Character Spotlight ~ Jennifer Erin Valent’s Jessilyn Lassiter

Today the spotlight shines on…………………………………….Jessilyn Lassiter

Jennifer Erin Valent’s debut novel won the Christian Writers’ Guild Operation First Novel Contest in 2007 and has just been released by Tyndale. I am looking forward to reading it and posting a review.

Find out more about Jennifer’s main character in this Southern tale below:~

Physical Description

Jessilyn is tall for her age and has sandy hair, freckles and dramatic green eyes that prompt the boys to call her Jessie The Cat. She doesn’t think she’s particularly pretty or interesting to look at, but she hopes she’s fetching enough to attract the attention of her first love, Luke Talley. The minute I saw Becca Gardner in An Unfinished Life I thought, “That’s Jessie!” Her appearance as well as her personality in the film completely brought Jessilyn to life for me.

Strengths and weaknesses

Jessilyn’s strengths are definitely her loyalty and boldness. Sometimes they get her into trouble, but I love her fiery spirit and willingness to stand up to any battle. Her weaknesses are stubbornness and a quick temper, but I have a feeling she’ll grow out of that… almost.

Quirk

She doesn’t make friends easily, hates wearing dresses and loves to watch thunderstorms.

Inspiration

I think I unwittingly drew from Anne Shirley of Anne Of Green Gables as an inspiration for Jessilyn. I’ve seen the Anne Of Green Gables films so many times, those characters are embedded in my imagination. Anne and Jessilyn are both scrappy, imaginative girls who love books and are fiercely loyal to a very dear friend.

Background

It’s the summer of 1932 and Jessilyn Lassiter is just turning thirteen and developing her first crush. But tragedy strikes when her best friend, Gemma Teague, loses her parents in a house fire. Jessilyn’s family takes her in even though Gemma is black and Jessilyn’s family is white, which doesn’t go over too well in their small Southern Virginia town. Suddenly, Jessilyn’s life is turned upside down by the far-reaching violence of the Ku Klux Klan and by the crushing fear that she may have killed a man in self-defense.

Jennifer – thanks so much for sharing about Jessilyn and I trust Fireflies in December is just the start of your writing career :)

Do comment and encourage Jennifer in her writing journey.


Check back again for another extra spotlight this week, shining on Tamara Tilley’s Tyler Mason and Michal “Mike” Madigan.


Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Jennifer’s website and blog

Check out Jennifer’s collaborative blog on writing, Novel Matters

Buy Jennifer’s book at Amazon or Koorong


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3 Responses to Character Spotlight ~ Jennifer Erin Valent’s Jessilyn Lassiter

  1. Great to hear about the inspiration for Jessilyn! It’s always interesting learning how the author’s imagine their characters.

  2. Thanks to C.J. Darlington for pointing out in her status on Facebook that you are talking about Jessilyn here. This was a very fun blog post. I too, posted a review of Fireflies at http://www.Audrakrell.com. I watched Jennifer win her award at the Christian Writer’s Guild last year, so it was really neat to read this incredible book. Can’t wait for the next one!Thanks again for this great post on your cool blog!

  3. Thanks for passing this post on, C.J.! You know how much I appreciate it.And I had no idea you were at the conference last year, Audra! If you come back this year, be sure to catch up with me. And we’ll get to see C.J. up front as a finalist this year! Thanks to Rel for such a terrific job on Jessilyn’s spotlight!

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