Thursday, November 22, 2012

Please Join Me In Welcoming Jessiqua Wittman

Hello Jessiqua and welcome to my blog. Thank you for taking the time to interview with me today. Why don't you start by telling us a little about yourself?

My first love was a good story, any good story I could get my hands on. My mom says I was tested and had a 4th grade reading level at age five, so I can’t remember a time in my life when I couldn’t read. As I got older, if whatever story I read didn’t seem realistic enough, I would color in the details and plug in the gaps until a whole back-story filled the pages. Shallow, two-dimensional characters gained histories and pasts...

When I was about 11 years old, my parents paid for me to take a writing course. I enjoyed it to the hilt. Most of the kids around me didn’t seem that into it and barely completed their small books they were supposed to write, but I think I finished about five... A whole new world had opened up to me. The world of writing. The written word fascinated me. I could create an entire world contained within the two covers of a notebook. A world where anything could happen, a world filled with adventure and beauty and excitement. A wonderful place to be...

As I grew older and bloomed into a relationship with God and learned more about the troubles and struggles of the world, the childish aspects of my writing gradually began to fade into more serious aspects. I began to cope with my wild teenage emotions by writing, I began to cope with the terrible evils of the world around me by writing, I began to deal with my own spiritual turmoil by writing. My Father in Heaven would whisper to me as I sat on my bed and scribbled out my dreams, frustrations and desires. He began to let me see His light in the darkness, He began to explain that there’s no such thing as victory without struggle, He began to show me how He’s all encompassing, all knowing, and wants to be involved in every detail possible of our lives. How He already knows every secret of every soul, but He wants to be invited in. All too often we shun our Maker from the deepest, darkest places of our hearts because we’re afraid of Him judging us for what’s inside, when in actuality we should be honored and thankful that He cares enough to want to help us clean the place up.

As I grew up, got married, had children, learned all these things and more, the characters in my head began to grow even more real. Gradually they became more than just pieces of my heart, they became pieces of the hearts of those I saw struggling around me. Their confusions, victories and disappointments became touchable to me. Even more so though, their stories became the line through which God could whisper His love. His grace and mercy began to flow through my fingers. He didn’t give me all the answers, but He allowed me to see His heart, and He gave me the ability to communicate it for Him on paper.

Please tell me about your novel. Who or what was your inspiration behind it?
A Memoir of Love is the first novel in the Memoirs of Life series. It’s a story about a colony trying to become a nation. And the people behind that transformation.

MOL’s characters dwell in a future version of our own world. Most of the population centers of the planet were destroyed many years before. The survivors of the decimation scattered and founded widespread “settler cells” instead of rebuilding their old nations.

The old settler generation is dying off in MOL’s specific colony, Marna. The former leaders are growing ancient. It’s time for the refugees to choose a new boss. The people have split apart into factions, and each has its own leader that they want to put in power.

That’s just the background though. Truly the story is about the characters; here’s a few of the main ones.

Hazael: The Revolutionary leader, the “rising king”. Hazy is a moody agnostic that you either love or hate, usually at the same time.

Maia: Hazael’s beautiful lady-friend that both inspires and infuriates him. She is a sensitive, spoiled immigrant from the neighboring colony Marna is at war with.

Clare: A runaway sex slave trying to make a new life for herself. She’s still hunted by her former master and mental demons though.

Tov: A stubborn “good boy” that tries to help Clare. He quickly finds that there’s a big difference between affection and love though. One lasts a moment, one endures forever.

Iago: Clare’s ex-master. He’s a man haunted by his own devils, issues that are unexpectedly easy to identify with.

Thomas: Hazael’s brother, confidant, spokesman, military commander and tease. A workaholic to say the least, he’s always busy and often absent.

Love: Thomas’ wife, the woman that records the story. A quiet encourager and support to them all, she struggles with her own problems silently until they become too much for her. Then it gets messy.

When you sit down to write, do you do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper or do you use a computer? Do you prefer one way or the other?

I used to be a pen-and-paper girl. I always had several pens and notebooks with me. My book was over a 1,000 handwritten pages long and stored in a HUGE binder. Gradually I had to transfer everything from the paper to the computer so that I could publish it. Nowadays I simply don’t have the time for that. Everything goes directly to the laptop. It’s faster and cleaner and less likely to get toddler scribbles all over it.

 Did you get to quit your day job and become an author or do you still have a day job and writing is something you do for fun? If you still have a day job, what is it?
Haha… Someone asked me once when I was going to get a “real job”. I felt like throwing a hissy fit. I have a hard-working husband to feed and love, and two toddlers to guard and nurture, and a house to clean and upkeep. That’s three jobs and passions rolled into one. Then there’s writing…

 What has been the strangest thing that a reader has asked you?

To kill a Llama. Yeah… I know… strange. You see, in A Memoir of Love, a dog gets killed. Several people die too, but I’ve heard quite the outcry on behalf of that poor dog. So one day (in exasperation) I retorted that everyone wouldn’t care so much if a llama had died. One of my loyal readers responded by making me promise that in my next book, I would kill a llama. That way we can see if I get the same horrified response…

 Besides writing and reading, what is your favorite thing to do?

Watching my children soak in life with awe-struck eyes. I have two toddlers. They enjoy the world around them to the hilt. I bask in the glow of their happiness.

We all have our little things when it comes to reading, is there anything that bugs you when you read a novel? What is it?

Perfection. It bugs me when the heroes are perfect. It bugs me when the villains are “perfectly evil”. I don’t see black-black and white-white people in real life, usually we’re all varying shades of grey. Christian books are especially prone to this. Yes, the Holy Spirit makes us “able” to obey God. But that doesn’t mean everything becomes easy once we become saved. Character is nurtured in us through overcoming trials. “We boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:2-3 (NIV)

Who was your current novel dedicated to? Any particular reason?

A Memoir of Love is dedicated to my parents. Much of it was written when I was a moody teenager. My Mom told me once that I left home months before I ever moved out because I got so buried in writing “my book”. They tolerated it then, and encouraged it later after I got married and had kids of my own.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?

The toughest criticism has probably been about the book’s time setting. The plot is set over two hundred years in the future. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people tell me that it can’t be a Christian book because it’s set that far in the future. They say that Christ has to come back sooner than that, and that it’s stupid to write a book about the world lasting that long.

My answer to that is: That’s why it’s Christian FICTION, people… I’m looking forward to Jesus coming back as much as the rest of us. But that doesn’t mean I can’t tell a story about Him putting that off a couple hundred years.

The biggest compliment has probably been the joined emotional response of several people to certain concepts of the book. God has used this story to bring about a lot of soul healing. I’m honored to see it.

The way all this changes what I am doing in my next novel? It encourages me to trust in my intuition. I used to wonder if what I was hearing was really from God. Now I don’t worry so much about it. As long as I keep praying over everything, I can trust that He’ll tell me if something is far off.

Which is your favorite character in your book and why?

Ohhh! This is the hardest question! Each of my characters are individual and have their moments of both shame and glory. They all frustrate me and make me proud at times. It’s like picking a favorite kid…

But… since I have to choose. Hazael comes to mind. Many of his struggles with God and life are inspired by a person very close to me. I feel for Hazy in a very deep way. He’s been a part of my life since I was very young. His lame jokes also make me laugh… every time… *sheepish smile*

Is there anything else that you would like to share or say to those who will read this interview?

A Memoir of Love has mature themes, coarse language and sexual dialogue in it. I myself don’t like that stuff in my own reading material. If I could write a book alone, I would have written a very different kind of story than this one. It would have been adventuresome, fluffy and romantic. However… I didn’t write this book alone. My Father in Heaven whispered it to me. He wanted me to tell a story about His love. The love that made Him reach out to scoundrels and hookers when He was here in the flesh. The love that makes Him reach out to druggies, old grouches, molested children and devoted atheists today. Therefore… Some of the subject matter contained in the book is very uncomfortable for some people. It has been very uncomfortable for me to write, that’s for sure. God hasn’t called us to do what is easy or comfortable though, He’s called us to do His will, and communicating His love in this manner is part of His will for me.

Oh and… several people have commented on the six beautiful illustrations in A Memoir of Love. They were drawn by K.A. Brown, and can be found online at:

Book Synopsis:

The year is 2143 C.E.
The place is an insignificant settler cell in the Damascus region. Consumed with unrest and divided by indecision, it is the perfect battlefield for the spiritual forces of a post-apocalyptic world.

The original inhabitants of this land were descendants of the ancient Hadadian kings of Damascus, but after the second Great War ended, the refugees from the destroyed population centers nearby decided to call this area their new home. The Hadadians fell easily to their following conquest. They were already weak from religious skirmishes within themselves, and the covetous refugees were far more advanced technologically. 

That was all sixty years ago. This year, 2143, our year, is the period everything is going to change for the forgotten kingdom. We, the multicultural grandchildren of that history, are ripe for a social Revolution. Our Settler’s Senate Council have proved themselves incompetent as leaders time and time again, and now war is looming with our European neighbor, Charn. Our last hope is to elect a Hadadian king to take the reins of our riotous people and rule like a man again.

Corruption loves company, and it never rests until anarchy reigns…

 Purchase the book here:  Amazon | Barnes&Noble | eBookstore | Ipad | Kobo

Reach the author via: Blog | Website


  1. I look forward to reading each of your interviews. They are quite insightful and give you so much info about the authors and their books.

  2. Wow... gorgeous! I'm saving this site for sure, Pam. Your attention to detail is stunning and inspiring!

  3. Thanks Nancy and Jessiqua. It's all about helping and supporting each other.

  4. Wow ..... thats really all i can say... I look forward to reading all of her stuff thanks for the interview