Award-winning author, Sunni Jeffers began writing books when her children left home. Faced with an empty nest, she discovered the joy of writing. In 1992, Sunni and her husband moved to the Great Northwest to raise cattle, timber and hay and to give her the time to write. Her first book came out in 2001. Thirteen years and fourteen books later, a new adventure has begun. She and her husband are exploring the US and Canada in an RV. As they travel, she continues writing suspense, romance, cozy mysteries, and heartwarming stories of women living out their challenges and adventures in everyday life.
INTERVIEW WITH SUNNI JEFFERS
Not long. 26 years. Only published since 2002.
S.S: Do you write full time? If the answer is no, what else do you do? If you are a full time author, what other jobs did you have in the past?
I write full time, off and on. We also travel 75% of the year in an RV. In the past, I’ve done just about everything. Well, that might be an exaggeration. I’ve been a nurses aide; studied nursing; worked for several florists; taught sewing for the Singer Sewing Machine Company; worked as a seamstress; drove a school bus; co-owned a business and managed the office and accounting; co-owned and helped operate a ranch where we bred specialty highland cattle and raised hay and timber.
S.S: Tell us about the moment you finally felt like a “real author”?
When my first book came out, and held it in my hand, I felt like a real author. But that didn’t last long. My sequel was rejected. My publisher had been bought out and I was asked for the second book, which I wrote, and then they told me they weren’t going to do any more romances. They didn’t even read it. I suppose I feel like a real author now that I’ve had 14 books published, but I still have my doubtful moments. When I turn in a book, I wonder if it is any good or will my editor hate it. Then with the next contract, can I do it again?
S.S.: Who has been your greatest supporter as an author?
My husband, without a doubt. He has read many early manuscripts and given me great insights. He has done tasks and run errands for me so I can write. He has encouraged me all the way. In the early years, my mother and my Bible Study friends were great supporters, and in recent years, I’ve been blessed to be part of an amazing group of Christian authors who meet every summer to play, plot and pray. We had our 11th retreat this summer. Many great books have come out of those retreats.
S.S: Do you write in any other genres? If so, what?
I’ve written romantic suspense, supernatural suspense, cozy mysteries and Americana. I have several historical romance series percolating.
S.S: How does your faith play into your writing?
My faith is part of me, so it’s impossible for me to write without a faith element. It naturally spills onto the pages. In most of my books, it has been subtle, but my Guideposts Books have usually centered around a church, so the faith element was built-in. In my romances, it is part of the hero and/or heroine’s journey.
S.S: If you couldn’t write, what else would you want to do?
I would love to try my hand at painting. I don’t have a talent for reality art, like portraits or landscapes, but I’d love to try some mixed media or craft-art. Perhaps I will someday.
S.S: Tell us about your current release.
Heaven’s Strain is a departure from my other books. It is a supernatural medical suspense with a romance. Very mixed genre, but a very fun “What-if…?” story. There are angels, genetic engineering, and a love story with impossible odds. I fell in love with the characters and can’t say goodbye, so I’m starting work on another book.
S.S: Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
In this case, a Bible verse has fascinated me for a long time. I had to explore the possibilities. It took me into the amazing realm of genetics, and kept opening more and more questions. The three wonderful characters and a host of other characters insisted I tell their story.
S.S: What is the main thing you hope readers remember from your story?
That there is always hope and a second chance.
S.S: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?
I adore Ellen and Homer, but Rafe is my favorite. He’s so human and struggles deeply with honor and justice, yet feels unworthy of either.
S.S: Who is your least favorite character in this book? Why?
I will let you find that out on your own.
S.S: What are you working on now?
A sequel. This summer, my amazing brainstorming friends helped me plot the bones of two more books to follow this one.
S.S: Any writing goals you still hope to achieve?
Too many to count. Too many stories to tell. And I keep discovering more.
S.S: Now let’s get a little personal. Name two things on your “bucket list” that you haven’t done yet.
Live aboard a boat. That’s been on our bucket list (then called a dream list) for 38 years. It has morphed into dreaming of an extended cruise of the inland waterways of America. And I want to revisit Palomar Mountain, where I spent many days and weeks in my youth. My parents owned a cabin with a bunch of my mom’s siblings. We had grand family vacations and weekends together there. It was an enchanted place.
S.S: What is the silliest thing you have ever done?
Rattlesnake hunting in Montana. We were with someone who had done it many times. We came back with 39 snakes. He kept them all. I certainly didn’t want them!
S.S: What is the hardest thing you have ever done?
Helped care for our beloved son-in-law the last weeks and months of his life. He went home to heaven last spring after a short battle with cancer.
S.S.: Where can readers find you on the internet?
My web site is www.sunnijeffers.com. Come by and sign up for my blog and newsletter. Also, I’m on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sunni.jeffers); Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/sunnijeffers/); and Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1067817.Sunni_Jeffers)
S.S.: Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Heaven’s Strain will be available by mid-October on Amazon in Kindle and print editions. Someone reading here will win one. They must be in the USA or Canada.
Leave a comment, along with your contact information, for a chance to win a copy of Heaven's Strain!