewis.
10. What have you always dreamed of writing about but haven't yet?
So far, everything I've dreamed about I've written I think.
11. Do you have any plans to work on more non-fiction?
Yes, I am working on a new non-fiction project now all about what I learned during my years of Flying Solo and what it means to "reclaim your heart".
12.What are you currently working on? What is next for you?
Well, I am finishing up the final edits of my new fiction book "The First Gardener" that comes out on August 1st!
Thanks Denise, I'm definitely looking forward to your next book!
You can visits Denise Hildreth-Jones' website
Buy the book