After embracing careers as a radio talk show host, marketing and media professional, freelance writer and voice over artist, Jae Henderson made her debut as a Christian/Inspirational romance author. Through her website, www.imagoodwoman.com, Jae is constantly motivating women to embrace their virtue and accomplish great things. The I’m A Good Woman Literary Series, began in 2011 with her debut novel, Someday, and is an extension of that spirit of success and imparts lessons of love, perseverance and triumph. In 2012, she released the sequel, Someday, Too. Join Jae as she uses her wit and way with words to take us on a most entertaining journey that imparts some sage wisdom and assists readers in further realizing that we may not be perfect but we serve a perfect God. Jae Henderson is a graduate of The University of Memphis where she earned a BA in Communications and an MA in English. She is the former host and producer of On Point, a popular talk show geared toward youth and young adults. Other accomplishments have included serving as a contributing writer for the award-winning, syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show and a successful career as a voice over artist. Her signature voice has been heard in hundreds of commercials and even a couple of cartoons. When Jae isn’t writing she works as a public relations specialist and college professor. She currently resides in her hometown of Memphis, TN.
I began as a freelance writer for local magazines and newspapers here in Memphis. Later, I started putting articles about men and women who were accomplishing amazing things on my motivational website, www.imagoodwoman.com. My novels are an extension of that. I wanted to find another avenue to continue encouraging people to accomplish their dreams while minding their morals.
What did you learn while writing this book?
While writing my first novel, Someday, I learned that writing isn’t as easy as many people think it is. In order to be good at it you must study the craft. There is a technical/mechanical process to writing. Having a product that is not only entertaining but marketable is key to being successful. It also takes a lot of discipline. My second novel, Someday Too, only helped to solidify what writing process works best for me. Some people can crank out a novel in a month. I can’t. I actually believe if I tried to put something together in that short amount of time it wouldn’t be my best work. Taking my time is very important to the development of my novels.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
In both books, I wanted to encourage single Christians to trust God and count their blessings. Just because they don’t have a mate now doesn’t mean it will always be that way and rushing into a relationship that isn’t right for them just so they won’t be alone will ultimately be detrimental. However, while they are waiting for Mr. or Ms. Righteous to come along, people need to continue to work on themselves spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. Enjoy that season of singleness. It could be worst. They could be with someone who is abusive, a habitual cheater, a drug addict or alcoholic…you get the picture. As a single, African American woman, oftentimes, we find ourselves in competition with another woman for a man’s affection. It’s important that we don’t compromise our bodies or our beliefs in order to get a man.
What came first with this story, the characters or the plot? Why?
Definitely, the characters. The plot came to me as I wrote. I know that many writers sit down and create an outline before they begin their novels. I didn’t do that with Someday or Someday, Too. God revealed that plot to me as I wrote. However, with the final book in this trilogy, Forever and A Day, I am creating an outline. At this point, I already have the characters, and I want to make sure that I give my readers a truly grand finale.
What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
The outpouring of love and support I have received from readers and other authors. I am humbled every time someone gives me a compliment or tells me that they loved my book. It always puts a huge grin on my face.
What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?
I love being able to put my thought on paper and the ability to use my imagination by creating this entire world that the characters I create reside in. I can make them say or do anything I want. It’s like the adult version of playing with dolls, only better.
The hardest thing for me sometimes is making myself sit down and write. I love writing but my attention is being pulled in so many directions each day. However, when I do sit down and write, the finished product makes it all worthwhile. I look forward to the day when I can claim that I am a full-time writer.
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
1. Editing your book yourself and having friends who are not editors do it for you in order to save money is a bad idea.
2. My only true competition is myself. Every writer moves at their own pace. I don’t focus on beating another writer to the printer or in the amount of sales I have. It’s my job to make sure that each one of my books resides on a different plateau than my last. We are supposed to get better as we do something more. We can all be successful if we work hard. There are millions of people in the world who love to read, and they are always looking for quality, entertaining books to read.
3. You can’t do it all. Create a team of talented, trustworthy people who have a genuine desire to help you become successful. You’ll run yourself raggedy if you don’t.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Do study your craft and find a mentor. No man is an island. Don’t think that you can just figure this out on your own. It only wastes precious time. There are thousands of people who have done it before you did. Reach out to them and ask for advice. This will allow you to learn from their successes as well their failures. The blueprint has been created. Be smart and follow it but be sure to add a style that is truly your own along the way. Don’t be afraid to write what’s in your heart. Everyone will not like you. That’s a fact, but there are other people who will enjoy what you have to offer and love you!
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
Authors need you to write book reviews. We live in an instant information society, and many people like to research books before they buy them. That is also how authors get noticed by news outlets, book publishers, event planners, etc. If you enjoy someone’s book, please take the time to go to the website of wherever you purchased it or to a literary social networking site and write a review. We’ll be extremely grateful. Book reviews are great publicity.
Tell us something few know about you?
It’s in my bio so I guess it’s not little known anymore. I used to host a radio talk show for youth and young adults, and I’ve been a professional voice over artist for over a decade. I’ve done commercials for national companies like McDonald’s, Ampro, Kroger, Ben & Jerry’s and others. I’m always looking for my next opportunity, and I would love to do cartoons-especially an episode of The Boondocks. I love Aaron McGruder’s work. My VO website is www.jaehendersononline.com.
When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy reading and traveling. They both serve the same purpose. They allow me to escape to a place that isn’t a part of my daily routine. Reading is also research for me. I love immersing myself in the writing styles of others.
What do you do to interact with your readers?
I do a lot of social networking…Facebook, Twitter that sort of thing. I enjoy participating in book club discussions, whether it’s in person or via Skype. I’m also accessible through email. Of course there are the appearances at events, conferences, etc. The wonderful people I’ve met are definitely a bonus to being a writer.
Who was the first author you ever met?
The first one I remember is Harriette Cole. She wrote a book on etiquette called How To Be. Sometime during the 90’s she was in Memphis for a Playtex Pantyhose event and we sat down and had a conversation on the importance of etiquette. So many people don’t have anyone in their lives to introduce them to the proper way to behave in certain settings. I’m still learning myself. I also vividly remember the day I interviewed Alice Walker’s daughter, Rebecca Walker. I read her autobiography Black, White & Jewish. At the time her book was released, she was in her mid 20’s (I think), and I was in awe of how much she had accomplished at such a young age. That meeting motivated me to do more with my life. Your age doesn’t dictate how big of an impact you can have. Your determination and hard work does.
Oprah always asks, what do you know for sure?
I know for sure that I am a child of God, and He has called me to minister to people through my writing. He’s calling young women and young men to recognize that a lot of what we initially thought was entertainment has now made its way into main stream society and has been deemed acceptable. These negative behaviors have contributed to a decline in morals. I’m talking about women walking around half-naked thinking it’s cute, promiscuity, sinful or illegal acts committed to obtain a wealthy or glamorous lifestyle, etc. What God says is unacceptable is still unacceptable. He is calling us to do better. My books serve as realistic, applicable examples of why we should do better and how we can use faith and scripture to help us do so. We will never be perfect. As humans, we a flawed by nature but we at least owe it to Him to try. God has blessed each of us in more ways than we can count. You don’t have to be a prude or boring to be a Christian. You can still have plenty of fun. I do it regularly.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
Forever and A Day is the end of the Someday series. People will find out if their stalker, Becca is actually still alive. Sorry, but that’s all I’m willing to give away. (-:
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
You can always find me at www.imagoodwoman.com www.jaehendersonauthor.com They can sign up for my monthly newsletters on the two sites above. www.facebook.com/imagoodwomn www.twitter.com/imagoodwoman
There’s my blog for singles: My Side of the Single Life http://imagoodwoman2.blogspot.com/
Then, there’s always my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a child Tina “Tee” Long dreamed of having it all and as one of Memphis’ most sought after event planners everyone believes she's achieved it. Even though creating breathtaking events and rubbing elbows with the social elite seems fulfilling, there’s one thing missing from her fairy tale life—her prince charming. After a string of failed, faith-challenging relationships this woman of God refuses to give up on meeting the man of her dreams. Tee knows in her heart that God will answer her prayers--SOMEDAY. Until then, she tries to remain prayerful and content by occupying her time with work, her sister’s drama-filled marriage and counseling wayward youth. When Tee is introduced to an incredibly handsome, retired NFL player named Michael Stokes, it seems that someday has finally arrived. There's one problem. He’s been marked for death.
Michael Stokes thought life was over after a knee injury claimed his career as a NFL superstar. He realized just how wrong he was after dedicating his life to Christ and beginning on a wonderful new path as a motivational speaker and book author. He even meets Tee, a woman that makes all the other women he’s dated seem like a waste of time. But when his past comes back to haunt him Michael’s greatest fear is not the loss of his lucrative contract but losing the woman who must be heaven sent. Will Tee accept a man who has a killer on his trail and a surprising new addition to his family? Someday is full of adventure, excitement, thrills, laughter and love as Tee and Michael fight to stay alive in order to stay together.
Someday, Too picks up right where Someday left off with more romance, more mystery, more laughs, and more mayhem! Tee and Michael are back but so are “the girls.” Sandy is expecting a new bundle of joy but the baby blues take over when her adulterous past comes back to haunt her. Lenice finally seeks help for her man-hating ways, but learning to love again is hard to do even if there is a good man willing to help. Her twin, Lenora, has a love affair with food that is threatening her health and her marriage. Also, Tiffany finds herself living single after giving her married lover the boot, but she isn’t fond of living without his loot. Can she find the strength to take care of herself and her son on her own, or will her love of money keep her tied to a sinful relationship?
Someday, Too delves into the complexities of love, friendship and faith. It reminds us that God can provide all your needs but first, you have to be willing to trust Him.
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