Regina Jennings: The Writer & her Book (with giveaway)

Regina Jennings

Chatting with the lovely Regina Jennings today about Harry Connick, Jr., Grandma Austin, and a story twist when you stay up too late writing! Be sure to enter the giveaway of her latest historical romance, For the Record, via the Rafflecopter form below!

The Writer

Please describe yourself in three words (ask your best friend or family if you are struggling!)

Funny, Laid-back, Ornery

What’s your favourite season, and why?

I love Springtime. It’s when warmth returns and in Oklahoma it’s a very dramatic season. Three of the most powerful tornados in history have passed within twenty miles of our house, so there’s a real sense of survival that comes when the sirens go off. Springtime is a bumpy ride, but on the other side is the monotonous, punishing heat of summer, so we enjoy the mild temperatures even if they occasionally bring destruction.

What is the best part of your day?

I’m hardwired to be a morning person, so I’m at my best before the sun comes up. By ten o’clock I either feel like I’ve had a productive day, or I’m frustrated that I’m behind schedule, but my mornings set the tone. Usually that tone is positive.

What do you miss most about your childhood?

I can remember taking long car rides home from my grandparents’ house. It’d be late at night when we got home and usually me and my sisters would be asleep for most of the trip. When we got to the house my mom or dad would carry us in, take off our shoes, and tuck us into bed. Now of course, coming home late at night means a list of things to haul inside, unpack and lock-up before you can go to sleep. I miss having nothing to worry about and going straight to bed.

Which TV talk show host would you like to be interviewed by? Why?

Harry Connick, Jr. I’ve been a fan of his for years, and really, I wouldn’t want him to interview me at all. I just want him to sing, play the piano and talk in that syrupy accent. That’s all.

You are at a fruit market – what do you reach for first?

The Bar-B-Q sandwich in my purse. Well, maybe a watermelon if I must eat fruit.

What was the first Christian Fiction novel you read?

I was staying with my Grandma Austin for a week in the summer and I had already devoured all the books I’d brought along. That’s when she pulled out Once Upon a Summer by Janette Oke and I fell in love with Christian Fiction. She already had the next two books, so I read those straight through. I still remember talking  about the Poldarkstories with her as I was reading them.  Neither of my grandmas lived to see my books in print, but I would’ve loved talking about them together.

What is one author and/or book you always recommend?

Chronicles of the Kings series by Lynn Austin. This biblical fiction series is excellent! It’s the most checked-out series in our church library, possibly because I recommend it to everyone.

What book character has stuck in your mind from a book you have read this year?

Ross Poldark. I read the whole stinking series. He’s a lovable rogue, but he doesn’t mature much over the series. I guess that’s how you keep the tension and conflict going through twelve novels and several decades.


The Book

For the Record

Betsy Huckabee might be a small-town girl, but she has big-city dreams. Writing for her uncle’s newspaper will never lead to independence, and the bigger newspapers don’t seem interested in the Hart County news. Trying a new approach, Betsy pens a romanticized serial for the ladies’ pages, and the new deputy provides the perfect inspiration for her submissions. She’d be horrified if he read her breathless descriptions of him, but these articles are for a newspaper far away. No one in Pine Gap will ever know.
Deputy Joel Puckett didn’t want to leave Texas, but this job in tiny Pine Gap is his only shot at keeping his badge. With masked marauders riding every night, his skills and patience are tested, but even more challenging is the sassy journalist lady chasing him.

What was the working title?

A Good Report. It really was quite clever. She’s a reporter, there’s a question about his reputation and his past, plus a report can refer to a gunshot. But alas, For the Record won.

Describe your book in 5 adjectives:

Adjectives? Nouns are so much easier, but I’ll try: Feisty, romantic, paradoxical, ingenious and community (not an adjective, but important),

What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Do you want to know the truth? Usually I write 1000 words a day. One day I decided that I was just going to finish the book. I was nearing the end and wanted to wrap it up. I wrote 8000 words that day just pushing through until I finished the story. I was probably after eleven o’clock. (I’m a morning person, remember.) The only problem was that I was so tired and discouraged, that I decided that the couple shouldn’t be together after all. The last chapter had Joel and Betsy going their separate ways. Ha! I will never stay up that late writing again.

Which character’s name was the hardest to choose? Why?

Well, I did have a problem with my character names. Joel Puckett was a secondary character in Caught in the Middle, a book from the Ladies of Caldwell County Series. In the Ozark Mountain Series, I had a hero named Jeremiah and a little boy named Josiah. That shouldn’t be too confusing, should it? By the time this book came around, Josiah had grown up and we had Joel coming to town. Jeremiah, Joel, and Josiah? I really didn’t mean to have so many “J’s” as heroes in this series. No more J names!

What’s something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

The whodunit was changed. This time the victim survived. In my first manuscript, he was a goner. Me and my infamous body count. I keep forgetting to keep it light.

Thanks Regina!

Award-wining author Regina Jennings graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor, and has been reading historicals ever since. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She makes her home outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children.

Her latest release is For the Record. She loves to hear from readers at her website – and on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Relz Reviewz Extras
Inside Scoop on Regina
Character spotlight on Abigail & JeremiahAnne & NickMolly & Bailey, and Rosa & Weston
Review of Sixty Acres and a Bride
Visit Regina’s website and blog
Buy at Amazon: For the Record or Koorong

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35 Responses to Regina Jennings: The Writer & her Book (with giveaway)

  1. Great interview! I’m so glad you changed the ending, Regina! 😄

  2. Definitely a night person, but I wish I was a morning person! :)) Lovely interview…it’s so fun seeing the vast answers from different authors!

  3. Nights…YES! Mornings….UGH!!! I’m barely functionable (is that even a word?) before noonish. Since I hate coffee I don’t even have that incentive to get me up and going. By the by…saw Harry Connick, Jr. in concert a few years back and his voice is like butter!!

  4. I am most definitely a night person. When I was fresh out of high school I worked the night shift at a pizza place. It didn’t close until 11pm on weekdays, midnight on weekends. Even after closing you had those final tasks you had to complete before you could leave. Sometimes I wasn’t home until 1am on those weekends and then I had to wind down. I worked there for almost four years before moving on to a day job, but it seems to have stuck with me.

  5. night person, except in college… then my normal hours were “morning person” hours

  6. Night, although I wish I were more of a morning person.

  7. Definitely a night person! I love staying up late with a book that’s so good I can’t put it down!

  8. It depends. If I have to get up for work, I’m a night person. If I have a lot of stuff I want to do the next day, I love getting up early and starting. It feels like you get so much more done that way. Unfortunately, I need my sleep, so being both isn’t an option!!!

  9. I’m definitely a morning person. This book looks great and I really like the cover!

  10. It has been so much fun watching Regina release more and more books. I still remember her debut novel and how much I enjoyed it. :)

    I am definitely more a night person, though trying to force myself into a morning morning (not going well) so I can get work done before heading into work. Ha! :)

  11. I’d love to be a morning person because I know I could get so much done, BUT I’m a night person. I find I read better if it’s quiet and dark. Mornings I’m just thinking of all the things I need to do for the day.

  12. Morning person.

  13. Usually a morning person unless I sleep badly. I’m one of those people with an unfailing internal alarm clock.

  14. I am definitely a night owl! But I love Regina’s books so whatever she’s doing keep doing it! Because it works great! Harry Connick, Jr is a favorite of mine too! 😀 I love your humor Regina! Thanks for having her Rel!

  15. I am definitely a night person! I can stay up til 2 doing homework*I’m in college) and can sleep til noon :)

  16. More of a night owl…….Love to lay in bed and read sometimes till 2AM 😊.

  17. I’m a morning person. My hubby gets up early, so we go to bed early. But I do read in bed until I’m sleepy or until I finish the book. What a fun interview!!!!

  18. I am definitely a night person. My hubby does a lot of work late at night from home, so I try to stay up with him. I am like a bear in the morning!

  19. Definitely a night person! Mornings are very tough for me.

  20. Regina, so glad you changed the ending of the story! I have only read one romance where the couple were not together in the end. The author had him killed off! I have never cried so hard over the ending of a book!

    Can I say I am neither? I like to go to bed early and sleep late! If I have to choose though I would say night owl on the condition that I am reading an awesome book.

  21. I am a morning person. It is still hard to get up in the morning but after a shower I am good to go.

  22. I’d like to be more of a morning person… But it’s hard!

  23. Definitely night! I’ve tried to be a morning person, but no such luck.

  24. It depends. I try to get an early start on excercises because I have to be at Church two days a week at 9:30. But I stay up reading til 11:00 or 12:00 at night. Sometimes a book is too good to put down. I sometimes wake myself up by the Klunk of the book hitting the floor!!!

  25. I always enjoy Regina’s books and look forward to new releases. Enjoyed the interview! I am a morning person.

  26. I’m a night person! I could read all night long, but that doesn’t go very will with going to work the next morning. My husband is a morning person so we have compromised often to make things work.

  27. I’m a night person, no question!

  28. I am definitely a night owl! And therefore, not a morning person at all. I’m excited to read this book because it’s set not too far from where I live! I’m across the border from Missouri in the northwest corner of Arkansas.

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