Hi everyone! Thank you so much for allowing me to share today.
I’ve known I wanted to write since I was twelve. However, at age 30, God called me to write Christian fiction. I’d just begun writing book three in a secular series when God dropped this new directive on me, and I told Him, “Sure, Lord, just as soon as I finish this novel.” Can you imagine that conversation?
God: “I said I want you to write Christian fiction.”
Me: “And I said I would—after this novel.”
Me: “You can’t ask me to shift gears now!”
God: “Um, I’m God, and I just did!”
For a month, I wrestled with Him before I finally surrendered. Once I did, God told me to continue with the story I was writing but bring the characters to Him.
That was my first foray into writing Christian fiction.
In the past sixteen years, I’ve written a lot of stories, and there’s been some level of a Christian element to almost all of them. However, in writing my latest, Sand Creek Serenade, I experienced God in a very different way than I have with any other story.
From the moment the story took shape in my mind, I knew there would be a stronger spiritual arc than in any story I’d written before. As I began to pray about that, God gave me a Bible verse to pray over the story. Psalm 2:8—"Ask of Me and I will give you the nations…” While I’ve chosen a verse I felt paired nicely with the theme of a story before, I’ve never had God give me a verse. So I have prayed this verse over this story for well over a year.
Then, as I began the actual writing, a certain song kept coming up—on the radio, in church services, just about everywhere I turned. Bethel Music’s No Longer Slaves.
Every time I heard the song, I’d get such a sense of the story’s hero and heroine. I could imagine them clearly. I finally put the song into my playlist and started listening to it before I’d sit to write each day, and each time I heard it, upcoming scenes I needed to write would begin to play like a movie in my mind. In fact, that experience began to spill over into church worship services.
As we’d begin to praise God through song week after week, He’d give me “downloads” of upcoming scenes in movie form. These downloads were so vivid I’d go home and write them out. To my astonishment, I finished writing the story in a record four months.
While I have sensed God’s direction or help while writing other stories, I’ve never experienced His presence in the ways I did in writing Sand Creek Serenade. I’m excited to see where He might take this story or how He might use the novel to reach readers. It should be exciting to watch what unfolds starting tomorrow when the story releases!
Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a pre-teen when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West.
Armed with a B.A. in writing, she has finaled and won in numerous writing competitions and been on the ECPA best-seller list numerous times. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker.
Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, college-aged son, and four fur children.
Social Media Links:
I'm starting a new segment here on my blog to introduce you to authors you might not know about or even to highlight authors you do know. It may be an author interview, an excerpt from their newest work, or something altogether different. I'll leave it entirely up to the author! I'll be posting these once a month, maybe twice, depending upon the demand.
I'm excited about one of the upcoming authors--C. Hope Clark, who writes about mysteries on the banks of the Edisto River (Edisto Island Mysteries) which is not far from my home town. So check back to meet your next favorite author, get a sneak peek at what they're working on, or learn about something you don't know. You never know what you'll find here!
My thoughts, experiences, challenges, and goals. Right here. At least once a week or so. Oh, and opinions, too. Those will definitely come in. Join me!