Past, present, and future — writers are lifelong readers. Everyone you talk to can tell you about the books that inspired them back in the day as well as what they’re looking forward to in the future. If you’re interested in adding to your to-be-read pile (and who isn’t?), this is the place for you! And this week we’re talking with Janet W. Ferguson, author of humorous inspirational fiction, about her reading habits.
Thanks for being here! What was the first book you read that you couldn’t put down?
I can’t remember that far back, ha! As far as Christian fiction, I’d say Francine Rivers Mark of the Lion series wiped out a few nights sleep.
What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?
So hard! I absolutely love Kara Isaac’s novel, All Made Up. It was adorable and funny. Sometimes I just need to read sweet and funny to unwind. Kara nailed it!
How about your actual reading habits — where’s the most unusual place you’ve read a book?
I often read in the bathtub! Especially when my children were young. It was sometimes the only time I had privacy back then, but I still do it now and then.
Sounds cozy! Not the place you want to entertain guests though. Instead, let’s pretend you can have dinner with any fictional character. Who would it be?
I’m going to have to go back to Francine Rivers and choose her character Hadassah from A Voice in the Wind. She’s such a sweet Christian woman, despite having gone through persecution by the Romans. I feel like she would be an encouraging person and help me mature in my faith. If she were real. 🙂
What about your own books — if you could turn one into a movie, which would you pick? Who would cast as the main characters?
My first novel, Leaving Oxford, would be fun to have as a movie. Chris Hemsworth would make a nice hero, I think. 🙂 He could play Jess McCoy. Emmy Rossum had the dark hair and eyes similar to my heroine Sarah Beth LeClair.
Tells us about your to-be-read pile. What book are you most looking forward to reading next?
I’m currently reading a wonderful book by Mesu Andrews, Of Fire and Lions, and I definitely plan to read more of her biblical fiction titles! I learn a lot from biblical fiction. It makes me go look in the scripture. I met Mesu recently at an event and she’s a very nice person, as well!
Which do you prefer: character-drive fiction or plot-driven fiction?
I am a character-driven writer and reader. I have to be able to connect with them or I don’t care about the story.
Thank you, Janet, for giving us a look at your reading life! Before you leave, please tell us a little bit about yourself and your upcoming novel.
I grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in banking and finance from the University of Mississippi. In the past, I served as a children’s minister and a church youth volunteer. I also worked as a librarian at a large public high school. These days I write humorous inspirational fiction for people with real lives and real problems. My husband and I have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a few cats that allow them to share the space.
Connect with Janet:
Rivers Sullivan bears both visible and
invisible scars—those on her shoulder from a bullet wound and those on her
heart from the loss of her fiancé during the same brutal attack. Not even her
background as an art therapist can help her regain her faith in humanity.
Still, she scrapes together the courage to travel to St. Simons Island to see
the beach cottage and art gallery she’s inherited from her fiancé. When she
stumbles upon recovering addicts running her gallery, she’s forced to reckon
with her own healing.
After the tragic drowning of his cousin, James Cooper Knight spends his days trying to make up for his past mistakes. He not only dedicates his life to addiction counseling, but guilt drives him to the water, searching for others who’ve been caught unaware of the quickly rising tides of St. Simons. When he rescues a peculiar blond woman and her sketch pad from a sandbar, then delivers this same woman to his deceased grandmother’s properties, he knows things are about to get even more complicated.
Tragic circumstances draw Cooper and Rivers closer, but they fight their growing feelings. Though Cooper’s been sober for years, Rivers can’t imagine trusting her heart to someone in recovery, and he knows a relationship with her will only rip his family further apart. Distrust and guilt are only the first roadblocks they must overcome if they take a chance on love.