Saturday, April 7, 2018

Q&A with the amazing Jennifer H. Westall!

So if you've been keeping up with my blog lately, you will see that I've been posting a lot of reviews about the Healing Ruby series by Jennifer H. Westall. If you haven't read this series, you must! I seriously haven't been this into a series since The Hunger Games! I am super excited that Jennifer has so graciously answered a few questions for all you blog readers out there. Prepare to be inspired!

Be honest. Who's your favorite? Ruby or Matthew? ;)

I'm not sure either is really my favorite, because I love them both so much for different reasons. However, I relate most to Matthew. He is most like me in many ways, especially when he is plunging ahead to try to control a situation, rather than waiting on God’s timing.

Which book in the Healing Ruby series is your favorite and why?

That’s like asking me to pick my favorite kid! I can say that each book was an exploration of some of my own struggles in my walk with the Lord. By the time I got to the fourth book, I was battling emotionally, physically, and spiritually in ways I didn’t understand at the time. It sounds strange to say in some regards, but I was under constant attack from the "enemy" while writing the last book. I can remember writing one scene in particular, when a major character is struggling with the concept of trusting in God, and another character tells him, "God didn’t save you from one fire just to lose you in another." That line came to me straight from God, and I had to stop writing, kneel at my chair, and cry for a while. That last book of the series had many, many moments like that for me. Even now, when I reread it, I sometimes have no idea where some of it came from, other than knowing it came from God. So, I’m not sure I’d say the last one is my favorite, but it was definitely the one that had the most impact on me.

Do you have any special places you go to do your best writing?

I don’t have any special places. I just need to be somewhere alone and quiet. That’s hard to come by in my house, which means I usually end up writing late at night after everyone else has gone to bed.

What inspired you to become a writer?

I didn’t start out with the intention of becoming a writer. I just had an interesting story idea in my head and had fun trying to write it out. I spent nine years writing my first novel, with so many edits and rewrites I couldn’t count them all. I had no intention of publishing it, but I loved the idea of the story. Every time I picked up the story to write more, it was like playing with dolls in my own created world. I enjoyed the possibilities and all the "what-if" questions. I didn’t get serious about publishing until I heard stories about my grandmother that I knew would make a great book. Then things just started from there. I kept at it, kept learning, kept writing, and eventually I ended up with a series.

What scripture(s) is/are your favorite to apply to your daily life?

This is also like picking my favorite child! There are so many I love. One of my favorites is Galatians 2:20. It reminds me that I have to die to myself every day, that Christ is living in me, and my life no longer belongs to me. For some, that’s a scary thought: for your life to not be your own. But it’s reassuring for me. I could never make my life into anything good on my own power. Knowing I belong to Jesus gives me hope and purpose.

What books are in your to be read pile at the moment?

Most of them are research books for my next novel (see below for more on that). So they may seem like strange titles. But here are just a few I’m reading/studying. War on the Saints by Jessie Penn-Lewis, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks, The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis, and The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers (that’s the only one I’m reading for my own pleasure right now)

What are your hobbies when you aren't writing amazing books?

I coach volleyball and travel with my team about twice a month. I also enjoy puzzles and brain games. With homeschooling, coaching, mothering, wifing (haha), and writing on my plate every week, I don’t get much time for hobbies. But I prefer staying busy. I never get bored.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Read as much as you can about the craft of storytelling. Give yourself time to learn and grow. Don’t rush to put something out there just because anyone can. Like any skill, it takes time and practice, and you can always get better. Do the work it takes to make your writing shine. And enjoy the process. It’s amazing!

What can we expect from you next?

I’m working on several ideas for the next few years. I’d like to write stand-alone stories for several secondary characters from the Healing Ruby series. First up will be Hope, who will be solving a mystery and battling dark forces as she discovers her spiritual gift set in the mid to late 1960s.

I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse into Jennifer's life and writing and I hope you will check out her Healing Ruby series! Since I love it so much, I am going to giveaway a $10 Amazon card to one of you lucky readers so you can head on over and start downloading the series! Book 1(Healing Ruby) is actually FREE for Kindle right now!

To enter to win, just leave a comment on this blog post and I will draw a random winner. Good luck and happy reading!


  1. I love reading! I will definitely check her out. I’m loving that you’re doing reviews. I’m always looking for new stuff to read.

  2. Ohhh, I’m so glad you shared this on Facebook! I’m trying to be better about reading this year and I’m on the hunt for books that will hold my interest. I love series books because I usually look forward to the next book! Going over to amazon for the first book now!

  3. Yay, I think you girls will love these books! :)

  4. One of my fav series,and I have read hundreds! Enjoyed the interview with Jennifer. I feel like we would be friends. Thanks, Bebe.