There’s five weeks in July which means you get to hear from someone other than us. Today we’ve got Jennifer Novotney who writes inspirational YA fiction. We thought it might be fun to ask her about write Christian stories. So here she is, welcome Jennifer!
Jennifer Novotney was born in Burbank, California and lived in Los Angeles for most of her life until settling in North Eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter. She attended California State University, earning a bachelors degree in journalism, and Northern Arizona University, earning a masters degree in English. After college, she spent several years writing and teaching, including at Pennsylvania State University.
In theory, I could really write any type of fiction. Yet, there is something from deep down inside that draws me to write fiction with an inspirational theme and message. I’ve always loved books that aim to inspire, whether designated as Christian fiction or not. I’m a thinker. I always have been. Stories with a message have been my favorite for as long as I can remember.
When I got my contract to publish my book, Winter in the Soul, with Anaiah Press, I was of course elated. To be honest, I never thought about what type of publisher might be drawn to my story, other than one that publishes young adult fantasy. This was my first experience with a Christian publisher and I have to say that I’ve been quite impressed along every step of the way.
Christian fiction is typically clean without profanity, explicit violence or sex. Maybe it’s the teacher in me that gravitates to stories like these, but those are the type I normally read and write. I like to write stories that I would be proud to have my daughter or students read without feeling that there would be any inappropriate content to worry about.
Inspirational Themes in Winter in the Soul
When I set out to write Winter in the Soul, I aimed to speak to universal truths and I think that’s exactly what Anaiah Press saw in the story. It’s an allegory where the world, characters, and events represent ideas and concepts that are part of a larger vision.
- Corruption of Greed. One person or place holding all the power illustrates how greed is detrimental to the good of all.
- Strength of the Common Man. Lilika is called to action. She risks everything to save the others and their lands. She is a hero, but begins as a common girl living in a common place.
- Purity of the Natural World. In it’s simplest terms, the natural world is good, the mutation of it is bad. The darkness overtaking the land in the book is spawned from greed and cannot exist without latching on to the good of the natural world.
Of course, there are many other themes and symbols in Winter in the Soul, but these are three main ones. I like to explore the bigger picture in life through my fiction and I hope readers enjoy the symbolism and inspirational messages that WInter in the Soul provides.
Lilika could be any one of us. She is an ordinary character who sets out to do extraordinary things. She is a hero. I hope that this inspiring message to my readers motivates them to do extraordinary things in life. That’s exactly how I felt reading my favorite inspiring books and I wanted to create this sense of hope in others.
To plant the seed in someone’s mind might be easy, but to inspire them to take action is the greatest feat an author can achieve. I hope to be that author for my readers. I hope to inspire them to greatness in their lives. This is what inspirational fiction is to me.
In a world divided by power and greed, seventeen-year-old Lilika harbors an intense desire to return to Winter in the Soul, the place her family left to escape the darkness that was manifesting from a coldness of the soul.
When she meets Talon, their connection is evident right from the start, and together they travel through the Black Kingdom to recover Lilika’s stolen locket. And in search of an answer to the mystery behind Winter in the Soul.
Lilika holds the key to stopping the darkness from spreading. The fate of their world lies in her hands. Will she stop the Black Kingdom before its darkness overtakes them all, or will they succumb to the darkness that is spreading across the land?