Through Homelessness and Beyond I Do: An Interview with Jennifer Slattery

Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for venturing to other worlds with me today. Tell me a bit about where you’re from.

I’m originally from a small dairy town located in northwestern Washington called Mount Vernon. It’s about an hour north of Seattle and maybe an hour and a half south of the Canadian border. I loved the easy access to mountains, being so close to the Puget Sound, and yet equally close to one of my favorite cities in the US—Seattle.

Oh, I’d love to live close to mountains. What about your journey to salvation? Can you tell me a bit about it too?

I accepted Christ at a young age through a Good News neighborhood Bible club. I don’t remember much about the club, but I do remember the woman who led it. I can still visualize her. I also remember she fed us popcorn. J And I remember she told me Jesus loved me so much He died for me. That really hit me and filled me with such joy! Fast forward almost a decade later… Things got crazy and I spiraled into a big ol’ mess, eventually ending up on the streets. But God never left me, and even there, He loved me, and He pulled me out.

An amazing testimony, one I’m sure helps you share the infinite ways in which He reaches us differently. Now, let’s get to books—one of my favorite topics. Which author do you most admire? Why?

I have so very many. I love Mary Connealy, Kathleen Y’Barbo, and Deborah Raney because first, they’re all exceptional writers, but second, they’re always ready and willing to help others whenever they can. (Though I have no idea where they find the time!) I also admire Kathi Macias, author of The Singing Quilt for her courage to tackle some really tough issues like Christian persecution and sex trafficking in her novels.

What’s your favorite book? Why?


LOL! That is a tough question, isn’t it.

Um… The one I’m reading? Meaning, I seem to be most drawn to whatever book I’m reading at the time, and I rarely read a book twice. I recently finished A Light in the Wilderness by Jane Kirkpatrick and loved it! I also really loved The Help. Great book! Good enough that I watched the movie (and I’m not a TV or movie person). Oh, and I loved Maze Runner by James Dashner. This novel was similar to Hunger Games in many ways, but honestly, I thought it was better. This one’s going to be a movie, too, and yep, I’m going. Though I have a feeling I’ll find the book was better. Isn’t that always the way it is? Right now I’m reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which is phenomenal. And heart-wrenching.

List three of your favorite opening lines to novels. In what ways did each captivate you?

From Exposed by Ashley Weis: “The sound of my cell phone buzzing across the dining room table, the scent of Pine-Sol from the kitchen sink, the strange feeling that my life might change forever—I remember that Friday as it were yesterday.” This struck me as haunting. Scents are some of our strongest memories, pleasant or terrifying. The end of this line tells us those she remembered were the latter.

From Dahveed: Yahweh’s Chosen: “Gripping my belt knife, I looked down at the man lying on the floor at my feet, the blood seeping from the wound on his shoulder.” This line puts us right in the action and yet, it also shows us a moment of indecision, of inner turmoil. Will he kill his wounded enemy? Must he? What would happen if he doesn’t? These are questions one must finish reading to answer, and they don’t have time, for the bloodied individual’s life hangs in the balance! J

From Prophet by Frank Peretti: “John Barret heard God speak when he was ten years old.” Okay, I don’t have to explain that one, right? At ten? That had to be terrifying! Plus, well, this is by Peretti, so we know this is leading up to something good.

Agreed. Frank Peretti’s stories always lead up to something good. What is your favorite genre to read? Write?

I read almost anything and everything though I do prefer more intense, issue-focused fiction. This is what I write as well, though I like to add lots of romance and humor.

Tell me about Beyond I Do. Where did you get the idea, as well as continued inspiration, for your novel?

Much of Beyond I Do birthed from my own experiences with homelessness as a teen, my encountering those who appeared apathetic and misinformed regarding homelessness in my adult years, and my desire to help folks see the stories behind the dirtied faces of those holding up cardboard signs. The setting for the novel arose because I was living in Kansas City when I wrote it and I fell in love with Missouri’s deciduous trees, crisp falls, and four distinct seasons.

Oh, the ways in which the Lord speaks through us…

Beyond I Do: Released Sept. 2014


Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?

Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.

Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

Read a free, 36-page excerpt here.


Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently available in print and e-book format for under $10! You can find it here.

Jennifer loves helping aspiring authors grow in their craft, and has editing slots open beginning in November. Find out more here:

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud

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