JC Gardner - Urban Dramedy Fused With Humor and Faith
JC Gardner is an award-winning, best-selling author, an inspirational speaker, writing coach and ghost writer. She has written five books, along with contributing to numerous publications. Her latest novel, “Heated,” is an urban dramedy about a single mother’s plight to do better despite her negative circumstances. It is the recipient of a 2018 IPPY Award and an Amazon best seller. As our Author of the Day, Gardner tells us all about "Heated".
Please give us a short introduction to what Heated is about.
The title Heated is actually a play on words. Some people immediately think it is a steamy love story but it's not. It's about a young woman (Jerilyn) going through early menopause and she gets "Heated" due to unfortunate and unwelcome hot flashes. She also gets angry or "hot," therefore she becomes heated. The novel is an urban dramedy, fused with humor and faith.
What inspired you to write this book?
My mantra is: "I don't choose the characters; they choose me." I've always had an active imagination and oftentimes these "people" just show up and have a story to tell. They arrive with their own scent, style, drama, appearance, history and demand to be heard. I just finesse what they tell me and make them come to life through the written word.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I would say being a coach and transformational speaker are a few of my other secret skills. I coach adults and youth on their writing projects, and I speak to various groups, mostly women, on moving past devastating life events that stopped them from pursuing their dreams. I work with them to get to the other side. I also LOVE to cook. The supermarket is my third home, with the first being my actual residence, followed by my day job. Emoji
Is there something that compels you to write? And do you find that writing helps you achieve a clarity about yourself or ideas you've been struggling with?
I've been writing for over 40 years. My writing life was almost derailed by a school teacher who doubted my abilities and subjected me to humiliation. Her hurtful words lingered with me for many years until I had a breakthrough. Writing It is part of my DNA -- a God-given gift to be a storyteller and entertainer. It is a way to relax, release and express myself through stories, poems, articles, songs and plays. What I may cannot verbally express, I surely can explain through writing. It is my happy place, and it brings me great joy to see other achieve their dreams, especially of being an author.
Are any of the characters in the book based on real people?
Actually in Heated, Carmella, Jerilyn's sister, is loosely based on my sister, Katrina. Her imprint was all over that character, and it would crack me up whenever Carmella would show up, and I would see my sister.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I write late at night when most of my family is asleep, however, that is not the only time. I write during lunch at work, I tell ideas to my voice recorder on my phone, and I write using the Notes feature on the phone also. There is no average day for me, and I'm not one that says, "Oh, its 8 PM. Time to write." That is too structured for my nature. For me, since it comes naturally, when the Spirit moves me to write, I usually find a way to do it. The exception to this is if I'm working on a project with a deadline.
What are you working on right now?
I'm working on the 3rd installment of "Sinful Liaisons," a risque tale of lust, lies and deceit. Sinful is not for the faint of heart. It's a family saga,filled with twists, turns, and forbidden/unhealthy love affairs. The manuscript is done; I'm just tightening up a few areas before I go into the boxing ring with my editor. LOL ALL books need a good editor. Then I'll begin another project, more tamer (like Heated) that has been waiting patiently in the wings for it's turn to be "born."
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I want your readers to know that what God has placed on your heart, no one can take away. If you wake up everyday knowing you should be doing something else, Change Your Testimony. Your D.N.A. makes you Deliberately Not Average. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Make sure you are walking in your divine greatness. What are you waiting for? Go get yours!