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Interview: Jennifer Rogers Spinola, author of Southern Fried Sushi Series
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Interview: Jennifer Rogers Spinola, author of Southern Fried Sushi Series

28 Aug Posted by in Interviews | Comments Off on Interview: Jennifer Rogers Spinola, author of Southern Fried Sushi Series
Interview: Jennifer Rogers Spinola, author of Southern Fried Sushi Series

'Til Grits Do Us Part by Jenny Rogers SpinolaShe’s Planning Her Wedding and Dodging a Stalker

Highly Anticipated Conclusion to the Southern Fried Sushi Series

 Uhrichsville, OH – Shiloh is planning her wedding, hiding from her past, and dodging a stalker. With a madman determined to stop her wedding, Shiloh’s on the run in ‘Til Grits Do Us Part, book three in Jennifer Rogers Spinola’s Southern Fried Sushi series available this November.

Shiloh Jacobs is planning her wedding without family, without money, and without a clue and trying to make a go of small-town Southern life where supposedly nothing ever happens. Until Shiloh, who works as a crime reporter to make ends meet, stumbles on an unsolved case about a missing woman that makes her run in the opposite direction right into the would-be killer’s web of plans. In the midst of sorting through her tragic past and strained relationships, Shiloh finds herself on the run from a madman and hoping she can make it to her wedding alive.

 

Jenny Rogers SpinolaAbout the Author

Jennifer Rogers Spinola, Virginia/South Carolina native and graduate of Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina, now lives in the capital city of Brasilia, Brazil, with her husband, Athos, and their son, Ethan. Jennifer and Athos met while she was serving as a missionary in Sapporo, Japan. When she’s not writing, Jennifer teaches English to ESL students in Brasilia. Find out more about Jenny at www.jenniferrogersspinola.com.

Q&A with the Author

How has Shiloh’s character grown since the first two books of the Southern Fried Sushi series?

I’ve definitely given Shiloh a bit more maturity since the first book, which is natural as most of us do go through “growing” periods in our life – especially when things get tough. She’s had some major reality shifts, believes differently, and is just starting to get comfortable with her new identity as a believer in Christ and with a life outside of her “dream plan.”

Are there any new characters introduced in ‘Til Grits Do Us Part?

I think the main character addition is Shiloh’s gun-toting, hippie co-worker Meg, a photographer at the News Leader. Since Shiloh’s good friend Kyoko is transitioning from Japan back to the States and eventually on to Europe, it just didn’t feel realistic to me to bring her to Staunton except for a visit. Meg seemed to fill the gap nicely, almost as a foil for Kyoko – and she was so much fun to write about!

What was your favorite part with writing the Southern Fried Sushi series?

I don’t know—I’ve really enjoyed all of it. I love being able to use humor in writing (which is probably one of my favorite things) and write about places I love and sometimes miss. I like being able to come back to my Southern “roots” in a different way, with a fresh perspective as an adult and woman who’s lived abroad, and point out the funny parts as well as the things I deeply adore about the American South and Southern living. I also enjoy mixing humor with sadness or tragedy, which is something I’ve found to be very true about real life.

Of the three titles in the series, which one is your favorite?

I’d have to say the second in the series. I’ve enjoyed writing them all, but “Like Sweet Potato Pie” captures the romance I love and mingles adventure (running from a friend’s psycho ex) with surprise (people who show up in unlikely places). I also liked putting it all together into a sort of “happy” ending, which leaves loose ends like loss, questions, and sacrifice but still seems to meld into something that satisfies the heart.

If you could go into more detail with one of the characters’ back-stories from this series who would it be and what details would you share?

I think the character (besides Shiloh) who really resonates with readers is Shiloh’s unlikely friend Becky Donaldson. I’ve had more comments about her than any other character besides Shiloh, and more readers who have felt they can relate to her—often through the topic of infertility—than I ever expected. I’ve even thought of writing a series based on her life and struggles, perhaps including how she met her husband and her feelings as she watches others have children with ease, and several readers have expressed interest in seeing more of Becky.

The other character who has gotten lots of reader comments is Adam’s older brother Rick Carter, the war hero and double amputee. I’ve even received messages from a reader whose husband is an amputee and loved the idea of including Rick as an important character—and liked the idea of seeing more about him. I think if I were writing about Rick I’d show some of his life before the amputation and how he struggles to fit his new body into his life after rehabilitation and the accident that took his legs.

What got you interested in writing Contemporary Christian Fiction?

I enjoy reading contemporary Christian fiction books, and I really like it when the stories are relevant to today’s life and issues. In the past I sometimes felt books portrayed life, especially Christian life, as “too good to be true,” which seems a little misleading to me. I like characters (flawed, down-to-earth, quirky characters, not plastic Hollywood models) who tackle the hard issues with courage and also failures, because this is true to life. And I enjoy having something deep to take away once the story is done.

Have you ever considered writing for a different genre?

Yes! I’ve just turned in the manuscript for “Yellowstone Memories,” a four-in-one romance novella collection based on Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. This book features four different short novels that start in the late 1800s, move into the 1930s and Great Depression, then into the 1980s and the Yellowstone fires, and finally into contemporary times. I really enjoy writing historical fiction and would definitely do so again—all the while sticking to my brand of “ordinary people, extraordinary stories”: showing that normal, flawed, un-flashy people really do make great stories and great characters.

I’d also like to write non-fiction as well, especially in the topic of adoption, which has been such a great blessing to me and my family. I like the idea of writing devotionals, too, and perhaps a few other non-fiction topics.

 

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